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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars At last - a decent re-master
I nearly didn't buy this. I already own the shorter so-called 25th anniversary edition (anniversary of the band, not the record, I take it?). This new one looked to me like a cash-in - and it probably still is. But something compelled me, maybe sixth sense.

Now, I don't like to harp on about mastering (boring!), nevertheless I'm going to talk about...mastering...
Published on 28 Oct 2008 by Colin McCartney

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Music great, outer cover thinner than card used in ready meal food packaging.
This is the June 2014 reissue vinyl from Vinyl 180.

Arrived warped in transit from Amazon Logistics must have had a hell of a journey!

The cover is made of the thinnest card imaginable, .35mm, thinner than a ready meal box, thanks Vinyl 180! The RSD Vinyl 180 release of Crocodiles had a decent thick card cover but this is a joke. Shredded Wheat box...
Published 4 months ago by Earl


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars At last - a decent re-master, 28 Oct 2008
By 
Colin McCartney (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
I nearly didn't buy this. I already own the shorter so-called 25th anniversary edition (anniversary of the band, not the record, I take it?). This new one looked to me like a cash-in - and it probably still is. But something compelled me, maybe sixth sense.

Now, I don't like to harp on about mastering (boring!), nevertheless I'm going to talk about...mastering. The vinyl release of "Ocean Rain" was not a loud enough pressing. The subsequent CD, perhaps surprisingly, was still too quiet and even more surprisingly so was the aforementioned "25th anniversary" edition. The sound quality was never bad enough to spoil the music of course, just slightly puzzling given the semi-classical feel of the album and the many quiet passages. Miraculously, on this edition, that problem has at last been rectified. The sound is amazing. So good in fact that I noticed bits on the record I've never noticed before and this is a record I know inside out, back to front, all the way round. Sorry, had to get that one off my chest. Anyway this is why this edition of Ocean Rain was worth the price of admission (shop around though - you'll get it for less than a tenner, maybe not now, but in the post-Christmas sales almost certainly).

Moving on to the music, well this is really a five star LP, no doubt about that. One of the greatest LPs of all time etc but it's easy to understand why a fan might not feel it's a worthwhile edition to his collection. However anyone new to the Bunnymen would do well to start here: you get their best LP plus the live disc gives you the full flavour of what the band sounded like pre-Ocean Rain - bearing in mind that O.R. broke the mould and was not really a typical Bunnymen LP sound-wise. (Note: this release most assuredly IS a 2 disc collection - at time of writing Amazon's tracklisting makes no mention of the bonus disc.)

Call me superficial, but it's also the best packaged of any of the previous editions, even the original vinyl edition. In these days of MP3s it's still nice to have a proper sleeve.

That's the last time I'll talk about mastering.

May the cool refrain of ocean rain echo off your head for many years to come.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lay Down Thy Raincoat And Groove, 14 April 2009
By 
Ok, it's been released/remastered before and this version, whilst adding the extended 12" versions of Silver and The Killing Moon and a whole live CD from the Albert Hall on 19th July 1983, lacks the "Life At Brian's" E.P. tracks and the two Crystal Days live tracks from '84.

So why buy? Simple answer is that live CD. It WAS the greatest gig ever. There was a long period of gestation for what was to become the "Ocean Rain" album. In June '83, nearly a year before the album's eventual relaease, the Bunnymen unveiled Silver, Seven Seas and The Killing Moon on a Radio 1 John Peel Session. This whetted the appetite even more for the upcoming tour. The Bunnymen had been touring pretty solidly since December '82 and were at the very peak of their live form - tight, octane fuelled, McCulloch full of passion and fire, Sergeant jangling, jarring snapping and sniping on guitar, Pattinson a fluid rhythmic presence on bass and behind it all Pete de Freitas, the greatest drummer.

I can't remember what the weather outside was like that night, only that inside the Albert Hall, in the back row of the balcony, it was hotter than hell. It's hard to believe, listening to the raw energy of this gig, that most of the audience downstairs remained seated for most of the show; every attempt at dancing being suppressed by over zealous security. After "Never Stop" McCulloch says "You can stand up again if you want...no one's holier than thou." The bouncer baiting continued, the atmosphere built and built until by the time Crocodiles and the encores arrived the Albert Hall was shaking and heaving to the Bunnybeat.

McCulloch out of tune? Maybe now and the end, but only for a moment and no way does this make it unlistenable! At the end of the long slow first part of Porcupine, McCulloch alters the lyrics to croon/wail "There are no comparisons with Echo And The Bunnymen". There weren't, there never will be.

Do yourself a favour; buy this (and the Crystal Days boxset if you want to complete the gig by adding the two encores of Heroin and Do It Clean), turn the lights down, turn the heating up, put on a pair of vintage Italian Army parachute trousers (with knee pads and ankle zips) and dance your socks off.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exquisite..., 20 July 2007
By 
D. Wolfenden (People's Republic of Cheshire) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Ocean Rain (Audio CD)
Enough has been said about this LP's 'greatest album in the world' credentials (a claim made not least by the Bunnymen's own Ian McCullough) - it would have become tedious if it were not so close to the truth. From the opening chords of 'Silver' to the closing crescendo of the title track, this is the Bunnymen's masterpiece. Following their previous records, the band set out to record the 'perfect album', and they delivered - Mac's lyrics are Lear-esque, darkly surreal nonsense, Pete de Freitas learns how to play the drums with brushes, and Will Seargent perfects the art of understated, minimal guitar. In fact, very few tracks are guitar-orientated, the band instead making use of a string section to sublime effect. The combination of lyrics, songwriting, instrumentaion and production give the record a feeling of being completely out of time - it sounds in no way dated today, and I'm sure it will stand the test of time for many more years.

The bonus tracks will be of interest to fans, as they include the 'Life at Brian's' sessions, with substantially reworked versions of 'Stars are Stars' and 'Villiers Terrace' plus a cover of 'All you need is Love' and versions of 'Silver' and 'Killing Moon', although these tracks are all let down by virtue of sounding like they were recorded from the gent's lavvy at Lime Street Station - very flat, disappointing recording quality.

'Angels and Devils' is a B-side from the 'Silver' single, and seems to sit rather uneasily tacked on the end of the original album. Still nice to see it included though...

Two live songs (from 'A Crystal Day' in Liverpool) close this remastered package - a blistering, energetic 'My Kingdom' and 'Ocean Rain', which misses the lush string orchestration of the studio version.

I can't urge you enough to buy this album.

They were never this good again.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Harbours their blackest thorns, 2 Aug 2008
By 
russell clarke "stipesdoppleganger" (halifax, west yorks) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Ocean Rain (Audio CD)
"We wanted to make something conceptual with lush orchestration , not Mantovani , something with a twist". So said Echo & The Bunnymens guitarist Will Sergeant about their fourth album 1984,s brilliant Ocean Rain. I,d say they succeeded spectacularly well for Ocean Rain does indeed have lush orchestration, courtesy of a 35 piece orchestra ,and it,s definitely not Mantovani . Indeed it,s one of the great albums of the much maligned 1980,s a salty tanged windswept classic.
Recorded in such diverse locations as Paris, Bath and the bands hometown Liverpool it,s clear just from looking at the albums beautiful deep blue cover ( designed by Martyn Atkins) that this is an unashamed opulent production. As well as the spectacular sweeping string arrangements there are the bands usual chiming guitars and furrowed brow bass lines while singer Ian McCulloch while pillorying stadium embracing dullards like Bono and Jim Kerr seems to be making his own bid for mega-stardom with a series of epic vocal performances and some quasi-mystical vocal imagery.
The band produced the album along with Gil Norton and Henri Lonstan and i always thought Ocean Rain sounded just fine as it was but re-mastered it seems to explode from the speakers in a glorious swooping riot of vertiginous melody and admirable portentousness. Helped it must be said in no small measure by tremendous songs.
As well as the jaw droppingly gloomy hit single "The Killing Moon" -the indie equivalent of Led Zeppelins "Kashmir" i feel- there are the other two singles released off the album - the rather more upbeat "Silver" , a song indeed that verges on the ecstatic with it,s pirouetting strings , and the rustic shanty like called "Seven Seas" aptly enough. Thematically it,s nothing if not varied with the funereal "Nocturnal Me" leading into the jaunty lightweight "Crystal Days" ."Yo Yo Man " and "Thorn of Crowns" are the weakest songs on the album i feel, though still more than acceptable but this leads into the stunning side two of the vinyl version. "The Killing Moon"& "Seven Seas" are followed by the mid-tempo squally "My Kingdom" which again showcases McCulloch,s curious predilection for hiccupping his vocals ( see also "Crystal Days" and "Silver" with it,s "t, t, t, t, tips" line) Last is the awesome title track which is my favourite off the album. A desperately forlorn ballad with a wonderfully tender McCulloch vocal Ocean Rain creaks with the emotional weight of it,s nautical imagery. "All at sea again " , "Your port in a heavy storm harbours the blackest thorns".
I feel the extra tracks on this re-mastered CD sound awfully incongruous coming after the heavy and very final note of the title track so i would advise listening to them separately though this is , of course, up to the individual listener. The live versions are fine with the tile track again standing out and "Angels And Devils" -the b side to "Silver" is also passable but i do draw the line at the live cover of "All You Need is Love".
Ian McCulloch with typical lippyness called Ocean Rain the"greatest album of all time" and while no one would , i feel, agree with this i assume tongue in cheek assessment it is a great album, certainly the best Echo & The Bunnymen ever produced.Ocean Rain has a sweep and grandeur rarely matched in popular music. A delight to listen to - it thrills from the end of your toes to the tingling extremities of your finger t, t, t, t, tips.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic!, 28 Feb 2010
This review is from: Ocean Rain (Audio CD)
Quite simply; one of the best albums of the '80's and, I would argue, one of the 20 albums you must own. A soaring, inspiring piece of work that needs to be listened to in its entirety (I've owned the vinyl album since it came out and can't speak for the various repackages that have taken place since).

Of course, there will Bunnymen fans who will tell you that this wasn't their crowning glory - aren't there always fans who do that? - but there was a reason that the band perfomed this in its entirety with full orchestra on its 25th Anniversary and that is because they know that this was not only a defining moment in their career, but also that of a whole genre of '80's music. But don't let that decades reference point lure you into thinking this is some avant-garde higly produced electro-pop. No, here are gorgeous melodies and lush arrangements punctuated by that spikey edginess that the Bunnymen - to this day massively underrated - had in spades.

That edginess prevents this album from straying into that hideous area of orchestra and group 'classical' thing that so many bands of the '60's fell into, taking you instead into a echoing (sic) ethereal chamber where - paricularly on the haunting 'Thorn of Crowns' - the lyrical and musical twists leave you dizzy and unprepared for what is going to happen next. On other tracks, such as the searing opus that is 'The Killing Moon', the feel is more expansive and windswept leaving you transported by the whole until the gorgeous closing of the title track leaves you breathless and wanting more (I notice some reviewers here say the album opens with 'Killing Moon' but on vinyl its the first track on side two ending with 'Ocean Rain').

Some may find this album dark and conceptual when viewed alongside its contemporaries but is is extremely accessible, beautiful and very moving. You should own it!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the bunnymen's most beautiful, 17 Aug 2005
By 
This review is from: Ocean Rain (Audio CD)
so different to the youthful, rocking crocodiles and porcupine, but beautiful in its own unique way. the imagery of skies, seas and ships is so powerful and pagan, it's like a dream and mc culloch sounds sexier than ever. includes the lovely killing moon, but its the final track, ocean rain that'll give you the shivers...reminds me of rain lashing the windoes at night--dark and romantic.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A reminder that the Bunnymen are the best band in the world., 6 Jun 2001
This review is from: Ocean Rain (Audio CD)
9 Tracks. 8 Brilliant 1 Poor The Yo Yo Man, is my only Bunnymen bad moment. This album on its release was dubbed, the best album ever. Doesn`t quite make it for me, but a classic none the less.
The title track 'Ocean Rain' and 'The Killing Moon', could easily have been covered by Frank Sinatra. 'Silver', 'Crystal Days' and 'Seven Seas' showed the rest of the industry how to write 3 minute pop records. OK 'Crystal Days' is only 2:25 but its brilliance alone gives it an extra 30 seconds. Dark melodic types will jump with joy, (or maybe stand and mope) at the excellence of 'Nocturnal Me', 'My Kingdom' and the MASSIVE 'Thorn Of Crowns'.
If you ever want to listen to 9 YES 9 tracks and feel as if you have lived a lifetime in heaven, buy this album and have answered all you music prayers.
It equates to sitting in the sun, listening to nothing but bird song and the sound of the waves moving majestically over cobbles. Go on enjoy, you know you want to.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pleasantly Wasted, 13 Dec 2000
This review is from: Ocean Rain (Audio CD)
This release saw the entry of the Bunnymen in the mainstream proper. After charting with the Back of Love and The Cutter from the excellently doomy Porcupine the Bunnymen come over all wishy-washy with strings and acoustics - but they retain their edge and in many ways come across as even more manic.
The darkly romantic Killing Moon opens - featuring one of MCullochs best ever vocals and that maddening 12 string guitar riff. Nocturnal me paints haunting gothic imagery over a Russian Folk vamp, the Yo-Yo man takes Ice-skating music into new dimensions with an intriguing lyric and a truly beautiful middle 8, But the best for me has got to be Thorn of Crowns - totally barking with it's 'C-C-C-C-Cucumber'chorus it is an anthem for the wasted. Brilliant.
Unfortunately only Evergreen has got anywhere near these heights in the intervening period but it was great while it lasted...
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The pinnacle of a great band's career, 23 Nov 2003
This review is from: Ocean Rain (Audio CD)
“The Greatest Album Ever Made” advertising pitch would be laughable if it were not half true. The first side wavers (Eternal Me and the Yo-Yo Man do not quite cut the gourmet mustard) but there has never been what we quaintly used to call an album side to match the quartet of “The Killing Moon”, “Seven Seas”, “ My Kingdom” and “Ocean Rain”. They see off the competition in the form of the first side of “Revolver”, “Remain In Light”, “Blue Lines”, the second side of “Beatsongs” and either side of “Marquee Moon”, “What’s Going On” “The Heart of the Congoes” and anything else I’ve ever heard.
“Angels and Devils” is revered by many but is, for me, their most overrated b-side. By comparison, the “Life at Brian’s Sessions” show the group at their most relaxed and dry, save for “Silver” which seems lifeless without the massed orchestral backing and was wisely not included on the “Seven Seas” single with the others. The live version of “My Kingdom” is blistering, Will Sergeant’s echo to Love’s “A House Is Not a Motel” a worthy tribute.
The tragedy is that, 19 years (and a lengthy hiatus) on, the remaining members of the band have never come within a country mile of matching the album as whole and the 18 minutes of magnificence of the second side. This is all the more reason to enjoy now and for evermore.
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 1984's career peak...(or something...), 10 Dec 2003
By 
Jason Parkes "We're all Frankies'" (Worcester, UK) - See all my reviews
(No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Ocean Rain (Audio CD)
While Crocodiles remains my favourite Bunnymen album, probably more for its emotional resonance and the era it reminds me of, Ocean Rain is undoubtedly the peak of the Bunnymen's career. Recorded mostly at Studio Des Dames in Paris (where The Cure recorded The Lovecats), it has a wonderful live feel evoked by the uncredited string section (& the input of people like Gil Norton, Jean Yves, Henri Lonstan & Adam Peters). It certainly has the kind of cover the greatest album in the world should have- though to see the full effect, you really have to gaze at a copy of the LP.
Personally the albums after Crocodiles left me a bit cold- Heaven Up There errs too far into self-pity and whining, while Porcupine was a bit messy in execution (though who can argue with tracks like The Back of Love & Clay?). Ocean Rain found the Bunnymen focused on making the greatest album ever made (it's good to have these ambitions!) & pretty much succeeding! (Though there are many albums that could be presented as the greatest album ever made: Sulk, Everclear, Closer, For Your Pleasure, Low, Astral Weeks, Metal Box: an endless list!).
The first side (Silver to Thorn of Crowns) is good, very good- especially single Silver (those bursting strings- this is almost their Scott III!), Crystal Days & Thorn of Crowns. Nocturnal Me and The Yo Yo Man aren't quite as great- but certainly listenable; easily the most consistent Bunnymen album since their debut.
The second side is often cited as the greatest side of an LP recorded ever (or something), coined by McCulloch and accompanied the hype surrounding this release (which sounds deserved). The Killing Moon remains utterly sublime, memorably covered by Pavement and featured in the cult film Donnie Darko (a perfect moment of cinema and music combined!), it probably is the greatest ever song ever (or something). Sure, the lyrics are rather curious- McCulloch almost an nonsensical as Simon Le Bon on Seven & the Ragged Tiger (nothing here quite as bad as "My head is full of chopstick- I don't like it!" Close mind you!) but that adds to the allure (& reminds you of another of the greatest albums ever made, Forever Changes). Seven Seas is a gorgeous acoustic driven ballad, drifting into the great My Kingdom- it is too hard to describe the joys. Perhaps these songs should just simply be played in order to see why? Listen and you will realise. Ocean Rain itself is a wonderful end of credits track, probably the best closing track from an album since Rock'N'Roll Suicide (or something).
This budget price edition comes with a wealth of bonus cuts, the 'Life at Brians' sessions including alternate takes of several tracks here (Killing Moon, Silver) as well as some reworkings from yore (Stars are Stars, Villiers Terrace) & a nice Beatles cover (All You Need is Love). Angels & Devils probably should have made the album, though in the scheme of things it's probably more Side One than Side Two. Finally we get live takes of My Kingdom & Ocean Rain that probably stem from that Crystal Days live thing, pity the whole second side isn't presented live in complete form (even what's left of the Bunnymen play this whole side still!).
Ocean Rain remains the Bunnymen's career peak, the only thing remotely close to it from anyone Echo-related has been McCulloch's 1989 solo debut Candleland. Sad that they have to search for the patronage of mediocre talents like Oasis and Coldplay to try & find an audience and escape becoming a nostalgia band. While McCulloch sounds rather deluded saying everything he does is the best thing ever (a stock line really), with Ocean Rain it probably was. (or something...)
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Ocean Rain
Ocean Rain by Echo & The Bunnymen (Audio CD - 2003)
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