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Essential Bunnymen

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23.06.2006

Advantages:
tonnes of Bunnymen songs and rarieties

Disadvantages:
none that I can think of

Recommendable Yes:

Detailed rating:

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How does it compare to the artist's other releases

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How does it rate alongside the competitionGood

Cover / Inlay Design and ContentOutstanding

5 Ciao members have rated this review on average: helpful See ratings
helpful by (86%):
  1. chasmesque
  2. christianfilmcritic
  3. mrsmopples
and 3 other members
somewhat helpful by (14%):
  1. Soho_Black

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I bought this 4 disc boxset on the recommendation of a friend and couldn't thank him more! It's beautifully packaged and contains rarities and b sides to appeal to the collector and plenty of classic Bunnymen songs the casual listener will know. I have read criticism of the collection, almost suggesting that by trying to cater for all it misses the mark but I don't agree. If you look at the songs in isolation then maybe this is true but it really is a beautifully pieced together collection of songs, photos and interesting articles that have definitely got something to offer even the most ardent and completist of Bunnymen fans.

Given the bands return to live excellence recently, this boxset is a great reminder of their live past and includes, on disc 4, a mouthwatering selection of tracks including excellent covers of It's All Over Now, Baby Blue, Paint It Black and Heroin. Ending on Do It Clean live Disc 4 is probably my favourite of the ones on offer. You'll also find amongst the rare tracks unreleased versions of The Cutter, Bed Bugs and Ballyhoo, Killing Moon a John Peel Session version of Villiers Terrace and original single versions of Pictures on my wall and Read it in Books.

If you are coming to the Bunnymen with no prior knowledge of their work this collection is a great starting point. It not only gives you an excellent overview of their entire career in music, it also documents their path to the now with a superb history of the band. Please do note however that tracks from Siberia are not included as the boxset came out before it's release. I'd love to see an updated version including Siberia but I can only wish!

Here is the track listing in full, if I could publish the photos and words from inside boxset I would...Great collection!

DISC 1:
1. Monkeys - (original version)
2. Pictures On My Wall, The - (original single version)
3. Read It In Books - (original single version)
4. Villier's Terrace - (Peel Session version)
5. Rescue
6. Simple Stuff - (previously unreleased)
7. Stars Are Stars
8. All That Jazz
9. Crocodiles
10. The Puppet
11. Do It Clean
12. Show Of Strength
13. Over The Wall
14. A Promise
15. Heaven Up Here
16. All My Colours
17. Broke My Neck
18. No Hands - (John Peel Session version)
19. Fuel - (previously unreleased)
20. The Subject - (previously unreleased)

DISC 2:
1. The Back Of Love
2. The Cutter
3. Way Out And Up We Go - (previously unreleased)
4. Clay
5. Heads Will Roll
6. Gods Will Be Gods - (alternate version)
7. Never Stop - (Discotheque version)
8. Watch Out Below - (previously unreleased, John Peel Session version)
9. The Killing Moon - (previously unreleased, all night version)
10. Silver (Tidal Wave) - (previously unreleased)
11. Angels And Devils - (previously unreleased)
12. Crystal Days
13. Seven Seas
14. My Kingdom
15. Ocean Rain
16. All You Need Is Love - (previously unreleased)

DISC 3:
1. Bring On The Dancing Horses
2. Over Your Shoulder - (previously unreleased)
3. Lover I Love You - (previously unreleased)
4. Satisfaction - (previously unreleased)
5. New Direction - (previously unreleased, original version)
6. Ship Of Fools - (previously unreleased)
7. All My Life
8. The Game
9. Bedbugs And Ballyhoo
10. Lips Like Sugar - (single version)
11. People Are Strange
12. Rollercoaster - (previously unreleased)
13. Don't Let It Get You Down
14. I Want To Be There (When You Come)
15. Nothing Lasts Forever
16. Hurracaine - (previously unreleased)
17. Rust
18. What Are You Going To Do With Your Life?

DISC 4:
1. In The Midnight Hour - (previously unreleased)
2. Start Again - (previously unreleased, live)
3. Original Cutter-A Drop In The Ocean, The - (previously unreleased)
4. Heads Will Roll - (previously unreleased, Summer version)
5. Bed Bugs And Ballyhoo - (previously unreleased, original single version)
6. Zimbo - (live, with The Royal Burundi Drummers)
7. Angels And Devils - (previously unreleased, live)
8. She Cracked - (previously unreleased, live)
9. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue - (previously unreleased, live)
10. Soul Kitchen - (previously unreleased, live)
11. Action Woman - (previously unreleased, live)
12. Paint It Black - (previously unreleased, live)
13. Run, Run, Run - (previously unreleased, live)
14. Friction - (previously unreleased, live)
15. Crocodiles - (previously unreleased, live)
16. Heroin - (previously unreleased, live)
17. Do It Clean - (previously unreleased, live)
18. The Cutter - (hidden track, alternate version)


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Comments about this review »

Soho_Black 25.06.2006 10:33

Sorry about the SH, but the majority of this review is tracklisting rather than opinion, which is distracting rather than helpful.

chasmesque 23.06.2006 11:58

I shall be looking to get these CDs when i have the chance. Great review

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Product details

Title Crystal Days (1979-1999), Crystal Days 1979-1999
Performer Echo & the Bunnymen
Genre Rock & Pop

Additional notes

Album Notes The 4-CD box CRYSTAL DAYS includes singles, B-sides, rare live tracks, alternate versions and a 64-page companion book with complete recording notes and historical photos.
Echo & The Bunnymen: Ian McCulloch (vocals); Will Sergeant (guitar, sitar); Les Pattinson (bass); Pete De Freitas (drums).
Additional personnel includes: Mike Mooney (guitar); Adam Peters (cello, piano); Nick Bernard (violin); London Metropolitan Orchestra (strings, woodwinds, brass); Shankar (strings); Luvan Kiem (clarinet); Ed Shearmur (piano); Alan Perman (harpsichord); Jake Brockman, Ray Manzarek, Henry Priestman, Julian Cope, David Balf, Mark Taylor (keyboards); Guy Pratt (bass); David Palmer, Stephen Morris, Michael Lee, Jeremy Stacy (drums); Harry Morgan, Royal Burundi Drummers, Tim Whittaker (percussion); Paul Williams (background vocals).
Producers include: Echo & The Bunnymen, Gil Norton, Ian Broudie, Laurie Latham, Alan Douglas.
Compilation producer: Andy Zax.
Engineers include: Michael Bergek, Chris Nagle, Gil Norton.
Recorded between 1979 & 1999. Includes liner notes by Andy Zax, Mick Houghton, Ian McCulloch, Wayne Coyne and Will Sergeant.
Digitally remastered by Dan Hersch and Bill Inglot (Digiprep).
This is the box set of Echo & the Bunnymen fans' dreams. Four discs that amply cover the high points of the band's albums as well as a hefty batch of rarities. It's fascinating to hear the band's earliest, pre-first album recordings from 1979. Spare, scratchy guitar, uptight vocal, and drum machine were the original band's formula for post-punk expression. By the time drummer Pete De Freitas arrived, however, the band's sonic muscle had developed considerably, as heard on the pumping, energetic cuts from the first album.
Though we're onto disc two by the time the group's most critically acclaimed period (OCEAN RAIN, PORCUPINE) comes into view, it only took a couple of years for guitarist Will Sergeant to evolve from scrubby rhythm guitarist into the master sound sculptor wielding moody Middle Easternisms on "The Cutter" and atmospheric watercolors on "The Killing Moon." As if this weren't enough there's an entire disc devoted to unreleased, mostly live material, including a nod to the band's roots via covers of the Rolling Stones' "Paint it Black," the Doors' "Soul Kitchen," and "the Velvet Underground's "Heroin." Bunnyfans, your day has come.
Album Reviews Mojo - Ranked #4 in Mojo's "Best [10] Box Sets & Compilations of 2001".
Rolling Stone - 4 stars out of 5 - "...A completist's compilation...featuring lost of unreleased songs...suggesting that Echo's songwriting produced some contemporary standards....Echo's crystal days haven't shattered yet..."
Q - 4 stars out of 5 - "...Conjures McCulloch's insolent good looks and the band's more willful inclinations....giving a chance to view their music in relief free of grand, heroically absurdist gestures..."
Uncut - 4 stars out of 5 - "...Very fine indeed.....What's startling about spinning back to the band's beginnings at the dawn of the Eighties is how strong they became in how short a time..."
Mojo (1/02, p.70) - Ranked #4 in Mojo's "Best [10] Box Sets & Compilations of 2001".
Rolling Stone (9/13/01, pp.108,111) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...A completist's compilation...featuring lost of unreleased songs...suggesting that Echo's songwriting produced some contemporary standards....Echo's crystal days haven't shattered yet..."
Q (Summer/01, pp.122-3) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...Conjures McCulloch's insolent good looks and the band's more willful inclinations....giving a chance to view their music in relief free of grand, heroically absurdist gestures..."
Uncut (8/01, p.98) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...Very fine indeed.....What's startling about spinning back to the band's beginnings at the dawn of the Eighties is how strong they became in how short a time..."

Titles on disc 1

1. Monkeys, Monkeys (original version)
2. The Pictures on My Wall, Pictures On My Wall (single version)
3. Read It in Books, Read It In Books (single version)

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