Echo and the Bunnymen – All My Colours (1981)
A slightly odd journey to this post tonight…
I first heard the song in 1981 as “Zimbo”; one of the stand-out tracks on the wonderful live EP “Shine So Hard”.
Later that year, it appeared, renamed, as “All My Colours” on the second Bunnymen LP “Heaven Up Here”. A perfect record.
Over the years, I had never really attempted to decipher the lyrics but had always presumed that it was inspired by the creation of Zimbabwe in 1980 from the ashes of Ian Smith’s rebel, UDI, state of Rhodesia.
Consequently, as I have just finished reading Alexandra Fuller’s wonderful memoirs of her formative years in 1970s Africa (Don’t Let’s Go To The Dogs Tonight” and “Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness”), I thought “All My Colours” would be the perfect record to remind me of those books.
However, on googling the roots of the song, I can find no reference to the dissolution of Rhodesia and, instead, am referred to a rather banal tale of Duke McCool singing “Jimbo” repetitively as a somewhat tedious tribute to Jim Morrison …
Either way, the song is beautiful and Alexandra Fuller is someone you must read.
Studio version, live in 1981 and live in 1984.