When, “Lips Like Sugar” came out it put Echo and the Bunnymen on the map. They were already on the Alternative Music radar in college campus and at dance clubs. They were kind of old hat really – at least – that crowd – but the rest of the world had never really heard of them. And by the rest of the world I mean mostly America. When EATB switched over to Sire Records a couple of interesting things happened. They released a self titled album and it had some radio friendly songs on it. They also were touring with New Order in North America. This captured the attention of CNN and they focused in on their song, “Lips Like Sugar” and built them up to be this new fangled Beatles.

The New Order tour came off like another British Invasion and it was enough to get them some real exposure. The tour was so popular in the summer of 1987 that they were invited back to play in Ann Arbor at Hill Auditorium in the winter of 1988. This was the real deal – all original members. The band really delivered some amazing tracks and also reached the attention of Rolling Stone Magazine and MTV.

During this brief heyday there were two different versions of – Lips Like Sugar. One was a straight forward performance video and some large screen projections. It was a pretty interesting video with some black and white footage. The second version – which is their official version – featured a couple of girls in space suits who were spying on the band. The video ends with EATB wearing planets on their heads while playing guitars and jumping out of craters. It was a very strange video but they were being true to themselves. Echo and the Bunnymen never got back to this weird state when it came to videos. In fact, they rarely made any after this one because they broke up in 1988.

The career gets blurry from here. Lead singer Ian McCulloch left the group to pursue a solo project and was replaced by Noel Burke. The drummer, Peter DeFreitas, died horribly in a motorcycle accident that winter and the chemistry that made them unique fizzled.

Here are both of the videos for, “Lips Like Sugar” - Planets included.......




LIVE - LIPS LIKE SUGAR, ( With Planets)


Echo And The Bunnymen - Saint Andrews Hall, Detroit - Concert Review >>>


“A VISUAL ASSAULT: REM Dissected Scene By Scene

The bottom video was shot in 1989 and is the closest thing I could find to what the original show opener was like in 1987. This was a departure for REM as much as it was for the audience. Just when you thought you knew the band they changed on you in a new and exciting way. It would take some time to recognize them once again. In the case of, “Document” the album had to grow on me. I noticed this sort of thing happening with the Smiths too.

There was one sequence in the video, not shown in this edition, when the words – “Want” and “Need” come on screen. The words flipped interchangeably and morphed into a strobe that said, “Need Weed” and I remember the crowd going a bit wild over that. This was Ann Arbor after all. There is some talk about the set list being accurate. I do not believe, “Orange Crush” or “Pop Song 89” was performed in 1987. Those songs were released after REM went to Warner Brothers. “Document” was the last album created under the I.R.S. Records label.

There is another version of, “The One I Love” done on the live tour. Stipe starts out with a slow intro and for a minute I thought the whole song would be done slow. It then kicks into the tempo we all know. The stage was also bathed in an eerie red light. How this song got perceived as a love song I’ll never know. It was about a sick love obsession.

Over the years I hear the young kids go, “Oh who cares about that stuff, REM was long before my time.” Trust me, you wish you were there. This show was nothing but historic.


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