“Heaven Up Here” by Echo and The Bunnymen - album review

TJR says

The second Bunnymen was delivered in May, 1981, and gave the group their first Top 10 album in the UK, despite adopting a darker, bleaker tone than the debut. They remain: Ian McCulloch (vocals, guitar, piano); Will Sergeant (lead guitar); Les Pattinson (bass) and Pete de Freitas (drums). The services of experienced folkie, Les Penning, are enlisted to provide woodwind assistance. It's a terrific record, even it doesn't quite maintain the consistent excellence of the previous year's debut. Muscular starter “Show Of Strength” rolls, swings and throbs, with guitars panning this way and that. It's a well named track. I read that Ian McCulloch came into these sessions with the VU's “What Goes On” rattling around in his head, and that he wanted to bring some of that to the party. It's there in spades on side one's closer, “A Promise”, the album's sole single. The melodies, the highly tuned bass and the super-cool jangle are all quite exceptional, completely avoiding pastiche. To keep folks interested while they waited for the album, a live EP led by “Zimbo” had given the Bunnymen their first Top 40 hit, just a couple weeks before the album. Here in it's true home it's forever retitled “All My Colours” and it stands effortlessly as the album's crowning glory. Pete's drumming looks to the Ants and to Bow Wow Wow for inspiration and finds it, interpreting it in a Stephen Morris kind-of-way. The sound of “Echo and the Burundimen” as one wag famously put it. (Hi Ian.) I like to think of it as a ceremonial chant at a tribal funeral deep in the heart of Africa and, as the author himself confirms, that's not too far away from the heart of the matter, the song being about “the loss of someone and the fact that people hold on to things that have already gone”. The group's potential for awesome drama is there for all to hear, and it's no wonder the ever-growing cult was on the march. The following “No Dark Things” is more hopeful of tone and reintroduces glimpses of that great VU jangle, whilst the atmospheric “Turquoise Days” bristles with tension as they forge ahead on a gamut of style and emotion on side two. Album closer “All I Want” finishes the set strongly, with the group in an inventive and lively mood and McCulloch's vocal in full throttle, before all ingredients are taken off the boil and turned down to a simmering fade, leaving us hungry for more.

The Jukebox Rebel
22-Apr-2006

A1 [04:50] 8.7.png Echo and The Bunnymen - Show Of Strength (Will Sergeant, Ian McCulloch, Les Pattinson, Pete de Freitas) Post-Punk
A2 [03:15] 6.5.png Echo and The Bunnymen - With A Hip (Will Sergeant, Ian McCulloch, Les Pattinson, Pete de Freitas) Post-Punk
A3 [05:59] 7.1.png Echo and The Bunnymen - Over The Wall (Will Sergeant, Ian McCulloch, Les Pattinson, Pete de Freitas) New Wave
A4 [03:14] 5.7.png Echo and The Bunnymen - It Was A Pleasure (Will Sergeant, Ian McCulloch, Les Pattinson, Pete de Freitas) New Wave
A5 [04:07] 9.1.png Echo and The Bunnymen - A Promise (Will Sergeant, Ian McCulloch, Les Pattinson, Pete de Freitas) Post-Punk
B1 [03:44] 6.8.png Echo and The Bunnymen - Heaven Up Here (Will Sergeant, Ian McCulloch, Les Pattinson, Pete de Freitas) Post-Punk
B2 [02:28] 5.8.png Echo and The Bunnymen - The Disease (Will Sergeant, Ian McCulloch, Les Pattinson, Pete de Freitas) Psychedelia
B3 [04:06] 10.0.png Echo and The Bunnymen - All My Colours (Will Sergeant, Ian McCulloch, Les Pattinson, Pete de Freitas) Post-Punk
B4 [04:27] 7.2.png Echo and The Bunnymen - No Dark Things (Will Sergeant, Ian McCulloch, Les Pattinson, Pete de Freitas) New Wave
B5 [03:51] 7.5.png Echo and The Bunnymen - Turquoise Days (Will Sergeant, Ian McCulloch, Les Pattinson, Pete de Freitas) Post-Punk
B6 [04:16] 7.3.png Echo and The Bunnymen - All I Want (Will Sergeant, Ian McCulloch, Les Pattinson, Pete de Freitas) Post-Punk




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