Uncharitable Review of Ocean Rain

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Postby Frank The Bunny » Wed Nov 10, 2010 9:25 pm

Kounelaki wrote:Does Morrissey?
Are you a Spooky MozLover?
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Postby girlwithnoname » Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:19 pm

Kounelaki wrote:Does Morrissey?


I think I stopped caring what the Moz thought when he called the Chinese a "subspecies"....
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Postby Mr. Brian » Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:52 pm

black francis wrote:Hey the original review is gone. BOF intervention?


ask him at jackfeeny@yahoo.co.uk

...but here is the text of it from the waybackmachine archive:

http://web.archive.org/web/200804240111 ... m/echo.htm

ECHO AND THE BUNNYMEN

Ocean Rain (1984)

"If my heart is a war its soldiers are dead "
Best Tracks: Silver, Crystal Days, The Killing Moon, Ocean Rain

These days Ian McCulloch, like a bedraggled acoholic ghost, haunts the Liverpool night life. It is hard to spend any time out and about in the more bohemian haunts of the city without coming away with some story about encountering the sleazy washed-up cokehead. My story is a rather more curious one in that a girl I know keeps sending desperate text messages to my mobile phone thinking for some inexplicable reason it belongs to the 'Mac'. Anyway, his current desperate attempts to laud his 'legendary' status are all the more embarrassing given it rests almost entirely upon one good song. Indeed, I'm even loathe to praise "The Killing Moon" too much given McCulloch himself describes it as 'the greatest song ever, sung by the greatest voice ever'. But, what the hell, it is a cracking song. However, the fact that the Bunnymen get elevated to the pedestal of the great Liverpool bands of all time only leaves me to suspect there is only really one pedestal and really only one band deserving to be on it. Indeed, my suspicions are, despite the loud and proud boasting of the city's council and its inhabitants, apart from that seven year period John, Paul, George and Ringo made a little song and dance Liverpool has added precisely nothing to twentieth century art. It is typical of the self-mythological nature of the city that a band as mediocre as the Bunnymen should be so celebrated and mostly, it seems, by their own members. Like most of their Scouse peers and even successors the Bunnymen cannot do straight up rock'n'roll. Instead, it has to be invested with Liverpool's idiosyncratic brand of psychedelia. In other words, nonsensical lyrics and quirky sixties arrangements. McCullough, I believe, regards the Velvet Underground, and not the Beatles, as the greatest band ever but the depth of his message is a paddling pool compared to the issues Lou Reed tackled and the eloquence with which he did it. Similarly, the music actually has more in common with the hippy bands of the era that were the very antithesis to the debauched wall of sound the Velvets hid behind. The b-side "Angels and Devils" (included here as a bonus track) does imitate the Velvet's junkie drive but only in the limpest and most sycophantic way. This album does have its moments, though, with the opening "Silver" and "Crystal Days" being pop songs of reasonable melodic success. Indeed, it is really only when McCulloch goes too far up his own arse that things really start to stink, particularly the Godawful "Thorn of Crowns" which presents the Mac giving us his drunken karaoke impression of Jim Morrison. Given that Jim Morrison at his worst actually resembled a drunk karaoke artist one does not require much imagination to realise just how bad McCulloch's impersonation is. The highlight of the album, of course, is "The Killing Moon". One suspects they simply wrote one great song and then scratched their heads as to how to get enough songs to fill up the rest of the album. In any event, it IS a wonderfully epic performance, with a haunting arrangement and, yes, a powerful performance from McCulloch. Indeed, the arrangement is SO much better than everything else on here one wonders whether they hired someone more talented than themselves to sort it out. As a result, this album joins the ranks of long-players effectively saved from complete irrelevance by the inclusion of one classic song. The album closes with the title track, which is commendable for McCulloch never exceeding the boundaries of subtlety and inoffensiveness, but, really, once "The Killing Moon" is over you're already thinking about which CD to put on next. A decent album, then, but almost entirely on the basis of one great, great song, with a few acceptable pop numbers pulling their weight from behind. And next time you see Ian McCulloch drunk and dishevelled in Liverpool city centre ask him "hey, aren't you that bloke who did that Donnie Darko song?". He'll love it, I swear.
Last edited by Mr. Brian on Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby girlwithnoname » Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:05 am

Very Mac-heavy review....almost as if Will, Les, and Pete had nothing to do with creating the album.

Then again, this reviewer would think he was sparing them from his disdain.
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Postby Kounelaki » Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:22 am

girlwithnoname wrote:I think I stopped caring what the Moz thought when he called the Chinese a "subspecies"....


You had to be there.
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Postby Dr Evil » Thu Nov 11, 2010 3:20 am

The personal attack on Mac is accurate at that period, very bitter and funny, though Mac might be improving again-a new woman is always a good incentive. Lets hope the damage can undo itself. The review of Ocean Rain shows total ignorance, particularly in ignoring "My Kingdom" and the title track, two great songs, though both are even even better live. Above all, dismissing "Angels & Devils" shows this reviewer just dosn't get it and never will. Also, the high praise for "The Killing Moon", good, but by no means the best song on the album, shows a dismal lack of insight. I am also a great admirer of the Velvets, Doors and Joy Division, but at their best the Bunnymen had all their powers combined and multiplied. And most of the Eric's Club bands put the Beatles in the shade, so dismissing Liverpools take on post-punk is stupid.
He seems to have never heard the other great albums or b-sides either. Bon Jovi is better than I thought, but even so, to rank him anywhere near the Bunnymen is ridiculous. Next to the first three albums, there was something a bit thin about the production on the Ocean Rain album, and it does falter in parts-not quite the seamless darkness and depth of the first three albums or Reverberation, and even Evergreen has more passionate pop genius in parts, and some of the the slow numbers were honest. I think Evergreen might even have the edge, but at least live, many of the Ocean Rain songs are unbeatable.
Last edited by Dr Evil on Thu Nov 11, 2010 3:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Voodoo Billy » Thu Nov 11, 2010 3:30 am

girlwithnoname wrote:I think I stopped caring what the Moz thought when he called the Chinese a "subspecies"....


Hi girlwithnoname, did I tell you the story about the day I stopped caring about the bequiffed celery muncher following a 180 mile round trip for a 6 minute gig at the Echo Arena when he was soaked by two drops of bottled water and almost drowned?

He used to have something special, but it was called Johnny Marr and Johnny Marr moved on.
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Postby girlwithnoname » Thu Nov 11, 2010 10:56 am

Voodoo Billy wrote:Hi girlwithnoname, did I tell you the story about the day I stopped caring about the bequiffed celery muncher following a 180 mile round trip for a 6 minute gig at the Echo Arena when he was soaked by two drops of bottled water and almost drowned?

He used to have something special, but it was called Johnny Marr and Johnny Marr moved on.


I have head similar reports elsewhere...and Marr is one of the greats!
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Postby black francis » Thu Nov 11, 2010 11:59 am

Kounelaki wrote:You had to be there.


Morrissey could pour sugar in my gas tank and I'd still say "Oh Morrissey you so
craze-zay!"
With the Force as his ally he did battle with the Dark Lord. And he showed the measure of a true Jedi at a place called "The Death Star" where hope for the Galaxy was reborn. May all who struggle against tyranny hold his memory in their hearts
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Postby black francis » Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:02 pm

Voodoo Billy wrote:Hi girlwithnoname, did I tell you the story about the day I stopped caring about the bequiffed celery muncher following a 180 mile round trip for a 6 minute gig at the Echo Arena when he was soaked by two drops of bottled water and almost drowned?

He used to have something special, but it was called Johnny Marr and Johnny Marr moved on.


I used to think Johnny Marr was the secret behind the Smith's greatness but after comparing solo careers I give the nod to Morrissey.

Now I'd be happy to hear the Mac/Marr sessions and re-evaluate my position but until the "thieves" give back the masters I guess we're shit out of luck on that one.
With the Force as his ally he did battle with the Dark Lord. And he showed the measure of a true Jedi at a place called "The Death Star" where hope for the Galaxy was reborn. May all who struggle against tyranny hold his memory in their hearts
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Postby Voodoo Billy » Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:17 pm

black francis wrote:I used to think Johnny Marr was the secret behind the Smith's greatness but after comparing solo careers I give the nod to Morrissey.

Now I'd be happy to hear the Mac/Marr sessions and re-evaluate my position but until the "thieves" give back the masters I guess we're shit out of luck on that one.


As some of the material developed into the Electrafixion era it must have had something going for it. And BF, did I ever tell you about my 180 mile round trip...........................?
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Postby Voodoo Billy » Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:28 pm

black francis wrote:Morrissey could pour sugar in my gas tank and I'd still say "Oh Morrissey


I bloody bet you would. :vomit:
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Postby JackT » Thu Nov 11, 2010 3:32 pm

black francis wrote:Morrissey could pour sugar in my gas tank and I'd still say "Oh Morrissey you so
craze-zay!"


Remember that time he burned your house down? Classic Morrissey.
Last edited by JackT on Thu Nov 11, 2010 3:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby black francis » Thu Nov 11, 2010 4:31 pm

Voodoo Billy wrote:As some of the material developed into the Electrafixion era it must have had something going for it. And BF, did I ever tell you about my 180 mile round trip...........................?


I'm afraid I do. I'm surprised the audience didn't get a warning. He must have been feeling pissy to begin with.
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Postby black francis » Thu Nov 11, 2010 4:33 pm

Voodoo Billy wrote:I bloody bet you would. :vomit:


Sugar in my gas tank wasn't a euphemism for cock in the arse Billy.
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