- 05 Oct 18
The eighties indie heroes rework their hits.
It’s not the first time an act has reworked or reimagined their back catalogue. It is of course an artist’s prerogative to do what they want with their own material. Ask Bob Dylan. Andy Warhol was known to piss on his paintings.
They still sold. In The Bunnymen’s case, one is still compelled to ask “Why?” Ian McCulloch simply states, “I’m not doing this for anyone else. I’m doing it as it’s important to me to make the songs better. I have to do it.” So have they succeeded? For the most part, the songs have been slowed down and stripped back to “strings and things”, giving them a certain solemnity, and allowing the vocals to take centre stage. It’s worth mentioning that McCulloch’s voice has lost none of its unique quality – it’s been enhanced if anything through years of ciggie-chuffing.
To a fan of the originals, it may seem like wanton vandalism. Imagine, having grown accustomed to your Dad in his usual vest and underpants combo, he arrives at the breakfast table one morning wearing a little floral number, high heels, makeup and a mink stole. You might raise an eyebrow or, more likely, choke on your cornflakes, but after a while you’ll get used to the change. And maybe given time, you’ll note how the eye-shadow seems to bring out the depth and lustre of his eyes. I suspect that repeated listens, without prejudice, will reward the dedicated.