B-52's Singer Punks Out

Fred Schneider (third from left) tries a new direction.

Let's just say that the news that the King of Punk

Producers, Steve Albini, was behind the board during the recording of B-52 Fred

Schneider's upcoming solo album stopped us dead in our tracks. We were no less

shocked when a spy in the Schneider camp played one of the songs, "Whip," over

the phone for us. Make no mistake, Albini has pulled no punches and the guitars

are loud, raw and crude, a la the Sex Pistols, at least on the song we heard.

We're told that this is the case with the entire album. Quite a departure for

Mr. Schneider. The album, Just Fred, will be out in late April. Other

songs that appear on it: "Lick," "Bulldozer," "Sugar In My Hog," "Secret

Sharer" and a new version of "Coconut." Schneider put a band together before

recording the album, and he's expected to hit the road upon its release.

Meanwhile, no word on the next B-52's