Music Video of the Day: The Killing Moon by Echo & The Bunnymen (1984, dir. Brian Griffin)

Today in the US, we are supposed to get an incredible Supermoon. I thought I would take the opportunity to spotlight The Killing Moon by Echo & The Bunnymen.

Depending on your age, you might remember this song from different places. Older audiences were there when it was released, but younger audiences remember it from Donnie Darko (2001). Or you could be like me, and be somewhere in the middle. I caught it on the radio at some point between its release and Donnie Darko.

There’s an article over at The Guardian where they had Ian McCulloch and Will Sergeant talk about the song.

I don’t have anything really to say. It’s your typical artsy Echo & The Bunnymen music video except with what is arguably their best song. When I watch it I see fate/God personified as someone in black and red standing on what I assume is supposed to be the RMS Titanic. There are what I imagine are baptismal waters. I also see cards that tie back in with fate.

I am sure both the song and the music video have other Biblical references as well, but McCulloch himself told Uncut magazine–about the song–that you don’t need to have read the Bible to “get as much out of it.”

Brian Griffin directed this music video. He’s made a few music videos over the years. He seems to be best known as a photographer, which isn’t much of a surprise. Echo & The Bunnymen were best known for the music videos they made with Dutch photographer Anton Corbijn. This just wasn’t one of them. Corbijn would go on to direct a music video for Depeche Mode, which is funny because that’s the other group that hired Corbijn to direct most of their music videos. It all connects. By that I mean that even God in the song comes round to the director. The director’s name is the same as Brian Griffin from Family Guy, who is a dog, and dog spelled backwards is God. There’s a weird connection I didn’t expect to come across. He appears to still be working in photography today. You can find a short article about his “best shot” over at The Guardian. You can also see pictures/album covers he took with the band on his website.

One last thing to mention is that you might notice the chords are derived from the ones used in David Bowie’s Space Oddity. The lyrics for Europe’s song The Final Countdown were inspired by the same Bowie song. I didn’t think these two music videos I have featured in the past few days would connect to each other, but there you go.


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