Live! 8-24-1979

The B-52s

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Live! 8-24-1979 Review

by Tim Sendra

Six weeks after the B-52s released their brilliant first album in the hot new wave summer of 1979, they found themselves on-stage in Boston opening for Talking Heads. Some brilliant person decided it would be a good night to record the band; some less brilliant person buried the tape in the Warner Bros. vault for decades. Finally released in 2015 as Live! 8-24-1979, the performance includes songs from both the first album and Wild Planet, and features the B-52s ripping heartily through the songs like they were dedicated to giving the crowd the night of their lives. Decades later the effect is still the same. The surviving tape has been restored to near pristine quality, guitarist Ricky Wilson sounds like his guitar is giving off electric currents, and the vocals of Fred Schneider, Kate Pierson, and Cindy Wilson...well, what can you say? Perfect. Though it's a short set, it contains great versions of great songs (including a wild run-through of the deathless "Rock Lobster"), and hearing it is sure to give B-52s fans chills. Quick, send someone back into the vaults to look for more!

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