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4.6 out of 5 stars39
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 21 February 2004
The B-52's began life as a self-described "tacky little dance band" out of 1970s Athens, Georgia--and they sounded like musical refugees from a Twilight Zone episode that Rod Serling thought better of. But the band touched a techno-nerve, and before too long they had a record deal and a cult single ("Rock Lobster") that actually made the charts. But for all their fame, The B-52's very glitchy sound never had much in the way of airplay, much less big-time sales... until the release of COSMIC THING.
COSMIC THING spawned two major singles. The first one to hit--and the one that remains most durable--is "Love Shack," a truly bizarre but extremely infectious mix of funky rhythm and catchy melody dominated by Fred Schneider's ultra-silly, ultra-clever pseudo-rap--the song was and is a tremendous amount of fun, and while it lacks the truly weird edge of earlier B-52's cuts it remains one of the best dance party cuts I've ever come across, something that will get you on your feet faster than you can say "Bang Bang." The second hit, "Roam," was more specifically pop--but pop with a B-52's twist: a covertly sexy lyric and Cindy Wilson and Kate Pierson blasting out unexpected harmonies from beneath their dueling beehive hairdos.
But COSMIC THING has more to offer than just these two cuts: everything here is extremely well done. The downbeat "Dry Country" has a seductive swing to it; "Deadbeat Club" is super smooth; "Topaz" is a remarkable little thing, sweet and sour all at once; and the largely non-vocal "Follow Your Bliss" wraps up the set on an unexpected but effective note. Along the way we also have at least three cuts that are very, very distinctly B-52's and as far out as anything the band did in their earlier incarnation: the rapid fire "June Bug," "Bushfire," and "Channel Z"--all of them with jagged rhythms, collapsing vocals, weird musical settings, and harmonies that go from liquid to strident before you can say "knock a little louder!"
By and large, the B-52's does the sort of music where a little goes a long way, but here they hit a really neat balance between their earlier extremes and some really solid pop inflections. The result may not please every one who is addicted to their original, undiluted sound, but the result is an extremely playable set that can be repeated again and again without you beginning to feel like roadkill on the intergalactic highway: it's funky, funny, stylish, and it still has enough of an edge to let you know that this really is the B-52's.
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on 9 June 2010
This CD should come with a Government health warning as it can cause, like smoking, serious expensive health problems.

Like a lot of people I became aware of the B52's through their Love Shack track. For as long as I care to remember, I have been requesting and dancing/strutting my stuff,(much to the embarrassment of my wife and two daughter in laws),to this wonderful, uplifting track.

Five weeks ago I was holidaying in Lanzarote and, as you do, I requested Love Shack at the hotel disco, halfway through the number bang went my left foot on the dance floor, as you do, and an agonizing pain shot up my leg. I new immediately what it was, a torn calf as I had suffered the same injury on my right leg some 30 years ago whilst playing squash. The medical treatment cost me £265, thank goodness for medical insurance.

I guess that at the age of 68 it is time to tone my dance moves down a few notches. What really hurt me, more than the injury was that my wife texed both my daughters in law saying fantastic news etc, etc.

Like any scary accident, falling of your motor bike, Ben Nevis etc, etc, I believe that you have to get back onto the saddle, mountain as soon as possible and this is why I bought the CD.

It's fantastic, it's pure joy, great feel good CD, not a bad track on it, I totally forgive the B52's for my unpleasant injury. I suggest you read the other posts for an in depth review of the CD.

If my wife and daughters in law think that this is the end of my requesting and dancing to Love Shack, then Tough.
I will be more than happy to attend your wedding/function to demonstrate what a great dance number Love Shack is. Sadly hundreds, if not thousands of people have lost the will to live as a result of seeing me dance to this number, but I guess that's the B52's fault.

Once again fantastic pricing and service from Amazon.
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on 6 June 2003
Not many groups can lay claim to having produced one of THE dance tracks of all time but the B-52's did it with "Love Shack" - 5 minutes of irresistible kinetic energy that is guaranteed to get any party moving, regardless of age. Reason enough on its own to buy "Cosmic Thing" but only part of the reason why it's worthy of inclusion in any record collection.

From the opening bars of the title track the incessant back beat and wonderfully "off the wall" interchanges between Fred Schneider's frantically deadpan vocals and Kate Pierson & Cindy Wilson's marvellous harmonies announce that the spirit of "good time" rock & roll still lives. And... on the way through this outrageously enthusiastic record there are several real gems including "Dry County", "Roam" & "Topaz" - cleverly structured, tightly played and unbelievably catchy pop music at its very best.

File under "totally infectious late 80's masterpiece".
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on 1 June 2008
Imagine the scene: a chubby Kansas farmboy in specs and a plaid flannel shirt writes off to Columbia House for one of those '12 albums for 1 cent...plus shipping & handling' offers. Six to eight weeks later he is popping a cassette into his K-Mart knock-off Walkman and is exhorted to 'SHAKE IT TILL THE BUTTER MELTS!!!' How do you keep them on the farm after they've seen gay Paree, indeed!

This album was a revelation to the uninitiated. It took me awhile to appreciate their earlier efforts and subsequent albums have just not quite recaptured the magic, but this album will have your feet twitching, head bopping and hips shaking from start to finish. They have somewhat a reputation in the UK as being a one-hit wonder for LOVE SHACK...but what a hit!

JUNEBUG, BUSHFIRE and the title track as every bit as infectious. As for CHANNEL Z, who knew the revolution would sound so FUN? Then for a complete change of pace, ROAM stands as one of the most beautiful tracks ever with its glorious harmonising and uplifting lyrics.

A fun, funny and funky antidote to all the bilge in the charts which is just as fresh today as ever. Can't wait till their gig here in Manchester in July!
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on 7 August 2002
I like to think that a five-star review ought to mean that the album in question is what I'd call 'unimprovable'. In other words, there's nothing the band (or producer, writer, etc) could have done differently that would have made the finished product any better. Cosmic Thing is a perfect example. Even the addition of extra songs wouldn't have enhanced the quality of the album - it's the perfect length just as it is.
Producers Don Was and Nile Rogers were, in those days, two of the most highly respected producers in the business, and their talents were put to good use here.
We begin with the title track "Cosmic Thing", which is not so much a song as a declaration of intent, upbeat and manic. It lacks some of the musical finesse of the rest of the tracks but sets the tone for the album admirably. From here on in pretty much every track is a gem. "Dry County" has a great melody and will have you singing along. "Deadbeat Club" likewise.
"Love Shack", of course, will live forever. One of the world's best party songs that gets everybody dancing. "Junebug" completes what us old fogies used to call 'side one', and then it's onto "Roam". Now, listening to this again recently I came to the conclusion that the word 'masterpiece' was invented to describe these four minutes of music. Melodically it's perfect; lyrically it's sharp; it has one of the most sing-alongable choruses in pop history; and even the middle-eight section is a dream. I swear, those vocal harmonies between Cindy Wilson and Kate Pierson are heaven sent.
And as if that wasn't enough, the album carries on through "Bushfire" into "Channel Z", which could have been a smash hit single in its own right, and then the divine "Topaz". Seemingly Topaz was inspired by a series of spooky co-incidences that happened to the band following the death of former guitarist Ricky Wilson a year or two earlier. Whatever, the results are magnificent.
Having come this far you might expect things to fizzle out at the end, but far from it. In an inspired move, the B52's chose to end proceedings with an (almost) instrumental track. Quite a brave move, when you consider that the band's musical signature lies in the vocal talents of the girls. But here we see the musical and songwriting talents of the group coming to the fore. "Follow Your Bliss" is an absolutely gorgeous slice of dreamy melodic pop that serves as the perfect finale to a perfect album.
Probably the B52's greatest asset is their twin-harmonized lead vocals - Kate & Cindy are both exceptional singers. Sadly Cindy Wilson left the band after Cosmic Thing, and the follow-up album 'Good Stuff' suffered as a result, despite their best efforts to multi-track Kate's vocals and imitate the harmonious style. I'd recommend the previous album too, 'Bouncing Off the Satellites', which was the band's first step into the mainstream pop world and which features many beautiful pop songs (not least 'Summer of Love' and 'Aint it a Shame').
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on 2 May 2015
Just listening many years on from its release and it stuck me that this is the most life affirming rock music of all time. It lifts me every time. Can the B52s be turned into some sort of elixir we can all take? Guess they did this with this release. Small minds, kindly go somewhere far from here
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on 18 February 2006
could have been, could have been. remember getting a loan of this years back and thinking it was a great album but for one song. you've guessed it, 'love shack'.

not of course the band's fault, more to do with saturation - i heard the song so many times i don't need to hear it again. ever. which as i've mentioned is a real shame cos the rest is really good pop, apart fron 'channel z' which is a really good out there track. bought it recently and it was good as i remembered. thanks too to cd technology, skip on 4
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on 24 January 2008
And I'm still here. So it must work. This CD is wonderful on every level. Truly a if not the masterpiece of its genre and time.
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on 25 January 2012
I'd not listened to this for ages - fifteen years or so - before I bought it from Amazon on a whim. Back in 1991 it was the soundtrack to a summer trip to the alps and listening to it now it still conjures up the memory of the smell of the french meths we used in the camping stove, like a musical madeleine. I wondered in the brief spell between ordering and delivery just how it would stand up against the memory I had of it.

Well, memories can be fallible and though I remembered it fondly, I'd forgotten just how good it was. A minute after I'd put it on I was grinning, a minute after that wondering just why I hadn't played this for so long. It isn't just about the headline hits, the rest of the album still stands up. Sure, there are odd tracks - Channel Z and Junebug, for me - where the standard drops a little, but they're still good tracks in their way just perhaps not quite as much to my taste as the rest. The playing is of a high standard throughout, the influence of producers Don Was and especially Nile Rodgers, who also plays guitar on the excellent Topaz, very evident from first to last and the vocal harmonies through the album are wonderful.

The whole album never really sounded like much else around at the time, and so it hasn't dated especially. If you remember it but haven't heard it for a while then it's worth digging out. If you were too young to catch it first time around, then catch it now. And if you own a copy already don't let it rest on the president's desk...
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on 18 December 2012
The B52's put a classic album out in the late 1980s. It had the top party fun track Love Shack which was huge everywhere when released. Also Roam and an unconventional classic Dune Bug can be found on this record, enough for most to get their moneys worth.
It is something to get excited about when Mofi get the presses into action to reach out for another album to enhance and so reminding us of our younger years. I am very impressed by the quality of this reproduction. On Love Shack you can hear in the background conversations in the club/ party room at the start of the song. On a real medium like the lp you can certainly appreciate the engineering quality originally achieved. On a good or even great turntable and sound system this is worth every cent.
For audiofiles this record is pressed with low gain or at a low level so the dynamics can be better realised. There is a warm well rounded analog signature in the midrange plus detailed highs and fast accurate bass. Some of the remastered albums of late are almost digital sounding. If you have quality master tapes or even DSD digital files to work with the result can be superb. Lp can sound harsh depending on the processes used to make it. I have read that when the cutter is digitally driven or synced the whole point of analog can be lost. This one is great however.
Worth the money, five gold stars.
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