My friend has just bought us front row tickets for their Glasgow Royal Concert Hall performance of their 1984 self proclaimed masterpiece 'Ocean Rain'. So I thought I would revisit the album.
As opening songs go 'Silver' is impressive. It flows along and McCulloch is in great form
There is quite a dramatic change in style for 'Nocturnal Me' with the bands love of The Doors (they later covered and released 'People Are Strange') influence shines through. The music has an operatic feeling to it with a military style beat at moments. The 35-piece orchestra employed by the band for this album get free reign to add to the dark and moody atmosphere.
You can pack a lot into a 2 minute and 26 second pop song, as admirably demonstrated by the Bunnymen with 'Crystal Days' . Like 'Silver' the acoustic guitar drives the song along without being over-bearing, almost in the background. I wonder how much of the album was written on acoustic guitar.
McCulloch uses every trick he can on this album and the recurring use of 'hope' in each verse is extremely clever. The first verse has the line above and the second verse is;
'The Yo Yo Man' revisits some of the darker LA bands from the 60's like The Doors and Love.
If I'm honest, it isn't one of my high points of the album, yet it still showcase the bands music ambition and McCulloch's poetic skills.
'Thorn of Crowns' is one of the strangest songs in the Bunnymen cannon, sounding like a loose jam at times with crazy lyrics, exploding into a glorious yet all to brief riff at 1 minute 27 seconds (and 2mins35) at others, white noise and feedback on occassion.
'The Killing Moon' is just f**king fantastic. It flows and it glows. Mac is at his poetic best
What makes the album so special - well all of the above. Th albums stands up as a body of majestic work and at its peak it reaches truly magical moments that the vast majority of bands can only dream of. The Bunnymen had the look, the attitude and songs to inspire genuine passion amongst fans, on a cult and international scale.
Check it out if you don't own it.