Thursday, November 20, 2014

All At Sea Again...

If you are going to proclaim to the world that your band have released "the greatest album of all time" then hopefully you have the tunes to back up that rather grandoise statement. Not really sure if there is such a thing as "the greatest album", and I'm fairly sure that Ian McCulloch had his tongue firmly in his cheek when he made his proclamation upon the release of album that rounds off my Top 10 rundown of my personal favourite albums.

"Ocean Rain" was released at a time when the band were at their creative peak and, for me, is their masterpiece. It is an album that still splits opinion amongst Bunnymen fans, with some having the same opinion I have, and others not too keen on the orchestration throughout. Unlike many other albums released in the mid 80's, this album does not sound dated at all and finds the band in full command of their craft. The contrast of cheery ballads, like "Silver" and "Crystal Days", and the more epic, brooding tracks like "Nocturnal Me" and "The Killing Moon" just works to perfection. It is just one of those rare albums without a weak song, with McCulloch producing the best vocals of his career. The band set out to record the 'perfect album', and they delivered, producing an evocative, mystical masterpiece that has a sweep and grandeur to it rarely matched in popular music.

I love the rawness of "Crocodiles", my other fave Bunnymen album, but "Ocean Rain" is quite simply exquisite and contains possibly the finest closing track on any album that I own.

Next week sees me heading along to see The Bunnymen for about the 20th time and, although they are maybe not the band they were back in the 80's, they are still one of the best live bands around and I can't wait to see them play Glasgow again. Just hoping this time that Mac is sober and we don't have a repeat of the "Ocean Rain" tour debacle in Glasgow a few years back.

Ocean Rain


  1. ...not the album I was suspecting and dreading. And of course, you're absolutely right, there's not a bad track on this album.

  2. I'm intrigued now, what album were you dreading George ?

  3. The first album by The Clash.....

  4. I do think the album would have been better with a little rougher treatment (maybe 150 chellos instead of 500) but, I can't's one of my favorites too.

  5. A brillliant lp. I love Heaven Up Here equally but play this one more. My Kingdom may well be my favourite Bunnymen tune. I love the story that they decamped to Paris to record it, but Mac did no vox and recorded them in an industrial estate back in Liverpool.