A Young Person’s Guide To: B-52s – Mesopotamia [pt. 2]

mesopotamia flat

So yesterday when investigating “Mespotamia” on CD, I discovered that the EP had been remixed for the “Party Mix/Mesopotamia” mashup CD that has been available for 23 years. Intriguing. I wonder how different the remixes are since the timings are very similar. If I find this CD in a used bin I will investigate. But it sure would be good to have a copy of “Mesopotamia” without “Party Mix” being there to skip through. What are my options?

Island Records | German | CD | 199?| 254 217

Island Records | German | CD | 199?| 254 217

B-52s – Mesopotamia GER CD [199?]

  1. Loveland 5:03
  2. Deep Sleep 3:30
  3. Mesopotamia 3:51
  4. Cake 5:50
  5. Throw That Beat In The Garbage Can 4:32
  6. Nip It In The Bud 3:32

Our friends at Island Germany managed to issue “Mesopotamia” as a discrete CD release! And intriguingly, the credit for the US CD of “Party Mix/Mesopotamia” for a “Mesopotamia” remix by Tom Durack [who had remixed the band’s “Roam” single] is absent from this release. Methinks this is the way to get the original US vinyl version of “Mesopotamia” on the shiny disc of favor. I’m still not 100% sure, but notice that I referred to the “US vinyl version” of the EP. That’s because while researching this release, I came across the heretofore unknown German/European vinyl version of the EP, which is startlingly different!

Island Records | GER | EP | 1982 | 204 217

Island Records | GER | EP | 1982 | 204 217

B-52s: Mesopotamia GER EP [1982]

  1. Loveland 8:33
  2. Deep Sleep 3:30
  3. Mesopotamia 3:50
  4. Cake 7:45
  5. Throw That Beat In The Garbage Can 5:46
  6. Nip It In The Bud 3:31

Take a look at those timings! “Loveland” is nearly 3:30 longer, and “Cake” gains nearly two minutes. “Throw That Beat In The Garbage Can” is over a minute longer as well. These three tracks are key since alternative takes were used to compile the German/Euro version of this EP on vinyl. The takes in question have been described as “rawer and more electronic,” which sounds like an oxymoron to me.

Considering that until yesterday, I was happy to live without “Mesopotamia” in my Record Cell, today is another game entirely. The sick collector in my can’t help but be intrigued by the previously unnoticed remixed American version on the “Party Mix/Mesopotamia” omnibus CD, and the alternate takes that figured on the German vinyl edition are like catnip to my mind right now. The curator within me also desires the German CD edition to see if it is in fact a replication of the original US vinyl edition, given its timings. I can finally envision an “Ultimate Mesopotamia” REVO edition with all extant mix/variations on a single disc just because the power of musical curation compels me. If I had a spare $80 laying around, I could see grabbing the US/GER editions on vinyl and CD to compare and contrast.

– 30 –

About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | media design • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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7 Responses to A Young Person’s Guide To: B-52s – Mesopotamia [pt. 2]

  1. Jon Johnson says:

    After reading your post, I went to Wikipedia to see if they had any more info on/reasons for the different versions:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mesopotamia_%28EP%29

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    • postpunkmonk says:

      Jon Johnson – If it was a snake it would have bit me! Thanks for the info! Now I know the German CD indeed features the US vinyl mixes. So the US/GER CDs and the GER EP will yield everything.

      Like

  2. JT says:

    Hi –
    I heard the US vinyl version when it was current, and now have a digital copy of the Party Mix/Meso CD. I have to admit that the Party Mix stuff is inoffensive for what it is: what’s wrong with 12″ mixes of dance tunes? The Meso remix adds clarity to what I remember as being much murkier Byrne-era mixes. Give this one another shot, the title track isn’t too far off from Remain In Light-era Heads, and Deep Sleep sounds like a Fun Boy Three track to me!

    If you wanna do a REVO ultra-Meso, count me in for a copy, but you should try to cram in the original verion, the Meso/Party-CD remix, and the three mysterious German/UK Island Records rough cut extended mixes, as well as (gleaned from the Wiki page):
    “Queen of Las Vegas” – The original version of this song recorded for the intended full Mesopotamia album was released on Nude on the Moon: The B-52’s Anthology…
    And, “Adios Desconocida”: was this ever released? The Wiki article is vague on its availability.
    Seems like it would all just fit…
    J.

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    • postpunkmonk says:

      JT – It boggles my mind to how I can go from being indifferent to a recording, to wanting to collect all variations of it within hours. It’s now in my mental queue. Hopefully, we’ll see this before I die. “Deep Sleep” = FB3? From the little I’ve heard of FB3, yeah, you have something there, but it’s been 32 years since I’ve heard practically either one. The Wikipedia page paints an intriguing reasons for the floundering of the B-52s; a simple case of running out of stockpiled material and having to [ugh!] write new tunes. It might be difficult considering that they were younger pups when they initially coalesced. The five year difference between someone in their early twenties and someone almost [gasp] 30 can be fairly pronounced.

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      • Echorich says:

        The FB3 sound on Deep Sleep makes sense as Byrne produced their Waiting album around the same time – 1983. It shows that he definitely had a lot of control over the sound of the few bands he produced at the time.

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  3. Echorich says:

    I know I have the US vinyl of Mesopotamia but I find that the digital version I have here on my Mac is the same as the above German release. I honestly don’t know where or how long I’ve had this on the Mac – certainly a few years. I enjoy the extended length of Loveland.

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