CMJ - 1/5/04, p.26Ranked #8
in CMJ's "Top 20 Most-Played Albums of 1989"
The B-52s: Keith Strickland, Kate Pierson (vocals, guitar, keyboards); Fred Schneider (vocals, percussion); Cindy Wilson (vocals).
Additional personnel: Nile Rodgers (guitar); Tommy Mandell, Philippe Saisse, Richard Hilton (keyboards); Sara Lee (bass, background vocals); Steve Ferrone, Sonny Emory, Charlie Drayton, Leroy Clouden (drums).
The Uptown Horns: Chris Cioe, Paul Literal, Arno Hecht, Bob Funk, Carl Beatty.
Personnel: Keith Strickland (vocals, guitar, keyboards, background vocals); Kate Pierson (vocals, keyboards, background vocals); Fred Schneider (vocals, percussion, background vocals); Cindy Wilson (vocals); Nile Rodgers (guitar, electric guitar); Arno Hecht, Paul Literal, Chris Cioe, Bob Funk, Carl Beatty (horns); Sara Lee (keyboards, bass guitar, background vocals); Richard Hilton (keyboards, programming); Tom Mandel, Philippe Saisse, Tommy Mandel (keyboards); Leroy Clouden, Sonny Emory, Steve Ferrone, Charley Drayton, Charlie Drayton (drums).
Audio Mixers: Tom Durak; Nile Rodgers .
Recording information: Dreamland Recording Studios, West Hurley, NY; Skyline Studios, New York, NY.
1986's BOUNCING OFF THE SATELLITES found the B-52s in the throes of mourning (they'd lost guitarist Ricky Wilson). But they returned in 1989 with COSMIC THING, a corker that set up the band for '90s success. This is a glorious party of a collection and an album that should stand up to time and scrutiny. The B-52s benefit from the production of Nile Rodgers and Don Was. Numerous guest musicians, including ubiquitous bassist Sara Lee, only add to the fullness of this release.
The southern swank of "Dry Country" marks the first B-52s song to pay homage to the band's Georgia roots. Cindy Wilson and Kate Pierson feature heavily on the comely slacker anthem "Deadbeat Club". COSMIC THING's big hit, the fantastic "Love Shack," compels listeners to perform embarrassing and involuntary dance moves. But the album's true highlight is "Roam," a Wilson showcase with a lovely a cappella choir intro, a driving beat, and infectious handclaps. And don't miss the harmonies on "Bushfire" and "Topaz" or the quirky cable TV-themed "Channel Z." "Follow Your Bliss," as one song suggests, and add the indispensable COSMIC THING to your collection.