I Think I Like The Echo & The Bunnymen Record Without Ian

Jul 15th, 2008 // 12 Comments

reverberation.jpgIn my quest to get rid of the giant box of cassettes jammed into a box in the back of my closet, I decided to give Echo and the Bunnymen’s Reverberation another shot, even though some would argue that the band shouldn’t have even continued to soldier on after Ian McCulloch left.

Somehow I had missed the news that Ian had left the band and picked up the album in 1990, only to be shocked when neither Ian or drummer Pete De Freitas were in the group. (British music news traveled slowly to Arizona pre-Internet.) Still, I spent a few months enjoying the Geoff Emerick-produced tape and its truly ridiculous use of fake Indian embellishments on nearly every track. Listening to it again 18 years later, it’s definitely dated beyond belief, and the lyrics to “Enlighten Me” are idiotic despite an attempt to display some sense of emotional exploration. But it’s not like the band made much sense when Ian was in charge either.

Replacement singer Noel Burke went on to rejoin his pre-Bunnymen band St. Vitus’ Dance last year after spending time as a teacher. Meanwhile, Reverberation is out of print, and right now it’s possibly best known for Johnny Marr’s dismissal of the album as being by “Echo and the Bogusmen”. At very least, the artwork is kind of cool, even if the music’s not.

Echo & The Bunnymen – Reverberation [All Music Guide]

  1. brasstax

    This album would’ve been a stinker even if Ian hadn’t departed. Fortunately for us, he did and then recorded Candleland (which is one of the absolute best things he’s ever released).

  2. NickEddy

    I always liked the story of the Johnny Marr produced Ian LP that had its masters “stolen.”

    Uh huh.

  3. silkyjumbo

    there’s nothing like going thru your collection and doing some weeding. i’m not sure i trust my judgment anymore, though – schubert dip has made the cut a few times.

  4. Lucas Jensen

    I don’t think this record is all that bad. It’s pretty decent, in fact. Thanks for posting about this. But don’t trust me: I like Monaco.

  5. Handsome Pete

    @Big Gray.: I like Monaco as well. Is that more or less embarrassing than liking Revenge?

  6. Ned Raggett

    Depends. Do you have the Revenge reissues on LTM?

  7. Handsome Pete

    @Ned Raggett: I do not. Only the Factory releases. Making me less of a fan I suppose.

  8. NeverEnough

    @brasstax: Completely agreed re: Candleland.

  9. Slappy McJackass

    While it will never be classic Bunnymen, I really like this record and think it gets far too bad a rap. If they had just released it under a different name, people would have been far kinder.

  10. raihala

    I’ve always had a soft spot for “Reverberation,” much like I do for the post-Jimmy Sommerville Bronski Beat album (which, as a teenager, I continually checked out from the library on cassette, along with Laurie Anderson’s “United States Live”).

    I also think that the second Monaco record is magnificent and much, much better than nearly anything from the last two New Order albums.

  11. Nicolars

    This is one of my sister’s favorite albums.

  12. brasstax

    @silkyjumbo: Schubert Dip earns its keep for “Girl of an Age” alone.

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