|Spurned from the burgeoning Liverpool music scene in 1978,
the band originally consisted of remnants of several local bands,
including the infamous "Crucial Three", a late '70s trio featuring vocalist Ian McCulloch, Pete Wylie, and Julian Cope. Cope and Wylie left the group by the end of 1977, forming Teardrop Explodes and Wah!, respectively.
McCulloch met guitarist Will Sargent in the summer of 1978 and the pair began recording demos with a drum machine, which the duo called "Echo !"
Adding bassist Les Pattinson, the band made its live debut at the Liverpool club Eric's at the end of 1978, calling themselves Echo and the Bunnymen.
|Their 1979 debut single, on the independent Zoo label, was "Pictures On My Wall," it attracted favorable critical attention and the group was subsequently signed to Sire records in 1979. "Pictures On My Wall" was followed by "Monkeys" on the Liverpool music compilation "Street To Street." Later that year Echo was exchanged for Trinidadian drummer Pete de Freitas.|
Now a quartet, Echo & the Bunnymen released a second single, "Rescue," while at the same time building a fervent local following with their evocative live show. Early that summer they entered the studio to begin work an a debut album.
Produced by David Balfe, of late seventies Merseyside avant garde group "Dalek I" and later, one of the founders of "Teardrop Explodes," Bill Drummond, of "Big in Japan", and founder of local independent record label Zoo, and Ian Broudie, also young member of "Big in Japan" and "The Original Mirrors." (Drummond later went on to form "KLF" who enjoyed some considerable UK chart success, in the late 80's, with their unique industrial/techno style production of dance pop.)
* Produced by Ian Broudie
& Engineered by Rod Houison
all other tracks produced by Bill Drummond & David Balfe
The US version of "Crocodiles" has the same listing as the UK version plus the songs "Do It Clean" and
"Pictures On My Wall", which weren't on the UK LP (but were available on 7" which originally came
as limited edition bonus singles with the UK vinyl release.)
|An immediate popular and critical smash, Crocodiles reached the Top 20 on British album charts, and the third single "The Puppet" was released, although this song was not on the album.
After it's release in the summer of 1980, the group followed with an extensive club and college tour, which spotlighted their dazzling "Apocalyptic" stage set and camouflage-styled outfits culled from local Liverpudlian Army surplus stores. This "dream state" militiristic fashion was soon adopted by legions of Bunnymen fans, and characteristic khaki and green hordes were spawned throughout the country.
|Crocodiles established the band in the forefront of the neo-psychedelic movement then sweeping Northern England. The album featured the group's two previously released singles (with the two songs from the first single being rerecorded by the four piece band) along with "Read It In Books," first heard as the B-side of "Pictures On My Wall," and penned with Julian Cope, previous co-founder of The Crucial Three and also performed by his later manifestation, The Teardrop Explodes. Newly recorded songs included such concert "epics" as "Happy Death Men," "Going Up," "Stars Are Stars" and "Do It Clean," which subsequently appeared as the B-side of the third single, "The Puppet."|
|Crocodiles announced the arrival of an innovative new force on Britain's post-punk musical landscape, and Echo & the Bunnymen went on to fashion a distinctive and enduring creative identity all their own.|
Echo and the Bunnymen - continued...