Posts from 8th March 2009

Mar 09

THE FT TOP 100 TRACKS OF ALL TIME No. 33: Echo and the Bunnymen – The Cutter

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porcupine The wrong kind of rock and the wrong kind of snow….

“They do not like all that about ending and failing,” said Merry. “I should not sing any more at present. Wait till we do get to the edge, and then we’ll turn and give them a rousing chorus!”

It starts with the heart of the song; the bit not by the Bunnymen, the element allegedly foisted on them in remix, when the record company sent the first drafts back: the drone-clot of Carnatic non-rock violin, as played by Tamil sessionman Lakshminarayanan (more usually just L) Shankar. Respected composer and ethnomusicologist in his own right, Shankar had played on such (half-forgotten) outer-edge countercultural landmarks as Archie Shepp’s Attica Blues, Amon Düül’s Wolf City, and — with Yorkshire prog-fusion guitarist John McLaughlin, the acoustic Indo-jazz virtuoso collective Shakti. Frank Zappa produced his first solo LP: he belongs, in short, to a world set aside; an era of swirlingly expansive transformational utopia shelved, and (in less than a decade) lost from view.