"I've been up to Villiers Terrace. I've been in a daze for days. I drank some of the medicine, and I didn't like the taste."
History of the Peel Sessions: 1979-1997 saw limited release as a bonus disc issued with early copies of Echo & The Bunnymen's 1997 comeback album Evergreen. While not a comprehensive collection, the album does a very good job of cherry-picking the best of The Bunnymen's limited Peel Session recordings (no sessions were recorded from late 1983 to late 1997). What makes it worth seeking out are the early tracks, such as "Villiers Terrace," recorded nearly a year before the release of their debut album Crocodiles. While all the elements that made their debut so distinctive are already in place (except drummer Pete DeFreitas), Ian McCulloch's vocals are often snarling and aggressive (in a good way), giving the songs a bite and swagger not usually associated with this band. In addition, the live-in-studio sound lends the songs a sense of immediacy often lacking on their studio albums. The only track not performed by the original incarnation of the band is "Rescue," which dates from 1997, and it is no coincidence that this is the only non-essential track in the collection.
History of the Peel Sessions: 1979-1997
1. Villiers Terrace (Maida Vale 4, Aug. 15, 1979) (4:13)
2. Read It in Books (Maida Vale 4, Aug. 15, 1979) (2:31)
3. All That Jazz (Maida Vale 4, May 13, 1980) (2:56)
4. Over the Wall (Maida Vale 4, May 13, 1980) (4:49)
5. All My Colours (Langham 1, Nov. 12, 1980) (4:28)
6. The Back of Love (Maida Vale 4, February 8, 1982) (4:15)
7. Seven Seas (Maida Vale 4, June 6, 1983) (3:57)
8. Ocean Rain (Maida Vale 4, Sept. 19, 1983) (3:50)
9. Nocturnal Me (Maida Vale 4, Sept. 19, 1983) (4:13)
10. Rescue (Maida Vale 4, Sept. 16, 1997) (3:48)