Friday, 4 October 2013

SINGLE: Echo & The Bunnymen - The Killing Moon (1984)

UK - Korova/WEA KOW32 (Jan 1984)

This came on the stereo today, and I immediately thought: I really want to watch Donnie Darko again...

It is hard in my mind to think of a more perfect matching of music to the opening scene of a movie, although it was also accidental. Director Richard Kelly's original choice had been INXS' Never Tear Us Apart (another record I love), but when the licensing costs proved too high, he moved The Killing Moon from a later scene to the opening. A very fortunate accident, in my book. Kelly's original intention can be seen in his own alternative (and, in my view, generally inferior if fascinating) cut of the film, but there's just something about this record that sums up the mood of Donnie Darko perfectly.

The Killing Moon would be the centrepiece of possibly the group's finest album, Ocean Rain. Recorded in Bath, the vocals and additional drums were overdubbed in Liverpool. The rest of the LP (as we used to call albums!) would be recorded in Paris, with vocal overdubs again recorded in Liverpool, but The Killing Moon fits in seamlessly with the rest of the record.

The version on the promo clip here has the closing section somewhat truncated, possibly to make the length more MTV friendly, but the original 7-inch single boldly retained the full 5:46 version.

It would peak at number 9 in the UK.

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