Ahhh the difficult 2nd album. There is nothing much here that veers too far away from what The B-52’s were doing on their first album. It’s also known that many of these songs were in their set as far back as 1978, 2 years before this release, and were held back from the first album as they wanted their 2nd to be strong too. But…
It just doesn’t have the sense of riotous fun there is on the first album, the songs don’t leap out and shake you by the shoulders like before. This might be due to any number of things. The surprise of hearing them for the first time has gone for starters, it’s not like hearing music from another planet anymore cos we’ve now heard music from another planet. This is not something I usually worry about unduly but the production here isn’t as lively as previously and Keith Stricklands drumming at times sounds more like a drum machine than a drummer. Props to Keith for being so spot on but at times it doesn’t have the natural feel that gives it some swing.
None of this is saying that “Wild Planet” is a bad album, it’s not at all. “Party Out Of Bounds” could easily have opened album number 1 and not been out of place. I absolutely adore “Private Idaho”, it’s one of their best and without doubt “Give Me Back My Man” is right up there in The B-52’s output, a stunning single when it was released.
Private Idaho - https://youtu.be/2n_Tg8iHwZ8