Crocodiles [Bonus Tracks]

Crocodiles [Bonus Tracks]

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by Echo & the Bunnymen

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Emerging at the dawn of the '80s, alongside such northern England post-punk legends as The Fall and Joy Division, Echo & the Bunnymen sounded different even at the outset. Their 1980 debut album was a bundle of nerves, from Will Sergeant's anxiously chiming guitars on "Rescue" to the taut rhythm section driving…  See more details below


Emerging at the dawn of the '80s, alongside such northern England post-punk legends as The Fall and Joy Division, Echo & the Bunnymen sounded different even at the outset. Their 1980 debut album was a bundle of nerves, from Will Sergeant's anxiously chiming guitars on "Rescue" to the taut rhythm section driving "Pictures on My Wall" to Ian McCulloch's poetic confessional on "Stars Are Stars." Part of Rhino's extravagant 2004 Bunnymen reissue series, this expanded edition of Crocodiles doubles the original track length. Among the extra material are two singles originally tacked on to the U.S. version -- the Doorsy, organ-drenched "Do It Clean" and "Read It in Books" -- plus the B-side "Simple Stuff." The remaining material, including three previously unissued early versions, is an even bigger boon to Echo fans. Originally released on the 1981 EP Shine So Hard, the four live cuts make their CD debut here, and they find the Bunnymen cutting lose, as McCulloch allows his inner Jim Morrison to surface on the title track. The band also preview a couple new songs: "Zimbo" (a.k.a. "All My Colours"), a rhythmic showcase for drummer Pete De Freitas, and an extended version of the paranoid, romantic "Over the Wall" (both would turn up on Heaven Up Here). With an updated booklet featuring a new essay and lots of photos, Crocodiles is an essential early post-punk primer.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide
Inspired by psychedelia, sure. Bit of Jim Morrison in the vocals? OK, it's there. But for all the references and connections that can be drawn (and they can), one listen to Echo's brilliant, often harrowing debut album and it's clear when a unique, special band presents itself. Beginning with the dramatic, building climb of "Going Up," Crocodiles at once showcases four individual players sure of their own gifts and their ability to bring it all together to make things more than the sum of their parts. Will Sergeant in particular is a revelation -- arguably only Johnny Marr and Vini Reilly were better English guitarists from the '80s, eschewing typical guitar-wank overload showboating in favor of delicacy, shades, and inventive, unexpected melodies. More than many before or since, he plays the electric guitar as just that, electric not acoustic, dedicated to finding out what can be done with it while never using it as an excuse to bend frets. His highlights are legion, whether it's the hooky opening chime of "Rescue" or the exchanges of sound and silence in "Happy Death Men." Meanwhile, the Pattinson/De Freitas rhythm section stakes its own claim for greatness, the former's bass driving yet almost seductive, the latter's percussion constantly shifting rhythms and styles while never leaving the central beat of the song to die. "Pride" is one standout moment of many, Pattinson's high notes and De Freitas' interjections on what sound like chimes or blocks are inspired touches. Then there's McCulloch himself, and while the imagery can be cryptic, the delivery soars, even while his semi-wail conjures up, as on the nervy, edgy picture of addiction "Villiers Terrace," "People rolling round on the carpet/Mixing up the medicine." Brisk, wasting not a note, and burning with barely controlled energy, Crocodiles remains a deserved classic. [The 2004 expanded edition of Crocodiles restores the original U.K. running order, bumping "Do It Clean" down to the bonus track section. The Shine So Hard EP is the highlight of this very worthwhile section with excellent live versions of "Zimbo" and "Over the Wall." Also included are early versions of "Villiers Terrace," "Pride," and "Simple Stuff," as well as the McCullough/Julian Cope collaboration "Read It in Books."] ~ Ned Raggett & Tim Sendra
Entertainment Weekly - Michael Endelman
Here's where U2 learned their rattle and hum. (A-)

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Product Details

Release Date:
Rhino Mod Afw


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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Echo & the Bunnymen   Primary Artist
David Balfe   Keyboards
Ian McCulloch   Guitar,Vocals
Pattinson   Bass
Will Sergeant   Guitar
Pete de Freitas   Drums

Technical Credits

Chameleons UK   Producer
Julian Cope   Composer
David Balfe   Producer
John Brierly   Engineer
Ian Broudie   Producer,Original Album Producer
Brian Griffin   Cover Photo
Rod Houison   Engineer
Bill Inglot   Reissue Producer
Hugh Jones   Engineer
Ian McCulloch   Composer
Pattinson   Composer
Will Sergeant   Composer
Pete de Freitas   Composer
Rachel Gutek   Art Direction
Bill Drummond   Producer
Andy Zax   Reissue Producer
Max Bell   Liner Notes
Bill Butt   Insert Photography

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Crocodiles 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album has to be one of the finest debuts in modern rock history. Every song burns with a contagious energy, thanks in no small part to Pete DeFreitas taking over on drums for a machine! Will Sargeant's guitar weaves in and around Ian McCulloch's wails creating one helluva listening experience. Songs like "Rescue" and "Do it Clean" are hits in a parallel universe, while songs like "Villiers Terrace" hint at the dark mystery that would soon haunt future releases. Song for song, the album brims with unbridled passion and ferocity. You won't find any ballads here! Most tellingly, "Crocodiles" wouldn't be out of place if released today, which is more than can be said for albums from many of the Bunnymen's peers.