Saturday, September 17, 2011

Alphanumeric: Mesopotamia

The B-52s: Mesopotamia


This seems to be one of those weeks when my fellow Star Makers and I avoid obvious choices in favor of lesser known ones. I can think of several well known groups that would fit our theme, and I really thought someone would have posted them by now. I can’t completely resist the urge to share lesser known music myself, so here is my solution: a lesser known song by one of those obvious bands.

In the early days of this band, Kate Pierson and Cindy Williams wore their hair in a style known as a bouffant, or a b-52, and that is where The B-52s got their name. Of course, the band burst on the scene with one of the first new wave hits, Rock Lobster. Their first two albums continued with that basic sound, but there were no other hits as big as Rock Lobster. So, for their third album, the band changed their sound. I don’t know if they decided to do this themselves or were told to by their record company, but the result was that they found themselves working with David Byrne of Talking Heads as their producer. Mesopotamia was supposed to be a full length album of ten songs, but disagreements arose between the band and Byrne, and what was finally released was a six song EP. It may be telling that Byrne only ever produced one other album for an artist other than himself, Fun Boy 3’s album Waiting. So Mesopotamia, the album and the song, may not be the music The B-52s wanted to make, but I have always found the song irresistible. I hope you will as well.

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