People Are Strange

People Are Strange

Echo and the Bunnymen

I had no idea the Doors had ever existed until I saw “The Lost Boys” when I was 15 or 16. The soundtrack contains a cover of “People are Strange” as re-interpreted by New Wave band Echo and the Bunnymen. As a strange kid with a taste for the dark aesthetic, I related to both the movie and the song with great intensity. I had always been into whatever old rock albums my folks had around- the Beatles, Buddy Holly, and so forth- but “People Are Strange” spoke to something none of those artists ever did.

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When I referred to the song as being by Echo and the Bunnymen, a coworker informed me (with some condescension!) that it was actually by the Doors. I picked up a Doors album at the mall the next chance I got, and they immediately became my favorite band.

Listening to the Echo and the Bunnymen version again after all these years, I think it still holds up as a good take on the song. The extended instrumental interlude is reminiscent of the Doors without being a slavish copy, and some of the variations on the original are musically interesting. A good cover doesn't just copy the original note for note, but nor does it make a mockery of what the original artist was trying to do. The Bunnymen walk that fine line in this version, and they do it successfully. Echo can't really walk any fine lines, because Echo is just the drum machine- but it does a good job too!