Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 08/03/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"We are going to pretend that "Mesopotamia," the album the B-52's did with David Byrne, and talking about their fourth album, "Whammy!" as if it were their third. So just nod your head and play along, because this 1983 album gets the mavens of kitsch back on track, albeit aided and abetted by drum machines and synthesizers. This is not a great album, but it certainly is fun and easy to dance to, which was always the strength of the B-52's (What? You thought it was the lyrics reflecting Fred Schneider's philosophy?). Fans of the group would at least have to judge "Song for a Future Generation" as being the best track on the album, but "Legal Tender," "Whammy Kiss," and the instrumental "Work That Skirt" are pretty good as well, but "Butterbean" is the song you will embarrass yourself singing in the kitchen. Overall "Whammy" is not as great as their debut album or as good as "Cosmic Thing," but a lot better than their next album "Bouncing Off the Satellites." For fans of the B-52's this one is certainly worth having. Note: There is one significant difference between this CD reissue and the originally "Whammy!" album. Gone is a cover of Yoko Ono's "Don't Worry," because of copyright troubles, and in its place is "Moon 83." I never heard the original so I cannot comment on the substitution beyond the obvious fact that "Moon 83" is one of the weakest tracks on the album."
Thomas Baldwin | Ontario, CA United States | 06/27/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"1. This aint the B-52's first album featuring synthesizers. They were definitly used on Wild Planet on a few tracks, and they were *heavily* used on the amazingly underrated Mesopatamia EP of 1982. 2. This is a great disc, the electronics used in it are quirky as hell, and I imagine purposely. These sound atypical of the synths used in the popular dance tracks of 1983. 3. To say this album is devoid of hooks is just an ignorant comment. Listen to Trism, Whammy Kiss, Song For..., Butterbean or Legal Tender one more time. The girls sound better vocally on this LP then Wild Planet or the debut (but not quite as good as they did on Mesopatamia).4. This isn't the best B-52's disc, but I think it's maligned by some for no real reason, along with Mesopatamia and Bouncing Off The Satalites. I t seems some people only like the B-52's albums that were commercially successful..."
The Unknown Album
Douglas Coronel | Santa Clarita, CA United States | 01/27/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ask anyone who purports to being a B52s fan which album is the one that fell through the cracks undeservedly and he or she will answer Whammy. Amazingly, this album did not make a dent on the charts while the two best singles ever released by the B52s, Whammy and Legal Tender round off this fine release. There are some stupid songs, to be sure, but the majority are fine experimental songs that show the band trying to use the vocals of Kate and Cindy to best of their ability. They use their vocals as instruments just like a keyboard or a guitar. The underproduction was in evidence just by the album art on the cover. It's a strange shot taken of the band at night, almost as though the concept were to spend as little money as possible on production and marketing. What a shame. Buy this to hear vintage B52s."
Such a good album, and underrated. This is my favorite!
Thomas Baldwin | 02/06/1999
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This album, "Whammy!," is The B-52s' first move into electronic territory with including synthesizers and sessionmen, and everything. There are simply wonderful songs to be found here. The album has a wonderful start, "Legal Tender." Then, it continues with "Whammy Kiss," which is really good. Next, is my favorite, "Song For A Future Generation." Anyway, the songs are good, until the finish of "Queen of Las Vegas." I believe "Don't Worry" was originally track seven, but they ran into copyright problems with Yoko Ono, when the album was reissued, so it was pulled, and replaced by the weak "Moon 83'." Personally, from "Moon 83," on, the album has a sadly terribly weak finish. It's such a shame. I must agree with the other reviewer in saying, "you can certainly tell the album was recorded in 1983..." Anyway, at times the synthesizer beats sound very clunky, but that's part of the kitsch and campiness The B-52's are all about. This album is truly a gem among their collection. I wish it only had "Don't Worry," and maybe the finish of the album wouldn't have sounded so weak."
MY ALL TIME FAVORITE
Steve Juhase | NYC | 05/01/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I remember buying this album (yes, vinyl--when one could actually appreciate cover art and inner sleeves)and absolutely loving it. Yes it's silly, yes it's fun, yes it's simple and yes it's very electronic. A side step from the B's usual rock sound. Many artists of the B's time "experimented" with this new electronic sound (The Cars, Blondie etc). And I loved and still love it. This is most definately my favorite B's cover ever. I read somewhere that the cloud above them on the cover was raining cocaine. If you notice the dog licking the ground, there's white powder all over the ground and written in the powder is "The B-52's" (Look Closely, you'll see-although you might need the vinyl album to see it clearly). The only dissappointment with this album is when it was pressed onto CD, the track "Don't Worry" (written by Yoko Ono) was replaced by "Moon 83" for apparent copyright reasons. Luckily I have the vinyl as well as the CD. So at least I have a copy of that track. The song itself is nothing more than 2 words "Don't Worry" sung, screamed, and spoken by the B's in many different and kooky ways that only the B's could get away with! Love it!"