The B-52s

Time Capsule

Year: 1998
Label: Reprise Records
Location: The Unisphere in Flushing Meadows, Queens | 
 | USA | NY

This Album is the essential B-52’s greatest-hits collection. A chronologically assembled highlight reel of the group’s first two decades, it contains all of their singles and a number of album favorites, along with two exclusive then-newly written tracks.

The Unisphere behind is a spherical stainless steel representation of Earth in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park in the New York City borough of Queens. The globe was designed by Gilmore D. Clarke as part of his plan for the 1964 New York World’s Fair. Commissioned to celebrate the beginning of the space age, the Unisphere was conceived and constructed as the theme symbol of the World’s Fair. The theme of the World’s Fair was «Peace Through Understanding», and the Unisphere represented the theme of global interdependence, being dedicated to «Man’s Achievements on a Shrinking Globe in an Expanding Universe».

The Unisphere measures 140 feet (43 m) high and 120 feet (37 m) in diameter. It sits atop a 20-foot-tall (6.1 m) tripod base with over 500 steel pieces representing the continents, as well as three steel rings representing the first artificial satellites orbiting Earth. Around the Unisphere is a reflecting pool measuring 310 feet (94 m) in diameter. The base is surrounded by 48 pairs of fountainheads, which were intended to conceal the tripod supporting the globe

Album info

Time Capsule: Songs for a Future Generation is a greatest hits album by American new wave band the B-52's, released in 1998. The album presents sixteen of their single releases and fan-favorite album tracks in chronological order, with the addition of two new songs recorded exclusively for this collection.

The album includes sixteen previously released as well as two new songs, "Hallucinating Pluto" and "Debbie". The latter is a tribute to Debbie Harry of Blondie. Also exclusive to this release is the "Original Unreleased Mix" of their 1986 song "Summer of Love".

The album cover features the five founding band members standing in front of the Unisphere.

Singer Cindy Wilson, who had been absent for several years, made her return to recording with the group on this album, and shared songwriting credits on the two new tracks. As noted in the book The B-52's Universe, the band intended this to be a larger box set consisting of singles, demos, outtakes, and new tracks, but Warner made the band trim it down. The band had remastered many tracks for the box, and were able to release more of them by using alternate track listings in different territories.

The B-52s

Biography

The B-52s (styled as The B-52's prior to 2008) is an American new wave band formed in Athens, Georgia, in 1976. The original lineup consisted of Fred Schneider (vocals, percussion), Kate Pierson (vocals, keyboards, synth bass), Cindy Wilson (vocals, percussion), Ricky Wilson (guitar), and Keith Strickland (drums, guitar, keyboards). Ricky Wilson died from AIDS-related illness in 1985, and Strickland switched from drums to lead guitar. The band also added various members for albums and live performances.

The group evoked a "thrift shop aesthetic", in the words of Bernard Gendron, by drawing from 1950s and 1960s pop sources, trash culture, and rock and roll. Schneider, Pierson, and Wilson sometimes use call-and-response-style vocals (Schneider's often humorous sprechgesang contrasting with the melodic harmonies of Pierson and Wilson), and their guitar- and keyboard-driven instrumentation comprises their trademark sound, which was also set apart from their contemporaries by the unusual guitar tunings used by Ricky Wilson on their earlier albums. The band has had many hits, including "Rock Lobster", "Planet Claire", "Party Out of Bounds", "Private Idaho", "Whammy Kiss", "Summer of Love", "Wig", "Love Shack", "Roam" and "(Meet) The Flintstones".

The B-52's were formed in 1976 when vocalist Cindy Wilson, guitarist Ricky Wilson (her elder brother), keyboardist and vocalist Kate Pierson, drummer and percussionist Keith Strickland, and cowbell player, poet and lead vocalist Fred Schneider held an impromptu jam session after sharing a flaming volcano drink at a Chinese restaurant in Athens, Georgia. When they first jammed, Strickland played guitar and Ricky Wilson played congas. They later played their first concert (with Wilson playing guitar) in 1977 at a Valentine's Day party for their friends.

The name B-52's comes from a particular beehive hairdo resembling the nose cone of the aircraft, which Pierson and Cindy Wilson wore in performances throughout the band's first decade. Other names the band considered were the "Tina-Trons" and "Fellini's Children". Strickland suggested the name after a dream he had had one night of a band performing in a hotel lounge. In the dream, he heard someone whisper in his ear that the name of the band was "the B-52s".

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B-52s - Time Capsule
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