Digitally Remastered and Expanded Version of the Bunnymen's Brilliant Debut Album Presented Four Individual Players Sure of their Own Gifts and their Ability to Bring it all Together to Make Things More Than the Sum of the... more »ir Parts. Not a Bad Song in the Bunch, Each Stands Alone as a Masterpiece and the Sum of all is Outstanding. Ian Mcculloch's Spine Tingling Wail Amazed Audiences at It's Sheer Brilliance and this was his Finest Hour. His Delivery Soars, Even While He Conjures Up the Nervy, Edgy Picture of Addiction that is "Villiers Terrace," - "People Rolling Round on the Carpet/Mixing Up the Medicine." Brisk, Wasting Not a Note and Burning with Barely Controlled Energy, Crocodiles Remains a Perennial Classic. Includes 10 Bonus Tracks; Non Album Tracks, Out-takes and the Four Tracks from the Live "Shine So Hard EP. The Package also Includes Liner Notes and Photos in the Booklet, Housed in an "o" Type Slipcase.« less
Digitally Remastered and Expanded Version of the Bunnymen's Brilliant Debut Album Presented Four Individual Players Sure of their Own Gifts and their Ability to Bring it all Together to Make Things More Than the Sum of their Parts. Not a Bad Song in the Bunch, Each Stands Alone as a Masterpiece and the Sum of all is Outstanding. Ian Mcculloch's Spine Tingling Wail Amazed Audiences at It's Sheer Brilliance and this was his Finest Hour. His Delivery Soars, Even While He Conjures Up the Nervy, Edgy Picture of Addiction that is "Villiers Terrace," - "People Rolling Round on the Carpet/Mixing Up the Medicine." Brisk, Wasting Not a Note and Burning with Barely Controlled Energy, Crocodiles Remains a Perennial Classic. Includes 10 Bonus Tracks; Non Album Tracks, Out-takes and the Four Tracks from the Live "Shine So Hard EP. The Package also Includes Liner Notes and Photos in the Booklet, Housed in an "o" Type Slipcase.
The definition of "classic"
ifutureman | NJ | 12/15/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Firstly, to those reviewers who gave this one star, may I suggest taking up a different hobby than listening to music? Anyone who think this rates one star must either be deaf or have appalling taste. Not to mention that some of the complaints make no sense.
The running order is THE ORIGINAL ORDER. Like a lot of bands, Echo's debut got issued later in the U.S. than in England, and the label added some tracks (Do it Clean and Read It In Books) which had been released as a single in the UK. This reissue sticks to the original order and adds the single after the lp.
As far as lyrics go, the orginal album's sleeve had a pic of the band and underneath it was a snippet of lyric from each song on the record, along with (I think) one or two lyrics which would appear on Heaven Up Here. So I don't have a problem with there being no lyrics here; there weren't complete lyrics on the original release either.
The sound is awesome. Remember, this was the debut release from a "new wave" guitar band from Liverpool; four guys aged 19-20 playing their vision of rock and roll. Yeah the guitars sound jagged, that was the POINT. The band would eventually embrace more lush production with albums like "Ocean Rain" but "Crocodiles" is pure guitar-driven fun, coupled with Ian's dark and occasionally goofy lyrics.
The album is perfect, start to finish. As far as the bonus material, this is what reissues are supposed to be like: chock full of good rare stuff! Look what you get:
- a couple of super-early tracks cut as a three-piece with "Echo" the drum machine, before Pete De Frietas came on board. Primitive yet still very much worthy of the band's name.
- "Simple Stuff" my second favorite b-side (after "Angels & Devils"). This is nice raw sounding mid-tempo rocker that was originally a b-side to Rescue. It conjures up a somewhat spooky mood.
- The ULTIMATE bonus: the "Shine So Hard" ep. I remember it took me a couple of years to get this thing on vinyl back in the mid-80's; it has been out of print for almost 20 years. This is prime live stuff! All four songs (Crocodiles, Zimbo (renamed "All My Colours" on their second album), Over The Wall, and All That Jazz) are dispatched with energy that borders on ferocity, and the sound is excellent. I would have paid 15 bucks just to get this ep; it's certainly a great treat to get to upgrade my worn-out vinyl of "Crocodiles" and get "Shine So Hard" as part of the deal.
This is one of the BEST reissues I've ever purchased from any band. Again, I have no idea what the one-star people are talking about. I would recommend this album and Ocean Rain to anyone who is looking to find out about this band."
One of the finest debut albums ever recorded...
Jason Parkes | Worcester, UK | 12/11/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Crocodiles was the assured debut album from Liverpool's Echo & the Bunnymen, when contrasted to U2's debut Boy (also 1980) it is hard to believe that the Bunnymen didn't end up the biggest band in the world. Sure, the Bunnymen were influenced by other acts- notably Bowie & Television- but here they transcend and advance on those influences (see the earlier versions of Villiers Terrace & Pride, or the Peel Sessions recorded with a drum machine to see how they'd advanced). The classic (& only) line-up of Ian McCulloch (Vocals/Guitar), Will Sergeant (lead guitar), Les Pattinson (bass) & the late Peter De Freitas (drums) had honed themselves into a tight outfit, having released a single entitled The Pictures on My Wall prior to signing to Korova & recording this album. Ian Broudie (Lightning Seeds, Big in Japan- later producer of Porcupine)was the initial producer, the robust version of Pride & classic single Rescue are helmed by him. The rest of the album was recorded at the fabled Rockfield Studios in Wales, & produced by Bill Drummond (Echo&Teardrops manager, late of the KLF) & David Balfe (Teardrop Explodes, later owner of Food Records)- both give the Bunnymen the perfect production. Julian Cope in Head On reveals that he was upset that the trademark Teardrops brass sound got its first outing on record: a Bunnymen record (see the anthemic Happy Death Men- another Camus reference next to those from Smiths Mark E & Robert...).Going Up is the brilliant opening track, building up from a wall of noise to a pulsing rocker- it is fair to note that The Stone Roses did a very similar thing on their 1989 debut album (also recorded at Rockfield). Next up is one of the Bunnymen's greatest moments- Stars are Stars- a wonderful melancholy with a lead vocal that seems to duet with itself (the same trick is found on the re-recording of Sleeping Gas for Kilimanjaro). Nothing can beat such lines as "I caught a falling star- it cut my hands to pieces". Stars are Stars seems to tie in with the album cover- long coats, autumnal colours- there's a sense of melancholy (which would turn to miserablism on the bleak follow-up Heaven Up Here, an album which veers to close to self pity & the lyrics in Joy Division's Decades rumoured to be about Echo: "Here are the young men, the weight of the world on their shoulders...where have they been?"); it's the good youthful kind though! Pride is good old teen angst, it's easy to see the lineage from Echo to bands like Nirvana & Radiohead here; Monkeys (originally known as Bagsy Yours) has more chiming guitar from Sergeant. A wonderful melancholic anthem, a wonderful sense of space later found on the early recordings of Ride; the title track alternately is almost violent, a slashing rocker with racing pulses as rhythms. "I said "Hey what you doing today?- I'm gonna do it tomorrow!"- the lyrics are justifiably full of it, not many bands could how a candle to this lot at the time. Villiers Terrace seems to be about that mysterious plain teens enter that centres around hedonism ("mixing up the medicine") & features more keyboards from Balfe- who also features heavily on the re-recorded Pictures on My Wall. Pictures...remains one of the Bunnymen's greatest moments, what Stars are Stars was on the first side, Pictures...was on the second. The album proper than closes on the angular All That Jazz (which has a guitar part remininscent of Joy Division's Digital) & Happy Death Men (which is about as musically adventerous as the band would get till Porcupine). There are several bonus tracks, though the early takes of Pride & Villiers are of academic interest really; two takes of Simple Stuff is fine, though where is The Puppet? This great song seems to have been disowned, where it once featured as a bonus track on earlier versions of Crocodiles & on compilation Songs to Learn and Sing, it's now vanished from the latest career retro Ballyhoo. Sadly you can only get it on the Crystal Days boxset, which can't be right! Still, it's nice to hear the best version of Read It In Books (aka Books) which was co-written by McCulloch with Julian Cope when they were in The Crucial Three with Pete Wylie. It remains much better than the versions by Teardrop Explodes (on Kilimanjaro) & Julian Cope (as a b-side in the late 80s)Even better is fantastic single Do It Clean, which has a wonderful garage-organ sound- no surprise that the Bunnymen (or what's left of them) still play this...Finally there are a few tracks from the camo-obssessed Shine So Hard e.p. - pulsing takes of Crocodiles & All That Jazz with two Heaven Up Here tracks Over the Wall & Zimbo (aka All My Colours)- great stuff, though all you need is the original album, Simple Stuff, Do It Clean, Books & the absent Puppet! Crocodiles remains one of the great debut albums, easily cutting the mustard against such albums as Horses, The Stooges, The Stone Roses & The Modern Dance. A welcome reissue..."
Crocodiles (bedbugs and Killing Moons come later)
Wayne Klein | My Little Blue Window, USA | 02/10/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Bunnymen's assured debut packed a wallop when it was released in 1980. It's still one of the band's finest albums. From here the band would expand into moodier, artier directions but the songwriting demonstrated a skill that other band's could only hope to match.This expanded edition features 10 songs including the "Shine" Ep. Missing are a number of essential tracks that are found on the boxed set including the original version of "Monkeys", the version of "Villiers Terrace" from the John Peel Session. The expanded artwork and liner notes give an idea as to what the Bunnymen were up to in 1980 and also creates a context to understand the band's huge achievement at the advent of "new wave" and other "movements". The Bunnymen were and are unique and stand outside of the fashion statements of the moment. While their songwriting grew more ambitious, they had already made their first masterpiece.The sound is stunning (although you'll have to wait if you want a SACD version or DVD-Audio version of this album). An essential album of the 80's."
Most underrated band ever & the most underrated album
Rock 'n' roll | Rotterdam, Netherlands | 08/25/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Crocodiles is the Bunnymen's great debut album and exposes a level the band would never reach in their career again. "Echo" would never again release such a cohesive album, without a single mediocre track. No fillers here! Unfortunately the Bunnymen in general and this album in particular are still fully overlooked by music fans. Probably the Bunnymen are the most underrated band ever!
Echo & The Bunnymen are definitely inspired by the music of The Doors and Television, the Marquee Moon album in particular. On "Crocodiles", though, the Bunnymen overshadow their music-heroes. The gorgeous bass-lines, the dark melodies, the melodramatic singing: it all comes together on this album that consists of 10 cohesive tracks that never become boring.
The title track is known for the fastest bass-line the Bunnymen would ever use to compose a song. "All that jazz" strongly reminds us of their Manchester contemporaries Joy Division (listen to Joy Division's classic song "Shadowplay"). "Villiers Terrace" is a breathtaking track, not only for its catchy intro and melody, but also for the bleak lyrics about (drugs) addiction ("people rolling round on the carpet - mixing up the medicine"). These three tracks are absolute highlights on an overall (nearly) perfect album. One of the very few albums that do not force you to ignore some dross /fillers. Rock 'n' roll / wave would never become better than this! I am sure that if you are prepared to take the eighties' sound / echo for granted (why should that be a problem if Franz Ferdinand, Kaiser Chiefs etc. are so amazingly popular today...?) this album becomes an instant favourite in your CD-collection. Highly recommended; I give it five stars! "
robin | Eire | 11/27/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"'Crocodiles' is a masterpiece of angular guitar, romanticism, and dynamic moodiness. it is one of those records that has the energy to grab you by the gut the first time you hear it, and the depth to remain compelling years later. It is a stunning debut from a band working on instinct and adrenaline. So much has been written about this record over the last two decades, so I should limit myself to comments on this deluxe release. Packaged in a wrap-around paper sleeve, the front cover art is maintained but the back cover is perversely changed. The extra photos and liner notes that are trumpeted so loudly on the sticker are more annoying than anything else. The original art is mixed up with new stuff, and tiny versions of single sleeves only hint at what the vinyl actually looks like. There are no lyrics or discography.In addition to the 10 album tracks, two versions previously included on the American issue are found here, plus 'Simple Stuff', the b-side to 'Rescue'. There are three versions previously unreleased. 'Pride' is simply inferior to the dynamic album version. 'Villiers Terrace' is sans piano and hence rockier, with some different backing vocals. It's good to hear a pre-Balfe version of this track. 'Simple Stuff' comes complete with Echo the drum machine, and is the only true revelation, being much more compelling than the previously released take. Then follows the four-track live 'Shine So Hard' EP, mysteriously unavailable on CD until now. Recorded in between this album and its follow-up, it illustrates what a brilliant band The Bunnymen were live.The remastering has rendered the sound crisper than before. With so many wonderful tracks it is perhaps niggling to wonder where 'The Puppet' is, but it does belong here, especially as the b-side is present. Forcing us to buy still more CDs are they?Not a perfect release, then, but since the first 10 tracks are worth five stars, so too must this be."