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Love Shack

"Love Shack" is a single by American new wave band The B-52's from their 1989 album Cosmic Thing. It was released on June 20, 1989 and produced by Don Was. The song was a comeback of sorts for the band following their decline in popularity in the mid-1980s and the death of guitarist Ricky Wilson in 1985.

"Love Shack" is considered the band's signature song and has been a concert staple since its release. Commercially, the single topped the charts in Australia, Ireland and New Zealand and reached number two on the UK Singles Chart, number three on the US Billboard Hot 100 (becoming their first top-forty hit), and number five on the Canadian RPM Top Singles chart. It also became a top-twenty hit in Belgium and the Netherlands.

Background

The inspiration for the song was "a cabin around Athens, Georgia," with a tin roof, where the band conceived "Rock Lobster", a single from their debut album. The cabin was said to have been located off the Atlanta Highway near Athens. B-52's singer Kate Pierson lived in the cabin in the 1970s, and 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.

Music video

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.

Commercial performance

The single was the band's biggest hit song as well as their first million-copy seller. It was the band's first song to reach the top 40 on the US Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number three in November 1989. It also reached number five in Canada, number two in the United Kingdom, and number one in Australia (eight weeks), Ireland (one week) and New Zealand (four weeks), as well as on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart (four weeks).

Awards and accolades

The song has received several accolades:
  • Named one of the 365 Songs of the Century in 2001
  • The video for the song received an award from MTV as the Best Group Video
  • Named Best Single of 1989 by Rolling Stone.
  • Ranked 246th on the list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time by Rolling Stone.

    Track listings

    The single release contained different tracks in different countries of release. Some countries, including the United States, had singles backed with "Channel Z", while other releases included a live version of "Rock Lobster" as the B-side. A reissue single in the US paired it with the follow-up single "Roam". In 1998 and 1999, the single was released again with a number of remixes, including one by DJ Tonka. Although the re-release did not chart in the United States, it did enter the UK Singles Chart.

    UK single # "Love Shack" (Single Version) — 4:20 # "Love Shack" (LP Version) — 5:21

    US 12" single / CD maxi-single # "Love Shack" (12" Remix) — 8:00 # "Love Shack" (Remix/Edit) — 4:07 # "Channel Z" (12" Rock Mix) — 6:24 # "Love Shack" (12" Mix) — 6:10 # "Love Shack" (A Capella) — 3:56 # "Love Shack" (Big Radio Mix) — 5:31

    Charts and certifications

    Weekly charts

    Love Shack '99

    Year-end charts

    Certifications



    In popular culture

  • "Love Shack" was played in the third-season finale of Full House, where Stephanie danced to the song at the "We Love Our Children" telethon.
  • The song was covered in the 2012 Glee (TV series) third season episode "Heart." The episode, broadcast on Valentines Day, used the song to close the show. The cover, primarily performed by Darren Criss and Chris Colfer, was cited as the highlight of the episode by several critics, and a "rousing" end to the episode.
  • The song was lip synced in 2016 on the television show Lip Sync Battle by American basketball player Shaquille O'Neal. Since O'Neal commonly goes by the nickname "Shaq," host LL Cool J pointed out that O'Neal was essentially singing a "love song to himself."