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Echo & The Bunnymen

Echo & the Bunnymen's dark, swirling fusion of gloomy post-punk and Doors-inspired psychedelia brought the group a handful of British hits in the early '80s, while attracting a cult following in the United States. The Bunnymen grew out of the Crucial Three, a late-'70s trio featuring vocalist Ian McCulloch, Pete Wylie, and Julian Cope. Cope and Wylie left the group by the end of 1977, forming the Teardrop Explodes and Wah!, respectively. McCulloch met guitarist Will Sergeant in the summer of 1978 and the pair began recording demos with a drum machine that the duo called "Echo." Adding bassist Les Pattinson, the band made its live debut at the Liverpool club Eric's at the end of 1978, calling itself Echo & the Bunnymen.

In March of 1979, the group released its first single, "Pictures on My Wall"/"Read It in Books," on the local Zoo record label. The single and their popular live performances led to a contract with Korova. After signing the contract, the group discarded the drum machine, adding drummer Pete de Freitas. Released in the summer of 1980, their debut album, Crocodiles, reached number 17 on the U.K. charts. Shine So Hard, an EP released in the fall, became their first record to crack the U.K. Top 40. With the more ambitious and atmospheric Heaven Up Here (1981), the group began to gain momentum, thanks to positive reviews; it became their first U.K. Top Ten album. Two years later, Porcupine appeared, becoming the band's biggest hit (peaking at number two on the U.K. charts) and launching the Top Ten single "The Cutter."

"The Killing Moon" became the group's second Top Ten hit at the beginning of 1984, yet its follow-up, "Silver," didn't make it past number 30 when it was released in May. Ocean Rain was released that same month to great critical acclaim; peaking at number four in Britain, the record became the Bunnymen's first album to chart in the U.S. Top 100. The following year was a quiet one for the band as they released only one new song, "Bring on the Dancing Horses," which was included on the compilation Songs to Learn & Sing. De Freitas left the band at the start of 1986 and was replaced by former Haircut 100 drummer Mark Fox; by September, de Freitas rejoined the group.

Echo & the Bunnymen returned with new material in the summer of 1987, releasing the single "The Game" and a self-titled album. Echo & the Bunnymen became their biggest American hit, peaking at number 51; it was a success in England as well, reaching number four. However, the album indicated that the group was in a musical holding pattern. At the end of 1988, McCulloch left the band to pursue a solo career; the rest of the band decided to continue without the singer. Tragedy hit the band in the summer of 1989 when de Freitas was killed in an auto accident. McCulloch released his first solo album, Candleland, in the fall of 1989; it peaked at number 18 in the U.K. and number 159 in the U.S. Echo & the Bunnymen released Reverberation, their first album recorded without McCulloch, in 1990; it failed to make the charts. McCulloch released his second solo album, Mysterio, in 1992. Two years later, McCulloch and Sergeant formed Electrafixion, releasing their first album in 1995. In 1997, the duo re-teamed with Pattinson to re-form Echo & the Bunnymen, issuing the LP Evergreen. Two years later, they returned with What Are You Going to Do with Your Life?

The new millennium brought Echo & the Bunnymen back to the basics. The British press touted the band's storybook flair found on 1983's Ocean Rain and figured such spark would be found on their ninth album, Flowers. Issued in spring 2001, it reflected McCulloch's dark breezy vocals and Sergeant's signature hooks. Live in Liverpool, a concert disc capturing the band's two gigs at Liverpool of Performing Arts while on tour in support of Flowers, followed a year later. For 2005's Siberia, McCulloch and Sergeant joined producer Hugh Jones for the band's most classic effort since their 1997 comeback. A second proper live album, 2006's Me, I'm All Smiles, captured the Bunnymen's gig at Shepherds Bush Empire while on tour in support of Siberia. In early 2008, the band announced that they would be releasing their next album, The Fountain, as well as playing a show at Radio City Music Hall to celebrate their 30th anniversary. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Crystal Days 1979-1999

Disc 1
Disc 2
Disc 3
Disc 4

Comments

Wow killing Moon live came on and I was 30 years back. Smiled remembering when I was there. Embarrassed to say I didn't appreciate them enough at the time

Sure do now ;-)
That said, Echo & the Bunnymen is an amazing band.
taniahalaby1 2 , GO AWAY!!! Seriously, Pandora needs moderators!
I glimpse the edge of a staggeringly beautiful heaven!
This song kicks a**
#FoodBands Echo And The Funionmen
bogeygolfrob
I hear Neil diamond
claricentp91 7
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shawnnavuz71 1
People interested in making a few extra bucks per day you can check out BLUDOS.COM This site makes me around 70 usd per day. It's free to sign up.
Right here, Echo & the Bunnymen were part of what made 80s music so great! From their very unusual band name to the surprisingly talented music they put out! I was schooled on Songs to Learn and Sing and I was hooked! Ian's solo work is great also!
Loved them since 'Bring on the Dancing Horses'. Their music still holds up today. From their early post punk sound to their new wave tinges in the 80's/90's, and even their more recent sound. Ian McCulloch is still dreamy & mysterious. They are awesome live!
Loved this group. Shame Echo and the Bunnymen didn't have more hits here in the U.S. lips like sugar defined them I think.
Killing Moon embodies the 80's alternative sound to a tee. perfect vocals, often imitated , never duplicated .
Bring on the dancing horses, baby.
Best voice ever ever ever ever
beckysragsto b a g s
Does anyone out there know a song Gypsy Chick(s) ???
the doors would have loved what you did with covering there song cheers
I saw these guys on this tour at Sunrise Musical Theatre in Fort Lauderdale. Ian is a cool dude.
Killing Moon is one of the top10, most perfect, songs of all time!
cdaiber
Is this thing on?
Seriously? The Game was their greatest US hit? What about Lips Like Sugar?
jjnight1
Love the Bunny people.
jjnight1
The Bunny Men live.
Sir Butler is single again.. Now is my chance.
tlgilbert5
Does anyone else notice a Moody Blues influence? It became really apparent for me on the song Seven Seas.
Lips like sugar is my fave song-love EBM!
I saw him in Boston Mass last year. He still sounds great love the band love him and love their music....
I still don't understand why the 80s were such an awful decade for music when these guys were right there for everyone to hear. I mean, why would you waste your time listening to hair metal power ballads when you could have EBM instead?
waywardone88
I still judge people of my generation based on whether they've heard of this band or not.
Love Echo and the bunneymen great group and vocals.. love their music
Put these guys on my New Wave Station. Lovin every miniute of it!
The Killing Moon is now music in Audi commercial.
jpannill1
Love this band, and so grateful that I saw them live when they were in their prime. Impressed that they could be so influenced by an American group, yet sound so utterly original. I love Ian McCulloch!
Musical acts from the 80's always had such creative names, now they just think up a name and add Lil or Mc to it. No imagination.
timwhitsedki n g s t o n 3
I saw them do this album's video somewhere in a gloomy old mansion in the UK after a very long coach ride.
Love Echo. Had all their albums - on cassette! Wish the biography had mentioned the influence of Ray Manzarek on the band. Loved seeing him live with the band. Love live version of Do It Clean on the EP.
LIPS LIKE SUGAR - not mentioned in the story, but one of my favorite songs of all time !
pcomfort3
One my very favorite bands from the greatest decade of music
jpjanzen
An all time fave band. Very Cool sound that has stood the test of time.
mistycara13
A very cool 80s band!
Truly an amazing band
Amazing band
eastezrider
Rest In Peace Pete DeFreitas
bluchap
i wonder what they were really thinking when they wrote these words? Perplexing?!
Echo was the drum machine - not the singer!
Lips like suga!
SINGER barkenn
I LOVE Echo! This band has been in my music library since I WAS 14.
barkenn
Which one was Echo?
When I heard the Fountain 2 years ago I was surprised at how they sounded no different than Echo of the 80s. Ian McCullough's sol albums sounded more like the Bunnymen than the Reverberatio n bunch did.
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