Cover of the CD discussed in the post. Band photo on red background.

Record of the Day1:

The B-52s - Wild Planet

For this week's #CDFriday2, I went with a record I picked up at a local library sale for $.50. I almost passed it over because there was a fair degree of schmutz of the disc. But it cleaned up nicely. And I'm really glad I did.

The deep cuts on this are terrific. I'll admit back in the day I didn't really explore the B-52s. tbh whatever affection I had for "Rock Lobster" was drained out by being played to death in when I was in 9th grade. I was into the Ramones and Jimi Hendrix. And by the time I was fully into post-punk a couple of years later, they were pretty mainstream and struck me as kitschy. But one of the best things about getting older is that stuff that you dismissed when you were younger is now something you can enjoy.3

I also noted that I don't have much interesting in the deep cuts in post Ricky Wilson era of the band. In fact, the reason I first pulled The B-52s into my YouTube algorithm was someone posted a link to a video where there were a lot of clear shots of Ricky playing guitar. And looking at the songwriting credits to this its very apparent how important he was in crafting this sound.

And when all is said and done, I'm super happy that a band this weird broke into the mainstream.

One thing I found interesting is that it seems pretty obvious to me that there is bass guitar on a lot of these songs. Now, I can't say for certain, it could all just be in the production--which is just dynamite on this record--but there are songs where the bass is more obviously the Korg you see Kate playing in the video below. And what I'm hearing on a lot of the songs is not that familiar shaped sine wave of a synth/organ, and is pretty prominent in the mix. I have no ethical or aesthetic problem to them using a bass player on the record--completely makes sense to me, plus I love studio production--just interesting to me from a creative perspective.


1 My Record of the Day is something I started doing on Instagram, posting picture of whichever vinyl record I was listening to at the moment. In fact, I'll do a full post on this rather than cramming it into a footnote.

2 #CDFriday was started by Bruce Levenstein originally on Twitter, but he's since moved it over to Mastodon. Bruce champions the CD format whenever the opportunity presents itself; his collection is no joke. Not to speak for him, but his #CDFriday movement was a way to highlight the viability of the CD format in an era of vinyl resurgence and digital streaming and download formats.

3 I'll definitely be writing much more about this in the future.