Album Mini-review: The B-52’s — Live 8.24.1979
File next to: DEVO, the Go-Go’s
Though they were unashamedly gimmicky, the B-52’s were also among the most refreshing of the so-called new wave groups. With a proudly tacky aesthetic that emphasized fun above all else, the Athens group turned out a short series of classic albums. Their first two – 1979’s self-titled debut and Wild Planet from 1980 – are essential parts of any collection of new wave era albums. And now there’s an addition to that collection: this live album documents an August 1979 show recorded in Boston a mere three days before Wild Planet was released. Originally recorded for radio broadcast, Live 8.24.1979 captures the silly fun and excitement of the band, and proves that they were quite the tight and energetic live act, too. At 9 songs (6 from The B-52’s and 3 new ones) it’s a bit short, but the B-52’s trump quantity with quality.
About the Author
With a background in marketing and advertising, Bill Kopp got his professional start writing for Trouser Press. After a stint as Editor-in-chief for a national music magazine, Bill launched Musoscribe in 2009, and has published new content every business day since then (and every single day since 2018). The 4000-plus interviews, essays, and reviews on Musoscribe reflect Bill's keen interest in American musical forms, most notably rock, jazz, and soul. His work features a special emphasis on reissues and vinyl. Bill's work also appears in many other outlets both online and in print. He regularly hosts lecture/discussions on artists and albums of historical importance (including monthly events Music to Your Ears and Music Movie Mondays), and is a frequent guest on music-focused radio programs and podcasts. In Spring 2023 he is co-teaching a history of Rock 'n' Roll at UNC Asheville's College for Seniors. He also researches and authors liner notes for album reissues -- more than 30 to date -- and co-produced a reissue of jazz legend Julian "Cannonball" Adderley's final album. His first book, Reinventing Pink Floyd: From Syd Barrett to The Dark Side of the Moon was published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2018, and in paperback in 2019. His second book, Disturbing the Peace: 415 Records and the Rise of New Wave, was published in 2021 by HoZac Books. His third book, What's the Big Idea: 40 Great Concept Albums will be published in 2024. Read even more about him here.