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Bouncing off the Satellites
Studio album by The B-52's
Released September 8, 1986
Genre New Wave
Length 45:55
Label Warner Brothers
Producer Tony Mansfield,
Shep Pettibone
Professional reviews
The B-52's chronology
Bouncing Off the Satellites
Cosmic Thing
Singles from Bouncing off the Satellites
  1. "Summer of Love"
    Released: 8 September 1986
  2. "Girl from Ipanema Goes to Greenland"
    Released: 8 September 1986
  3. "Wig"
    Released: 8 September 1986

Bouncing off the Satellites is the fourth studio album by New Wave band The B-52's, released in autumn 1986. Guitarist Ricky Wilson died of AIDS during the recording. With the band too distraught to tour, the album received minimal promotion and failed to yield any hits despite some stations initially giving good airplay to "Summer of Love".


Studio sessions

In 1986, after an absence from their musical careers, the band reformed to record Bouncing Off the Satellites. Recording sessions for the album began in July 1985. A backwards message was deliberately inserted into the album by the band. The message occurs in the song "Detour Thru Your Mind", towards the end of the passage. If Fred Schneider's psychedelic talking is played backwards, he can be heard saying "I buried my parakeet in the backyard. Oh no, you're playing the record backwards. Watch out, you might ruin your needle."[3][4][5]

During the recording, guitarist Ricky Wilson had been suffering from AIDS/HIV-related health complications.[6] None of the other band members were aware of his illness.[7] In an interview, fellow band member Kate Pierson stated that Wilson had kept his illness secret from his fellow band members because he "did not want anyone to worry about him or fuss about him."[7] On October 12, 1985, Wilson finally succumbed to the illness, at the age of 32.[6] Devastated, the band went into seclusion and did not tour to promote the album.[8] Nevertheless, Bouncing Off the Satellites eventually reached 85 on the Billboard 200.[9] Cindy went into a deep depression after her brother's passing, while Keith retreated to Woodstock, New York, and Kate and Fred stayed in New York City. The band felt that it would be impossible to continue without Ricky.

Track listing

# Title Length
1. "Summer of Love" (Kate Pierson, Keith Strickland, Cindy Wilson, Ricky Wilson) 4:02
2. "Girl from Ipanema Goes to Greenland" (Pierson, Strickland, C. Wilson, R. Wilson) 4:22
3. "Housework" (Pierson, Tim Rollins) 4:04
4. "Detour Thru Your Mind" (The B-52's) 5:06
5. "Wig" (The B-52's) 4:22
6. "Theme for a Nude Beach" (The B-52's) 4:50
7. "Ain't It a Shame" (Strickland, C. Wilson, R. Wilson) 5:30
8. "Juicy Jungle" (Fred Schneider, John Coté) 4:50
9. "Communicate" (The B-52's) 4:08
10. "She Brakes for Rainbows" (Strickland, C. Wilson) 4:41



Additional musicians

on "Juicy Jungle"

  • Mark Mazur - guitar, bass
  • Tim Rollins - guitar

on "Housework"

  • Adey Wilson - guitar, bass, vocals, background vocals


  • Tony Mansfieldproducer
  • Shep Pettibone - producer
  • Michael Hutchinson – engineering
  • Steve Peck – engineering
  • Tony Phillips – engineering
  • Fernando Kral – engineering assistant
  • Don Peterkofsky – engineering assistant
  • Shep Pettibone – mixing
  • Phill Brown – mastering


Chart performance

Chart (1987) Peak
U.S. Billboard 200 85


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