On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenging of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.
My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.
I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.
So long as I post everyday (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be…
The B-52’s – Love Shack (1988)
” Love Shack” is a single by American new wave band The B-52’s from their 1989 album Cosmic Thing . It was released on June 20, 1989, and was produced by Don Was. The song was a comeback for the band following their decline in popularity in the mid-1980s and the death of guitarist Ricky Wilson in 1985.
We’re continuing in the US but leaving New York and making our way over to Athens in Georgia. The B-52’s previously appeared on our list back in 1978 with the highly peculiar, Rock Lobster. When we join the group in 1988 they have been through tough times. Guitarist Ricky Wilson had died in 1985 from complications related to AIDS and the group had disbanded in mourning. Reuniting and looking to heal we find them working on their fifth album, Cosmic Thing, and 1001 Songs have lifted the track, Love Shack.
Love Shack referred to a real place in Athens, Georgia and was a cabin where singer, Kate Pierson, once lived and apparently it burned down in 2004. The group are said to have written Rock Lobster there but in this song the cabin is described as the ultimate getaway for lovers who are wanting some alone time. This isn’t just sexual, you may be pleased to know, but also concerns dancing and partying the night away. It sounds like the ultimate retreat, being in the middle of nowhere, away from civilisation and prying eyes.
Prior to working on Cosmic Thing, The B-52’s were in decline and the loss of their bandmate and friend hit them hard. The new album revitalised their career with many listeners embracing Love Shack so strongly that some didn’t even realise this group had a career prior to it. When you think of The B-52’s it is inevitable that Love Shack is one of the first songs that will come to mind. A Top 10 in the US and UK, it gave a grieving group a new lease of life.
Favourite songs so far: