Vinyl Pickup: Echo And The Bunnymen — ‘Ocean Rain’

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I picked this one up in a local second-hand vinyl store. Bit dusty during the quieter moments but otherwise still nifty.

Released 1984 ‘Ocean Rain’ saw the final instalment of the Bunnymen’s near classic era. There’s a difference of opinion regarding which of these first four LPs is the group’s finest. Hell, sometimes I change my mind on an almost daily basis. Some love the big, orchestra filled pop tunes found here, others think it borders on over-the-top pretence.

Right from the off we get Silver; orchestra-enhanced big pop visions that demonstrated how far the group had come from their gloomy, post Doors-meets-Velvets with a post punk twist beginnings. From here the record doesn’t let up, it’s one of those records caught in the moment, capturing the group st the height if their inventiveness. Nocturnal Me is moody, beautifully beastly; impossible not to give yourself up to who it is whom masters all he surveys, Thorn of Crowns; up-and-down, in-and-out, costume drama indie-rock.

Almost every track features strings that are natural bedfellows to McCulloch’s almost role-playing baritone and guitarist Will Sergeant’s widescreen circulations. Side two begins with the group’s opus, the spellbound The killing Moon, McCulloch and Sergeant coming together to capture something pretty much star colliding. Seven Seas is a shimmering, almost Christmassy feelgood track filled with warmth, while the record’s perfect swansong title-track is glistening, hushed, full of the splendours of nightfall ready to take you by hand to a place safe and warm.

An opus of weird wonder. Pretence never sounded this bloody damn good.

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