B-52’s “Whammy!” LP (1983)
Details: The B-52’s 1983 album “Whammy!” (Warner Bros, 1983). Lights skips and pops (side A title-track mostly - play-tested and plays through). See images for cover (medium ring/edge wear).
Description: “Critical reception for Whammy! was positive at the time of its release. Most critics regarded the album as a return to form after their previous album Mesopotamia, which they felt strayed too far from the band's signature sound. Praise was given to the drum machines and synthesizers, which created upbeat and highly danceable songs, as well as the tight lyrics and over the top vocals. Rolling Stone's Christopher Connelly, while referring to Mesopotamia as "underrated", was pleased with the band's return to their trademark style, and felt that even with the addition of Devo-style keyboards, producer Steven Stanley had "kept the band's basic strengths intact: breakneck tempos, deliciously uninhibited singing and an earnest enthusiasm for some of the universe's less-celebrated pleasures". He particularly praised Pierson, Wilson, and Schneider's vocals. While remarking that the entirety of side two is "a waste", he concluded, "What is important is that this band is having fun again - and in this age of dopey novelty songs and cheesy dance tracks, nobody does it better."
Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic later said the album was "certainly entertaining, even with its faults," praising the songs "Legal Tender", "Whammy Kiss", "Butterbean", and "Song for a Future Generation" and overall regarding the album as a strong follow-up to Mesopotamia, though he criticized the album's overuse of drum machines and synthesizers. Robert Christgau continued his support making it a "Pick Hit" and stating "[t]hough [the B-52's] still pick up some great ideas at interplanetary garage sales, their celebration of the pop mess-around is getting earthier." Ben Wener of The Spectator commented favorably on Whammy!, describing it as an "overlooked gem."
Grade: VG+ (cover/sleeve) / VG+ (record)
TRACK LISTING SIDE A:
A1. Legal Tender
A2. Whammy Kiss
A3. Song For A Future Generation
TRACK LISTING SIDE B:
B2. Queen Of Las Vegas
B3. Don’t Worry
B4. Big Bird
B5. Work That Skirt