Echo & The Bunnymen – Ocean Rain (1984/2022) [FLAC 24bit/96kHz]

Echo & The Bunnymen – Ocean Rain (1984/2022)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 37:09 minutes | 785 MB | Genre: Pop, Rock
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © WM UK

Originally released in May 1984, Ocean Rain itself, features the original album which includes the singles ‘The Killing Moon’, ‘Silver’ and ‘Seven Seas’. The second LP contains eight bonus tracks, The band wrote most of the songs for Ocean Rain in 1983. Then in early 1984 they started sessions for the album in Les Studio des Dames and Studio Davout in Paris using a 35 piece orchestra, assisted by Adam Peters for string arrangements and Henri Lonstan at des Dames as engineer. Other sessions took place back in the UK in Bath and Liverpool. McCulloch in fact re-recorded most of his vocals back in Amazon Studio’s in Liverpool as he was unhappy with the Paris sessions. Continuing the bands prominent use of strings which were used so successfully on ‘Back Of Love’ on Porcupine, The album actually received a mixed response on release, but time has proved a great healer and the wider perspective is that the album is indeed the band’s unrivalled pinnacle. Martyn Atkins again designed the cover with Brian Griffin the photographer. With the band wanting continue the elemental theme of the previous three albums, the shot used for the front cover is a picture of them in a rowing boat which was taken inside Carnglaze Caverns, Liskeard in Cornwall.

It was marketed as “the greatest album ever made.” It combined the powers of a member of the first wave of post-punk bands with the grandeur of a 35-piece orchestra, a move reminiscent of the evolution of the pioneers of 1950s rock ‘n’ roll. It mixed surreal poetry with Eastern-influenced guitar lines, symphonic majesty with abrasive pop song structures, all while remaining a cohesive, disturbing and beautiful album. It is Ocean Rain, first released by Liverpool rockers Echo & the Bunnymen in 1984, and it remains both the band’s highest peak and breaking point.

“Channeling the lessons of the experimental Porcupine into more conventional and simple structural parameters, Ocean Rain emerges as Echo & the Bunnymen’s most beautiful and memorable effort. Ornamenting Ian McCulloch’s most consistently strong collection of songs to date with subdued guitar textures, sweeping string arrangements, and hauntingly evocative production, the album is dramatic and majestic; “The Killing Moon,” Ocean Rain’s emotional centerpiece, remains the group’s unrivalled pinnacle.” (Jason Ankeny, AMG)

Amidst the great and eclectic new wave family at the dawn of the 1980s, Echo & the Bunnymen imposed their own voice, which was different from those of the Cure, U2, Simple Minds or the Psychedelic Furs. It was a uniqueness which was in part due to the tortured voice of charismatic crooner Ian McCulloch. After a few fairly sombre first albums, the Bunnymen gradually gave in to a desire for big melodies and richer instrumentation. Ocean Rain is the height of this new turn. Throughout this fourth album, which came out in spring 1984, the ethereal rock of the Liverpool quartet owes as much to the grandiloquence of the great Scott Walker as to the poetry of the Doors or the Byrds, or the torment of Joy Division… Thanks to its mega-slick production and smooth arrangements, the talents of composer McCulloch and the impressionism of Will Sergeant’s guitars are magnified all the more. The lyricism of Ocean Rain is, above all, never hackneyed. Draped in tasteful violins, the record reaches its zenith with The Killing Moon, a long and crepuscular ballad, one for putting on repeat… – Marc Zisman

01. Echo And The Bunnymen – Silver (03:19)
02. Echo And The Bunnymen – Nocturnal Me (04:58)
03. Echo And The Bunnymen – Crystal Days (02:24)
04. Echo And The Bunnymen – The Yo Yo Man (03:10)
05. Echo And The Bunnymen – Thorn of Crowns (04:54)
06. Echo And The Bunnymen – The Killing Moon (05:46)
07. Echo And The Bunnymen – Seven Seas (03:19)
08. Echo And The Bunnymen – My Kingdom (04:06)
09. Echo And The Bunnymen – Ocean Rain (05:10)