Nirvana made a lot of things irrelevant when Nevermind
was released in 1991, and among the most unfortunate casualties caught inside the blast radius were the B-52's. Just two years previously they had released their very first mainstream breakthrough album, Cosmic Thing
. This album was featherweight, sun- kissed, playfully pansexual and, most importantly, danceable. Tracks like "Love Shack" and "Roam" reminded us there could be fun without responsibility. Alternately kitschy and lazy (some still insist that "Deadbeat Club" was a slacker anthem long before Beck's "Loser"), Cosmic Thing
took the B-52's signature Trekkie-camp sensibility and slowed it down just enough to click on MTV and portable radio wonderfully. And let's be honest, anyway: would you rather road-trip to Kurt's sad refrain of "Well, whatever, nevermind" or Fred Schneider belting out "The whole shack shimmies!!" at the top of his lungs? (On second thought, don't answer that.) --Todd Levin
Love Shack; Roam, and Deadbeat Club highlight this 1989 smash!