The B-52’s: Give Me Back My Man – UK – 7″ 
- Give Me Back My Man 3:53
- Give Me Back My Man [version] 3:47
I lucked into this record in the first of two [!] visits to Time Traveler Records in Akron, Ohio during 2019. Even today, there are no copies of this UK 7″ on sale by American dealers. I saw that the B-side to the disc was a version mix of “Give Me Back My Man” that I was betting $8.00 was not the remix lasting 7:02 on the “Party Mix!” EP or even an edit of it. My instincts told me to buy first and ask questions later. Discogs lists UK, French, Canadian, and Japanese commercial releases of the song. There is a USP 12″ with “Strobe Light” on the B-side of the disc. Last night I finally got around to playing it.
The A-side seems to be identical to the same track from the album. I was pining $8.00 worth of hope on the B-side. Would it deliver? After digitizing the A-side, I was happy to hear a 41 year old 7″ that sounded fantastic! That much was in my favor. How many times have I bought a 7″ [often at great expense] to find that it sounded trashed and worn. This was a record that played as good as it ever had. It sounded as good as a 7″ could.
But the B-side was in fact an instrumental version of the A-side. The mix was no different. It sounded like the EQ had changed somewhat, due to the lack of vocals. That there were no vocals brought home how repetitive the song’s construction was. Without the distraction of Cindy Wilson’s honeyed tones one could see how this was repetitive, with only the synthetic percussion adding accent and variation on the music bed.
One difference was the minor key synth [or eBow guitar] hook that manifested at 3:00 until the song’s end end, that without the multi-tracked voices of Ms. Wilson getting distraught at that point in the song, I actually notice for the first time in 41 years of listening to it. But my suspicion that this single held a true version [in the Lee “Scratch” Perry sense of the word], was dashed on the rocks of cold reality. This single had barely merited the investment with the curio of a picture sleeve and an instrumental version as its calling card. It could have been worse, but it could have been so much better.
At the very least, I now have an instrumental version of the track to make my own extended edit of “Give Me Back My Man” should I ever have enough time on my hands to develop all new remixing skills on that DAW at my disposal. It’s a possibility, but don’t bet on it.