The Killing Moon

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For the 2012 fantasy novel, see The Killing Moon (book).
"The Killing Moon"
Single by Echo & the Bunnymen
from the album Ocean Rain
B-side "Do It Clean"
Released 20 January 1984
Format 7", 12"
Recorded Crescent Studio in Bath
Genre Post-punk
Length 5:47
Label Korova
Writer(s) Will Sergeant, Ian McCulloch, Les Pattinson, Pete de Freitas
Producer(s) The Bunnymen
Echo & the Bunnymen singles chronology
"Never Stop"
"The Killing Moon"
The Sound of Echo

"The Killing Moon" is a song by the band Echo & the Bunnymen. It was released on 20 January 1984[1] as the lead single from their 1984 album, Ocean Rain. It is one of the band's highest-charting hits, reaching number nine in the UK Singles Chart, and often cited as the band's greatest song. Ian McCulloch has said: "When I sing "The Killing Moon", I know there isn't a band in the world who's got a song anywhere near that".[2]

In a retrospective review of the song, Allmusic journalist Stewart Mason wrote: "The smart use of strings amplifies the elegance of the tune, bringing both a musical richness and a sense of quiet dignity to the tune".[3]


According to the liner notes of Echo and the Bunnymen's Crystal Days box set, Ian McCulloch woke up one morning with the phrase "fate up against your will" in mind.[citation needed]

Track listing[edit]

  • UK 12"
  1. "The Killing Moon" (All Night Version) – 9:11
  2. "The Killing Moon" – 5:50
  3. "Do It Clean" (Recorded live at the Royal Albert Hall London 18 July 1983) – 2:45

In popular culture[edit]

Cover versions[edit]

Cover versions of "The Killing Moon"[4] include:

In television and film[edit]

"The Killing Moon" was featured in the original theatrical version of the opening sequence of the cult film Donnie Darko. However, in the director's cut version of the film, the song is replaced by INXS's "Never Tear Us Apart".[5]


  1. ^ "Record News". NME (London, England: IPC Media): 29. 14 January 1984. 
  2. ^ Harrison, Andrew (12 April 2003). "This much I know". The Observer (London). Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  3. ^ Mason, Stuart. "The Killing Moon: Song Review by Stewart Mason". AllMusic. Retrieved 12 January 2014. 
  4. ^ "The Ultimate Echo and the Bunnymen Resource". Villiers Retrieved 21 May 2008. 
  5. ^ Day, Matt (10 August 2004). "Donnie Darko: Director's Cut". The Digital Fix. 

External links[edit]