Quirky, lively, and original, the B-52's formed in the late 1970s, and they remain one of Athens's best-known bands.
After becoming a commercial and critical success, the B-52's released their second album,
In 1989 the remaining B-52's recorded and released Cosmic Thing, their greatest commercial achievement. On the strength of the hits "Love Shack," "Roam," and "Deadbeat Club," the album eventually went to number three on the Billboard charts and has sold five million copies.
In spite of the group's success, Cindy Wilson left the band in 1991 to start a family. The B-52's recorded their last studio album, Good Stuff, in 1992. Other projects soon followed. The band recorded the single "Meet the Flintstones" for the 1994 film The Flintstones. In 1997 they returned to Athens to play to a large and enthusiastic crowd at the University of Georgia homecoming. Then, reuniting permanently with Cindy Wilson, the group recorded two new tracks for a collection of their greatest hits, entitled Time Capsule: Songs for a Future Generation (1998).
The B-52's continue to tour and play occasional shows in Athens. One of the first "DIY" (Do it yourself) bands, having been created as a means to make their own fun in a then-sleepy liberal arts college town, the B-52's are credited with directly influencing hundreds of other successful bands. The B-52's were inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 2000.
Rodger Lyle Brown, Party out of Bounds: The B-52's, R.E.M., and the Kids Who Rocked Athens, Georgia (New York: Plume, 1991).
Stephanie L. Gordon, Auburn University
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