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Echo & The Bunnymen – Ocean Rain (1984)

September 7, 2019

[Album 667/1001]

Who wrote the superior 1984 album about precipitation?

Echo & The Bunnymen (with Ocean Rain)?

Or Prince & The Revolution (with Purple Rain)?

The inevitable track-by-track analysis to determine a winner!

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Untitled presentation (40)

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1. Silver (Ocean) vs. Let’s Go Crazy (Purple)
Dearly beloved…Prince’s iconic spoken intro would be right up there with GNR’s Civil War on a favourite album-opening-spoken-intro list.
Ocean 0, Purple 1  

2. Nocturnal Me (Ocean) vs. Take Me With U (Purple)
The line, “You’re sheer perfection (thank you)” from Take Me With U, abbreviated you notwithstanding, is also an accurate description of the tune.
Ocean 0, Purple 2  

3. Crystal Days (Ocean) vs. The Beautiful Ones (Purple)
And Echo’s on the board!
Ocean 1, Purple 2  

4. The Yo Yo Man (Ocean) vs. Computer Blue (Purple)
Computer Blue‘s extended guitar outro is sensational.
Ocean 1, Purple 3  

5. Thorn of Crowns (Ocean) vs. Darling Nikki (Purple)
This may not be a fair fight…
Ocean 1, Purple 4

6. The Killing Moon (Ocean) vs. When Doves Cry (Purple)
…though I’ve long adored Prince’s track 6, The Killing Moon may be equally terrific. As this appears to be one of those too-close-to-call photo finishes, for now, I’ll abstain from declaring a superior track 6.
Ocean 1, Purple 4  

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This is what it feels like When Doves Cry?

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7. Seven Seas (Ocean) vs. I Would Die For U (Purple)
Likely the second best tune about Seven Seas (behind Queen’s Seven Seas of Rhye), Ocean starts to make a late-album surge.
Ocean 2, Purple 4  

8. My Kingdom (Ocean) vs. Baby I’m a Star (Purple)
Though I stopped, looked Prince’s track over, and certainly liked what I saw, My 220px-OceanrainKingdom feels like mid-80s Cure mixed with mid-2000s Modest Mouse. In other words, I approve.
Ocean 3, Purple 4  

Which means it all comes down to the album-ending title tracks!

Will Purple prevail?

Or due to my inability to decide between The Killing Moon & When Doves Cry, will it end in a disappointing tie?

Moment of truth…

9. Ocean Rain (Ocean) vs. Purple Rain (Purple)
Ocean Rain is a fitting end to the album, a splendid album at that. Ditto Purple Rain. But no such photo finish here, as when in doubt, go with the 8+ minute anthem.
Ocean 3, Purple 5

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Untitled presentation (41)

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Credit to Echo & The Bunnymen, I didn’t think it would be that close.

Tune in next time on Battle of the 1984 Rain Albums, when Prince & The Revolution’s Purple Rain takes on Simple Minds’ Sparkle in the Rain!

….

Verbalize the Positive

667 albums down, 2/3s of the way there!

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From → 1980s

27 Comments
  1. A Battle Royale of epic proportions! I watched that Simpsons clip. A purple backpack is in the vid as well! All kinds of comparison!
    I will be waiting to see who goes up against Zep with The Rain Song or Maiden with​ ‘Rainmaker’
    Name Drop Name Drop! ha!

    • The Simpsons were always good at the details! November Rain will be tough to beat if there’s a battle of the Rain songs!

      • Whoa, good call! I completely forgot about that one.

  2. Awesome. A wonderful match. For me, Purple Rain would have won by a larger margin but that is just me. Can’t wait for the next one.

    • Cheers John – I was pleasantly surprised by how close the margin was for me. It looked like it was going to be a blowout after the first half, but Ocean Rain narrowed the gap as the album went on!

  3. Second side of Ocean Rain is great

    • Agreed!
      I’d imagine, if a band was accused of stuffing one side with quality, 98% of the time it would be the first side. So nice to see Echo save the gems for the end

      • Three of their first four albums are on the 1001 – it’s a shame that Heaven Up Here from 1981 isn’t, as that’s my second favourite. More of a stadium-rock sound – they were competing with U2 for the title of biggest new up-and-comer in the UK and Ireland.

      • And there was more than one occasion i thought the singer here sounded like an early Bono!

      • Yup, early 1980s got those deep, rich voices – both were fans of Joy Division’s Ian Curtis.

      • At first, I wasn’t – but I’d now be joining them as fans!

  4. Very amusing, Geoff.
    Thank you linesmen, thank you ball kids.

    • Cheers Bruce – that was quite the match yesterday, I was nervous when 5-1 became 5-5. When the Toronto Raptors (the only Canadian Basketball team) won the NBA title, the hashtag was #wethenorth. I like the Bianca (the only Canadian US Open champ) #shethenorth!

  5. jprobichaud permalink

    Good call on The Killing Moon. It’s hard to top When Doves Cry, but that is one great tune.

    • Possibly the strongest tune on each album – and not that one needs another incentive to buy vinyl, but both would be exceptional side 2 openers, rather than just track 6 in the running order!

  6. Of the two albums, I also prefer Purple Rain. In terms of favorite songs by the Bunnymen I might prefer stuff from their 1980 debut Crocodiles. But Ocean’s Rain is their most consistent from start to finish.

  7. The twists and turns in this post! I scrolled down ever so slowly to not spoil the ending!

    • Cheers Kevin – i appreciated that echo and prince saved the title tracks for the closers/ending duel!

  8. Excellent. Enjoyed this thoroughly. The run from Killing Moon is exceptional and it’s probably no surprise that Echo & The Bunnymen gets the nod from me.

    • My thanks J (and thanks for checking out so many posts today!) – it’s likely more common for artists to ‘front-load’ an album, so it’s an interesting strategy when groups like Echo save the gems for a stellar side 2!

      • I think saving for the second half of the album is the way to go, as people will remember when something tails off.

      • With essays, my advice is to start strong and finish strong (people may remember it more favourably if the bookends are strong) – Echo definitely took part of that advice!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. The Jesus & Mary Chain – Psychocandy (1985) | 1001albumsin10years
  2. Echo & The Bunnymen – Crocodiles (1980) | 1001albumsin10years

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