Friday, February 5, 2016

ABCs of My Vinyl Collection (Letter B, Part 1)

Almost all of my B-52's collection is on vinyl. So, I'll be up late tonight converting to digital, but I think this will be nothing but a joyous job. I was just digging around deciding what to feature today, and I realize you probably have all of those excellent early records. I know the band lost some of you around 'Whammy!', but I stuck with them through 'Cosmic Thing.' I'm going to make the assumption that many of you might not have the 1986 album 'Bouncing Off the Satellites,' their least successful album in a career crammed with hits. I think today's single could have and should have been a hit. OK, "Girl From Ipanema Goes To Greenland" did make it to No. 10 on the U.S. dance chart, but that was the only ranking it received anywhere in the world. That the album wasn't on par with the band's best work only tells part of the tale.

Guitarist Ricky Wilson died of AIDS after the recording of 'Bouncing Off The Satellites' but before it was released. The band was devastated and wasn't up to the promotion needed to make the album a success. The label, without any appearances to tout, did nothing to push the release. In hindsight, I suppose it's easy to make judgments on bureaucratic decision-makers who probably didn't want to further publicize the circumstances of Ricky's death, but that's 1986 for you.

The extended version of "Girl From Ipanema Goes To Greenland" was remixed by the prolific Shep Pettibone. He was at the top of his game, releasing mixes by the likes of Madonna, Janet Jackson, New Order, Pet Shop Boys and many others during this period. The 12" mix was done by the Latin Rascals. This duo was also a hot commodity, having worked with Duran Duran, Madonna and Pet Shop Boys that year too. Quite a coup to land this talent. Between these two versions, however, I'll take Pettibone's every day of the week. To steal our pal Drew's line, it's Friday, let's dance!

"Girl From Ipanema Goes To Greenland" (Extended)
"Girl From Ipanema Goes To Greenland" (12" Mix)


charity chic said...

B52s -The Wildernss Years
One of theirs I don't have
Thanks Brian

kevinpat said...

I can't remember if it was my brother or me who got the first B52s album but I do know we listened to it together for the first time. I looked at the cover art and said "Oh, THIS is gonna be good…." We laughed. I probably danced along ridiculously in his living room, my sister-in-law laughed along and my brother just rolled them eyes trying to hold back his laugh. We loved it from the beginning. Still do. I also stayed with them even through their last Funplex. Very soon after that first album we got to see the B52s play second bill to Talking Heads at the Wollman Skating Rink outside one summer night NYC in 1979. Goodlawd…..!!!! I thought it may have just been a dream, and I mean…how could….but I know it was real because there's a wOnDeRfUl recording available now of the same show in Boston called "Live 8/24/79". Hear it and you'll know what I mean. In the meantime can somebody pass the tanning butter?

Great post Bri. Great mixes I didn't know. Shazam!!

Brian said...

Love that B-52's show you mentioned. It made my best of 2015 list:

That was the first B-52's record I had bought since the 12" of Roam in January 1990. I wish I had bragging rights that I saw them in 1979, but I didn't have the pleasure until a decade later. Seeing them do Strobe Light was pure bliss. This is one I was able to share with my girlfriend and future bride, and now my kids like to dance to them too.

That's kind of what I was hoping for by choosing this one. I remember you liking Wild Planet. Not quite the same experience I'm afraid but still a good time.

The Swede said...

CC's nailed it - the wilderness years. I'd quite forgotten this album, except, for some reason, the track 'Wig', which I remember vividly.

C said...

Joyous... just what I need right now - thanks.

kevinpat said...

I'm rather fond of Wild Planet as well. "Party Out of Bounds" ALWAYS get chuckles out of me. "Private Idaho" is also a favorite of course. And "Strobe Light" is a freakn hoot. Hahahahahaha. I can imagine kids liking this too, although my sons always thought "Dad's so silly." And that's a good thing. I think.

And Mesopotamia doesn't get the L0ve it deserves. :)))

Echorich said...

I've always rather enjoyed Bouncing Off The Satellites.

JC said...

thanks Brian. New on me and probably just the crazy sort of nonsense I could do with listening to right now.

Brian said...

Echorich, Die-hard fans have always seemed to love this album... probably because it wasn't embraced by the rest of the world. I completely get that.

C and JC, We all could use a song like this right now. Things are about to get better. I can feel it.

Swede, I think Wig got a little airplay in your neck of the woods, just as Summer of Love got a few spins over here, but the Wilderness years certainly fits all around.