My Favorite B52s Songs: #5 "Channel Z" (1989)
By John Roberts
Los Angeles, California
May 28, 2016 10:31am CST
"Channel Z: All static, all day, forever." "Channel Z" was the first single from the "Cosmic Thing" album and failed to chart Billboard Hot 100 but hit number one on the alternative chart. Vocals are typical B52s with Fred Schneider and Kate Person sharing lead with Cindy Wilson joining chorus. The song begins with Fred announcing "I'm livin' on Channel Z!" then the rocking dance beat begins. The lyric "Getting nothing but static, static filling my attic from Channel Z" suggest B52s whimsy but "Channel Z" is an outrage against the crap (static) filling our heads (attics) from the airwaves. Fred lists "Blowin' smoke," "Narrow minds" and "Bombs" and he has had enough: "Good old boys telling lies, 'bout time I got wise." The B52s make serious social commentary! The final denouement "Time to take disinformation and shove it in the shredder" is just as relevant today.
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