Rock Lobster (5:24)

Cover of The B-52's

From The B-52's and 39 other releases

“Rock Lobster” is The B-52’s’ first single, released in 1978 and in a longer version placed on the band’s self-titled debut album, The B-52’s, one year later. It has become one of their signature tunes, and it helped launch the band’s success. “Rock Lobster” was the band’s first single to appear on Billboard’s Hot 100. Instruments used in the music include a twangy, baritone surf-style electric guitar (a Mosrite), a Farfisa, Vox or Gibson organ, and drums. Unlike most pop and rock songs, no bass guitar was present. Instead, Kate Pierson played the bass line on keyboards.

The album version of “Rock Lobster” (released in 1979) clocks in at about seven minutes and contains superficially nonsensical lyrics about a beach party and excited rants about real or imagined marine animals (“There goes a dog-fish, chased by a cat-fish, in flew a sea robin, watch out for that piranha, there goes a narwhal, here comes a bikini whale!”), accompanied by absurd, fictional noises attributed to them (provided by Pierson and Cindy Wilson, Pierson provided the higher-pitched noises and Wilson the lower-pitched ones); the chorus consists of the words “Rock lobster!” repeated over and over. The song “Rock Lobster” is part of the The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll list.

The song remains a part of pop culture, with other versions of “Rock Lobster” appearing in a 2005 episode of Family Guy and in The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything: A Veggie Tales Movie.

“Rock Lobster” appears at number 146 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of greatest songs.

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  • Cure1980

    One of my fav bands of my passing youth

    16 Apr 11:31pm Reply
  • tosleepanddream

    Rock Lobster >>>>>>>>> Love Shack.

    31 Mar 6:53am Reply
  • hollyonke

    LOVE the B52's and LOVE this song (Butterbean is AWESOME too!!) This is my Go TO karaoke song, my hubby & I KILL it every chance we get :)

    19 Feb 5:23pm Reply
  • userabc123

    this makes so much sense!

    3 Jan 8:10am Reply
  • tomrud73

    the guitar in this is amazing.

    24 Dec 2013 Reply
  • Sathg

    dance dance :)

    24 Dec 2013 Reply
  • katrand

    Pass the tanning butter!!

    9 Dec 2013 Reply
  • naimaduncant

    I'm jamming! Such great memories, my favorite fun go to song. Love the guitars, they were rocking out.

    11 Nov 2013 Reply
  • ButchGantenbein

    Best beach music ever made

    7 Nov 2013 Reply
  • frankphil

    love the female vocals in this

    20 Sep 2013 Reply
  • supermediadave

    They are getting away.

    7 Sep 2013 Reply
  • joe01

    Brillant!

    24 Aug 2013 Reply
  • IAmMrDexB

    The song which inspired John Lennon to continue with his music with Yoko until his death.

    8 Jul 2013 Reply
  • drago0402

    thanks to Family Guy, I always hear Peter Griffin when this song plays. [2]

    27 Jun 2013 Reply
  • supermediadave

    It was fun then, and is still fun today.

    26 Jun 2013 Reply
  • Gargoyle2500

    I'm beginning to wonder if "Bikini Whale" Is in reference to a fat girl. Perhaps the band didn't know what they were singing and just wrote what they considered nonsense lyrics, But I think that lyrics - No matter how nonsensical they may sound - May indeed have some meaning.

    5 Jun 2013 Reply
  • Gargoyle2500

    TOMHINKLE57; I think you're mistaken, The band wasn't formed until 1976 and the song wasn't released on vinyl until 1978 - And that single was an early version.

    5 Jun 2013 Reply
  • davidbowiegirl

    Great song, always makes in a good mood :)

    3 Jun 2013 Reply
  • thefriendlydude

    One of my favorite songs

    1 Jun 2013 Reply
  • TheDarkSide73

    One of the best dance songs of the 80s

    22 May 2013 Reply
  • All 435 shouts

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