ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN - Crocodiles, Ocean Rain, Porcupine & Heaven Up Here: Deluxe Vinyl Reissue Bundle

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Classic 1980s Albums: Deluxe Vinyl Reissues

 

Echo & The Bunnymen formed in Liverpool back in 1978, with Ian McCulloch on vocals, Will Sergeant on guitar, bassist Les Pattinson with Pete De Freitas on drums. Their first release came in the form of the single The Pictures On My Wall, with the B-side Read It In Books. Both tracks would appear on their debut album Crocodiles, released in 1980. Released amid the growing wave of post-punk, Crocodiles cemented the band amongst the best around, with the NME at the time describing it as “probably the best album this year by a British band” and featuring amongst many greatest ever debut album lists.

 

The lead single from the album, Rescue, was produced by Ian Broudie who would later produce more Echo & The Bunnymen material, as well as later forming The Lightning Seeds in 1989. The single would enter the UK charts, with the album breaking into the top 20 and going on to be certified Gold. The original cover was shot by Brian Griffin near Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire. The atmospheric, moody aura of the sleeve sets the tone for quintessential post-punk.

 

Following the release of their debut album Crocodiles and the subsequent EP Shine So Hard, Echo & The Bunnymen returned with their second studio album Heaven Up Here. The album spawned the single A Promise as well as Over The Wall in Australia. The album artwork was shot by frequent collaborator Brian Griffin, on a beach in the South Wales town of Porthcawl and won the Best Dressed LP at the 1981 NME Awards.

 

Seen as a darker album to their debut Crocodiles, the album was well-received by fans and press alike, cementing their cult status in the UK. Heaven Up Here went on to peak at #10 in the UK album charts, being certified Gold in the process, as well as being the band’s first album to chart in the USA. It won the 1981 NME Best Album award and ranks amongst Rolling Stone’s 500 greatest albums of all time.

 

Echo & The Bunnymen released their fourth studio album Ocean Rain in 1984, enjoying an enamouring cult status following the success of their first three albums. Ocean Rain continued the band’s use of strings, creating a dark, ethereal aura throughout the album.

 It produced three singles, Silver, Seven Seas and the massive anthem The Killing Moon; a track frontman Ian McCulloch once stated, “I know there isn’t a band in the world who’s got a song anywhere near that.” It reached #9 in the UK singles chart, and continues to transcend generations to this day, routinely featuring in films and television shows such as Donnie Darko.

 

The album’s iconic, atmospheric cover art was taken in the stunning Carnglaze Caverns in Cornwall by photographer Brian Griffin, who shot their three previous album covers. Ocean Rain went on to reach #4 in the UK album charts, being certified gold in the process, as well as charting in the USA.

 

Echo & The Bunnymen first released the single The Back Of Love in 1982, nearly nine months before the album’s release in 1983. It became the band’s first UK top 20 single as well as charting in Ireland. It led to the release of Porcupine in 1983, with Ian Broudie, who would later form The Lightning Seeds, returning to production duties having co-produced their debut album Crocodiles.

 

Initially rejected by the band’s label, the album was re-recorded with Indian violinist, singer and composer Lakshminarayana Shankar, who added strings to the tracks. The result was their greatest chart performance, with The Cutter reaching #8 in the singles charts and Porcupine finishing #2 in the album charts and went on to be certified Gold. Porcupine featured on many end of year critics’ lists, with their single The Cutter still remaining highly popular to this day.