Listen to two awesome versions of "the greatest song ever written"

Echo and the Bunnymen's lead singer Ian McCulloch really loved their song "The Killing Moon"–in fact he once called it "the greatest song ever written," according to Rhino. Rhino further explains:

For McCulloch, "The Killing Moon" was nothing less than a gift from God: "One morning, I just sat bolt upright in bed with this line in my head: 'Fate up against your will. Through the thick and thin. He will wait until you give yourself to him.' You don't dream things like that and remember them," he explained to Guardian in 2015. "That's why I've always half credited the lyric to God. It's never happened before or since. I got up and started working the chords out. I played David Bowie's 'Space Oddity' backwards, then started messing around with the chords. By the time I'd finished, it sounded nothing like 'Space Oddity.'"

The song was released in 1984 and has been one of my favorites since I first heard it in high school in the late 1980s. If you haven't encountered it in a while, do yourself a favor and listen to this terrific acoustic rendition performed by Ian McCulloch, who recorded it in his studio back in 2014. NME describes this version perfectly: "It's pretty darn lush." I totally agree.

And for a great cover version, listen to indie rock band Pavement's take on the song, which Scruffy Theory calls "effortlessly cool." Frontman Stephen Malkmus, who GQ has called "the Dad of Indie Rock," adds a bunch of yelps and yawps, along with some new lyrics. Scruffy Theory describes the Pavement version:

Pavement traded in the eerie mysticism of the Echo & The Bunnymen original for the laconic slacker-cool they helped to define, turning the '80's New Wave anthem into, essentially, a classic Pavement song. The "Cucumber, cu-cu-cumber, ca-ca-ca-ca-cabbage" line is a homage to yet another Echo & The Bunnymen tune, Crown Of Thorns, taken form the same album as Killing Moon, Ocean Rain.

Echo and the Bunnymen are touring the UK, Europe, and North America through mid-June, 2024. Get tickets here.