Echo and the Bunnymen – Ocean Rain (& the idolness of gods, 2009’s The Fountain

Will keep it brief as it is so late as a result of a little technical difficulty and a lot of laziness!

Initiation ceremony over, I humbly unveiled my first offerings to veteran members. Having been drawn to the Bunnymen by the successful singles from their 3rd album, “Porcupine”, I invested in “Ocean Rain”.


At the time it received many plays, though I’m not sure it was truly appreciated until many years later. Compared to the offerings from similar bands on the verge of “big time”, this was not what I was expecting.


As for the band’s own claims at the time that it was the “greatest album ever”, this probably did more to lead to the album not being given the full credit it deserved. However, aside from a few “Doorsish” departures on “Thorn of Crowns” and “Yo-Yo Man”, it still sounds fresh, interesting and highly original to me. A combination of “pop”, drama and lush playing and lyrics fills the majority of the album. “My ship’s a sail, can you hear its tender frame, screaming from beneath the waves?”, being a personal favourite from “Seven Seas”.


The album is again being toured in its entirety some 27 years later, so maybe it is finally receiving a more rounded level of appreciation as Ian McCulloch’s witticisms mellow (very slowly) with age. On that note, my follow up track, some 26 years later, was “the idolness of Gods”, from 2011’s “The Fountain”.


This album was remarkably bright, breezy and “poppy” for a band in their early fifties, much to do with the production from John McLaughlin (see Busted, 911, Five etc!). Nestling at the end of the album was this track which harks back to earlier days. But with the title of the track you could imagine that “Mac the Mouth”, is sending a message out to young pretenders to his crown!


Enjoyed both Spoon and Arab Strap, and inclined to listen again to more of their output. Apologies to Tom, however Pere Ubu still leaves me a little cold. I tried hard to like them when the NME was telling me to back in the 80’s, but I’m yet to get on board.

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