4-26684 Mysterio
Produced by Mark Saunders, Henry Priestman (tracks 3,6), Robin Guthrie (tracks 9,10)
Released on March 17, 1992
UK CHART POSITION #46
Find it at GEMM
4-26684 cover  

E h. That’s right, I said ‘eh.’ Candleland was warm and hopeful; Mysterio cranky and craggy. Apparently, I’m not alone in this feeling. One review posted on the Internet refers to the “asperity” in Ian’s voice on the opening track. (After conferring with my coconut-crushing dictionary, I found that asperity means “roughness or crabbedness.”) Where his first album embraced the softly strummed guitars of Echo’s epoch, the guitars here from Messrs. McEvoy and Mooney don’t follow the Sergeant’s orders at all. In a way, it reminds me of that unlikable album Morrissey made, Your Arsenal (a master of subtlety, that man). At its warmest, Mysterio holds its own with Candleland: “Heaven’s Gate,” “Webbed,” “Close Your Eyes.” Yet there’s a weariness and restlessness at work here that hobbles the record when placed next to the confident, liberating strides of Candleland. Compared to an album like Reverberation, however, Mysterio is less of a disappointment. McCulloch doesn’t invoke the psychedelic touches so often, but this is otherwise what you’d expect if the singer tried to resurrect the ghost of the Bunnymen with a new backup band. I say let sleeping ghosts lie, since Echo & The Bunnymen have done this thing to death already. While the relatively low charting of Mysterio suggests that Echo’s faithful were fading, poor choices for singles couldn’t have helped matters. “Dug For Love” and “Lover, Lover, Lover” are atypical of Ian, Echo and even the album. If the intent was to cast Ian as a pasty version of Michael Hutchence, mission accomplished. Unfortunately, Mysterio seemed to stall Ian’s solo career, which led (pleasantly enough) to jumping the battery on the old band (Echo) some years later.

4-26684 lyric sleeve
4-26684 lyric sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. MAGICAL WORLD    4:08
  2. CLOSE YOUR EYES    4:39
  3. DUG FOR LOVE    3:53
  4. HONEYDRIP    4:39
  5. DAMNATION    3:20
  6. LOVER LOVER LOVER    3:56
  7. WEBBED    2:58
  8. POMEGRANATE    4:24
  9. VIBOR BLUE    3:00
  10. HEAVEN'S GATE    4:01
  11. IN MY HEAD    5:06

    All songs written by Ian McCulloch. Arranged by Ian McCulloch, assisted by Steve Humphreys, John McEvoy, Edgar Jones and Mike Mooney on tracks 1,2,4,5,7,8,11.

CREDITS

IAN McCULLOCH -- vocals & guitar
STEVE HUMPHREYS -- drums
EDGAR JONES -- bass
JOHN McEVOY -- guitar
MIKE MOONEY -- lead guitar
Roddy Frame -- guitar (10)
Elizabeth Fraser -- backing vocals (10)
Joe Gibb -- percussion and trumpet
Lol Le Pop -- backing vocals (2)
Johnno Podmore -- electric violin (4,11)
Henry Priestman -- programming (3,6,)
Sue Quin -- backing vocals (3,6)
Andy Catlin -- photography
Stephanie Foxx -- band photograph
Vegas -- sleeve

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK 1992 EastWest LP/CS WX453/C  
US March 17, 1992 Sire CD/CS 26684 lyric sleeve
GER 1992 EastWEst LP/CD 76264  

 

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