|Studio album by|
|Released||June 27, 1989|
|Studio||Dreamland Recording Studio, West Hurley, NY|
|The B-52's chronology|
|Singles from Cosmic Thing|
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
|Spin Alternative Record Guide||8/10|
|The Village Voice||B|
Cosmic Thing is the fifth studio album by American new wave band the B-52's, released in 1989. It contains the singles "Love Shack" and "Roam". The success of the album served as a comeback after the death of guitarist Ricky Wilson in 1985.
Following the death of guitarist Ricky Wilson in 1985 and the short promotional campaign for their 1986 album Bouncing Off the Satellites, the group mutually agreed to part ways indefinitely. The group's popularity had declined in the late 1980s and so it was unknown, both to the public and amongst the group, whether the band would record another album in the foreseeable future.
However, this changed in 1988 when, prompted by drummer/guitarist Keith Strickland, the band began to group together and write new songs. Cindy Wilson described this as a healing process for herself and the band after her brother's death three years prior. As the album began to take shape, it became clear that the new songs were of a more mature and less-kitsch variety than those of their previous albums, with themes such as anti-capitalism, environmentalism, and self-reflection and reminiscence being introduced into songs.
Much of the album was written in Woodstock and surrounding areas in upstate New York, a place where Strickland and Wilson had relocated to following the group's hiatus, and all four members felt the proximity to nature in these places that was not found in their previous home of New York City aided the creative process to a great extent.
Recording of the album was focused in two locations: Skyline Studios in New York City, and Dreamland Recording Studios in West Hurley, upstate New York. The initial sessions in New York City were produced by Nile Rodgers, who aided the band in the crafting of their songs and of a new, more mature and untimely commercially appealing sound for the album. The rest of the sessions were helmed by producer Don Was in upstate New York, which allowed the band time to greater flesh out more songs amongst their new surroundings, including the future hit "Love Shack".
"Channel Z" was selected as the album's first single and was released in March 1989. Whilst the single was not commercially successful in the mainstream at first, it generated substantial amounts of airplay on American college radio, helping re-establish the group's youth popularity. The single would eventually peak at number one on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart, and reach number 61 on the UK singles chart.
Following the release of promotional single "Cosmic Thing", June 1989 saw the release of the band's largest global hit, "Love Shack". The track helped propel the success of the album globally, whilst reaching number 3 in the US and number 2 in UK, and spending 8 weeks at number one in Australia in 1990. Following this, the album reached the top 10 in the UK and US album charts, and number one in Australia and New Zealand.
Aided by further success of singles such as the transatlantic top 20 hit "Roam", or the US top 30 "Deadbeat Club", the album continued to sell strongly, particularly in the US, where it spent 22 weeks inside the Billboard 200 top 10 in 1990, becoming the country's 9th best-selling album of the year.
By 2000, "Cosmic Thing" had achieved platinum status in the UK, and 4x platinum status in the US, denoting sales of over 4 million copies there. As of 2019, the album has sold over 5 million copies worldwide.
In addition to the album's successful singles, the band embarked on the extensive "Cosmic Tour" to promote the album worldwide.
|1.||"(Shake That) Cosmic Thing"||Schneider, Pierson, Wilson||3:50|
|2.||"Dry County"||Schneider, Strickland, Pierson, Wilson||4:54|
|3.||"Deadbeat Club"||Wilson, Pierson, Schneider, Strickland||4:45|
|4.||"Love Shack"||Schneider, Pierson, Wilson||5:21|
|5.||"Junebug"||Schneider, Pierson, Wilson||5:04|
|7.||"Bushfire"||Wilson, Pierson, Schneider||4:58|
|8.||"Channel Z"||Pierson, Wilson, Schneider||4:49|
|9.||"Topaz"||Pierson, Wilson, Schneider, Strickland||4:20|
|10.||"Follow Your Bliss"||Pierson, Sara Lee||4:08|
|30th Anniversary Expanded Edition Bonus Tracks|
|12.||"Love Shack [Edit]"||4:23|
|13.||"Channel Z [Rock Mix]"||6:22|
|14.||"Roam [Extended Mix]"||5:28|
|15.||"Roam [12" Mix]"||8:17|
|30th Anniversary Expanded Edition Disc 2: Live 1990|
|1.||"(Shake That) Cosmic Thing (Live)"||4:05|
|3.||"Quiche Lorraine (Live)"||4:09|
|4.||"Dance This Mess Around (Live)"||5:37|
|5.||"Dry County (Live)"||4:54|
|6.||"Private Idaho (Live)"||3:42|
|7.||"Give Me Back My Man (Live)"||4:17|
|8.||"Deadbeat Club (Live)"||5:15|
|10.||"Strobe Light (Live)"||4:00|
|12.||"52 Girls (Live)"||3:33|
|13.||"Love Shack (Live)"||7:34|
|14.||"Rock Lobster (Live)"||4:59|
|15.||"Whammy Kiss (Live)"||4:06|
|16.||"Channel Z (Live)"||6:24|
|Australian ARIA Albums Chart||1|
|Dutch Album Chart||70|
|New Zealand Albums||1|
|UK Albums Chart||8|
|US Billboard 200||4|
|West German Albums||25|
|United States||4x Platinum||4,000,000*|