THE B-52’S – ‘THE B-52’S’ (1979)

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - THE TAKE CRITICS’ CHOICE -


My mum used to play this in the car when she took me and my sis­ter up to Lan­caster to see my grandma. When you think about it, once you take out all the songs about, eh-hem, “in­ti­mate re­la­tions”, the B-52’s make great kids’ mu­sic. It’s un­pre­ten­tious, and full of colour and dy­namism. I still think all the vivid, non­sen­si­cal sto­ries, the pe­cu­liar tex­tures – three lead singers, toy pianos, bright, mono­phonic synth lines – are great stim­u­lants for chil­dren’s imag­i­na­tion. Par­ents of the world: do not bore your poor chil­dren with Mozart! This is the real stuff.

As I got older I paid much more at­ten­tion to Ricky Wil­son’s gui­tar play­ing. Four strings, zero chaff; like the 1950s and the 2050s at once.

When­ever Dance this Mess Around came on in the car, we’d ask Mum: “What is a lim­burger?” I thought for a while the singer was maybe say­ing “limb burger” – like, she’s ready to boo­gie, but they’ve left poor Kate im­mo­bile and friend­less on the dance floor. Later, I would learn that it’s a thick kind of cheese that is pop­u­lar in Bel­gium. So, in a sense, I wasn’t far off. NIALL BYRNE

Ki­ran Leonard’s new­est al­bum, West­ern Cul­ture, was re­leased Oc­to­ber 19th on Moshi Moshi

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