There are often several very similar Best Ofs available for bands who have been around for a while - especially those who have split up and reformed - though I can't recall coming across many compilations billed as an official update of a previous round up. More Songs To Learn And Sing takes away one song and adds 10 plus the M word to the Bunnymen's original mid-80s best of. But is it a better album?
The answer to this is maybe yes though sadly, possibly no. Although some of the new tracks are excellent, there are also quite a few inessential songs on the updated compilation which, at their worst, remind me melodically and lyrically of Oasis at their most cloying.
Still Oasis are often excellent as are The Bunnymen. Among the highlights of More Songs To Learn And Sing are the thrilling A Promise and The Cutter as well as the epic Killing Moon and Bring On The Dancing Horses. All of these songs combine the commanding vocals of Ian McCulloch with the superb, exciting guitar-work of Will Seargeant, melodic bass of Les Pattinson and powerful drumming of Pete De Freitas.
As fans of Echo And The Bunnymen know, Ian McCulloch never shied away from declaring his band's genius and it is perhaps fitting that the liner notes of More Songs To Learn And Sing feature a pretentious summation of the band's talents by Paul Morley. Over-the-top maybe though somehow apt as, at their best, The Bunnymen made some of the most stunning music of the 80s. Whether or not you think the new compilation is better than the original, every music loving house should have an EATB best of and this CD is a fine place to go for one.