THIS IS OUR MUSIC: Echo And The Bunnymen – “The Game”
So far as Echo and the Bunnymen were concerned, the recording of “People Are Strange” was the one high-point of 1986, and from then on it was all downhill, as the band slowly began to implode. It took nearly a year to record their eponymous album, as the band, both with and without errant drummer Pete De Freitas, dragged from studio to studio, city to city, and country to country, as spirits sunk and tensions rose.
“The Game” captured much of their mood at the time. “A sense of duty was my only intention,” Ian McCulloch sings, “too many seekers, too few beacons.” Both lines epitomize the emotions the members had towards the band, and the constant, ever more bitter compromising that was going on behind the scenes.
The group were moving in different directions, incapable now of agreeing on much of anything, and further down-heartened after their label rejected their first version of the album.
All of that is shadowed by “The Game’s lyrics, while the mix and production bleed away any sense of optimism the number may have originally attained. In the end, the group were left with a downbeat song, with little of the incandescence or shimmer they normally brought to even their most brooding numbers. Nothing better epitomized the state of Echo & the Bunnymen themselves.
Released in June, 1987, as a taster for their forthcoming album, ”The Game” ultimately played its way into the UK Top 30.