Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Mid-week Special: Live Echo & the Bunnymen

Even though Richard Kelly didn't orignally intend to use Echo & the Bunnymen's "The Killing Moon" in the opening credits of his cult classic Donnie Darko, the track fit perfectly with the mood and tone of the film, and that opening sequence was one of the reasons I first picked up one of their records.

All of the reissues of Echo records come with a bunch of bonus tracks, and sometimes there are live tracks. Here are three of my favorites:

One of my favorite tracks of off their debut record is the title track, "Crocodiles". Like most of the album, it has a real punk sound to it. To me this entire album always sounded like the band before they jumped down their creative rabbit hole and started experimenting more with larger arrangements and less mainstream punk sounds.

Echo & the Bunnymen - Crocodiles(Live)

My favorite complete album from the band was their second, Heaven Up Here. It's got an amazing cover, the songs flow from once to the next very nicely, and it kicks off wonderfully with "Show of Strength". This live version is a little faster than the studio track, but McCullouch doesn't spare any volume in his wailing.

Echo & the Bunnymen - Show of Strength(Live)

Of all Echo songs, my favorite has to be "My Kingdom" off of Ocean Rain. The pinnacle album of Echo's popularity and creativity, the entire album is chock full of huge arrangements, but I like "My Kingdom" for its simplicity, it doesn't have nearly the sonic arsenal that "The Killing Moon" does. Notorious for his arrogance, Ian McCulloch declares this song is from "the greatest album ever made" early in the track. Yes, he's cocky, but there are a lot of people out there who would agree with him.

Echo & the Bunnymen - My Kingdom(Live)

There you have it, three live tracks by one of my favorite bands. I'm posting my five favorite albums of the summer by September 1st, so stay tuned.

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