Echo Beach

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"Echo Beach"
Echo Beach cover.jpg
Single by Martha and the Muffins
from the album Metro Music
B-side "Teddy the Dink"
Released 1980
Format 7" Vinyl
Recorded 1979
Genre
Length 3:38
Label Dindisc
Songwriter(s) Mark Gane
Producer(s) Mike Howlett
Martha and the Muffins singles chronology
"Insect Love"
(1979)
"Echo Beach"
(1980)
"Saigon"
(1980)

"Insect Love"
(1979)
"Echo Beach"
(1980)
"Saigon"
(1980)

"Echo Beach" is a song recorded by the Canadian group Martha and the Muffins in 1979. Written by band member Mark Gane, it was released as a single from their album Metro Music in 1980 and won the Juno Award for Single of the Year. It was certified gold in Canada on October 1, 1980, a month after Metro Music achieved gold status.[1] It was the band's only significant international hit, although they had several others in Canada. It reached No. 10 on the UK Singles Chart,[2] and No. 6 on the Australian Singles Chart (Kent Music Report).[3]

In 2003, Q magazine listed it among the 1001 best songs ever.[4] In 2005, "Echo Beach" was named the 35th greatest Canadian song of all time on the CBC Radio One series 50 Tracks: The Canadian Version.

Background[edit]

Echo Beach, as mentioned in the song, does not refer to a real beach but is rather a symbolic notion of somewhere the narrator would rather be, somewhere 'far away in time'. In reality, the song was created while Gane was working checking wallpaper for printing faults. He found the work rather dull and his mind drifted to times he would like to live over again. One such time was an evening spent at Sunnyside Beach on the shoreline of Lake Ontario in Toronto in summer. In 1977, Echo Beach was a reference made to a faded time and place gone in the lyrics of the song "Hiroshima Mon Amour" by the band Ultravox.

"Echo Beach" was only the third song that Gane had written.[5]

The map shown on the cover of one version of the single is of Toronto Islands, while another single shows the north-western end of the Fleet Lagoon and the bar of Chesil Beach, the location of Abbotsbury Swannery in Dorset.

30th anniversary version[edit]

In 2010, the band released a "30th anniversary version" of "Echo Beach." A commentator described the new version as "definitely a different song compared to the previous version; it’s slower and the famous guitar riff that introduces the song is acoustic. [The original] was also good to be danced to, whereas the new one is darker and languid."[6] Mark Gane explained, "We wanted to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the song, by not trying to replicate the version that we originally recorded, but as musicians who’ve experienced three decades of living. We’d like to refer to the new recording of Echo Beach as our 'grown-up’ version."[7]

Other versions[edit]

"Echo Beach"
Toyah-echo beach 7" cover.jpg
Single by Toyah
from the album Desire
B-side "Plenty"
Released 1987
Format 7", 12"
Genre New wave
Label E.G.
Songwriter(s) Mark Gane
Producer(s) Mike Hedges
Toyah singles chronology
"World in Action"
(1985)
"Echo Beach"
(1987)
"Moonlight Dancing"
(1987)

"World in Action"
(1985)
"Echo Beach"
(1987)
"Moonlight Dancing"
(1987)

The song was covered by British pop star Toyah in 1987, reaching number No. 54 in the UK Singles Chart,[8] and was released in Germany.

Concert venue[edit]

In June 2011, concert promoter Live Nation opened a 4,000-person outdoor concert facility in Toronto and named it after the song.[9][10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 16, 2012. Retrieved 2011-10-22. 
  2. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 351. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  3. ^ "One Hit Wonders". australian-charts.com. Retrieved 15 September 2011. 
  4. ^ Trynka, Paul, ed. (2003). "1001 Best Songs Ever". Q (Special edition). Top 10 80’s Pop. 
  5. ^ "Martha and the Muffins back after 18 years". CBC.ca. February 2, 2010. Archived from the original on September 12, 2012. 
  6. ^ http://www.aaamusic.co.uk/2010/08/20/martha-and-the-muffins-echo-beach/
  7. ^ Ibid.
  8. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 563. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  9. ^ Vaccaro, Mishki (April 26, 2011). "Live Nation to open Echo Beach, a new 4,000-person venue in Toronto". Toronto Life. ISSN 0049-4194. OCLC 2545264. Archived from the original on September 15, 2011. 
  10. ^ "TD Echo Beach Upcoming Shows in W. Toronto, Ontario — Live Nation". Echobeach.ca. Retrieved 2016-10-16. 

External links[edit]