Album #525 – Porcupine

Album #525

Echo and the Bunnymen’s sound became fully realized with their album Porcupine. Their third studio album, Porcupine was rejected in it’s original form by their label WEA because it was uncommercial. One of the improvements they made was adding Violinist Shankar to the whole album (originally he only played on The Back of Love). The Cutter became their first top 10 hit as a result. The album is very dark to begin with. The strings might have brightened it up but, lead singer Ian McCulloch’s lyrics are very autobiographical and raw. He said in an interview that they were the most honest he ever wrote or sung in the band up to that point. The improvements to the band’s sound ended up being a good thing. The addition of Shankar’s violin added a new dimension to the group and even though they disliked it, it ended up making them even more unique. To me, Porcupine begins Echo & The Bunnymen’s classic period. The music they made over the next three albums and four years, added a new dimension to alternative rock. The reviews were mixed upon it’s release. NME gave it a bad review, with Barney Hoskyns saying the group turned their back on their original sound. But, other reviews were more positive with Pitchfork giving it a 9.2 out of 10. The changes ended up helping the band on the album charts too. Porcupine went to #2 in the UK and in Canada the album hit #85. Not bad for a band who marched to the beat of their own drum, even if they had to compromise. Other highlights include: My White Devil, Porcupine, Heads Will Roll, Gods Will Be Gods and Bluer Skies. Overall, I give Porcupine, 5 out of 5.

Next: Eliminator by ZZ Top

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