Loose Lips

Give Me Back My Man - The B-52's

Nana's Sunday Jams

Give Me Back My Man - The B-52's

Banner artwork by the majestic Trav, all of Nana's jams are gathered in this playlist. 

Yes, Yes and Yes Sunday Jammers. Hello and Salutations, hope you are well, staying shiny and feeling entirely sublime. Hope you are finding lots of open doors and venturing out of your neighbourhoods into new fun spaces.


Welcome back to the next stop on the band tour, I’m really enjoying this mini break, hope you are feeling it too. I am so excited about this week’s selection from a band whose musicality, style, vibe and longevity I have so much love for and would happily nominate for some kind of galactic prize for their contribution to music. This outfit have collectively as well as in their solo projects explored and fused so many musical styles but still bring their surreal, anarchic, Dadaist energy to everything they put out. In spite of their towering brilliance I never understand why they don’t get enough credit for their contribution to the New Wave and Post Punk sound of the late 70s into the 80s. Ask most to name one of their songs and the answer is mostly the same; they sang ‘Love Shack’ right? Yes they did and it’s a lush slice, but there was so much more.  


So yes, the band is The B-52's and the track is ‘Give Me Back My Man’ from the 1980 album Wild Planet, and it’s a stone cold, epic, bang, bang, banger. This track has got everything; smoky sexy musicality, plenty of dancing pockets, a soul clutching vocal and lots and lots of style. I have rinsed this track out so much and it’s one of my solo bedroom dancing favourites. I had shelved it for a while exactly because I’d listened to it so much, but was reminded of how heavy it is by chance recently and enough time had passed for a rewind and I am firmly back in its spell. The B-52's are well known as an Art Pop band who understand everything to do with full on grooving, creating musical and vocal walls of sound, great for dancing and bringing high energy but, for me, Wild Planet and their Post Punk/New Wave roots were sexier, sharper and cool as hell. There is a kind of subverted, quirky guitar sound created by original guitarist Ricky Wilson coupled with sister Cindy’s soaring vocal, it’s the Post Punk answer to Jolene’. Like Jolene’ there is an obvious beauty because of Queen Dolly’s delicate, but powerful, vocal and accompanied by this simple, but dark, melody as she begs her love rival for mercy. Whilst the love rival isn’t named on ‘Give Me Back My Man’ the sentiment feels similar and has always evoked the same passion for me. Wilson calls out to the seas, the heavens and to nature by making offerings and vows to exchange everything she has in return for her love. The second person narrative perspective gives it this dreamlike film quality, like watching an Art House film as the protagonist wanders along hapless and hopeless frantic in her quest. It’s beautiful, tragic and made for singing along to loudly — from the depths of your soul. The music takes it to another level, as already mentioned, Wilson’s guitar is sublime coupled with a fast-paced drum beat that pushes along the pace mirroring the beating heart of the protagonist. The keys add lightness, moving it out of the sombre. It also has well-placed rise and fall, almost classical in its structure taking you through all the emotional points of the track of which they are many. It’s 4 minutes of perfectly crafted musical heaven.


If this track captures your attention, I recommend the rest of the album other standout tracks include ‘Private Idaho’, ‘Devil in My Car’, ‘Quiche Lorraine’ and ‘Strobe Light’. The songwriting is a bit more surrealist/absurdist in places but still immense and the music is faultless. So Happy Jamming and Loves.