1982: Island 846 239-2
NOT the Party Mix edition of the album, which I also have, this is the original. I was appalled when I heard the other version, because it cleaned up the sound on many tracks Id come to enjoy in their murkier forms. If you have despaired because you were stuck with the remixed version, just keep hunting the real things out there.
Thats assuming you really, really want this album and probably only seriously devoted Bs fans will. Of all their records, this is the one most desperately in need of a lyrics sheet, as the bulk of the vocals are either sloppy or made indistinct by the passionless tedium of the rhythm tracks. It sounds like there were some fun song ideas being tried out but not taken to completion (or possibly worked to death); as a result Nip It in the Bud is the only track that really sounds like the Bs, and the others like the various members of the group were doing guest spots on some other bands album. Deep Sleep brings the album down dreadfully, all the more unfortunate because the kickoff track isnt particularly lively and drags on to its close almost with embarrassment.
I do find the title track amusing enough to justify keeping this at hand, plus it has a compelling enchantment in the form of Kate and Cindys strange counterpart harmonies on the chorus (and Nip It in the Bud too, even if I can only guess at whats being sung), and Cake is *nearly* there and at least funny at moments. Actually, its worth noting that those title-track harmonies present a fascinating and unexpected contrast in that the same sustained notes provide an enigmatically dark sound in one register but then also trumpet a shrill cultural primitivism an octave higher in the same song (the latter including the vocal dyad on which the track ends a C-major one positioned against the D-minor base of the song).
Mesopotamia also has circumstantial charms: I personally hear it as being in a very mid-80s moment in my own life, not corresponding to when I actually first heard the track. It presents an atmosphere of unparalleled oddity in which quirkiness is catchily coola sound I want to hear playing at a party Im hosting in a little rented house outfitted with representations of my own quirks, with party guests having lovely moments here and there in those contexts Ive provided. That is, for me, viscerally what B-52ss music is: the soundtrack to informal parties you wish you were at.
Comments © 2005/2017 Mark Ellis Walker, except as noted, and no claim is made to the images and quoted lyrics.