aka The Vinyl Villain incorporating Sexy Loser
#002 – THE B-52’s – ‚Planet Claire’ (Island Records, ’79)
Let me start with another applause to JC for being so kind to feature my insufficient attempts on TVV. The truth of the matter is: I told him that I was afraid no-one would read them anyway if they were to appear on sexyloser. The audience here is much bigger, of course, which in theory should increase my chances. Well, so I thought.
But now I’m not so sure any longer. The thing is, my interest in music could easily be described as ‘old-fashioned’: people who know me and/or have read sexyloser in the past will be able to confirm this. And now we are talking about my favourite 111 singles … I mean it’s obvious that there will be a few choices which will only knock the socks off those who are very young indeed or have lived on a remote island somewhere in the Pacific since WW II!
In conclusion, there isn’t pretty much to say about today’s single, you will know it by heart. But I thought it had to be bought, because it’s one of those songs that never fail to put a smile on my face since I first heard it in the very early 80’s.
The band was founded in Athens, Georgia in 1976 and if memory serves, ‘Planet Claire’ was their third single. The beehive haircuts of the ladies (Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson) gave the band their name, because in the Southern US-states those haircuts were often compared to the front part of the Boeing B-52 bomber.
And if you, like I have always been, ever were confused why they sometimes are being referred to as ‘B-52’s’ and sometimes as ‘B-52s’: they lost their apostrophe in 2008, don’t ask me why.
Apostrophe or not, this is a neat record, and excellent for dancing in fact (not that I find myself on the dance floor all too often, basically this only happens when I’m crossing it on me way to the bar).
So here you are, an oldie but goodie if you like, some crackles here and there, but hey, the single is 43 years old!
mp3: The B-52’s – Planet Claire
All the best, enjoy,
PS: and no. It’s not, as I thought for several decades, “She drove a Plymouth Satellite / and masturbated at the speed of light” …
8 thoughts on “ONE HUNDRED AND ELEVEN SINGLES : #002”
B-52s really were pushing their own furrow – music wise and artistically – for an American band at that time, in my experience. Whether you were a dark overlord of goth or a 4AD only indie-kid there always seemed to be some common crossover with the B-52s. Maybe I’m imagining that?
A single that starts with a 2.30 second intro has to be unusual, right?
I’m not the biggest of fans of the band but… I haven’t heard, or own, a song I don’t like. Which, argumentively, probably makes me a fan of sorts.
As for misunderstanding lyrics – that made me chuckle.
I wonder what’s next….
A great tune. I think you’re right about the crossover thing. B-52s were definitely the sort of band fans of many different genres could like. They just had something about them that appealed to such a wide range of people.
As for the apostrophe, maybe they finally realised in 2008 that it shouldn’t be there. It always bugged me that they had it for so long…
I absolutely LOVE this band! From the second I heard “52 Girls” I was hooked. They’re goofy on purpose. They never took themselves seriously and always put fun first. Ricky Wilson was some kind of genius, playing bass lines and guitar riffs simultaneously. Cindy and Kate are two of the all time best vocalists in the business. The band were great live, too. And danceable! Who can you compare them to? Lord knows we can all use another band like them. Great post, Dirk – made my day!
What a truly magnificent start to the series Dirk! And the singles you chose are excellent too. Can’t wait for part three.
Top song Dirk
Top tune Dirk
Hilariously, “back in the day” unable to either find or afford an official band t-shirt, I cobbled together enough dosh to get myself one made up – one of those flock-lettered things. I’d written what I wanted spelling out on the t-shirt: The B-52’s in red flock letters on a canary yellow t. Imagine my disappointment when I collected it, not only had they omitted the hyphen and apostrophe, but mistook the S for a 5, so my must-have pride & joy read: The B525 🤣
Great choice Dirk, this song and the whole album grabbed me from the first time I listened to it. The return of the lost Rickenbacker sound was the soundtrack of this year for me. And always I listen to Planet Claire I remember an old German TV-series. Raumpatroulle Orion was the early 60’s version of sci-fi and their dancing is unforgetable.