Though they are often classified as New Wave, dance rock or even an art-pop band, there's no doubt The B-52s are perhaps America's pre-eminent party rock band.
In fact, if you were building a Mount Rushmore of party-rock acts for the past half century, you'd probably have K.C. and The Sunshine Band, Earth, Wind and Fire, George Clinton and The B-52s on it.
All of those acts are still touring and either have played or will play shows in the area this year, including The B-52s, who come to the Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom on Saturday, June 2, for a show at 8 p.m. Tickets are $47 in advance, $52 the day of the 18-plus, general-admission show, and can be purchased at www.casinoballroom.com.
The first song everyone thinks of when they think of The B-52s is, of course, "Love Shack." That song made it to No. 3 on the Billboard pop singles chart in 1989, but it came a decade after their first single, "Rock Lobster," which remains a popular choice in digital jukeboxes at nightclubs and bars to this day. The group also charted with "Roam," which also reached No. 3, and other top-40 singles "Deadbeat Club," "Good Stuff" and their contribution to The Flintstones soundtrack, "(Meet) The Flintstones" in 1994.
The Athens, Ga., quartet is now a touring trio, as Keith Strickland remains a part of the group but no longer tours with them.
The only thing missing from their career would be a trip to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. If you only think of their charting singles, you might think their career is lacking. But when you consider they were at the forefront of the New Wave movement in the 1980s ("Rock Lobster" came out in 1979) that ushered in acts like Blondie, Human League, Gary Numan and many others, that's a nod in their favor.
Plus, they remain one of the more respected acts in music and a force on the live music scene.
If you look at who's in there now, they belong.
But for now, crack open some "Rock Lobster" at Hampton Beach.