The 1990s brought what might be a perfect combination of events to produce forgotten songs. There were a fair number of movie remakes of classic TV around that time. A lot of those movies produced hits that have, honestly, disappeared from radio. (I’d list some of them, but I realized a lot of the songs from these movies are, in fact, forgotten, so you’ll probably read about them on this page at some point.) One of them in particular produced what would be the last top 40 hit for the B-52s. Do you remember their take on “(Meet) The Flintstones”?
The B-52s in the Early 90s
The B-52s entered the 1990s flying high, having had their greatest success with their 1989 album Cosmic Thing. That album produced the group’s biggest hits (by far), “Love Shack” and “Roam”. It was certified quadruple platinum and vaulted the group from alternative radio to top 40.*
However, it was around that time that Cindy Wilson took an extended (six years) leave from the group to raise her children, which left the B-52s a trio. That trio kept going, though, and 1992 brought what would be their last studio album for 16 years, Good Stuff. The title track from the album would be the only single to hit the Hot 100; it could have been a candidate for this page as well.
In 1994, after almost a decade of various people kicking around ideas for a live-action movie based on the very successful 1960s prime-time cartoon The Flintstones, one finally made it to the big screen. It turned out to be quite the box-office success during the summer of that year, ending up as one of the top 5 domestic grossers of 1994. (Now, if I ever were to create a spinoff site called Unfairly Forgotten Movies, which I won’t, this movie could be featured there.)
Somewhere along the way, someone came up with the idea of adding a C to the B-52s’ name, thereby producing “BC”. (Get it? ‘Cos it’s the Stone Age and all that…) The “BC-52’s” (with the apostrophe) appeared in the film and sang two songs that appeared on the soundtrack. (The generally reliable TV Tropes states that, in addition to the reason above, this also solved the problem of the soundtrack being released on MCA Records when the name “B-52’s” was with Warner.)
(The Flintstones: Music From Bedrock peaked at #73 on the Billboard 200. Album ℗1994 MCA Records, Inc..)
One of the BC-52s’ two tracks on the movie’s soundtrack was the obvious first choice to be released as a single: the theme. And why not? The theme is almost universally recognizable,** what with the cartoon appearing on television to this day.
And so the BC-52s took the familiar theme and made it their own for the soundtrack. As might be expected, the track includes a lot of Kate Pierson’s vocals and Fred Strickland’s Sprechgesang.*** And you know what? It totally worked.
“(Meet) The Flintstones” debuted on Billboard’s Hot 100 at #81 for the week ending May 21, 1994 (chart | magazine), just before the movie went into wide release. It peaked at #33 just three weeks later (chart | magazine); this would prove to be its only week in the top 40. Its decline was just as quick, and after only eight weeks, it fell off the chart.
The song’s performance on other charts was somewhat better. It spent five weeks on Billboard’s Mainstream Top 40 Airplay chart, peaking at #19 (chart – Billboard Pros only). Even better, it rocketed all the way to #3 on both Billboard’s Dance Club Play Songs chart (chart – Billboard Pros only) and the UK chart.
As stated above, this proved to be the last top 40 hit for the B-52s; in fact, it was, to date, their last entry into the Hot 100 at all. The B-52s have continued to tour, perform, and, occasionally, record since then.
Forgetting “(Meet) The Flintstones”
With as few people as there are who still remember the movie, it’s no wonder that this song disappeared from radio so thoroughly. Your author probably only remembers it because he owns what used to be called a cassingle of it.
And forget about buying an MP3 of this on Amazon or even streaming it on Spotify; they don’t have it. It’s that forgotten, I suppose.
* And was bought by your author on cassette a loooong time ago.
** Little known fact: “(Meet) The Flintstones” was NOT the original theme of the cartoon. It wasn’t used until the third season.
*** Hey guys, I learned a new word today!
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