Friday, November 1, 2019
You don’t need to look too hard to see or hear the multi-dimensional influence of The B-52s…
For as loud as anthems like “Dance This Mess Around,” “Love Shack,” and “Rock Lobster” might resound, the group have quietly impacted alternative music, fashion, and culture over the course of four-plus decades. Selling over 20 million albums worldwide, the GRAMMY® Award-nominated quartet—Fred Schneider [vocals, toy piano], Kate Pierson [vocals, keyboards], Cindy Wilson [vocals, percussion], and Keith Strickland [guitar, drums, keys, programming]—ignited a legacy of innovation and inspiration that dates back to 1976.
John Lennon famously professed his fandom in Rolling Stone, and the Washington Post chronicled the moment writing, “Forty years ago ‘Rock Lobster’ launched the B-52s career – and revived John Lennon’s.” Meanwhile, Madonna, James Murphy, Michael Stipe, Dave Grohl, and many others espoused similar adoration throughout the years. Casting a wide net, Panic! At The Disco, Blood Orange, The Offspring, Pitbull, Roger Sanchez, and DJ Shadow sampled classics from the band’s discography. Seth MacFarlane’s Family Guy, The Simpsons, and more offered up covers of their own, while Sugarland joined the legends for a rousing rendition of “Love Shack” at the CMT Awards. Known for intergalactic micro-dresses long before they became high fashion, Yahoo! dubbed Pierson, “The original Katy Perry,” while it certainly wouldn’t be a stretch to trace the “Beehive”—which Pierson and Wilson pioneered—to Nicki Minaj and other modern style icons. Countless music critics have lauded Schneider as having one of the most distinctive voices in rock.