Friday, March 17, 2017

ABCs of My Vinyl Collection (Letter E, Part 3)

Still not 100 percent but on the mend. Thanks for your patience. Hopefully, you'll consider this second post on Echo & the Bunnymen worth the very long wait. Let's start with a rousing rendition of "Crocodiles" from the four-song live EP "Shine So Hard." This was recorded at Pavilion Gardens in Buxton, Derbyshire, on Jan. 17, 1981, and released in April that year. This turned out to be the band's first UK Top 40 single. I have had this one since I was a kid, and the show had always been built up in my mind as an all-timer because I didn't see the video of the performance until about 20 years after I found the 12". Have to say, when I saw it, I wasn't disappointed. Anyone out there one of the 500 that received the video as a thank you for attending the show?

"Crocodiles" (Live)

Now here is a performance that's not just legendary in my mind. Echo & the Bunnymen's show at the Royal Albert Hall on July 18, 1983, pops up all over the band's discography, and this live and very long take on early single "Do It Clean" can be found in several places, including the excellent self-titled mini album from 1983 and as a B-side to "The Killing Moon" 12". If you have never seen this show in its entirety, do yourself a favor and dig it up on the 'Net today. If I had a time machine, this is where I would take it to see them. Hard to believe now, but in the early days of MTV, when they didn't have many videos, this one used to show up in the rotation from time to time, and that's where I first saw clips of this show. Lots of improvisation and odes to rock (and funk!) from an earlier age on this one.

"Do It Clean" (Live)

I don't want "The Killing Moon" to be my favorite song by Echo & the Bunnymen because, well, it's just so typical, but it's too good not to give the tune its proper due. Just try to ignore the fact it appears in auto adverts. Haunting and beautiful. OK, Rol, buddy, here is my all-time favorite 12"... all nine minutes and 12 seconds of it. Hope I have convinced you this is a great extended version.

"The Killing Moon (All Night Version)"

Here is a live version of the song I had not pulled off the shelf for a while, but it was music to my ears a couple of weeks ago when I was ripping what I had from the lads. This is a B-side from the 1984 12" of "Seven Seas." There are four songs on the single recorded at Liverpool Cathedral for the program "Play at Home" on British station Channel 4.

"The Killing Moon" (Live)

Running out of juice. Let's go out with one that seems universally revered. Maybe even George will like it. I dedicate this one to pals Friend of Rachel Worth and JC. As JC said in the comments last time... "lay down thy raincoat and grooooove."

"Never Stop (Discotheque)"

8 comments:

Swiss Adam said...

Nothing wrong with any of those songs, beauties all. Glad you're on the mend.

JC said...

Four of the finest pieces of vinyl to have come out of the pressing plant.

As SA says, good to hear you're on the mend.

The Swede said...

Good to see you healthier and back at the turntable Brian. An impeccable selection this week.

George said...

Nothing to dislike there, but your classic record recommendation is way better!

Kinggangsta 30 Fnaffreddy said...

none new to me, but all solid gold classics. time to dig...

Echorich said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Echorich said...

"The World's a prettier place, when you've got something to take..." INDEED! The live version of Crocodiles from Shine So Hard goes miles further than the original or the debut album to take Post Punk on a hard edged Psychedelic Trip! Pete just beats those drums into submission, Les runs a marathon on bass, Will creates his own little universe on guitar and Mac runs through walls at full speed. Massive!

More Dirty/Apocalypse Now Psychedelia came to musical life on EATB's Royal Albert Hall rendition of Do It Clean. The psychedelic drugs in late 70s/early 80s Liverpool must not have been very pure judging from the harrowing emotional rollercoaster The Bunnymen was on for songs like Do It Clean and Crocodiles. Oh, and I can't listen to anyone else sing Sex Machine...

I have a list of my Top 100 Extended Remixes and I am proud to say The Killing Moon (All Night Long) tops that list. That list is called Epic Epoch Mixes because I have always referred to the All Nigh Long mix as just that EPIC. It's a word that some might associate with Classic Rock or Prog, but no, it is a word that describes the bold, cinematic sound of this EATB masterpiece. It rides on the ebb and flow of the orchestration. Will's soaring, shimmering guitar motifs and the pizzicato of the violins mesmerize me. There is nothing "extended" feeling about this mix. It will take you on a musical high and leave you exhausted and thoroughly satisfied.

Never Stop (Discotheeque) is a really important Bunnymen song. While strings had already found their way into EATB's sound on Porcupine, they really made their first statement on Never Stop. I've always thought of Never Stop as the band's most political sounding song. It may have no political origins at all, but it's the impression I've always gotten. The song also serves as a transition from the (beautiful and oppressive) darkness of Porcupine. Never Stop is certainly a Post Punk dancefloor MONSTER. It filled the floors at Danceteria, Peppermint Lounge and The Ritz when I was a denizen of those NYC haunts. Cutting shapes dressed in black jeans and black button down shirt and black engineer boots is a memory I savor...

JTFL said...

When it's a post about the Bunnymen I like to wait for soul brother ECHORich to weigh in, because he usually expresses whatever I might have to say about the band much more thoroughly than I ever could. It's true again this time, of course, so I'll just add: happy you're on the mend and mention that I'll never get tired of listening any version of 'Do It Clean'. Kind of the archetypal EATB song when you think about it.