From '' Unifying Themes Redux ''
Label: Excursion Records -- EXC-032
Format: CD, Compilation
01. God Vs. Science
02. Third Part In A Tragedy
03. Inch By Inch
04. The Opera Song
Written-by [Uncredited] -- Carl Orff
08. Stupid Me
09. In Spite Of This
10. End Of Discussion
12. Liqoured Up And Laid
13. Leavers Take On Genesis
14. The Lobster Song
Written-by [Uncredited] -- The B-52's
15. Frequent Mass Transit
Mixed By, Recorded By -- Matt Bayles (tracks: 15, 16)
Recorded By -- Jake Snider (tracks: 5 to 11, and 14), Wes Weresch (tracks: 1 to 4, 12, 13)
This combines all of the songs from "The Unifying Themes of Sex, Death, and Religion" CD with 7 additional tracks.
Included on this CD are songs from:
The "John Birch Conspiracy Theory" 7" on Phyte Records (Tracks 1-4)
The "I Can't Live Without It" compilation on Mountain Records (Track 5)
The "Faction" 7" on World Of Hurt and Threshold Records (Tracks 6-9)
The "Brewing" compilation on Excursion records (Track 10)
An unreleased song from the "Faction" recording session (Track 11)
The Split 7" with Nineironspitfire on Indecision Records (Tracks 12 and 13)
The "All About Friends" compilation on Point Furthest From The Middle Records (Track 14)
The Split 7" with The Murder City Devils (track 15)
A previously unreleased instrumental track from the recordings for their album "An Anthology Of Dead Ends" (Track 16)
An unlisted live set from WFMU (Track 17).
Track 15 is also seen as "Frequency Ass Bandit" on the "We Are The Romans" album. It is a slightly different version here, and is a bit longer.
Track 4 is actually titled "O Fortuna..." and is a cover of the composition by Carl Orff.
Track 14 is actually titled "Rock Lobster" and is a cover song originally performed by The B-52's.
"Rock Lobster" is a novelty song written by Fred Schneider and Ricky Wilson, two members of The B-52s. It was produced in two versions, one by DB Records released in 1978, and a longer version, which was part of the band's 1979 self-titled debut album, released by Warner Bros. The song became one of their signature tunes, and it helped launch the band's success.
"Rock Lobster" was the band's first single to appear on Billboard's Hot 100, where it reached #56. A major hit in Canada, the single went all the way to #1 in the RPM national singles chart. Its follow-up was "Private Idaho," in October, 1980, which reached #74 in the U.S.
Composition and themes
The album version of "Rock Lobster" also known as("ROCK LOBSTA")(released in 1979 by Warner Bros. Records) lasts about seven minutes and includes nonsensical lyrics about a beach party and excited rants about real or imagined marine animals ("There goes a dog-fish, chased by a cat-fish, in flew a sea robin, watch out for that piranha, there goes a narwhal, here comes a bikini whale!"), accompanied by absurd, fictional noises attributed to them (provided by Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson, with Pierson providing the higher-pitched noises and Wilson the lower-pitched ones); the chorus consists of the words "Rock Lobster!" repeated over and over on top of a keyboard line.
Instruments used in the music include a twangy, baritone tuned surf-style electric guitar (a Mosrite), a Farfisa, Vox or Gibson organ, and drums. Kate Pierson played the song's bass line on keyboards.
"Rock Lobster" is written in the key of G harmonic minor and is in common time.
Chart performance and reviews
The song was well-received overall, and was the band's first single to appear on Billboard's Hot 100, where it reached #56. In Canada, released on the Warner Bros. label, the single became a huge hit, eventually going on to reach #1 in the RPM-compiled national chart on May 24, 1980.
It has appeared at #146 in Rolling Stone's "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic called the song "incredibly infectious" and "memorable".
In popular culture
In spring 1980, John Lennon, whose post-Beatles music career had been on hiatus for nearly five years while he helped raise his son Sean, was prompted to record again after hearing "Rock Lobster"; according to Lennon, "it sounds just like Ono's music, so I said to meself [sic], 'It's time to get out the old axe and wake the wife up!'" His return to the studio led to the release of Double Fantasy.
The song appears in the Family Guy episode "The Cleveland-Loretta Quagmire", and (as "Rock Monster") in The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: A VeggieTales Movie.
The cult classic TV show "Mystery Science Theater 3000" occasionally used various lyrics from the song while commenting on the film they were watching. The phrase, "There goes a narwhale," was rated #35 in the "Fifty Most Obscure
References" section in The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Amazing Colossal Episode Guide.
The song appears in Rock Band 3.