When the B-52's arrived in the late-'70s, misfits everywhere—that is, those living on the fringes of mainstream society in places like Cleveland (where this fan resided)—let out a collec

When the B-52's arrived in the late-'70s, misfits everywhere—that is, those living on the fringes of mainstream society in places like Cleveland (where this fan resided)—let out a collective sigh. Finally, a festive band we could all relate to. With the B-52's dancing their respective messes around, one could never be too colorful, silly, kooky, freaky, or funky. And the world was a much better place for it. As Rolling Stone's Michael Azerrad reminds everyone in this groovy set's spirited liner notes, it was bandmember Fred Schneider who wailed, "Don't feel out of place/'Cause there are thousands of others like you," on "There's a Moon in the Sky (Called the Moon)," one of numerous winning moments on the act's 1979 eponymous debut. While this track isn't included on the two-disc Nude on the Moon—which follows on the heels (stiletto, perhaps?) of the group's 1998 single-disc "best of," Time Capsule: Songs for a Future Generation—this set does feature such debut-album gems as "52 Girls," "Dance This Mess Around," and, of course, "Planet Claire" and "Rock Lobster." Nude on the Moon safely covers the necessary ground from the act's subsequent albums (Wild Planet, Whammy!, Bouncing off the Satellites, Cosmic Thing, Good Stuff) and Mesopotamia EP. In the process, it serves as a reminder, for those who may have forgotten, that the group has worked with many prolific producers, including Chris Blackwell, Rhett Davies, David Byrne, Shep Pettibone, Don Was, and Nile Rodgers. Unlike Time Capsule, though, Nude on the Moon features a slew of rare tracks: live versions of "Quiche Lorraine" and "Whammy Kiss"; remixes of "Mesopotamia" and "Is That You Mo-Dean?"—as revisited by, respectively, Tom Durack and Moby; and alternate versions of "Queen of Las Vegas," "Ain't It a Shame," and "Theme for a Nude Beach." Ultimately, Nude on the Moon showcases a band—Kate Pierson (Taurus), Cindy Wilson (Pisces), Fred Schneider (Cancer), Keith Strickland (Scorpio), and Ricky Wilson (Pisces), who, sadly, died of complications due to AIDS in 1985—that, 25 years after debuting at a friend's Valentine's Day party in its home base of Athens, Ga., remains the blueprint for all things fun and cosmic. With the B-52's providing the leadership, it ain't nothin' but a party, y'all. At press time, the B-52's are scheduled to celebrate their 25th anniversary with a concert at New York City's Irving Plaza on, naturally, Feb. 14.—MP

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