Porcupine [Bonus Tracks]

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Lydia Vanderloo
Released in 1983, the same year as U2's breakthrough War, Porcupine wasn't quite as big an artistic triumph or chart success though it did give Echo & the Bunnymen their first Top 10 U.K. hit, "The Cutter". But the prickly album did echo War's charged aura -- that of a rock band inventing a new language from the ashes of the post-punk that had fueled their early years. Songs such as "The Cutter," "The Back of Love," and "Heads Will Roll" not only boast furious strumming, roiling rhythms and singer Ian McCulloch's impassioned bloodletting; they also display a psychedelic influence through strings and sitar. The 2004 reissue of the Bunnymen's third album benefits ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Lydia Vanderloo
Released in 1983, the same year as U2's breakthrough War, Porcupine wasn't quite as big an artistic triumph or chart success though it did give Echo & the Bunnymen their first Top 10 U.K. hit, "The Cutter". But the prickly album did echo War's charged aura -- that of a rock band inventing a new language from the ashes of the post-punk that had fueled their early years. Songs such as "The Cutter," "The Back of Love," and "Heads Will Roll" not only boast furious strumming, roiling rhythms and singer Ian McCulloch's impassioned bloodletting; they also display a psychedelic influence through strings and sitar. The 2004 reissue of the Bunnymen's third album benefits from seven bonus tracks: they include the B-side "Fuel," a literal bedroom recording; and "Never Stop Discotheque," a stellar pop song of the time joining a furious, dance floor–friendly rhythm with driving strings, soaring guitars, and chiming piano clubs of the era happily segued it with a dub mix of U2's "Two Hearts Beat as One". The remaining five tracks are alternate versions of songs on the album -- three are previously unreleased, and all are worth a spin. "The Cutter," for example, is less refined but is a fascinating display of a work in progress, while "Porcupine" is all the more moody. Cool in every sense of the word, Porcupine boasts some of the Bunnymen's finest recordings.
All Music Guide
The group's third album is a solid outing, a noticeably better listen than its predecessor, Heaven Up Here. Songs are intriguing and elaborate, often featuring swooping, howling melodic lines. Arrangements here owe a lot to 1960s psychedelia and feature lots of reverb, washed textures, intricate production touches, and altered guitar sounds. Ian McCulloch's vocals are yearning, soaring, and hyper-expressive here, almost to the point of being histrionic, most notably on "Clay," "Ripeness," and the title track. Driving bass and drums lend the songs urgency and keep the music from collapsing into self-indulgence. Parallels between the group's U.S. contemporaries such as Translator, Wire Train, and R.E.M. can be drawn, though all seem to have developed aspects of this style at about the same time -- and none utilize it as flamboyantly as the Bunnymen do. Highlights here include "Back of Love" with its galloping drumbeat and fragmented yet ardent vocal line and "Gods Will Be Gods" which gradually speeds up from beginning to end, working itself into a swirling frenzy. This album is well worth hearing. [The 2004 reissue of Porcupine features new liner notes, photos, improved sound, and a wealth of bonus tracks. Best of the lot is the single that followed the record, "Never Stop," the band's most exciting and successful fusion of dancefloor energy and pop hooks. "Fuel," the B-side of the "The Back of Love" single that was recorded in Will Sergeant's bedroom, is included too. The most interesting additions for collectors will be the four alternate versions of songs from the album. There are plenty of subtle differences and a slightly more energetic approach. "The Cutter" is especially fun to hear in its early stages. A very well done expansion of an already fine album.] ~ David Cleary & Tim Sendra
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/27/2004
  • Label: Rhino
  • UPC: 825646116324
  • Catalog Number: 61163

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 The Cutter (3:54)
  2. 2 The Back of Love (3:15)
  3. 3 My White Devil (4:40)
  4. 4 Clay (4:16)
  5. 5 Porcupine (6:00)
  6. 6 Heads Will Roll (3:33)
  7. 7 Ripeness (4:50)
  8. 8 Higher Hell (5:01)
  9. 9 Gods Will Be Gods (5:26)
  10. 10 In Bluer Skies (4:37)
  11. 11 Fuel (4:05)
  12. 12 The Cutter (4:08)
  13. 13 My White Devil (5:03)
  14. 14 Porcupine (4:04)
  15. 15 Ripeness (4:42)
  16. 16 Gods Will Be Gods (5:31)
  17. 17 Never Stop (Discotheque) (4:45)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Echo & the Bunnymen Primary Artist
Shankar Strings
Ian McCulloch Guitar, Vocals
Les Pattinson Bass
Will Sergeant Guitar
Pete de Freitas Drums
Technical Credits
David Balfe Engineer
Dave Bascombe Engineer
Ian Broudie Producer
Colin Fairley Engineer
Dan Hersch Remastering
Bill Inglot Reissue Producer, Remastering
Hugh Jones Producer
Ian McCulloch Composer
Les Pattinson Composer
Will Sergeant Composer
Steve Short Engineer
Pete de Freitas Composer
Dave Woolley Engineer
Rachel Gutek Reissue Design
Andy Zax Reissue Producer
Max Bell Liner Notes
Brian D. Griffin Cover Photo
Bunnymen Producer, Engineer
Paul Cobald Engineer
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Magnificent

    Porcupine, the third Bunnymen album, takes the epic grandeur of its predecessor Heaven up Here and makes it even bigger and much louder. It's a whirlwind experience: dark, exhilarating, gripping and even a little scary. Causal Bunnymen fans will know 'The Cutter' and 'Back of Love', two of the band's best singles, the former a stirring anthem, the latter a wired, frenetic headrush and the simultaneously the Bunnymen's most bonkers and catchy single. 'My White Devil' is mesmeric, a haunting journey down subterreanean melodies and spooky choruses, 'Heads Will Roll' is a thrilling psychedelic tour de force that erupts midway into a delirious explosion of strings. 'Ripeness' loses edge towards the end but boasts some funky, exciting guitars. 'Higher Hell' is a hypnotic dirge, 'In Bluer Skies' is a welcome moment of relief at the end of the album, especially after the insane and relentless charge of 'Gods Will Be Gods'. However, I've left the best two tracks for last: 'Porcupine' is an extremely atmospheric song, chilling, eerie and weird, but something happens halfway through and the song turns into something else altogether: the last three minutes are out of this world. Can't effectively explain it, just listen. And then there's 'Clay', arguably the Bunnymen's most stunningly exciting song: opening with drones of guitar before Pete De freitas's edgy drums and Les Pattinson's relentlessly stalking bass accompany an Ian McCulloch vocal of outstanding power and operatic wildness. The second chorus is the MOMENT, when the whole sound of it all just goes even further, higher and wilder and this listener is just left spellbound and speechless. Porcupine is not as easy to listen to as any of the Bunnymen's other classic albums, and it's the most inconsistent of their early albums: most notably, the last four tracks don't work as well as the first six. Yet it is still a masterpiece, because it's greatest moments are better than anything any other band have attempted to create.

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