As any sound engineer will tell you, remixing and remastering can only get you so far if you're not happy with the sound of a recording.
And it's quite common for an artist to nitpick his or her earliest work or to avoid hearing it entirely. Debut albums are often fraught with the unreproducible charm of youth and the looseness of inexperienced musicians.
But the latest Echo & the Bunnymen album, The Stars, The Oceans & The Moon, finds frontman Ian McCulloch and company taking the plunge, revisiting, reinventing and re-recording songs from their classic catalog.
When asked by Q104.3 New York's Out of the Box with Jonathan Clarke why the band would redo its most beloved early songs, McCulloch explained that its mostly for his own satisfaction.
"The main reason is I can't listen to a lot of the early stuff, even though I know people think it's classic," McCulloch says. "When I hear me voice on the first four or five albums, I just think, 'That doesn't sound like I thought it did.' To me, it sounds like a little boy trying to be David Bowie."
As the years have gone on, McCulloch says he has a better handle on who he is as an artist and what he's trying to say with his music, whether it's old music or new.
"I know what the songs are about now more or I know what layers they have," he adds.
In addition to the reinterpretations of their back catalog, the band included two new songs, "The Somnambullist" and "How Far?"
McCulloch reveals that there is an album of all new music on the way.
"Most of it is demoed for the new album in some form or another for the next album," McCulloch says. "And the plan is to bring that out next year, hopefully by early in October ."
Get more information on The Stars, The Oceans & The Moon here.