Echo and the Bunnymen is one of the more interesting and innovative pop bands to emerge from the MTV-era British pop scene that also gave us the Cure, the Fixx, and XTC. The group formed in Liverpool in 1978 and released its first album, Crocodiles, in 1980, and remained a rising U.K. act through Porcupine, their third LP, in 1983. The band released Ocean Rain on Sire Records in 1984. Although a hit with critics and hardcore alternative music fans, unlike many of its contemporaries such as the Eurhythmics and the Fixx, Echo and the Bunnymen failed to have a commercial breakthrough in the U.S. They did, however, maintain a strong cult following and enough sales to justify continued support from Sire through 1987.
The band released its self-titled LP in 1987, after which lead vocalist and guitarist Ian McCulloch left in 1988 to pursue a solo career. Lead guitarist Will Sergeant and bassist Les Pattinson rebuilt the band (without drummer Pete de Freitas) as a five-piece. They released 1990's Reverberation, which failed to be a hit. By 1992, the band had split.
McCulloch also saw limited success as a solo artist, and in 1994 McCulloch and Sergeant began working together again under the name Electrafixion. In 1997, Pattinson joined them and all three decided to reform Echo & the Bunnymen with additional musicians. They remain a recording and tour act today.