Posts Tagged ‘Ian McCulloch’

Echo & the bunnymen live in liverpool.jpeg

Ian McCulloch and Will Sergeant shaped Echo & the Bunnymen’s dreamy post-punk into something timeless. Their 1997 reincarnation sparked new life for the band, and McCulloch and Sergeant have maintained their strong appeal of passionate rock & roll. On a live setting, they’re charming and their first proper live album, “Live in Liverpool”, proves that. The duo have a weird musical madness together, and they’re comfortable with it. The two night stint captured August 2001 at Paul McCartney’s Liverpool of Performing Arts, McCulloch’s romantic brood and Sergeant’s riveting guitar work are at its best. It’s a merry collection of cult classics (“Seven Seas,” “The Killing Moon,” “Never Stop”) and new material (“SuperMellow Man,” “Eternity Turns”), but a homage to the band itself. The psychedelic bombast of “All That Jazz” is slick and savvy. Songs from the “Crocodiles” album take on that tone, but with a signature lust and a sneaky intensity. “Over the Wall” brings that side of the band to the forefront.

In a live setting, it’s eerie and alluring. “Rescue” and “The Cutter” soar with lush guitar riffs and McCulloch’s warm vocals illustrate something primitive. “Nothing Lasts Forever,” from 1997’s Evergreen, is a sweet sign of age, but it’s also graceful. McCulloch and Sergeant are fond of what Echo & the Bunnymen have become. Two nights churning out fan favourites and band mainstays in their hometown makes it much sweeter.

Recorded in 2001 at Paul McCartney Institute of Performing Arts, “Live In Liverpool” features electrifying performances of classics including “The Killing Moon”, “Lips Like Sugar” and “The Cutter.” Pressed on double 180g clear vinyl for RSD Drops to mark its first release on vinyl. 

Tracklisting:

1. Rescue 2. Lips Like Sugar 3. King Of Kings 4. Never Stop 5. Seven Seas 6. Buried Alive 7. SuperMellow Man 8. My Kingdom 9. All My Colours (Zimbo) 10. All That Jazz 11. An Eternity Turns 12. The Back Of Love 13. The Killing Moon 14. The Cutter 15. Over The Wall 16. Nothing Lasts Forever 17. Ocean Rain

May be an image of text that says 'DROPS 2021 RSD JUNE 12 -and- JULY 17'

On this day in history First released February 4th, 1983) Echo and the Bunnymen released their 3rd album “Porcupine” featuringthe tracks The Back Of Love and favorite, The Cutter, it became the band’s highest charting release.

This album was produced by Ian Broudie, who later went on to form The Lightning Seeds.

Ian McCulloch’s comments, I think Porcupine was a classic autobiographical album, the most honest thing that I’d ever written or sung. I found the material from it really heavy to play – like, really oppressive. That’s the only reason why I didn’t like the album. The songs were great but it didn’t make me happy. A lot of songs are about coming to terms with the opposites in me.

When presented with the finished album, WEA Records rejected it as “too uncommercial”. The band agreed to re-record the album, despite Sergeant’s complaints. Using the original version of the album as a blueprint, the follow-up recording sessions went more smoothly. Drummond brought Shankar back to add strings to the other tracks on the album. It was these sessions that produced the band’s next single, “The Cutter”, which was released in January 1983 and went on to become the band’s first Top 10 hit.

A better listen than its predecessor, Heaven Up Here. Songs are intriguing and elaborate, often featuring swooping, howling melodic lines. Arrangements here owe a lot to 1960s psychedelia and feature lots of reverb, washed textures, intricate production touches, and altered guitar sounds. Ian McCulloch’s vocals are yearning, soaring, and hyper-expressive here, almost to the point of being histrionic, most notably on “Clay,” “Ripeness,” and the title track. Listen to the epic neo-psychedelia of ‘My White Devil’ or ‘Heads Will Roll’ as examples ,

Driving bass and drums lend the songs urgency and keep the music from collapsing into self-indulgence. Parallels between the group’s U.S. contemporaries

The recording session for “The Back of Love” went well, but the relationship between the band members was strained, with them either not speaking to each other or, when they did, arguing.Their manager Bill Drummond was aware of the tensions within the band and so arranged a tour in Scotland for April 1982. This was done in an effort to make the band work harder, write some songs, and to communicate with each other. Drummond’s plan failed to work as following the tour there was still tension between the band members.Two other album tracks – “Clay” and “My White Devil” – were first played during the tour of Scotland.

Echo & the Bunnymen
  • Ian McCulloch – vocals, guitar, piano
  • Will Sergeant – lead guitar
  • Les Pattinson – bass
  • Pete de Freitas – drums

Porcupine deserves a place in the canon of classic rock albums that are regarded as ‘great art’.

Echo & The Bunnymen have announced their first new album in four years and will tour the UK in October.

The new record, entitled The Stars, The Oceans & The Moon, is a 15-track collection which will feature new versions of songs from their back catalog along with two brand new recordings.

“I’m not doing this for anyone else. I’m doing it as it’s important to me to make the songs better. I have to do it,” says Bunnymen frontman Ian McCulloch in a statement.

The new record is out in October and they’ve shared the lead single today which is a sparse rework of their iconic 1984 track ‘Seven Seas’.

 

Liverpool’s post-punk legends Echo and The Bunnymen have announced their next record—their first since 2014’s Meteorites. The brand new album, The Stars, The Oceans & The Moon’ will be released in May of 2018 and will feature Bunnymen classics transformed and reinterpreted with co producer Andy Wright into “new songs with strings and things attached”

This is not too unusual given the Bunnymen’s liberal use of strings on classics such as “The Cutter”, “Silver”, and their the band’s use of a live string section during concerts of recent years. Lead by the Ian McCulloch and Will Sergeant, and co-produced by Andy Wright, there is no final track listing for The Stars, The Oceans & The Moon as yet, but we are promised that they will revisit “some of their greatest songs” and that we can expect a couple of brand new tracks. McCulloch’s take on this project is as follows: “I’m not doing this for anyone else. I’m doing it as it’s important to me to make the songs better. I have to do it.”

Along with the announcement of the new album are some very special UK tour dates that culminating at London’s Royal Albert Hall on June 1st.

The record will be available in signed and unsigned CDs, Double LPs, Double Picture Discs, and cassettes.

Crocodiles

Echo and the Bunnymen’s superb debut album, “Crocodiles”, had one foot in the past and one in the future; while listeners could detect the influence of ’60s psychedelia and bands like The Doors, the 1980 album was also steeped in the darkness and anguish for which goth and post-punk would soon be known. Its dozen songs were exceptionally strong, and featured the group’s first two singles (a rerecorded “Pictures On My Wall” and “Rescue”) and soon-to-be concert staple “Do It Clean” (which had been left off the original U.K. pressing in the mistaken belief that it contained expletives). Frontman Ian McCulloch was a trenchcoat-wearing Doors fan at heart, and their debut single was as gloomy as it gets. The original version of “The Pictures on My Wall” is also one of the few Bunnymen recordings to actually feature Echo (the drum machine), but the version on their 1980 debut Crocodiles (with drummer Pete DeFritas) might be better.

Recorded at Eden Studios in London and at Rockfield Studios , Monmouth “Crocodiles” was produced by Bill Drummond and Davis Balfe , while Ian Broudie had already produced the single “Rescue”. The music and the cover of the album both reflect imagery of darkness and sorrowfulness. Echo & the Bunnymen were formed in 1978 and originally consisted of Ian McCulloch (lead vocals), Will Sergeant (lead guitar), Les Patterson (bass) and a drum machine . They released their debut single, “The Pictures on My Wall” in May 1979 on the independent label Zoo Records . The band then signed with WEA subsidiary label Korova and were persuaded to employ a drummer Pete De Freitas subsequently joined the band

Ian McCulloch is in fine voice throughout, and Will Sergeant’s playing makes him a clear contender for most underrated guitarist of the 1980s.  NME named “Crocodiles” one of the decade’s 50 greatest albums, and we’re hard-pressed to disagree…

Echo & the Buunymen

One of the most acclaimed British rockers from the 1980’s, this legendary band formed in Liverpool in 1978 and were forefathers of the neo-psychedelic movement. Their line up consisted of vocalist Ian McCulloch, guitarist Will Sergeant, bass player Les Pattinson and drummer Pete de Freitas, eventually replacing the original drum machine. The band’s cult status eventually waned with mainstream success in 1983 after they scored a UK top 10 hit with “The Cutter” and attendant album “Porcupine” which hit second spot in the UK.  1984’s classic album “Ocean Rain” is considered a landmark post-punk release, featuring the lead single “Killing Moon.” The band split in 1988 but regrouped in 1997, releasing an album in 2014 . The band’s popularity never quite made the same impact in the US as it did in Europe so they are ripe for rediscovery for anyone interested in bands such as Suede, Radiohead, Arcade Fire, Blur, Interpol and Oasis.

Track Listing:

Side A

  1. She Cracked (Live April 1985)
  2. It’s All Over Now Baby Blue (Live April 1985)
  3. Soul Kitchen (Live April 1985)
  4. Action Woman (Live April 1985)
  5. Paint it Black (Live April 1985)

Side B

  1. Run, Run, Run (Live April 1985)
  2. Friction (Live April 1985)
  3. Crocodiles (Live April 1985)
  4. Heroin (Live July 1983)
  5. Do It Clean (Live July 1983)
  • Brand new collection of their legendary live material recorded in Sweden in 1985. Includes classic Rock N Roll covers of legendary tunes by the Doors, Rolling Stones, Velvet Underground, Television and more available on vinyl for the first time. Many of the tracks from Sweden were recorded live for Swedish National Radio at the Karen Club. Also included here is a legendary extended version of “Do It Clean” recorded live in concert at the Royal Albert Hall in 1983.
  • Each LP is individually numbered and strictly limited based on pre orders
  • 1LP, 180g, black vinyl pressed at Record Industry comes in a single sleeve aqueous-gloss, old school tip-on Stoughton sleeve with brand new artwork and hard stock insert with never before seen photos and liner notes by guitarist, Will Sergeant.

Echo and the Bunnymen
I’ve always said that The Killing Moon is one of the greatest song ever written. The Killing Moon is more than just a song. It’s a psalm, almost hymnal. It’s about everything, from birth to death to eternity and God – whatever that is – and the eternal battle between fate and the human will. It contains the answer to the meaning of life. It’s my “To be or not to be …”

Singer Songwriter Ian McCulloch  says I love it all the more because I didn’t pore over it for days on end. One morning, I just sat bolt upright in bed with this line in my head: “Fate up against your will. Through the thick and thin. He will wait until you give yourself to him.” You don’t dream things like that and remember them. That’s why I’ve always half credited the lyric to God. It’s never happened before or since. I got up and started working the chords out. I played David Bowie’s Space Oddity backwards, then started messing around with the chords. By the time I’d finished, it sounded nothing like Space Oddity.

The rest of the lyrics came quickly, almost as if I knew them already. The title and a lot of the astronomical imagery, such as “your sky all hung with jewels”, came about because, as a kid, I’d always loved The Sky at Night and Star Trek, and I remembered the moon landing. I was up all night wishing I had a telescope.

The song was recorded in Bath and Liverpool. I wasn’t happy with the drums or the way it sounded in Bath, so I refused to sing on it. Plus I’d got a cold after staying out one night with Adam Peters, the cello player. So me and Pete de Freitas, our drummer, went to Amazon studios in Kirkby and finished it with Gil Norton mixing. I got home around 9am, slightly the worse for wear, and [former wife] Lorraine had a cob on with me for being out all night. I played her the song and said, “That’s what we’ve been doing”, and she cried.

Will Sergeant, guitarist
On a trip to Russia we visited a museum of tractor parts – and came back with that mandolin sound
For me, it was a trip to Russia that fed into The Killing Moon. Me and Les Pattinson, our bassist, knew some people at the polytechnic in Liverpool who were going, and they said we could come. It was £200 for 10 days, including flights. We went to Leningrad, then this place called Kazam, where nobody from outside Russia had been since 1943 or something. We went to a museum full of tractor parts and this very strange party organised by the young communists where everyone wore pressed Bri-nylon flares. But there was a lot of music and we came back full of ideas of Russian balalaika bands, which Les used for the middle of the song – this rumbling, mandolin-style bass thing.

During the recording, we went for a curry round the corner, and when we came back the producer had found this twangy thing on tape that I’d done tuning the guitar. He insisted it go in the song. It became the best-known guitar line in our entire catalogue.

Mac might have come up with the lyrics and all that, but it was definitely a team effort. The strings are just Adam Peters on cello and the producer on some state-of-the-art keyboard thing he had. Mac says he suggested that Pete play the drums with brushes, but I know Pete had already been inspired by the gentler, jazzier way of playing on Dave Brubeck’s Take Five, which we’d all been listening to.

I still love The Killing Moon. The lyrics are mysterious and it’s open to interpretation. It’s got a timeless quality. Years after it was a hit, we got an email saying this bloke wanted to use the song in a film, Donnie Darko, which we didn’t think would go anywhere, so accepted a one-off £3,000. Then when the director did the director’s cut he replaced The Killing Moon with Never Tear Us Apart by INXS. Aren’t some people knobheads?

• Echo and the Bunnymen are on tour from 22 May. Details: bunnymen.com

echo

Released this day 30 years ago and a classic album of the 1980’s, this was the Echo and the Bunnymen’s Fourth album release and featured some of the bands most enduring songs, The Killing Moon, Silver and Seven Seas. Beautiful, Dark, gorgeous warm and poetic heartbreaking dramatic and majestic. Most of the album was recorded in Paris using a 35 piece orchestra with other sessions in Bath and Liverpool. When released the album was received with mixed reviews.Two songs were recorded for the “Play at Home” TV series “Killing Moon” and “Silver”, Also a Peel session in September 1982 featured four of the songs to be released on the album. A live TV special from Channel 4 the Tube named “A CRYSTAL DAY” the band played “Killing Moon”,”Nocturnal Me”, “Ocean Rain”, “Thorn of Crowns” (then called Cucumber)

In 2008 the band performed the album in full with shows at the Royal Albert Hall with a backing orchestra.

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Echo and the Bunnymen return with a new album and tour in the UK, desrcibed as one of their best in years, the album is out in early May with quite a few dates in the UK and summer European shows