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Published on Jan 19, 2007
The B-52's Party OUT OF Bounds Live Rock in Rio 1985 Their first single, "Rock Lobster", recorded for DB Records in 1978 (see 1978 in music), was an underground success that led to the B-52's performing at CBGB's and Max's Kansas City in New York City. "52 Girls" was the B-side. Two versions of the single were released in the UK that featured the B-side "Running Around".
Their debut album, The B-52's, contained re-recorded versions of "Rock Lobster" and "52 Girls", along with six more originals and a remake of Petula Clark's classic "Downtown." It was eventually certified platinum.
The album had greater success overseas, especially in Australia, where it hit #7 on the back of three hit singles: "Planet Claire" (#43), "Rock Lobster" (#3) and "Private Idaho" (#11). "Rock Lobster" gave the band its first entry on Billboard's Hot 100 chart.
The follow-up, Wild Planet, reached the Top 20 on the Billboard 200 in 1980 and was certified gold. "Private Idaho" became their second Hot 100 entry; around this time the B-52's performed a breakout set on Saturday Night Live and were featured at the Heatwave festival in August 1980.
Party Mix! was released next, a remix album that took tracks from the first two LPs and presented them in extended forms.
 Mid-point Although recording sessions with David Byrne (of Talking Heads) failed, the recordings were released as the Mesopotamia EP in 1982 (Party Mix! and Mesopotamia would later be combined and released together on a single CD).
The Whammy! album in 1983 brought the band into electronic and drum machine experimentation, much to the chagrin of some of their early fans. "Legal Tender" became their third chart single. After the initial pressings of Whammy! were released, copyright issues with Yoko Ono led to the song "Don't Worry" being pulled and replaced on future copies of the album with a new track called "Moon 83", a variation on "There's A Moon in the Sky (Called the Moon)" from their debut album.
1984 brought about an eponymous solo album from Fred Schneider (Fred Schneider & the Shake Society) with contributions from bandmates Kate Pierson and Ricky Wilson. Tina Weymouth from the Talking Heads, Keith Haring and RuPaul appeared on the video clip for "Monster", a song about the "monster" in Fred's pants.
That year, the B-52's reformed to record Bouncing Off the Satellites. On October 12, 1985 Ricky Wilson died at age 32 of what was originally reported as cancer but was later revealed to be AIDS-related. Devastated, the band went into immediate seclusion and the album sank without any tour or promotion behind it.