Echo & the Bunnymen‘s 1984 classic Ocean Rain is one of my 20 or so favorite albums of all time so I was somewhat flabbergasted when I read on The Music Slut that they were going to perform it — with an orchestra — in its entirety at Radio City Music Hall on October 1. I knew they were doing it at London’s Royal Albert Hall in September as part of the band’s 30th anniversary, but I just never figured they’d do it here.
No word on ticket prices yet (I’m a bit scared), but the presale starts this Saturday, April 26 at noon via Bunnymen.com. You need to register for their newsletter to get the password. In addition to the orchestral backing, I wouldn’t be surprised if they coerced original bassist Les Pattinson out of the woodwork to rejoin the group for these shows — if so, it would be his first since leaving the Bunnymen in 1999.
If you’ve never heard Ocean Rain, you really should. In my opinion it’s is up there with The Queen is Dead, Low-Life, Head on the Door, Steve McQueen as one of the defining albums of the ’80s. In singer Ian McCulloch’s opinion, it’s up there with Sgt Pepper, Forever Changes, the first Velvet Underground album, Electric Warrior, and sex. The songs, the production, his amazing pipes… it’s a swoon-pop masterpiece. Here’s maybe my favorite song:
The expanded edition of Ocean Rain that Rhino reissued in 2003 is great, definitely pick it up.
Meanwhile, the Bunnymen’s new album, The Fountain is due this Fall with the first single "I think I Needed Two" to drop in July.