“Love Shack” is a 1989 single by new wave band The B-52’s, from their album Cosmic Thing. Released in 1989, the single was the band’s biggest hit song and first million-copy seller. It was also the band’s first song to reach the Billboard Top 40 charts, peaking at #3, also reaching #2 on the UK Singles Chart. It was a #1 hit in many countries including Australia where it stayed at #1 for eight weeks. The song was a comeback of sorts, following the band’s decline in popularity in the mid-1980s and the death of their guitarist Ricky Wilson in 1985.
Produced by Don Was, the song’s inspiration was “a cabin around Athens, Georgia”, complete with tin roof, where the band conceived “Rock Lobster”, a single from their first album; it is often said to have been located off the Atlanta Highway. B-52’s singer Kate Pierson lived in the cabin in the 1970s, and the cabin existed until it burned down in December 2004.
Cindy Wilson’s line “tin roof rusted” was originally an outtake from a jamming session, where Wilson continued her line while the tape had stopped. The band added this section to the song, and the line has become erroneously associated with getting pregnant.
The music video was directed by Adam Bernstein and shot at the home and studio of ceramic artists Philip Maberry and Scott Walker in Highland, New York. It is also the first time drag queen RuPaul had ever appeared in any type of media before his own turn as a singer and model only a few years later. The video also received an award from MTV as the Best Group Video, and was named the Best Single of 1989 by Rolling Stone Magazine.
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