Jukebox Classics #4: The Songs Which Influenced Echo & The Bunnymen

It’s easy to forget how ‘big’ Echo & The Bunnymen were. In the early 1980s, their output was phenomenal. Crocodiles was an outstanding debut and through Heaven Up Here, Porcupine and Ocean Rain. To this day, Heaven Up Here remains one of my top ten albums.

The Bunnymen were an outstanding live band ‘back in the day’ and still receive good reports now. A bit like The Charlatans, I don’t ever recall going to a bad Echo & The Bunnymen gig.

19th December 1985 at Kilburn National was the best, since you’re wondering. Better than the Albert Hall a couple of years earlier; I’m not a fan of the historic venue for gigs.

Part of the charm, if that’s the right word, of these pieces is trying to find the recordings of the Bunnymen versions of these songs. As it happens, a fair chunk of them come from their Scandinavian tour in 1985 when the band performed two sets each night.

However, their ‘Spike Island’ was the Crystal Day event in Liverpool in mid-1985. It involved fans spending the day in the city, ferry rides – I vaguely recall the notion of bicycles for everyone being floated in the beginning although practicality end the idea – culminating in a gig in the city.

This is the Tube recording of the performance on that day:

That it was a resounding success by all accounts underlines how popular they were.

Tracklisting:

All You Need Is Love The Beatles
Foggy Notion The Velvet Underground
Friction Television
People Are Strange The Doors
How Can We Hang On To A Dream Tim Hardin
Heroin The Velvet Underground & Nico
In The Midnight Hour Wilson Pickett
It’s All over Now, Baby Blue Bob Dylan
Paint It Black The Rolling Stones
Run Run Run The Velvet Underground & Nico
Soul Kitchen The Doors
She Cracked The Modern Lovers
Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine James Brown
Ticket To Ride The Beatles
The Big Country Talking Heads
Reverberation The 13th Floor Elevators
The Partisan Leonard Cohen
After All David Bowie
2000 Light Years From Home The Rolling Stones
Pale Blue Eyes The Velvet Underground
Sister Ray The Velvet Underground
Walk On the Wild Side Lou Reed
There She Goes Again The Velvet Underground & Nico
Twist And Shout The Isley Brothers
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