After a short hiatus, FIRST WAVE ON MONDAYS is back again. First Wave includes New Wave, Punk, Goth, and other Alternative Music from the late 70’s, 80’s, and early 90’s. On First Wave On Mondays, you will find a “First Wave” Song, Playlist, or Album Feature every Monday. We will also include a bit of History about the Songs, Albums, Bands, Artists, and the Genre. And, of course, there will also be a bit of waxing nostalgic along the way.
This Week we take a look, and listen, to Echo And The Bunnymen’s 1987 Single, “Lips Like Sugar”.
“Lips Like Sugar” was released as a single by Echo And The Bunnymen in August 1987. It was the second single to be released from their 1987 self-titled album. The single reached # 36 on the UK Singles Chart and # 24 on the Irish Singles Chart. In the U.S., Sire Records released the song as a 12-inch single only. (from Wikipedia)
“Lips Like Sugar” by Echo And The Bunnymen
from the album, Echo And The Bunnymen (1987)
First Wave On Mondays
“She knows what she knows.
I know what she’s thinking.
This was the first Echo And The Bunnymen song that I heard, I think. I’m sure I caught a few other songs on the radio, or at a friend’s house, but it was “Lips Like Sugar” that I vividly remember hearing, and wanting to know who was singing it. Soon after I went to the now-defunct Music Market (one of my favorite independent record stores, at the time) with my best friend, each of us in possession of a list of what we were looking for. It was a long bus ride to get there so we had plenty of time to compare our “music wishes”. Echo And The Bunnymen’s self-titled was on both of our lists.
She was the one that ended up buying it. We had a policy that we never bought the same albums (unless, of course, it was Duran Duran). We would make cassette copies for each other of what we bought. This way our “music money” would last longer. New music was a must, and you could only make so much money babysitting (her) and taking polls on the phone (me).
In the U.S., “Lips Like Sugar” is the biggest, most enduring Echo And The Bunnymen song. Its made its way onto many classic alternative playlists, and “New Wave” features. It marked the apex of their American popularity; the year the song was released, they co-headlined a successful arena tour with New Order.
Will Sergeant told Songfacts:
“It just started building. It was building naturally, and then we ended up doing the Greek Theater in Hollywood and the sheds and places like that. All of the sudden the crowd started changing – they’d become, like really young kids. You’re thinking, Why? It was just weird. I’d be walking around with Les [Pattinson, bass] and Pete [de Freitas, drums] in the crowd and no one knew who we were. It all changed. It was just odd. Right around ‘Lips Like Sugar,’ it really changed.”
Ian McCulloch, who is known for being a bit mercurial, had conflicting things to say about “Lips Like Sugar”:
In 1992, he told Q Magazine:
“It was an OK song, I suppose, but it didn’t sound like us. We just got sucked into a new mentality on that last album, the sound of Radio America.”
But, in 2005, he was a bit more positive about the track, when he spoke with Record Collector:
“It may have a few synthetic twinkles on it, but the song itself was strong enough to shine through.”
“Lips Like Sugar” (live) by Echo And The Bunnymen
For me, I always loved the song for its kissing references. As a big fan of the kissing, I have quite a fondness for kiss-song, enough so that I’ve built a few playlists with a kissing-theme.
Hope you enjoy this Week’s Edition of First Wave On Mondays and had some fun listening and learning about “Lips Like Sugar”.
Please feel free to recommend a First Wave Song, Band, Artist, or Story for consideration. Email your recommendations and ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.