12. The Mission Carved In Sand (Mercury, 1990)
Here are a few things you'll find on Carved In Sand: A sinister father doing unspeakable things to his daughter ("Amelia"), "a singing dwarf on the streets of New York" ("Into the Blue"), enough angel/Arthurian/Victorian imagery to make two SyFy miniseries, and one ode to John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath. Good grief, but still. A very good Echo & the Bunnymen album at a point when Ian McCulloch et al. had stopped making them, Carved In Sand has a warm, rich hothouse tone, sturdy acoustic-guitar/synthesizer foundation, and just enough Eastern flavoring ("Sea of Love") to make it feel a little exotic. And then once or twice ("Deliverance," "Hungry as the Hunter") it grows beyond that into something truly epic. When it's bad, it beggars belief, but when it's good, Carved In Sand is incredible. CHRIS GRAY
11. Virgin Prunes If I Die, I Die (Mute, 1982)
The members of the Virgin Prunes were all childhood friends of Bono who escaped dreary Dublin life with music and fantasy. The original lineup only crafted one album before the whole thing began to fall apart, but man what a great, freakin' album it was. More post-punk than actual goth, the record still rings with a primal emptiness. "Decline and Fall" alone is worth the buy for its pagan rhythms and black-mass atmosphere. JEF WITH ONE F
Come back for the Top 10 tomorrow, you ghouls.
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