The B-52's - Rock Lobster - 1979


Rock Lobster by The B-52's is a pivotal song in the history of music, particularly within the new wave and post-punk genres. Released in 1979, it was a key track on their debut album, "The B-52's," and became one of their signature songs. This section will delve into various aspects of "Rock Lobster," including its musical style, historical context, influence, and the band's background.

The B-52's and New Wave Music

The B-52's are an American new wave band formed in Athens, Georgia, in 1976. They are known for their unique style, which blends elements of rock, punk, and 1960s pop music. The band played a significant role in the new wave movement, which emerged in the late 1970s and early 1980s. New wave is characterized by its stylistic diversity, incorporating elements of punk, art rock, synthpop, and electronic music.

  1. The B-52's Band
  2. New Wave Music
  3. 1970s Music Scene

Creation and Style of Rock Lobster

"Rock Lobster" is notable for its quirky lyrics, unique sound, and the use of unusual instruments like the toy piano and cowbell. The song's structure is unconventional, eschewing the typical verse-chorus form for a series of different sections. It also features vocal interjections that mimic sea creature noises, contributing to its playful and surreal character.

  1. Music Composition
  2. 1970s Pop Culture
  3. Musical Instruments

Cultural Impact and Legacy

"Rock Lobster" was not just a commercial success; it also had a significant impact on the music industry and popular culture. It influenced a range of artists and helped bring the new wave genre to a wider audience. The song's success is credited with helping to launch the career of The B-52's and remains a popular and recognizable song today.

  1. Cultural Impact of Music
  2. Music and Social Change
  3. 1980s Music Trends

Interactive Tasks

Quiz: Questions on the song

What year was "Rock Lobster" by The B-52's released? (1979) (!1982) (!1976) (!1980)

Which genre does "Rock Lobster" primarily belong to? (New Wave) (!Disco) (!Rock) (!Punk)

Which instrument is notably used in "Rock Lobster"? (Toy piano) (!Electric guitar) (!Saxophone) (!Violin)

How does "Rock Lobster" differ structurally from many other songs? (It eschews the typical verse-chorus form) (!It is purely instrumental) (!It has an extended drum solo) (!It is sung in multiple languages)

What aspect of "Rock Lobster" contributes to its playful and surreal character? (Vocal interjections mimicking sea creature noises) (!References to historical events) (!Use of classical music elements) (!Inclusion of spoken word poetry)

Quiz: Questions on the Performer

Where was The B-52's band formed? (Athens, Georgia) (!New York City, New York) (!Los Angeles, California) (!London, England)

In what year was The B-52's band formed? (1976) (!1980) (!1972) (!1984)

Which of these is a signature element of The B-52's style? (Blending rock, punk, and 1960s pop) (!Heavy use of synthesizers) (!Primarily acoustic performances) (!Long instrumental solos)

How did "Rock Lobster" impact The B-52's career? (It helped launch their career) (!It was their final hit before disbanding) (!It marked a major change in their musical style) (!It was the first song they ever wrote)

What movement were The B-52's a part of? (New Wave) (!Grunge) (!Psychedelic Rock) (!Glam Rock)

Quiz: Questions on the lyrics

What is a recurring theme in the lyrics of "Rock Lobster"? (Sea creatures) (!Space travel) (!Love and relationships) (!Political commentary)

The lyrics of "Rock Lobster" are known for being: (Quirky and playful) (!Serious and introspective) (!Abstract and poetic) (!Political and activist)

Which of the following is mentioned in the lyrics of "Rock Lobster"? (A dogfish) (!A unicorn) (!A phoenix) (!A dragon)

The vocal style in "Rock Lobster" is characterized by: (Mimicking sea creature noises) (!Opera-like singing) (!Rapping) (!Whispering)

The atmosphere created by the lyrics of "Rock Lobster" can be described as: (Surreal) (!Romantic) (!Melancholic) (!Aggressive)


The B-52's formation year 1976
"Rock Lobster" release year 1979
Unique instrument in "Rock Lobster" Toy piano
The B-52's hometown Athens, Georgia
Genre of "Rock Lobster" New Wave

Open Tasks


  1. Create a Playlist: Compile a playlist of new wave songs from the late 1970s and early 1980s.
  2. Draw Your Interpretation: Create a drawing inspired by the lyrics of "Rock Lobster."
  3. Research Local Music Scene: Investigate and write about the music scene in your local area during the late 1970s.


  1. Write a Review: Listen to "Rock Lobster" and write a review discussing its musical elements and cultural impact.
  2. Compare Music Genres: Compare and contrast new wave music with another genre from the same era.
  3. Interview Fans: Interview people who were fans of The B-52's in the late 1970s and document their experiences.


  1. Analyze Cultural Impact: Analyze the cultural impact of "Rock Lobster" and its contribution to the new wave genre.
  2. Create a Documentary: Produce a short documentary on the history and influence of The B-52's.
  3. Write a Song: Write and record a song inspired by the style and themes of "Rock Lobster."

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Oral Exam

  1. Discuss the Evolution: Discuss the evolution of new wave music and its impact on later music genres.
  2. Analyze Lyrics: Analyze the lyrics of "Rock Lobster" and their contribution to the song's overall mood and theme.
  3. Compare Bands: Compare The B-52's to another band from the same era, focusing on style and influence.
  4. Explore Music Composition: Explore the role of unconventional instruments in music composition, using "Rock Lobster" as an example.
  5. Discuss Cultural Influence: Discuss the role of music in shaping cultural trends, using "Rock Lobster" as a case study.

OERs on the Topic


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