Echo and the Bunnymen album going on NASA mission

Wed May 20, 2009 12:34am EDT

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NEW YORK (Billboard) - Seminal British post-punk group Echo and the Bunnymen are going into space -- or, to be more precise, their critically acclaimed album "Ocean Rain" is.

The group recently was contacted by NASA astronaut -- and Bunnymen fan -- Timothy Korpa about taking some of the group's music on his next mission for the U.S. space agency, citing the 1984 record as his favorite of their catalog. Korpa plans to take snapshots of the crew in space with the album during their voyage.

"Now it's official. We are the coolest band in the universe," vocalist Ian McCulloch said in a released statement. "As a kid I dreamt of being an astronaut, and now in a way it feels like I'm fulfilling that dream. I cannot wait to hear from Tim what it is like to listen to 'The Killing Moon' in the actual glow of the moon."

"Ocean Rain" will be getting the deluxe reissue treatment on May 30, with a re-release that bundles a live performance of the record from November 27, 2008, at the Liverpool Arena as well as a DVD documentary.

Last year, "Ocean Rain" was also performed in its entirety on September 16 at London's Royal Albert Hall and on October 1 at New York's Radio City Music Hall. All three performances paired the group with an orchestra. On June 28, the band will perform "Ocean Rain" at the annual Glastonbury Festival in England. Dates and venues have yet to be announced, but the group will return to the U.S. later this year for two more performances.

Echo and the Bunnymen were a heavy presence at this year's South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas, and have since been holed up working on their 10th album, "The Fountain." The set is due later this year.

(Editing by Sheri Linden at Reuters)

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