Time Capsule: Songs for a Future Generation

By Walters, Barry | The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine), June 23, 1998 | Go to article overview

Time Capsule: Songs for a Future Generation


Walters, Barry, The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)


There are few bands as singular, as specifically American, and yet as downright homo as the B-52's. Few have dared to imitate them. No one could. Their mix of refried surf guitar, cheesy organs, organic dance grooves, and off-kilter harmonies was the alternative of the alternative.

This was some achievement. At a time when disco ruled the dance floor, the B-52's signaled the arrival of a Day-Glo lavender aesthetic too wacky to be woven into a seamless DJ mix yet too wonderful to be ignored. It was even more remarkable that years after they peaked, years after they lost one of their members to complications from AIDS, the B's came back to become multiplatinum rock gods--without losing one iota of fabulousness. This is transformation might have been unnerving if it weren't obvious that these oddballs were at, the top of their game, that, their popularity explosion was a victory we could claim for ourselves: The B-52's broke the big time without losing the weirdness that made them compelling. …

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