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"Love Shack"
Single by The B-52's
from the album Cosmic Thing
Released 1989
Genre Pop
Length 5:20
Label Warner Brothers
Writer(s) Kate Pierson, Fred Schneider, Keith Strickland, Cindy Wilson
Producer Don Was
Certification Gold (RIAA)
The B-52's singles chronology
"Channel Z"
"Love Shack"


"Love Shack '99"

Audio sample
file info · help

"Love Shack" is a single by rock band The B-52's. Originally released in 1989 from their album Cosmic Thing, the single was the band's biggest hit song and first million-copy seller.[1] It was also the band's first song to reach the Billboard Top 40 charts, peaking at number three,[2] also reaching number two on the UK Singles Chart, and was number one for eight weeks in Australia and also number one on the Modern Rock Tracks.

The song's lyrics describe an impromptu road trip (in a Chrysler "as big as a whale") along the Atlanta Highway to the "Love Shack", a fictional roadhouse where guests dance wildly to a jukebox. One of the guests in the video is the entertainer RuPaul.

Produced by Don Was,[3] the song's inspiration was a cabin around Athens, Georgia, complete with tin roof, where the band conceived "Rock Lobster," a single from their first album. B-52's singer Kate Pierson lived in the cabin in the 1970s, and the cabin existed until 2004, when it burned down in a fire.[2] The song acted as a comeback of sorts following the band's decline in popularity in the 1980s coupled with the death of their guitarist, Ricky Wilson, in 1985.[4]

The song received a number of accolades following its release. Named as one of the 365 Songs of the Century in 2001,[5] the video for the song received an award from MTV as the Best Group Video, and was named the Best Single of 1989 by Rolling Stone.[1] Additionally, it was ranked #243 in Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. In 2006, it was also named as one of VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of the 80s, placing at #40.


Track listing

The single release contained various tracks depending on the country it was released in. The United States had a b-side of "Roam," a song that would later reach number three as well, and other countries had singles with either "Channel Z" or a live version of "Rock Lobster" as the b-side.[6] In 1998 and 1999, the single was released again with a number of remixes, including one by DJ Tonka, but the re-release did not chart in the United States, although it did enter the United Kingdom charts.[7]


UK single

  1. "Love Shack" (Edit) – 4:03
  2. "Love Shack" (LP Version) – 5:21

U.S. 12" single

  1. "Love Shack" (12" Remix) – 8:00
  2. "Love Shack" (Remix/Edit) – 4:07
  3. "Channel Z" (12" Rock Mix) – 6:24
  4. "Love Shack" (12" Mix) – 6:10
  5. "Love Shack" (A Capella) – 3:56
  6. "Love Shack" (Big Radio Mix) – 5:31

Popular culture


  1. ^ a b David Mansour, From Abba to Zoom: A Pop Culture Encyclopedia of the Late 20th Century. Andrews McNeel Publishing, 2005.
  2. ^ a b MSNBC: "B-52's 'Love Shack' burns down." December 16, 2004. URL accessed January 24, 2007.
  3. ^ Fred Bronson. Billboard's Hottest Hot 100 Hits. Watson-Guptill, 2003.
  4. ^ Richie Unterberger, Samb Hicks, Jennifer Dempsey. Music USA: The Rough Guide. Rough Guides, 1989.
  5. ^ CNN: "Songs of the Century". March 7, 2001. URL accessed May 23, 2009.
  6. ^ The B-52s Unofficial Discography: "Love Shack." URL accessed January 24, 2007.
  7. ^ The B-52s Unofficial Discography: "Love Shack 99." URL accessed January 24, 2007.

External links

Preceded by
"Nothing Compares 2 U" by Sinéad O'Connor
Irish Singles Chart number one single
March 8, 1990
Succeeded by
"Brits Mix 1990" by Various Artists
Preceded by
"I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" by The Proclaimers
RIANZ New Zealand number one single
January 12, 1990 - February 2, 1990
Succeeded by
"Welcome to Our World" by John Grenell
Preceded by
"Come Anytime" by Hoodoo Gurus
Billboard Modern Rock Tracks number-one single
September 16, 1989 - September 30, 1989
Succeeded by
"Sowing the Seeds of Love" by Tears for Fears
Preceded by
"If I Could Turn Back Time" by Cher
Australian ARIA Singles Chart number-one single
December 23, 1989 - February 17, 1990
Succeeded by
"Janie's Got a Gun" by Aerosmith


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