The B-52’s Albums Ranked

The B-52's Albums

Photo: KevinPatrickLaw, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Our B-52’s albums ranked list looks at one of the great rock bands to come out of the late 1970s that had one of the most unique sounds music fans have ever heard. At a time when new wave and punk were all the rave, the B-52’s sounded like they had just came out of the 1960s and were just trying to get along with everybody else. With a set of songs that crossed the genres of surf music, punk, dance, new wave  and pure rock and roll fueled by creative lyrics and out of this world original female singers that mimicked the sound of lobsters or for space aliens, the B-52’s became favorites instantly. And of course we can’t fail to mention the memorable Fred Schneider on lead vocals claiming that microphone like a space alien poet in colorful downtown suit just looking for a good tuna roll.

The B-52s blew out of the gate in 1979 with their debut album that spawned the huge hits “Rock Lobster,” and “Planet Claire.” The B-52s would soon prove that they had landed on this planet to stay. They followed up their debut album a year later with the record Wild Planet planet that included the hit single “Private Idaho.” An EP was released a year later entitled Mesopotamia in honor of the land of the first known civilized people. The third album entitled Whammy! was released in 1983. It would be three more years before they released a follow up album to Whammy! which they did in 1986 with the album entitled Bouncing Off The Satellites.

In 1989, the B-52’s  stepped out of the shadows of their loyal cult  following and many rock and roll fans and become a household name when they released the single “Love Shack.” The song would stand as one of the greatest songs released in the decade of the 1980s. “Love Shack,” was released on the album Cosmic Thing. It would be another three years before the band released a follow-up album to their phenomenal successful Cosmic Thing LP.

The new album released in 1992 was entitled Good Stuff. The album was produced by the legendary Nile Rogers of Chic and noted producer Don Was. Many B-52 fans were disappointed with the album not because of the songs, but because original vocalist Cindy Wilson did not appear on the record. A long time time in between albums  would then ensue. However 16 years later The B-52s were back with Cindy on board in releasing their seventh studio album entitled Funplex. As of this writing in 2021 Funplex stands as the last released B-52’s studio album.

The original B-52’s consisted of Fred Schneider on lead vocals Ricky Wilson on guitars Keith Strickland on drums Kate Pearson on vocals and Cindy Wilson on vocals. Ricky Wilson passed away in 1985. Ricky Wilson and Cindy Wilson were brother and sister.

Our B-52’s Albums Ranked article does just that. We pick in order of preference our favorite B-52 albums. This was such an amazing band. If you don’t have any of these albums we recommend you start out with number one and build all the way to number eight. You will love each and every one of them.

# 8 – Mesopotamia

We open up our B-52s albums ranked list with not a full-length studio album but rather an EP entitled Mesopotamia.  Since The B-52’s only released seven full length studio LPs, we felt we should include Mesopotamia on this list just to complete your studio collection. Some fans thought this album was a little bit over produced and sort of missed the original The B-52’s punk /surf sound. Nonetheless, it is essential for your collection. The album featured the singles  “Deep Sleep,” “Cake,” and of course “Mesopotamia.”

# 7 – Good Stuff

The B-52s album Good Stuff was released in 1992. After the huge success of the singles “Loveshack,” and “Roam” from Cosmic Thing, there were high expectations for the band to roll back with another couple of big-time hits. However, the album Good Stuff  failed to achieve any big hit singles. Although, the album was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music album. There was some great musicians that played on this record including Jeff Porcaro of Toto on drums Nile Rogers on rhythm guitar and Lenny Castro on percussion. Overall a really really good album, it just wasn’t able to top the charts on the commercial side of things.

# 6 – Whammy!

At number six on our B-52 albums list we turn to the album Whammy! The album was released in 1983. This was one of those albums that just got away. There was some great singles on this record including “Legal Tender” “Whammy Kiss,” and “Song For a Future Generation.” All original members performed great on this album. The sad part being that this would be the last album founding member Ricky Wilson would appear on. Ricky Wilson died of AIDS just two years later in 1985.

# 5 – Funplex

It had been 16 years before the B-52’s had released a new album. In 2008, The B-52’s returned with their seventh studio album entitled Funplex. It was great to have the B-52’s back. The album was filled with 11 brand new songs including the singles “Funplex,” and “Juliet Of The Spirits.” There are many different versions of the record released that included bonus tracks and live cuts. The album did well on the US Billboard Top 200 as it reached all the way up to number 11.

# 4 – Bouncing off the Satellites

At number four on our B-52’s albums list is the band’s fourth album entitled Bouncing off the Satellites. This album was too harshly criticized by writers which helped result in very poor sale And that was too bad because it was a really good album that contained somes great tracks including the sensational “Summer Of Love.” Still, being released in 1986 a year after founding member Ricky Wilson Nelson had passed away cast a somber shadow over the band.

# 3 – Cosmic Thing

The huge commercialization and final takeover of the planet by the B-52’s was complete with the release of their Cosmic Thing album in 1989. The album’s third single would become an unexpected worldwide smash for the B-52’s hitting number three on the US Billboard Hot 100, and number two on the UK Charts. More than just a hit single the song would become a party anthem for the 70s and 80s generation.

# 2 – Wild Planet

Wild Planet was the absout perfect follow up album to their dangerous debut album the B-52’s. This album got raves across the board from critics and fans of all generations. Everyone loved this album. It stand as one of the best follow up albums to a debut record in the classic rock era. Fans could not get enough of songs like “Private Idaho, Party Out If Bounds and Devil In My Car.” The album was released in 1980.

# 1 – The B-52’s

We close out our B-52’s albums list with the groups first full length album release entitled the B-52’s. The album showcased a brand new sound and style of music that turned music fans upside down. No one had ever released a song that sounded like Rock Lobster before. While the album did not rank that high on the charts, it created a buzz in the music industry among fans and critics at a fever pace.

The B-52’s Albums Ranked article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021

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