Travelin’ Playlist Essentials – Roam

The B-52s will forever be tied to “Love Shack.” It’s one of those venerable hits whereupon everyone rolls their eyes, then sings along for at least a bar or two (with the drunker among us shouting “tin roof, rusted” as required by federal law). It’s not the band’s fault the song became as ubiquitous as air molecules; of course, the reason it’s so popular is because it’s fun, even for the ten billionth time, and even if you own and operate a love shack of some kind and it reminds you of your job.

The follow-up single to “Love Shack” was this ode to getting the heck out of dodge. With “Roam,” the freewheeling spirit of “Love Shack” continues, but the party is happening not in a backwater, moonshine-drenched shotgun shack, but seemingly everywhere on Planet Earth and beyond. The lyrics carry on the mantle of the pioneering American spirit (“Roam if you want to / Without wings, without wheels”) while underlining how simple it is to take advantage of your freedom. The video amplifies that simplicity; we see exotic destinations and people through cheap stock footage, while Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson dance like go-go girls on a ’60s variety show. If there were ever a song and accompanying video that made you want to turn off your TV and get out of town this is it.

It’s also great because the annoying guy doesn’t sing a word.

Papua New Guinea is just one of many exotic destinations the B-52s recommend you visit.

Song: “Roam”

Artist: B-52s

Album: Cosmic Thing

Year: 1989

Precede with: “Elevation” by U2

Follow with: “Come Fly With Me” by Frank Sinatra

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