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The B-52s: Hitting the 'Funplex'

Back after a 16-year hiatus from recording, the cheerfully hedonistic party band The B-52s recently returned to the public eye, releasing the appropriately titled Funplex. Though the group's sound has been updated with more electronic sounds, there's no mistaking these B-52s for anyone but the fun-loving oddballs behind "Love Shack" and "Rock Lobster." In this episode, World Cafe splices interview clips with guest host Michaela Majoun between full cuts from the band's concert recorded at the Electric Factory.

The B-52s became an underground success shortly after forming in 1978 — thanks in large part to the campy "Rock Lobster" — but it took a decade for the Athens, Ga., group to become a bona fide pop sensation. The album that did the trick, 1989's Cosmic Thing, spawned major hit singles in "Love Shack," "Roam," and "Deadbeat Club." After 1992's Good Stuff, The B-52s mostly disappeared, resurfacing only on the occasional soundtrack or greatest-hits package. Sixteen years later, Funplex instantly makes it clear how much the band's music has been missed.

This segment originally aired May 30, 2008.

Copyright NPR 2016.

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