Echo & the Bunnymen, Songs to Learn and Sing

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there was a time when i would have left the killing moon off, to avoid too many "obvious" votes. but the more i listen the more i think there are many obvious picks. it's kinda dumb to poll a best-of, but i did it for the cure's standing on a beach, just a few years ago, and it ended up being fun to try to weigh the impossibly good options against each other. right?

Poll Results

Bring On The Dancing Horses 12
The Cutter 9
The Killing Moon 7
Seven Seas 5
The Back Of Love 4
Do It Clean 2
A Promise 2
Rescue 1
The Puppet 0
Never Stop 0
Silver 0

Karl Malone, Tuesday, 31 March 2020 05:01 (two months ago) link

"a promise" is maybe my favorite instrumental performance by them. the amount of musical territory that "the cutter" slips through in less than 4 minutes is kind of bonkers, and the transitions aren't jarring.

Karl Malone, Tuesday, 31 March 2020 05:09 (two months ago) link

"never stop", i throw in the don't vote pile. i'm sorry. it's a decent story gone sour, or maybe it seems aimless (aimless!) compared to the songs all around it

Karl Malone, Tuesday, 31 March 2020 05:15 (two months ago) link

trying to generate some midnight cst drama on this thread, BUT: what if "The Killing Moon" were about a minute shorter? it's already an all-timer, instant classic, but....yeah that's going to be my excuse for why i don't vote for it.

btw, gonna cue up the "(All Night Version) (9:11) 12" version in a moment, just to test my limits in the opposite direction

Karl Malone, Tuesday, 31 March 2020 05:17 (two months ago) link

there's a crispness to the composition of "seven seas" that i really love, and mcculloch's voice is so beautiful on the verses (like when it breaks on "just forever kneeling")

Karl Malone, Tuesday, 31 March 2020 05:19 (two months ago) link

what's the thread for best (or actually worthy?) new songs that were released on a greatest hits record?

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Tuesday, 31 March 2020 05:19 (two months ago) link


Karl Malone, Tuesday, 31 March 2020 05:20 (two months ago) link

it's like the "soon" loveless, of this comp. sort of

Karl Malone, Tuesday, 31 March 2020 05:22 (two months ago) link

I uhhh have never heard this before or seen the track list. Was “the puppet” a fan favorite or love staple or something?

not a big fan but I love crocodiles and a few other things here or there. Went for “a promise”

brimstead, Tuesday, 31 March 2020 05:33 (two months ago) link

love staple = live staple

brimstead, Tuesday, 31 March 2020 05:33 (two months ago) link

oh wait it was an a-side? O_o Ok. (American here)

brimstead, Tuesday, 31 March 2020 05:34 (two months ago) link

answering my own question (and yes, it gets mentioned here):

Best ever new tracks on "Greatest Hits" albums

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Tuesday, 31 March 2020 05:39 (two months ago) link

even if the ilm compendium is not appended, it is still good to check it for completion

Karl Malone, Tuesday, 31 March 2020 05:39 (two months ago) link

I like every single song here. But The Cutter is their pinnacle for me.

Zelda Zonk, Tuesday, 31 March 2020 05:52 (two months ago) link

Word was these erstwhile-and-futurist popsters had transcended songform, so I gritted my teeth and tried to dig the texture, flow, etc. Took the enamel clean off. I hold no brief against tuneless caterwaul, but tuneless psychedelic caterwaul has always been another matter. Ditto for existential sophomores. And, need I add, Jim Morrison worship. C

Karl Malone, Tuesday, 31 March 2020 06:07 (two months ago) link

^that's the dean of rock critics

i was trying to think of song that are conspicuously absent from this comp. i don't think it necessarily fits that category, but does anyone else love "in bluer skies"? i fucking love that song

Karl Malone, Tuesday, 31 March 2020 06:17 (two months ago) link

when someone says "deep cut", first of all i think about actual blood and gore, then i think of the knife album, i guess. then just generally about "deep cuts" and what that means for music. but later on, when i thought i had moved on, i think "in bluer skies. now that's a deep cut"

Karl Malone, Tuesday, 31 March 2020 06:19 (two months ago) link

i think i realize that i've seen the dean of rock critics. radiohead, 2000-ish, grant park in chicago. i showed up way the fuck early and was in one of the very front rows. there was one guy who was front row, center (actually front row and slightly to the left, since they had set up a crowd-control barrier to divide the left and right halves of the crowd). even as a dipshit 17-year old it seemed like that guy was some sort of writer. if i could go back in time i'd yell through the time waves, "hey fuck you, that's what jim morrison says from heaven up here in the future, you numbskull!"

Karl Malone, Tuesday, 31 March 2020 06:23 (two months ago) link

musicians love when you fight for them and yell at other people who criticize them, especially when you do so across metaphysical boundaries

Karl Malone, Tuesday, 31 March 2020 06:24 (two months ago) link

on a slightly more serious note, i think the best song that's missing from this comp is "ocean rain", the title track. i understand why it was left off, since it's an album track and not upbeat like the rest of the selections. but it sums up so many of the things i love about the band. i agree with the criticisms of mcculloch's lyrics. but "My ship's a sail / Can you hear its tender frame / Screaming from beneath the waves / All hands on deck at dawn / Sailing to sadder shores" is a really evocative sequence

Karl Malone, Tuesday, 31 March 2020 06:30 (two months ago) link

Voted "Bring on the Dancing Horses," but this a nearly flawless collection. In fact, swap out "Never Stop" for "My Kingdom" and I'd probably play it more than any of the 80s studio albums ("The Puppet" is probably second-tier as well, but its inclusion as non-album single works).

Maria Edgelord (cryptosicko), Tuesday, 31 March 2020 19:15 (two months ago) link

(oh wait, "Never Stop" was a non-album single as well. it can stay.)

Maria Edgelord (cryptosicko), Tuesday, 31 March 2020 19:17 (two months ago) link

yep. "My Kingdom" is a glaring omission here.

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Tuesday, 31 March 2020 19:18 (two months ago) link

inclined to vote for "the cutter"

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Tuesday, 31 March 2020 20:02 (two months ago) link

back of love, most likely. other standouts among standouts are dancing horses, the cutter, and seven seas.

ooga booga-ing for the bourgeoisie (voodoo chili), Tuesday, 31 March 2020 21:06 (two months ago) link

A tough choice against "The Killing Moon" and "Never Stop,", but whenever I see or hear the word "shimmer" I immediately think of "Bring on the Dancing Horses," so I have to go with it.

Spencer Chow, Tuesday, 31 March 2020 21:11 (two months ago) link

I love "Rescue". It feels in family with "Never Say Never". It's hard to vote for an Ocean Rain track because I love that whole album and want to also hear The Yo Yo Man when I listen to the others.

Nudeln und Klopapier Gore (Sufjan Grafton), Wednesday, 1 April 2020 03:27 (one month ago) link

maybe it seems aimless (aimless!) compared to the songs all around it

Yes, I've become quite fond of this moniker. ftr, in the book Cold Comfort Farm there is a cow named Aimless. This immediately endeared the book to me. I have not yet seen it used as a proper noun anywhere else.

A is for (Aimless), Wednesday, 1 April 2020 03:34 (one month ago) link

"Back of Love" wins for me thanks to that dreamy bridge with the strings.

Stoop Crone (Trayce), Wednesday, 1 April 2020 04:50 (one month ago) link

this is tough. I might vote for "Do It Clean"

crüt, Wednesday, 1 April 2020 05:21 (one month ago) link

Why I'm voting for BotDHs:

+ Pete's drumming. He has an amazing soft touch of blending in his high-hat with the 16th-note chuggy arpeggiator at the end of each bar, and then this unusual ambidextrous way of punctuating the offbeat in the chorus.
+ Les's bass. The chorus has this nifty thing where he does that ascending D-E-F# lick on three different strings while simultaneously ringing the open string of the chord progression (D-A-G).
+ I know that arp-synth gate/triggered trem-heavy sound was pretty hot at the time ("How Soon Is Now?" was released a few months earlier) but I feel that in an age of complete excess, Will's playing is really minimal and understated, giving a lot of space to the rhythm section and...
- lol those corny-ass presets! those pentatonic harp sweeps, the dreaded pan flute, "lush strings" is the other one in verse 2 I think... but they save the best one for the chorus, that kind of reedy/brassy Eno-esque ascension DX-7 patch. I can forgive those goofy 80s cliches just for the payoff of the one in the chorus.

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Wednesday, 1 April 2020 05:49 (one month ago) link

Plus, the video

Mark G, Wednesday, 1 April 2020 09:20 (one month ago) link

bit of an unfair poll, since you have to choose one favorite song from five albums... and each representing a different stage/phase.
Then that's how it is. I'm with 'A promise' from Heaven Up Here.

meisenfek, Wednesday, 1 April 2020 18:59 (one month ago) link

two weeks pass...

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Sunday, 19 April 2020 00:01 (one month ago) link

I saw them a couple times, including the tour after this was released. In the end, can't deny "The Killing Moon."

brooklyn suicide cult (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 19 April 2020 12:15 (one month ago) link

I would have gone for Ocean Rain if it were here, too. Saving that, The Cutter (the live version off the Liverpool album is holy shit amazing).

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Sunday, 19 April 2020 12:45 (one month ago) link

"Killing Moon" is very my thing

clap for content-providers (Noodle Vague), Sunday, 19 April 2020 13:15 (one month ago) link

this is tough. I might vote for "Do It Clean"

― crüt, Tuesday, March 31, 2020 10:21 PM (two weeks ago)

sarahell, Sunday, 19 April 2020 15:04 (one month ago) link

I've never warmed to these people, but I can't deny "The Cutter" and "Do It Clean."

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 19 April 2020 15:06 (one month ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Monday, 20 April 2020 00:01 (one month ago) link

Surprised at the result!

Stoop Crone (Trayce), Monday, 20 April 2020 00:31 (one month ago) link

same! i didn't realize that "Bring On The Dancing Horses" was a big song for them, tbh

let me be your friend on the other end! (Karl Malone), Monday, 20 April 2020 02:13 (one month ago) link

Pretty in Pink, y'all. Maybe you weren't old enough.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 20 April 2020 02:13 (one month ago) link

*looks down at 50 year old hands. Frowns*.


Stoop Crone (Trayce), Monday, 20 April 2020 03:21 (one month ago) link

i think i voted for 'the cutter' but this poll prompted me to listen to 'bring on the dancing horses' every day for like a week so

karl...arlk...rlka...lkar..., Monday, 20 April 2020 13:27 (one month ago) link

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