OCEAN RAIN was modestly described as "the greatest album ever made" during its promotional campaign. While it doesn't quite live up to this rash claim, it remains Echo and the Bunnymen's most ambitious and cohesive '80s release--a stepping stone that really should have led the band to world-wide fame. This is where the band left any traces of post-punk shambling behind and reached for the stars. The majestic mood of the album is heightened by the extravagant string arrangements that underpin Ian McCulloch's plaintive croon. On "The Killing Moon", one of the band's finest moments, the orchestra is deployed to spectacular effect. McCulloch gives the performance of his life, while the group's often overlooked guitarist Will Sergeant plays with imaginative dexterity. Things turn spookily psychedelic during "Thorn of Crowns", with its memorable refrain "c-c-c-cucumber, c-c-c-cabbage, c-c-c-cauliflower". It's hard to tell whether McCulloch is exorcising some inner demon or just trying to remember his shopping list. Somehow, in the context of the sparkling OCEAN RAIN, it doesn't really matter.
Yo Yo Man
Thorn Of Crowns
Angels And Devils (bonus track)
All You Need Is Love (Life At Brian's Sessions - alternative version/bonus track)