Thursday, March 13, 2014

They Laid Down the Law

My college friends and I were a little hot bed of new wave aficionados in the prairies of NW Oklahoma.   We saw the Talking Heads in Norman, OK during their "Fear of Music" tour, caught The Pretenders and The Go Gos at the OKC Zoo, and rented the local roller rink for a new wave/punk evening.   I cannot skate but I remember being plastered while skating to The Clash.

Of all the new wave groups that sprang forth in the late 70's, the B-52s were the most near and dear to my heart.   Total nerds.   Just like us.   By the time of their third release in 1982, some thought the bloom was off the rose.  As we now know, Mesopotamia was supposed to be a full fledged album with ten tracks.   Something went amiss and they tangled with producer David Byrne, so the release was cut back to an EP with just six tracks.  It was definitely a new direction, but they jettisoned the new sound immediately and never returned. 

Here is the title track.  From the moment that Fred mispronounces Mes-a-pa-ta-mia I was hooked.  The monster hand claps just sealed the deal.   This has to be one of the greatest grooves of the 80s, what with the funky bass and the counterpoint between the various vocal parts. 

 I'll meet you by the third pyramid!

1 comment:

Holly A Hughes said...

Delicious. Man, was this a fun band, and I always felt like they were personal friends of mine, for some dippy reason. The fact that they were trying to go arty instead of sticking with the old kitsch shtick is telling. I can only wonder what was going on in David Byrne's head to cut them down.