Can you hear it?
The sound of something burning
On the merry-go-round tonight
Ahoy, Echo & The Bunnymen fans and vinyl collectors! It is time to rejoice! The band announces a reissue campaign of their studio albums on vinyl.
On Oct. 22, Rhino will reissue Crocodiles, Heaven Up Here, Porcupine, and Ocean Rain on 180-gram black vinyl — exclusively sold in “brick and mortar” retailers, according to the label. Coloured pressings — on yellow, blue, white, and transparent blue vinyl, respectively — will be sold only through Rhino.com.
Echo & The Bunnymen have also announced that they are releasing merch to “celebrate the albums.” You can find it here.
The Liverpudlian Echo & The Bunnymen formed in 1978, featuring Ian McCulloch (vocals/rhythm guitar), Will Sergeant (lead guitar), Les Pattinson (bass), and later drummer Pete De Freitas. The band initially featured a drum machine, assumed by many to be the fabled “Echo,” though this has since been debunked by the band. In the 1982 book Liverpool Explodes!, Will Sergeant explained:
We had this mate who kept suggesting all these names like The Daz Men or Glisserol and the Fan Extractors. Echo and the Bunnymen was one of them. I thought it was just as stupid as the rest.
Pictures on My Wall came out on Zoo Records in 1979, later appearing on their debut 1980 album Crocodiles. The album ultimately broke into the Top 20, finishing in many critics greatest ever debut album lists. Heaven Up Here followed in 1981. By the release of 1983’s Porcupine, produced by Ian Broudie (Lightning Seeds), the band had leapt into the mainstream. Their triumphant Ocean Rain, however, took their sound to a whole new level, fusing psychedelic post-punk with orchestral elements, collaborating with composer Adam Peters and a 35-piece orchestra set.
De Freitas played with the band through all four landmark albums until escalating mental health and addiction struggles led him to quit and move to America. He later returned, but after his initial departure, the band struggled with personnel shifts, personal crises, studio pressures, ego clashes, and increasing demands of commercialism…and the tragic death of De Freitas in a motorbike accident on his way to a rehearsal. The band called it quits in 1993, reformed three years later, and has toured and released several albums to varying degrees of success ever since. Currently, the only remaining members are McCulloch and Sergeant.
Echo & The Bunnymen’s creative brilliance, nonetheless, outshines their oft-tumultuous history.