Echo and the Bunnymen - Songs To Learn & Sing (1985)
They didn't have a drummer when they started out - supposedly Echo was the name of their drum machine, but in fact guitarist Will Sergeant made this story up in order to stop the press from asking about their band name. The drum machine didn't really have a special name.
Back in the 80's, this album got heavy rotation on my record player and I still listen to it. Even Bunnyheads that prefer albums to singles collections find this one irresistible, especially since it includes some tasty non-album cuts ("The Puppet" and "Bring on the Dancing Horses").
E&B were relegated to alternative underground status, but they were/are melodic pop geniuses nevertheless. The first 4 or 5 songs on this collection are guitar-driven, but then the tunes become more expansive, employing synthesizers and string sections.
"Do It Clean" sounds like a rocker reminiscent of "Stepping Stone" while "The Cutter" represents a sophisticated step forward for these guys, both in instrumentation and composition. "Silver" is a positively joyous celebration of life. "Seven Seas" also feels like a celebration of sorts, but with a touch of melancholy.
I love putting a disc like this on where I can kick back and enjoy every single track. They're all good, all featuring Ian McCulloch's rich, deep voice and inscrutable yet intriguing lyrics.