Echo & the Bunnymen

Crystal Days: 1979-1999

  • AllMusic Rating
    9
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

The answer is a resounding yes -- Echo & the Bunnymen's Crystal Days: 1979-1999, a four-disc set boasting a great built-in book with a biography and track-by-track commentary, is worth every penny. Through 71 tracks, it does an excellent job by catering to the longtime fan and merely curious, running through all the hits and selecting standout album tracks, rarities, and unreleased curiosities, all worthwhile. The very fact that compilation producer Andy Zax was driven to put this project into motion after realizing he just had to find a way to get stellar B-sides like the Velvets-meets-Byrds heaven of "Angels and Devils" and the Peel Session version of the experimental "No Hands" into circulation tells you right off that you're in good hands. If this great-sounding box proves anything, it's that the Bunnymen don't deserve to be merely regarded as an excellent '80s band; sure, they've had some bumps along the road, but despite having thrived in a decade known for plasticity and fad crazes, this collection establishes that their legacy exists apart from the negative connotations the "'80s band" tag carries. And by carefully selecting songs from their '90s incarnation, they throw a pie in the face of those who believe all reunions are artistic no-nos. The first three discs run chronologically through the band's first 20 years, occasionally throwing surprises into the mix with alternative versions and outtakes. The only gripe one might have is the favoring of the "All Night Version" of "The Killing Moon" over the original, which would be nitpicky. The final disc is chiefly occupied by live covers, including a great set-closing combo of the Velvets' "Heroin" and their own "Do It Clean." This is no mere nostalgia kick -- it's just solid, ageless rock & roll with attitude and brains.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
feat: Julian Cope
3:04 Spotify
2 2:51 Spotify
3 2:59
4
feat: David Balfe
4:13
5 4:26 Spotify
6 2:35 Spotify
7 2:47 Spotify
8 2:47 Spotify
9
feat: David Balfe
2:40 Spotify
10 3:07 Spotify
11
feat: David Balfe
2:48 Spotify
12 4:50 Spotify
13 6:06 Spotify
14 4:04 Spotify
15 3:43 Spotify
16
feat: Leslie Penny
4:02 Spotify
17 7:17
18 3:11
19 4:05 Spotify
20 5:09 Spotify

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 3:15 Spotify
2 3:52 Spotify
3 4:03 Spotify
4 4:16 Spotify
5 3:33 Spotify
6 5:30
7 4:46
8 2:50
9 9:13
10 5:12 Spotify
11 4:23 Spotify
12 2:26 Spotify
13 3:20 Spotify
14 4:06 Spotify
15 5:18 Spotify
16 6:42 Spotify

Track Listing - Disc 3

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 4:05 Spotify
2 4:07 Spotify
3 4:20 Spotify
4 4:11 Spotify
5 4:23
6 4:04 Spotify
7 4:10 Spotify
8 3:51 Spotify
9 3:29 Spotify
10 4:37
11 4:32 Spotify
12 4:05 Spotify
13 3:52
14 3:39
15 3:56 Spotify
16 4:21 Spotify
17 5:24 Spotify
18 5:11 Spotify

Track Listing - Disc 4

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 3:30 Spotify
2 3:26
3 4:00 Spotify
4 4:25 Spotify
5 3:38 Spotify
6 4:57
7 3:04 Spotify
8 2:54
9 3:33 Spotify
10 3:50
11 3:21
12 3:15
13 3:59
14 4:44
15 6:06 Spotify
16 5:43
17 8:18 Spotify
18 4:06
blue highlight denotes track pick