Echo and the Bunnymen played a limited three city tour featuring the performance of their seminal album Ocean Rain, played in its entirety, accompanied by an orchestra. The classic album tour has seemed to have caught on with those that can make such claims since Sonic Youth, Killing Joke, and Built to Spill have also recently toured behind their ‘classic’ albums rather than behind new releases. I suppose this idea was first hatched by Brian Wilson when he performed the famously lost album ‘Smile‘ back in 2004. (I think Wilson followed up with a tour of ‘Pet Sounds‘ as well.)
As a rule, I am a proponent of bands showcasing the new material rather than re-hash greatest hits. As I have already noted on TSOI, Echo and the Bunnymen lamentably seem to be perpetually touring under ‘Songs to Learn and Sing‘ with a few new songs off of the latest album thrown-in as an afterthought. For many, that is probably acceptable, but Echo and the Bunnymen entered my top 10 favorite all-time bands largely due to the strength their post 80s output, starting with the “What are you going to do with your life”.
So far, my verdict on bands touring behind old albums is a good one since, in this case, it forced Echo and crew to play songs on Ocean Rain that aren’t Seven Seas and Killing Moon. This is one such track.
As a side note: Evidently Ian McCulloch is a Billy Crystal fan. During between song banter he said:”Is Billy Crystal here tonight? I love Billy Crystal.” I don’t know about you, but knowing that Ian McCulloch is a Billy Crystal fan is far funnier than anything Billy Crystal has done.
[audio: http://thesoundofindie.com/archive/2008/20081112/EAB-ThornOfCrowns.mp3|titles=Thorn of Crowns (Live)|artists=Echo And The Bunnymen]
Download: Echo And The Bunnymen – Thorn of Crowns (Live)