Fans of Echo & The Bunnymen might want to check out a new release from the independent Weatherbox label: a new, expanded double-vinyl pressing of the post-punk legends' debut LP Crocodiles.
Met enthusiastically by critics on both sides of the Atlantic upon release, Crocodiles set the framework for what would be considered the classic sound of Echo & The Bunnymen: dark lyrics and brooding vocals from frontman Ian McCulloch, jagged string work from guitarist Will Sergeant and bassist Les Pattinson and urgent drumming from Pete de Freitas (who'd recently replaced a drum machine). The album sailed into the U.K. Top 20 on a wave of great reviews, setting the Bunnymen up for even greater success as the '80s wore on.
This 2LP version of Crocodiles features a bonus vinyl LP with 10 bonus tracks, all of which have been released on a 2003 expanded reissued released by Rhino Records. Three non-LP tracks, three early takes and the contents of the 1981 live EP Shine So Hard are featured on this bonus disc; both platters are packaged in a hardback book package with a 16-page booklet featuring input from Sergeant and Pattinson (who left the band a few years after they reunited in 1996, after a brief stint in the late '80s and early '90s without McCulloch) and rare photos.
The set, available on July 8, can be pre-ordered from Amazon U.K. below.
Crocodiles: Expanded Edition (Weatherbox, 2013)
LP 1: Original album (released as Korova KODE 1 (U.K.)/Sire SRK 6096 (U.S.), 1980)
- Going Up
- Stars Are Stars
- Villiers Terrace
- Pictures on My Mind
- All That Jazz
- Happy Death Men
LP 2: Bonus material (originally included on Sire/Rhino CD 2564-61161-2, 2004)
- Do It Clean
- Read It in Books
- Simple Stuff
- Villiers Terrace (Early Version)
- Pride (Early Version)
- Simple Stuff (Early Version)
- Crocodiles (Live @ Pavilion Gardens, Buxton, Derbyshire - 1/17/1981)
- Zimbio (Live @ Pavilion Gardens, Buxton, Derbyshire - 1/17/1981)
- All That Jazz (Live @ Pavilion Gardens, Buxton, Derbyshire - 1/17/1981)
- Over the Wall (Live @ Pavilion Gardens, Buxton, Derbyshire - 1/17/1981)
Tracks 1-2 released as Korova single SAM 128, 1980. Also included on cassette pressing of original album - Korova CODE 1, 1980
Track 3 was the B-side to "Rescue" - Korova KOW 1, 1980
Tracks 4-6 from Sire/Rhino CD 2564-61161-2, 2003
Tracks 7-10 released as Shine So Hard EP - Korova ECHO 1, 1981
Sadly, the digital master from the 2003 reissue is most likely what this very expensive vinyl is sourced from. Vinyl180/Weatherbox's vinyl reissues don't have a very good reputation in terms of sound quality.