Saturday, 30 March 2013

Desert Island Discs 29 Ocean Rain by Echo and the Bunnymen

29 Ocean Rain by Echo and the Bunnymen 1984

I've got a real soft spot for the much maligned 4th "grey" lp but in the end it just had to be this

Before Ocean Rain , I thought the Bunnymen were a bit of singles band. The lps were always a bit patchy with the singles by and largely the best things on them.

I do remember thinking how they would ever bee able to follow up the holy trinity of Back of Love , the Cutter and Never Stop.

Then this came out in all its gloriously dramatic majesty!

and who knew that they could tap into such a pop vein, with what is still one of my favourite videos 

Ocean rain is an lp of wild ambition. The acoustics and stings don't seem that big a deal now but at the time it all seemed quite radical after songs made to be sang in long overcoats on a winter's day.

Add into that their Crystal Day event and their tour of key lay lines and the Bunnymen were so much more ... interesting than Bono 's U2 could ever hope to be.

As ever the lyrics are either poetically insightful or a load of old tosh

I've no idea what this was about , just that it was magnificent you just had to be careful where you sang it (shouting out cucumbers and carrots too often and you'll find yourself suddenly on your own!)

Thorn of Crowns by Echo and the Bunnymen

The title track is a proper dictionary definition of epic and made the Bunnymen's world seem a magical and mysterious place

The only criticism I had is with only 9 songs it was always over way too soon

Not the best band in the world ever and not the best lp in the world ever, but a lot better than most peoples best efforts

You can buy Ocean Rain here


  1. Well you got to it as I hoped you would! No other album can EVER be labelled the greatest album ever made only because it's only important that Mac thought so.
    I chose not to fulfill my list of albums only because I could NEVER include just one by any band and once I got to the top 5 I would have full on punch outs with myself to decide. Ocean Rain is in that Top 5, currently it's #1, but then there's London Calling and Brillant Trees and Heroes and Fear of Music...
    I can tell you that My Kingdom from Ocean Rain is my ALL TIME FAVORITE song. The first time I heard it I thought "yeah Mac gets me" and nothing has ever come close. I've seen The Bunnymen more than any other band in my concert life and everytime they have played My Kingdom it is the highlight for me and I think the band as well.

  2. - I thought you might have this slightly higher, but we're already Top 30 so no argument! Majestic certainly describes it in a word. "Silver" is my top cut. Some great extended mixes too. Gotta say thanks again for getting me to take notice of later releases. After 'Reverb' & 'Evergreen' I'd written the Bunnymen off, but your blurbs on the later stuff got me digging and finding quality albums. Particularly enjoy 'Siberia' & 'What Are You Going To Do' but 'Ocean Rain' unquestionably their finest.


    - adored early Trashcans, but after dropping a bit of a turd with Happy Pocket, I was surprised after 8 years when I read good reviews of this one. I was even more surprised when I picked it up and fell in love all over. I won't say much 'coz I surmise TCS will show up later on. I'll leave the superlatives to you...

    It's A Miracle (live):

  3. Yup, I had the Mac mac and mullet and was mad for this at the time.
    I haven't listened to it in over 20 years. Why is that? Need to listen to 'My Kingdom' on the back of Echoe's endorsement...
    Trashcans always connect, something lovable in the boy's voice. I seem to listen to this and 'Fez' the most...

  4. My rambling, post midnight comment on this seems to have disappeared into the ether, or been quietly binned in the interest of coherence.
    Loved this album when it came out. Still do, although I went for Crocodiles on my list. The 'slightly' overblown claims in the ads were part of the Technicolor melodrama of it all. Although it was Technicolor on a black and white TV.
    My favourites - Thorn of Crowns and My Kingdom. There is a friend who I see rarely who immediately comes to mind when I hear the "k-kick a cabbage" part in Thorn of Crowns.
    As for Bono and his cohorts, I still think Mac's description of them as 'music for bricklayers' was one of his finest retorts when being compared to U2, which happened a lot. (Although a bit rough on bricklayers.)

  5. This is my favourite Bunnymen lp. I just wanted to to say that I have thoroughly enjoyed your Desert Island discs series so far.

  6. As has often happened in your countdown you've got me reaching for an album for a reassessment. Usually when I want to hear The Bunnymen it's 'Killing Moon - The Best of', but this really is a fine album.Strong and dramatic, it's been a real pleasure listening to this again after ( cough) years.
    Tim - You're on form. Another top 20 album there for me. With 8 years between Happy Pocket and Weightlifting they had plenty of time to write some great tunes and doesn't it show
    #29 Nick Drake - Five Leaves Left. It was areal struggle to decide between this an Bryter Layter but in the end the inclusion of my favourite Drake track 'Riverman'pushed this ahead.
    Instead of hearing Drakes version of the song , what about listening to a couple of great covers
    Firt up the Rutkowski Sisters take on the track
    And this from Weeping Willows front man Magnus Carlson
    I know your not convinced David, but maybe this might twist your arm a little

  7. Well written echo the kkkkkk is a top mac moment
    I so nearly went for this one Tim but in the end just couldn't discard the debut
    If only i still had the hair for a hairspray mac miller trev . I think you could still pull it off
    Seamus my favourite was mac refering to bono as "that mountain goat" due to his speaker climbing tendency.
    Thanks Russell appreciate it
    I will try Phil i promise


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