Ben B. from SAN ANSELMO, CA Reviewed on 2/6/2014...
one of the alltime great party albums. Deserves a place in every pop music collectoin
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Danette Z. from PIERRE, SD Reviewed on 12/7/2009...
This CD is quirky and fun as I remember.
Suzanne B. (SuzyB) from NORTHPORT, NY Reviewed on 11/2/2006...
The "Tacky Little Dance Band" Hits The Big Time
Gary F. Taylor | Biloxi, MS USA | 02/17/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"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.Bang bang, on the door, baby. Strongly recommended if you want to line up just to get down. Let's go around the world. The trip begins with a kiss!GFT, Amazon Reviewer"
"Shake your honey buns!"
M. Hart | USA | 12/10/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Following the tragic loss of guitarist/composer/lyricist Ricky Wilson in October, 1985 shortly before the release of the B-52's fifth album "Bouncing Off the Satellites", it was not clear whether the surviving four members of the B-52's (sister Cindy Wilson, Kate Pierson, Keith Strickland and Fred Schneider) would ever perform or record another album together again. Thankfully, in 1988, they decided to record a sixth album entitled "Cosmic Thing", and it became their most successful album to date and established the B-52's as the world's best party band of all time. It was also the first album in which Keith played the guitar, having given up the drums in order to learn how to reproduce Ricky's signature sound. The very danceable and fun songs in "Cosmic Thing" include:1. "Cosmic Thing" (5+ stars, sung by Cindy, Kate & Fred). A fast and lively song that encourages listeners to dance by shaking their cosmic thing. The song was used in the soundtrack of the 1988 sci-fi/comedy "Earth Girls Are Easy".
2. "Dry County" (5+ stars, sung by Cindy, Kate & Fred). A very danceable slower song about kicking back in summer, but not being able to get alcohol in some southern state counties where it's not legal.
3. "Deadbeat Club" (5+ stars, sung by Cindy, Kate & Fred). Another slower song, but very danceable that features beautiful harmonies between Cindy and Kate that praise the joys of slacking, dancing in torn sheets in the rain and going out to Allan's Bar in Athens, Georgia.
4. "Love Shack" (5++ stars, sung by Cindy, Kate & Fred). The B-52's most known song that is fast and lively. The song is an anthem for friends to get together, go out and have a good time dancing and partying.
5. "Junebug" (5+ stars, sung by Cindy, Kate & Fred). Not as well known as some of the B-52's other songs, "Junebug" is fast and lively and is about being out in the woods and making out with only the 'gators and crocodiles watching.6. "Roam" (5++ stars, sung by Cindy & Kate only). Cindy & Kate's beautiful duet is one of the B-52's best known songs about love and passion.
7. "Bushfire" (5 stars, sung by Cindy, Kate & Fred). Fast & fun, "Bushfire" praises passion and the fun of partying around a fire.
8. "Channel Z" (5++ stars, sung by Cindy, Kate & Fred). Another fast and very danceable song, the lyrics are somewhat political about the various things that get reported on television news.
9. "Topaz" (5++ stars, sung by Cindy, Kate & Fred). A beautifully harmonic and poetic song that I have had the pleasure of hearing performed live. This is one my favorite B-52's songs of all time.
10. "Follow Your Bliss" (5 stars, instrumental). A very beautiful instrumental that is strong with guitar and piano.Overall, I rate "Cosmic Thing" with a resounding 5 out of 5 stars. This is probably the best album that the B-52's ever recorded and is a tribute to the music of the 1980's before it was silenced with the introduction of grunge in the early 1990's. Many thanks go to Cindy, Kate, Fred and Keith for writing and performing such wonderful music."
A return to for....no, wait, scratch that
Rich Bunnell | 06/27/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In 1989, the B's suddenly returned with a completely new image, revitalized and full of a bunch of Nile Rodgers/Don Was-produced dancepop. And hey, despite the obvious cries of "sellout!" that are perfectly deserved, this is still a very good album. It's most heavily remembered for the hit "Love Shack," which is an infectious song that suffers a bit from constant overplay and an overlong running time (it doesn't need that "bang bang" part at the end at all), as well as the gorgeous, solid pop song "Roam"("Boooy Mercury, cruisin' throoough every degreeeee"). For the most part, the songs on here are very well-written in spite of their slickness ("Bushfire," "Channel Z," "Deadbeat Club"), the only real gripes being the kind-of-dull studio creation "Dry County" and the fact that on the catchy title track the band tries to mix a political message ("Don't let it rest on the president's desk!") next to lyrics like "SHAKE YOUR HONEY BUNS!" Still, overall, an album well worth buying and one of the better releases to come out in the overproduced year of 1989."
The ultimate feelgood album
G. ADAIR | 01/12/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"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. (Yes, in the next millenium, music historians will look back and ask "but what was the significance of the rusted tin roof?") 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-along-able 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 majority of the band's appeal 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.As I've mentioned, 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')."
No CD Collection Should Be Without One
G. ADAIR | 12/25/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Probably the best B-52's album ever, Cosmic Thing is excellent from beginning to end and reflects the band's incredible chemistry. Notably, this album brought the B-52s out of obscurity to main stream without "selling out" to their hard core fans. The music sounds full and clear. There are "sure thing" party songs -- namely "Love Shack" Deadbeat Club" and "Roam" -- and songs with political flavor -- such as "Topaz" and "Channel Z." And for people who get tired of changing CDs at their parties -- you can play the entire album at any high energy party without skipping a song! Enjoy!"