Echo & the Bunnymen play The Killing Moon at Upload Festival in Bolzano, Italy, on June 18, 2010.  Photo accessed on the Niccolò Caranti Flickr account. Reposted here under the terms of a creative commons license.
Echo & the Bunnymen play “The Killing Moon” at Upload Festival in Bolzano, Italy, on June 18, 2010. Photo accessed on the Niccolò Caranti Flickr account. Reposted here under the terms of a creative commons license.
Niccolò Caranti


The Shield reviews three can’t miss songs in early 1984, before they became iconic ’80s hits that have stood the test of time
Echo & The Bunnymen – The Killing Moon (Official Music Video) from the album ‘Ocean Rain’ (1984).


The Killing Moon – Echo and the Bunnymen, Korova Records

Echo and the Bunnymen are a band that rely heavily on imagery. Unlike their contemporaries who survive on the video industry by turning over tables, seducing women and using special effects, Echo and the Bunnymen can convey their message with a single picture.

While the cover of “The Killing Moon” features a still yacht basking in the light of a stunning moon, the record inside creates a picture of equal beauty. The exotic melodies and desperate melodies of Ian McCullough invent a mood that is peaceful, yet mysterious. In one song, McCullough addresses fate with the sorrowful attitude that “It’s the killing time; unwillingly mine.”

Side B features a shorter version of “The Killing Moon” and a live version of a previously released song, “Do it clean.” Both are excellent, but neither create the entrancing images of the “all night” version on the first side.

“This Charming Man” was released as the group’s second single in October 1983.The single was re-issued in 1992, reaching No. 8 on the UK singles chart. Mojo magazine journalists placed the track at No. 1 on their 2008 “50 Greatest UK Indie Records of All Time” feature. Video accessed on the The Smiths YouTube Channel.

This Charming Man” – The Smiths, Rough Trade 

In 1982, it was ABC; last year, it was Spandau Ballet; this year, many say the newest band of sophisticated British gentlemen to have success in the U.S. will be The Smiths.

The band does have many of the same characteristics as its two predecessors; the Motownish vocals and undertones, the dapper G.Q. look, and the same type of powerful publicity from record companies, but this seems to be where the similarities end.

Unlike ABC and Spandau Ballets’ synthesized and piano-based sound, The Smiths are strictly a guitar-oriented band. On “This Charming Man,” the group uses the twangy six-string sound of Johnny Marr and the smooth, almost operatic singing of Morrissey to complete a very poppish sound.

Although the very unmasculine lyrics of “This Charming Man” probably will make some shy away from it, the Smiths still follow the formula that made so many of their predecessors successful.

A demo video of “Up the Down Escalator” that Martin Denning produced and directed for the band back in 1983. Video accessed on the Martin Denning YouTube Channel.

Up the Down Escalator” – The Chameleons, Statik Records

The Chameleons are a four-member band currently taking Europe by storm. Their first album, Script of the Bridge, has earned critical acclaim in England and “Up the Down Escalator” is now the No. 1 song in Germany. The Chameleons are virtually unknown in the U.S., but that could soon change.

“Up the Down Escalator” is a full, guitar-based song that relies heavily on the nasal Richard Butler-like vocals of Mark Burgess. The song has a very live sound, as does the first song on side two, “Monkeyland.” “Prisoners of the Sun” is a strange, haunting song that gives very few clues to its meaning.

The Chameleons have been compared to U2, probably because both are such excellent live bands. The group is planning to put out a new album this summer; hopefully it will be released in the U.S., too.

This article was published in The Shield on March 9, 1984.

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