The B-52’s Biography

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The B-52sThe B-52’s is a New Wave rock band that formed in 1976 in Athens, Georgia. The original band line-up is composed of Fred Schneider on vocals, Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson on backing vocals, Ricky Wilson on guitar and Keith Strickland on drums.

Unlike what most people would have thought, the band name was not taken from a type of airplane used in World War II. Rather B-52 was taken from a type of women’s hairdo that was popular during the Sixties.

The B-52’s was formed in 1976 by Cindy Wilson and Kate Pierson, along with Keith Strickland, Candy’s brother; Ricky and vocalist Fred Schneider after a drunken get together one night at a Chinese restaurant.

They had their first gig at a friend’s house on Valentine’s Day in 1977. They then had weekend trips to New York for performances at the famed CBGB’s and a handful of other venues.

They slowly built up a fan base that was attracted to their type of genre-defying music and thrift store fashion style. They eventually became a talk of the underground scene that eventually landed them with a record deal that gave way to the release of their self-titled debut album.

Their debut album proved to be a strong seller fueled by popular single, "Rock Lobster" which became a garage rock party classic. The album went on to sell over 500,000 albums and provided the B-52’s with a growing listening audience to their unique type of music. Their musical style was a quirky take on the New Wave sound which combined dance and surf music, the vocal harmonies of Wilson and Pierson coupled with spoken word vocals of Schneider.

And to prove that their debut success was not a one time thing, the B-52’s released a second studio album in 1980 titled Wild Planet. It scored such hits as "Private Idaho", "Give Me Back My Man" and "Strobe Light". With just two albums, the B-52’s were able to create a song list that helped build the development of the alternative music scene. Their succeeding albums made the band MTV mainstays in the 80’s along with a number of songs that received regular plays on the radio.

Other notable albums were the 1989 album, Cosmic Thing, which spawned their first top 10 singles in "Love Shack" and "Roam". It was this album that made the band well-known internationally. "Love Shack" even went to stay at the number one spot in Australia for eight weeks. The band continued on to play and do live performances through the 1990’s after which they went on a brief hiatus.

The band members went on doing some of their solo projects and eventually reunited as a band in 1998 in order to promote a collection album and go on tour. The B-52’s still continue to perform as a band and mesmerizing audiences with their style of quirky yet innovative music filled with lush vocals.

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