For some reason, it completely escaped me that the B-52s Bouncing off the Satellites turned 25 yesterday. Seriously, that record is 25 years old. Wowzers.
While it’s no Cosmic Thing, BotS was insanely important in shaping the Bs that we know and love. By career standards, the record was merely okay and today its rare to find people outside the fandom who really dig it. But there’s some good stuff here and there. Musically okay but the real story of the album is what happened during the making of.
The recording of the album was derailed by the tragic loss of Ricky Wilson. To lose a brother, a friend, a musician is unthinkable. When he passed in October of that year, few could’ve blamed the Bs for calling it quits. It wasn’t a pretty road to drive down but they stayed on it and later released the amazing Cosmic Thing, a record packed with high quality good fun and a strange tinge of sadness.
It’s easy to mark off a record in a long running band when it’s not that great. I suppose we tend to forget that bands are on a journey just like us and that every record has its lessons to teach. If anything, BotS is inspiring in the fact that they made it through to the other side and to happier days ahead.