Channel Z

Album: Cosmic Thing (1989)
Charted: 61
  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • This song is about a fictional radio station which is "all static, all day." It's an upbeat song, but the message is serious: mass media glosses over important news by blanketing our consciousness with distraction. And this was before the Internet! >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Mike - Santa Barbara, CA
  • This was the first single released from the Cosmic Thing album. "Love Shack" was the most obvious hit, but "Channel Z" was more in line with their previous material, which did very well on college radio and among fans of New Wave.

    "Channel Z" got very little mainstream airplay and was relegated to the Buzz Bin on MTV, but it topped the Modern Rock Tracks chart and sent a signal to their fans that the B-52s were back - their future was uncertain following the death of guitarist Ricky Wilson in 1985. When "Love Shack" was released as the next single, it became a huge pop hit, earning the group a legion of new fans.
  • Fred Schneider's lines deal mainly with degradation of the environment, a topic dear to him. He warns of ozone holes, waste dumps and toxic fog.
  • Don Was produced this track. He and Nile Rodgers each produced about half of the album.
Please sign in or register to post comments.

Comments: 2

  • Chris from Cape Coral, Flas good as this song is it was wrong to put it out as the first single from Cosmic Thing if i was in charge of Warner bros. I'd say "Let's put Love Shack out first it's got hit all over it."
  • Dane from Lima,ohio, Fl"Static in my attic from Channel Z."This is even more true today.Too much info.One of the better songs on Cosmic Thing.Their best album I think.I saw them live in July '90(yeah 20 years ago)One of the top 3 concerts I've been to.
see more comments

Loudon Wainwright IIISongwriter Interviews

"Dead Skunk" became a stinker for Loudon when he felt pressure to make another hit - his latest songs deal with mortality, his son Rufus, and picking up poop.

Jon Foreman of SwitchfootSongwriter Interviews

Switchfoot's frontman and main songwriter on what inspires the songs and how he got the freedom to say exactly what he means.

Joe JacksonSongwriter Interviews

Joe talks about the challenges of of making a Duke Ellington tribute album, and tells the stories behind some of his hits.

Kim Thayil of SoundgardenSongwriter Interviews

Their frontman (Chris Cornell) started out as their drummer, so Soundgarden takes a linear approach when it comes to songwriting. Kim explains how they do it.

Curt Kirkwood of Meat PuppetsSongwriter Interviews

The (Meat)puppetmaster takes us through songs like "Lake Of Fire" and "Backwater," and talks about performing with Kurt Cobain on MTV Unplugged.

Alice CooperFact or Fiction

How well do you know this shock-rock harbinger who's been publicly executed hundreds of times?