Friday, October 04, 2013

FDF Volume 4 Issue 321 - Echo and the Bunnymen - Ocean Rain

Album - Ocean Rain
Artist – Echo & The Bunnymen
Key Players - Pete de Freitas – Drums. Les Pattinson – Bass. Will Sergeant – Guitar, harpsichord, sitar. Ian McCulloch – vocals.

Produced By – Henri Lonstan, Gil Norton and The Bunnymen

Release Date – May 8, 1984 (May 14th in USA)

Overview - This is the fourth studio album from Liverpool England and “Echo and the Bunnymen”. The band before recording this record had experimented with string sections and went with a 35 member orchestra for the recording of this record. Marketed as “the greatest record of all time” it would garner mixed reviews. With that, the album would peak on UK charts at #4 and it would crack the US Top 100 peaking at #87. The band would tour on this record again in 2008 playing it in full with a 10 piece orchestra. The album cover was shot inside Carnglaze Caverns, Liskeard, Cronwall.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) – The album is made up of nine tracks that run just over 37 minutes. Opening with the acoustic guitar strums "Silver" * gets underway. The string section is right along with Sergeant and Pattinson leads a solid bass line. McCulloch has a deep haunting baritone that picks the right time(s) to soar above it all. There is a quick guitar solo from Sergeant before the strings bring it all back in for another run of the chorus. “Nocturnal Me” begins with acoustic guitars again and the string section swelling before McCulloch comes in. The track has a heavy piano presence and deFreitas keeps the drums in check, doing tight and crisp rolls on the snare. It is a dark and haunting sounding track as the name would indicate. “Crystal Days” has more of a rock feel with the guitar being there right from the start. Sergeant layers the guitars well but Pattinson bass work is buried in the mix. De Freitas hits after it pretty well on two occasions but the song doesn't really bust out yet McCulloch is in fine form. “The Yo Yo Man” finds de Freitas and Sergeant at the start and somehow McCulloch gets even lower in his vocal range. Its a slower track that is filled out with piano and Pattinson's bass work has a solid presence through the strings and piano sections. The band works some off tempos on “Thorn of Crowns” as McCulloch stutters many of the vocal lines and Sergeant gets after his guitar like it owes him money. Easily the most 'rowdy' of tracks on the record, but the band layers it so well with off tempos, hushed and stuttered vocals it grabs you from the start and holds you through the end. One of the bands biggest hits “The Killing Moon” follows. From the guitar to the crash cymbal to the slow drum kit roll to the walking bass has it all. You know love it. Nothing more needs t be said. The lure of  "Seven Seas"comes from the terrific bass line from Pattinson and the tempo the band takes on the chorus, with the chopping string section. Set that up with bells and piano chords and you have the makings of a terrific tune. "My Kingdom"
is lead by Sergeant on the acoustic but the bass and drums are uptempo and fun. McCulloch seems in a “good mood” and you get the first real taste of backing vocals here and Sergeant has a terrific guitar solo. The album concludes with “Ocean Rain” a somber closer awash with strings and a brooding McCulloch. Seems to be a fitting album closer.

Where are they now? - The band is still active today. Sergeant and McCulloch being the two long standing members. Pattinson was the bass player even beyond McCullochs departure from the band for a solo career. He left the band in 1998 and is a member of “The Wild Swans”. Pete De Freitas died in a motorcycle accident on June 14, 1989. He was 27. Sergeant has done some solo records and has recorded as “Glide” McCulloch has also released solo records, even after re-joining the band. The most recent being “Pro Patri Mori” in March of 2013

FDF Overall Take - This is a perfect slice of Bunnymen. If you are a casual fan the best of collection is a great way to start, but there are a few songs from here that ended up on it. A great jumping off point with the band if you are new to them. Really, a great sounding record even today.

Links /“Find out More”, Follow em
Official Site

Way back we did “Heaven Up Here” "Heaven Up Here"
And we also looked at Ian McCullochs solo record "Candleland"

Disclaimer – I am just a music fan. Feel free to comment about something that may be written incorrectly about the band/members etc. I strive to have a fun and enjoyable site. This site used to post mp3s but ran in to many issues. The audio clips provided are usually from YouTube. No copy write infringement is intended. Please alert me if something should be pulled. Finally, support the artist featured, or your favorite artist by purchasing their music, seeing their shows if possible and saying hi. They need your support.


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