Song of the Day-February 28th

B-52's- “Legal Tender”

A black and white photo of the band The B-52's.
A black and white photo of the band The B-52's.

When you think of hotbeds of music, certain cities stand out; New York, Chicago, London. Sometimes Seattle gets a nod. But a unlikely college town in Georgia has also gifted us several bands. REM, Pylon, and the B-52's all got their start in Athens Georgia.

Starting in the mid-Seventies, the B-52’s have always been known for their unique sound and party band atmosphere. When you think of the them, popular songs like “Love Shack” and/or “Roam” probably first come to mind. You likely also either love or hate them, and the odds are pretty good you’ll hear one of the two at some point in the coming weeks. But the band has a huge catalog of great tracks that are worth a look.

“Legal Tender” is the opening track — and lead single — off of the band’s 1983 album, Whammy!. This record saw the band taking a turn toward a more synth pop/new wave sound, and “Legal” is a perfect example. The track is upbeat with warm vocals from Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson over the top of synthesizers and a drum machine.

And in keeping with the band’s quirky nature, the song is all about…counterfeiting money.

We’re in the basement
Learning to print, all of it’s hot
10–20–30 million ready to be spent
We’re stackin’ ’em against the wall
Those gangster presidents

The song would peak at #81 on Billboard's Hot 100 in the US, but was a huge hit in Brazil.

Dancing to a song about committing a felony never felt so good.

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