It is well known that the B-52s are the World’s Greatest Party Band. And thirty years and more than twenty million albums into their career, there can be no doubt as to why The B-52s remain among the most beloved rock stars ever. Any mystery concerning the longevity and ongoing appeal of the band is immediately solved when exposed to a unique B-52s concert experience. From the timeless gems of "Rock Lobster," "Planet Claire" and "Private Idaho" to the more recent classics “Channel Z," "Love Shack" and "Roam", the B-52s’ unforgettable dance-rock tunes start a party every time their music begins.
Formed on an October night in 1976, the band played their first gig at a friend's house on Valentine's Day 1977. Naming themselves after Southern slang for exaggerated 'bouffant" hairdos, the newlychristened B-52s (Fred Schneider, Kate Pierson, Keith Strickland, Cindy Wilson and Ricky Wilson) began weekend road trips to New York City for gigs at CBGB's and a handful of other venues.
Before long, their thrift store aesthetic and genre-defying songs were the talk of the post-punk underground. A record deal soon followed and their self-titled debut disc, produced by Chris Blackwell, sold more than 500,000 copies on the strength of their first singles, the garage rock party classic "Rock Lobster," and "52 Girls." The B-52s began to attract fans far beyond the punk clubs of the Lower East Side — galvanizing the pop world with their 'stream-of-consciousness' approach to songwriting and outrageous performance.
The band has just released their first-ever live CD, DVD and Blu-ray, With the Wild Crowd! Live in Athens, GA. Recorded in the band's hometown, the show commemorated the band’s 34th anniversary of their first-ever live show on Valentine’s Day 1977. WITH THE WILD CROWD! is filled with all the excitement, fervor and energy of a classic B-52s dance party, a showcase for the non-stop, high-octane force of a group that has never lost their youthful and dynamic energy.
It’s 1973 in South London. Teenage friends Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook form the band that will see them dubbed ‘The New Lennon and McCartney.’ More than 35 years later, with their legacy intact and as vital as it has ever been, Squeeze is still touring and reminding fans worldwide just why it’s left such an indelible impression on the UK music scene.
As teenagers on the South London scene, Squeeze became a fixture of the burgeoning New Wave movement. Velvet Underground man John Cale who caught wind in 1977 and offered to produce their debut EP Packet Of Three and much of the ensuing album.
Yet it was second album Cool For Cats, released in 1979, which cemented their place as one of Britain’s most important young bands. Featuring the classic single as well as the title track, it was many listeners’ first introduction to the witty kitchen-sink lyricism and new-wave guitar music that has become the band’s trademark. With albums Argybargy and the Elvis Costello-produced East Side Story, Squeeze even started to make waves across the pond, although in 1980 former Roxy Music and Ace man Paul Carrack would replace Jools Holland, going on to lend his unmistakeable vocals to the smash hit ‘Tempted.'
With their fingerprints keenly felt throughout the fabric of popular music, it is only right that these songs, with their evergreen and popular sound, continue to be played and enjoyed live. And so since 2007, a newly reformed Squeeze have been slowly finding time to play a series of gigs and festival dates. The new Squeeze line-up, their most able yet, is completed by Squeeze veteran John Bentley, Tilbrook’s Fluffers cohort Simon Hanson and Stephen Large.
Chris Difford’s lyrics and Glenn Tilbrook’s music have survived everything over the years, from the ever-changing musical landscape to their own internal reshuffles and acrimonious breakups - but Squeeze is here to stay, still going strong and still loving every moment.