Saturday, March 10, 2018

Just One Song - Echo and the Bunnymen

Echo and the Bunnymen
All My Colors
Music And Rhythm (1982)

I don't know if the music of Echo and the Bunnymen was featured in any of those Eighties movies starring Molly Ringwald and I'm not interested enough to do the research. But it makes sense. Echo were that sort of band, although I'd venture that there was a little more substance (whatever that is) to them than so many of those new wave sensations of the early Eighties.

But it could be that I'm biased because Bunnyman, Will Sergeant, the guitarist, made the lovely Themes for Grind (1982), an album of ambient noise drone type stuff, just as the Bunnies were climbing the steep slope to peak popularity. But more about this one at a later date.

Echo have turned out about a dozen albums by now and McCulloch and Sergeant are keeping the ship full of bunnies sailing through the ocean rain to this day. But the heyday for these guys were the four albums they turned out between 1980 and 1984 - the latter year being when they hit it biggest with Ocean Rain. Point of interest - most of their success was realized on the other side of the Atlantic rather than in these United States.

It was also on those shores that the first WOMAD (World Of Music Arts And Dance) festival was held, in 1982. Among the founders of WOMAD were Peter Gabriel, whose increasing interest in world music also led him to found Real World Records at the end of that decade.

Echo were among the Western pop acts in attendance at the first festival, along with the likes of Simple Minds and The Beat. They collaborated with the Royal Drummers of Burundi ("we're Echo and the Burundimen") and the results were impressive. The song first appeared on Heaven Up Here (1981), the band's second album. Its among their more interesting bits and one that lends itself well to a collaboration with a troupe of powerhouse African drummers. Of course, the impact of the whole affair must surely have been more impressive in person than on record but the same could be said about so many songs.

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