belting out

Party out of Bounds

"Party out of Bounds" is the title of a 1980 song by The B-52s, from their album Wild Planet. It is also the name of a music show on Sirius Satellite Radio hosted by the band's lead male vocalist, Fred Schneider.

Vocalist Cindy Wilson is also present at the party-crashing incident memorialized in "Party out of Bounds" as her line "Ewww...House-A-Tosis!" clearly attests to. The original version of "Party out of Bounds" is 3:21 minutes. An instrumental version included on the B-side of the vinyl 45 rpm single "Private Idaho" also ran for 3:21 and was listed simply as "Party out of Bounds (Version)". The original has long been a staple of alternative/new wave dance club playlists. Featured with the other dancefloor-bound tracks from the album Wild Planet, the song "Private Idaho" / "Give Me Back My Man" / "Party out of Bounds" peaked at number 5 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart in 1980 as album cuts.

The following year, another mix of "Party out of Bounds" appeared on the B-52s Party Mix! EP. The 'Party Remix' was remixed by Daniel Coulombe and Steven Stanley. This version is first embellished with echoes and additional keyboard effects and then reduced to a skeletal beat-and-buzz showdown before clocking in at 5:21 minutes. Several years later, Stanley produced and engineered the B-52s 1983 album Whammy!.

The original and 'Party Remix' versions of "Party out of Bounds" eventually became available in digital format, on the albums Wild Planet and Party Mix!; the two-for-the-price-of-one collections "The B-52's/Wild Planet" and "Party Mix!/Mesopotamia"; the best-of compilations Time Capsule: Songs for a Future Generation, "The Best of the B-52's: Dance This Mess Around" and Nude on the Moon: The B-52's Anthology; and the various artists collection Out of Bounds: Journey Through Modern Rock. The instrumental version has not been re-released, although a large portion of this features in the Party Mix! version, which, unlike the other remixed tracks on the album, is essentially a straight-forward extended remix comprising the album version and instrumentals together with added effects.


The song begins with Schneider and Kate Pierson crashing a party, with the opening beat punctuated by a discordant guitar riff implying unexpected arrival, Schneider screaming "Sur-PRI-ise!" and Pierson belting out "PAR-TAY!". It quickly becomes evident that this party is poorly planned and executed. The balance of the lyrics describe what can go wrong at a party, how to remedy these bad situations, and prevent them from happening in the first place with proper planning.

The title "Party out of Bounds" was also used as the title of the 1991 book Party out of Bounds: The B-52's, R.E.M. and the Kids Who Rocked Athens, Ga. by Rodger Lyle Brown. That book remains the only chronicle of the early Athens music scene written by someone who lived in Athens throughout the period of 1976 through 1987.

Radio show

Party out of Bounds is a radio show hosted by B-52's member Fred Schneider. It airs Friday nights, 9pm to 12am (ET) on Sirius 22 First Wave. On the radio show, Schneider plays a mix of new wave-era dance, remixes and rarities, interspersed with Schneider's own humorous bits and anecdotes.

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