Discord & Rhyme: An Album Podcast

Discord and Rhyme is a podcast where we discuss the albums we love, song by song.

024 (feat. Libby Cudmore): The B-52’s - Wild Planet (1980)

“The B-52s, you know, our songs are about volcanoes or lobsters. Cindy and I sing them like our lives depend on them.”

—Kate Pierson

SURPRISE!!! We just thought we’d drop in, for an episode that’s truly a Discord & Rhyme party out of bounds. This week, Rich turns his watch back to late ‘70s Athens, GA, where you were either a student, a townie, or one of the artsy deadbeats in between. The B-52s fit into that last category, and the quintet had no artistic inspirations — they just sort of alternated between hanging out and crashing people’s parties, until a fateful encounter with a flaming volcano rum drink birthed the band proper. You most likely know the B-52s from their late ‘80s MTV comeback hits “Love Shack” and “Roam,” but we’re delving into their 1980 sophomore album Wild Planet, which captures every side of the band’s unique vibe, as well as how all five members contributed to their signature sound. And we’ve got a B-52s-sized panel for you: Rich is joined by Amanda, Phil, Ben, and special guest Libby Cudmore, who we hope will make a return visit to Discord & Rhyme’s wild planet.

Miscellany

  • Libby Cudmore is the author of The Big Rewind, a music-nerd murder mystery. She’s also the cohost of The OST Party and creator of #RecordSaturday. In short, Libby rules.

  • Sarah Vowell once called Pop-Up Video “music videos for people who hate music videos,” which must have been the way disaffected Gen-Xers watched the show in the ‘90s. But we promise you that all of us ‘90s *kids* were taking copious notes at all of the wonderful new information we were receiving about our favorite songs — and the gears in our heads just kept on turning.

  • “Telstar” is more than just an inspiration for the B-52s — it also helped get rock and roll back on track after Buddy Holly’s death. Listen to Ben’s podcast, Detours, for more about this.

  • We didn’t get into too much of the technical details of Ricky Wilson’s amazing guitar playing because we are not guitarists and don’t want to look dumb, but he primarily played Mosrite guitars, and this thread from a Mosrite forum discusses his various tunings and techniques.

  • The D&R team is planning a get-together in a few weeks. We’re going to make sure it’s very poorly planned, as Fred Schneider bait. We’ll let you know if it works.

  • And we might even record a couple episodes while we’re at it!

Other links

Discord & Rhyme roll call

  • Rich Bunnell (host)

  • Amanda Rodgers (moderator)

  • Libby Cudmore (special guest)

  • Phil Maddox

  • Ben Marlin

  • John McFerrin (guest vocalist)

Wild Planet tracklist

  1. Party Out of Bounds

  2. Dirty Back Road

  3. Runnin’ Around

  4. Give Me Back My Man

  5. Private Idaho

  6. Devil in My Car

  7. Quiche Lorraine

  8. Strobe Light

  9. 53 Miles West of Venus

Other clips used

The B-52s:

  • Song for a Future Generation

  • Rock Lobster

  • Mesopotamia

  • Debbie

  • Planet Claire

  • Deadbeat Club

  • Lava

  • Detour Thru Your Mind

  • Juliet of the Spirits

  • Roam

  • The BC-52s - Meet the Flintstones

  • Fred Schneider - Helicopter

  • Junior Senior - Take My Time

Others:

  • Pink Floyd - Time

  • “Weird Al” Yankovic - Toothless People

  • “Weird Al” Yankovic - Polka Your Eyes Out

  • “Weird Al” Yankovic - Mr. Popeil

  • The Tornadoes - Telstar

  • Captain Beefheart - Hair Pie - Bake 2

Songs we mentioned but didn’t clip

The B-52s:

  • Is That You Mo-Dean?

  • Summer of Love

  • Cosmic Thing

  • Love Shack

  • Hero Worship

  • 52 Girls

Others:

  • Divinyls - I Touch Myself

  • AC/DC - Hells Bells

  • Deep Purple - Highway Star

  • The Doors - Light My Fire

  • Phish - Billy Breathes

  • Phish - Farmhouse

  • The Doobie Brothers - What a Fool Believes

  • Marcy Playground - Sex and Candy

  • Fleetwood Mac - The Chain

  • Millie Small - My Boy Lollipop

  • Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons - Rag Doll

  • David Saville - Witch Doctor

  • Petula Clark - Downtown

  • TLC - No Scrubs

  • Michael Jackson - Thriller

  • Oingo Boingo - Dead Man’s Party

  • Oingo Boingo - No One Lives Forever

  • R.E.M. - Shiny Happy People

  • R.E.M. - Me in Honey

Band/album personnel

  • Fred Schneider – vocals, percussion

  • Kate Pierson – vocals, keyboards

  • Keith Strickland – drums, percussion

  • Cindy Wilson – vocals, percussion

  • Ricky Wilson – guitars

Credits

“Discord & Rhyme (theme),” composed by the Other Leading Brand, contains elements of:

  • Amon Düül II - Dehypnotized Toothpaste

  • The Dukes of Stratosphear - What in the World?? ...

  • Faith No More - Midlife Crisis

  • Herbie Hancock - Hornets

  • Kraftwerk - Autobahn

  • Talking Heads - Seen and Not Seen

  • The B-52s - Private Idaho (this episode only)

You can buy or stream Wild Planet and other albums by the B-52s at the usual suspects such as Spotify, iTunes, YouTube, and Amazon [affiliate link]. Follow Discord & Rhyme on Twitter @DiscordPod for news, updates, and other random stuff. Follow Rich @zonetrope, Amanda @MagneticInk67, Phil @pamaddox, Ben @BenjaminM1019, and Libby @LibbyCudmore. Special thanks to our own Mike DeFabio, the Other Leading Brand, for production and Rich Bunnell for editing. See you next album, and be ever wonderful.

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