The resurgence of vinyl and the ever available streams of music have created a cash cow enterprise for bands to re-emerge from yesteryear and labels to pull in some generous financial returns.
This has taken the unfortunate guise of anniversary album tours and hurried remasters plaguing and indeed stifling the music scene at present.
Bands need no longer create, but recreate past glories in an all-singing, all-dancing, non-stop karaoke parody of their once great legacy.
Echo and The Bunnnymen have taken the inspired and indeed rightful attitude to their oeuvre by releasing re-worked versions of their well-known back catalogue, that pay homage and right some wrongs to previous studio limitations or under cooked production.
The result is The Stars, The Ocean and The Moon, a new variation of the biggest hits, packaged as a sort of director’s cut collection.
Tweaking tracks that fans have known and loved can be a tricky and blasphemous affair, the long standing fan whom has grown up knowing the originals often baulk at such meddling, however this collection is entirely justified from the off.
The opening track Bring On The Dancing Horses literally gallops from the stable with a snare drum sound so upfront and crisp in the mix, it instantly gives the track a fresh modern sound whilst retaining the dignity and legacy of the original recording.
Less of a quick gloss and lipstick, The Stars, The Ocean and The Moon is the emperor’s new clothes accented with a few vintage throwback accessories.
The Killing Moon, Lips Like Sugar and Ocean Rain are beautifully and respectfully nipped and tucked, given a new haircut and sent back out feeling 30 years younger.
As best-of compilations go – and at its core that’s what it is – having creative control over your legacy is definitely a worthwhile endeavour to keep the discography relevant and not become another cheap supermarket shelf filler.
This collection is for the fans, for the band and for future generations to discover. A time capsule of what once was, and what now is.