The 80s Come Alive: The Killing Moon (Echo & the Bunnymen)

Echo For a band that gave their drum machine lead billing in their name, Echo & the Bunnymen have done all right for themselves over the years. Coming out of Manchester in the late seventies, the Bunnymen (singer/guitarist Ian McCulloch, bassist Lee Pattinson and guitarist Will Sergeant) were writing and recording home demos backed by a drum machine, which was christened Echo. Echo was replaced but his name remained when the group added flesh and bone drummer Pete de Freitas to the lineup (de Freitas & the Bunnymen just didn't have the same ring to it) for the recording of their 1980 debut album, Crocodiles.  The band released the albums Heaven Up Here (1981), Porcupine (1983), and Ocean Rain (1984), all of which made the Bunnymen critical and mainstream favourites.  

After the group released their self-titled 1987 album, things started to sour for the Bunnymen.  Singer Ian McCulloch left the band for a solo career in 1988, and in 1989 drummer de Freitas was killed in a motorcycle accident.  The remaining two Bunnymen recruited a new singer (Noel Burke), plus drummer Damon Reece and keyboardist Jake Brockman. The new Bunnymen released one album, 1990's Reverberation, but called it a day in 1993 after lack of commercial or critical success of the new material.

1997 saw the three remaining original Bunnymen working together again, and saw the release of a new album, Evergreen. The group has been going strong ever since, although bassist Pattinson has come and gone from the group due to family commitments.  Currently McCulloch and Sergeant are still recording and touring as Echo & the Bunnymen, with a rotating cast of backing players. The band is back in the studio now recording the follow up to 2009's The Fountain.

From what many consider to be their 'classic' album Ocean Rain, here's The Killing Moon, performed live in 1984.


About Jay Moon

Freelance writer guy. My ears love music. I'm a transplant recipient (October/2015), so I also give talks to the masses about that entire experience.

Posted on February 6, 2011, in The 80s and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. You know your stuff. Saw them live the other day – Ocean Rain + strings, really good but McCulloch is getting a bit croakier and coarser –

  2. Checked out your review-great write up. Thanks for the link!

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