Music News

Echo and the Bunnymen celebrate 40 years of magical songs with Tour and Album


ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN are re-releasing their first Best Of compilation, SONGS TO LEARN & SING, on 18 February for the first time since its original release in 1985. The album is a comprehensive collection of songs from their first four albums, taking in their second single Rescue, The Cutter, The Killing Moon and Bring on The Dancing Horses, and arrives as ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN go back on tour throughout 2022 to celebrate 40 years of magical songs.

The album will be available on black vinyl from all music retailers, and as a special edition package on splatter vinyl with an exclusive 7” of the band’s first single Pictures on My Wall / Read It in Books, available exclusively on Dig! Pre-order link:

ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN were formed in Liverpool in 1978 with Ian McCulloch on vocals and rhythm guitar, Will Sergeant on lead guitar and Les Pattinson on bass. They were soon joined by Pete De Freitas on drums and the rest, as they say, is history. 

When SONGS TO LEARN & SING was originally released, the band were already a force to be reckoned with, pioneering the new wave scene with four highly acclaimed studio albums. It began with their classic debut Crocodiles in 1980, released amidst the growing wave of post-punk. Crocodiles cemented the band’s reputation as one of the best around with the NME describing it as “probably the best album this year by a British band”. The album went on to finish in many critics greatest ever debut album lists. 

The band followed the album with the release of the Shine So Hard EP in 1981, recorded live at the Pavilion Gardens in Buxton, before releasing their second studio album Heaven Up Here the same year. It became the band’s first UK Top 10 album, winning the 1981 NME Best Album award in the process. Considered to be a darker album, Heaven Up Here was produced by Hugh Jones, and was well received by critics and fans alike, featuring tracks such as A Promise, Over the Wall and Show of Strength.

The band’s cult status was transformed into mainstream success in 1983 with the release of their third album Porcupine, produced by Ian Broudie. providing their best chart performances, with The Cutter reaching #8 in the singles charts and Porcupine finishing #2 in the album charts and being certified Gold. 

1984 brought the fourth studio album Ocean Rain, regarded by many as the band’s classic opus. Recorded in Liverpool and Paris, the band used a 35-piece orchestra with award winning composer Adam Peters scoring the strings. The iconic, atmospheric cover artwork was taken in the stunning Carnglaze Caverns in Cornwall by photographer Brian Griffin, who also shot their three previous album covers. Ocean Rain continued the band’s use of strings, creating a dark, ethereal aura. Three classic singles were released from the album – Silver, Seven Seas and the massive anthem The Killing Moon, which reached #9 in the UK singles chart and continues to transcend generations to this day. 



The Puppet

Do It Clean

A Promise

Back Of Love

The Cutter

Never Stop

The Killing Moon


Seven Seas

Bring On the Dancing Horses


Pictures on My Wall

Read It in Books

ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN will tour the UK and Ireland in the Spring, celebrating 40 years of magical songs. Tickets are available here:


Tue 01 SHEFFIELD City Hall

Wed 02 LEEDS O2 Academy 

Fri 04 BOURNEMOUTH O2 Academy

Sat 05 CARDIFF St David’s Hall

Mon 07 LONDON Roundhouse

Wed 09 DUBLIN Olympia Theatre


Sat 12 GATESHEAD Sage 

Mon 14 LIVERPOOL Philharmonic Hall

Wed 16 MANCHESTER Albert Hall 

Thu 17 NOTTINGHAM Rock City

Sat 19 CAMBRIDGE Corn Exchange

Sun 20 BRISTOL O2 Academy 

Tue 22 LONDON O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire

Wed 23 NORTHAMPTON Derngate

Fri 25 MANCHESTER Albert Hall 

Sat 26 BIRMINGHAM O2 Academy 

Mon 28 GLASGOW Barrowland


Tue 01 GLASGOW Barrowland


Wed 06 BEXHILL De La Warr Pavilion

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Raymond Thomson - Deputy Editor

I am a photographer/musician/engineer living in Scotland. My passion is music and motocross and I share my work on facebook/punk4RT and facebook/madmaxmedia. I do like a bit of throw back to the heydays of the 60’s/70’s/80’s when it comes to taking shots of bands. I grew up on the music papers (NME/Sounds/Melody Maker) and drew influence from Pennie Smith/Jill Furmanovsky/Anton Corbijn/Bob Gruen/Adrian Boot/Charles Peterson.
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