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Customer Review

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forgotten Masterpiece, 27 Sept. 2010
This review is from: Candleland (Audio CD)
Following the break-up of the Bunnymen (and death of his father) Ian McCulloch went solo and released this deeply introspective and sombre album to yawning indifference in 1989. Given that it was released at the height of Acid House and the Madchester phenomenon (the Happy Mondays' album Bummed was released in 1988 and Pills 'n' Thrills in 1990) it inevitably didn't make much of a splash. I remember seeing Ian at the Manchester Ritz in 1989 when he was touring Candleland and the venue was only half-full. And just to be even more unfashionable he had earlier released a cover of Kurt Weill's brooding classic September Song.
But twenty years on one can see this album in a different light for it contains a wonderful array of songs, the greatest of which is the title track.
McCulloch sings and plays guitar on the album and Ray Shulman produces it as well as plays bass guitar and keyboards on most of the songs so it's really a joint effort. But McCulloch takes all of the songwriting credits of course.
Highlights of the ten songs for me are Proud To Fall, The Flickering Wall (New Order-ish guitars), Horses Head (classic Bunnymen sound), I Know You Well (aching lyrics) and Start Again (sobbing passion) with only The Cape and In Bloom providing chugging filler material.
But the real stand-out track is the duet with his chanteuse Elizabeth Frazer of the Cocteau Twin on Candleland, truly one of the great duets of all time. Why this single wasn't a No 1 is a mystery to me. Their voices meld so beautifully that every time Liz chimes in with Ian you get a tingle down your spine. Fabulous stuff.
The CD is long deleted but individual tracks are downloadable. Candleland is a must for every record collection. Wonderful Wonderland.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 17 Sep 2012 21:33:01 BDT
Levon says:
He released September Song five years previously in 1984.

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Sep 2012 14:41:01 BDT
You're absolutely right. I remember seeing Ian perform the song on 'The Tube' in 83 or 84.

Posted on 24 Sep 2012 15:55:56 BDT
Jellyfingers says:
good review but 2 points let you down... 'the cape' is certainly not filler it's a fantastic tune. and you mean 'horses head' not 'hair' don't you?!

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Sep 2012 09:52:27 BDT
Apologies, it should be Horses Head, not Hair.
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Location: Manchester

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