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COCTEAU TWINS

Cocteau Twins

Head Over Heels - Vinyl Reissue

    4AD are repressing two more Cocteau Twins’ albums on vinyl this coming March, the albums Head Over Heels and Treasure. Both following on from the recent reissues of Blue Bell Knoll, Heaven or Las Vegas, Tiny Dynamine / Echoes In A Shallow Bay and The Pink Opaque.

    Using new masters created from high definition files transferred from the original analogue tapes, both albums are being pressed on 180g heavyweight vinyl and come with download codes.

    Head Over Heels:
    Released in late-1983, Head Over Heels is the Cocteau Twins’ second album and features classic tracks ‘Sugar Hiccup’ and ‘Musette And Drums’. Coming not long after original bassist Will Heggie had departed the band, the chemistry between remaining members Elizabeth Fraser and Robin Guthrie was flourishing and by moving the band on from the starkness of their debut, they were now making the music that would help them define the decade ahead; her wordless, dreamlike vocals a powerful instrument over his lush, textured guitars their trademark.

    TRACK LISTING

    A1. When Mama Was Moth (3.06)
    A2. Five Ten Fiftyfold (5.01)
    A3. Sugar Hiccup (3.41)
    A4. In Our Angelhood (3.0)
    A5. Glass Candle Grenades (2.45)
    B1. In The Gold Dust Rush (3.40)
    B2. The Tinderbox (Of A Heart) (4.57)
    B3. Multifoiled (2.37)
    B4. My Love Paramour (3.40)
    B5. Musette And Drums (4.38)

    Cocteau Twins

    Garlands - Reissue

      Garlands was the Cocteau Twins debut album, released in the early autumn of 1982. It was the only album they made with original bassist Will Heggie. Describing it as “haunting”, “spellbound”, “diaphanous”, and discerning a “frosting of sweetness”, the critics wore out their adjective; this was rock music - just - but it was conjured in the unlikeliest environment from the strangest of material. This is Garlands’ first vinyl pressing in over ten years, remastered from the original analogue tapes.

      Cocteau Twins

      Victorialand - Reissue

        Victorialand, Cocteau Twins’ fourth album, was released in spring 1986. The largely acoustic, non-percussive album was made with Elizabeth and Robin, while Simon was working on This Mortal Coil's second album. Dif Juz label mate Richard Thomas guested on tabla and saxophone. The Guardian said "It’s not quite ambient, but it’s definitely not rock’n’roll even by the Cocteaus’ standards, building on the moments of guitar shimmer from the previous years’ EPs, while also stripping back at points to where it’s nothing but a Guthrie guitar line and Fraser’s voice."  Victorialand is remastered from the original analogue tapes.

        Back in 1986, ‘The Pink Opaque’ brought together the best of the Cocteau Twins’ early works to become their first official release in the US.

        Already a cult band on college radio, some classics like ‘Pearly-Dewdrops’ Drops’ and ‘Aikea-Guinea’ were given new mixes for this release, while it also featured ‘Millimillenary’, the first run out for incoming band member Simon Raymonde.

        To this day, ‘The Pink Opaque’ remains a great entry point to a wonderful band. 

        Using new masters created from high definition files transferred from the original analogue tapes, the album is a 180g vinyl pressing complete with download code. 

        TRACK LISTING

        The Spangle Maker
        Millimillenary
        Wax And Wane
        Hitherto
        Pearly-Dewdrops’ Drops
        From The Flagstones
        Aikea-Guinea
        Lorelei
        Pepper-Tree
        Musette And Drums

        Cocteau Twins

        Tiny Dynamine / Echoes In A Shallow Bay

          With a history of releasing singles between albums, the two EPs of ‘Tiny Dynamine’ and ‘Echoes In A Shallow Bay’ were originally released two weeks apart back in November 1985. Seen as companion pieces, they both acted as a precursor to the band’s fourth studio album, ‘Victorialand’.

          30 years later, the EPs are now being married together on to one piece of heavyweight vinyl, using new masters created from high definition files transferred from the original analogue tapes and completed with reformatted artwork. 

          STAFF COMMENTS

          Andy says: Dreams as music. One of the best bands ever.

          TRACK LISTING

          Pink Orange Red
          Ribbed And Veined
          Plain Tiger
          Sultitan Itan
          Great Spangled Fritillary
          Melonella
          Pale Clouded White
          Eggs And Their Shells

          Cocteau Twins

          Blue Bell Knoll - Remastered Vinyl Edition

          Released in 1988, ‘Blue Bell Knoll’ is the Cocteau Twins’ fifth studio album. Delivered after a slightly longer period between records than fans had been used to, this was the first they recorded in their own studio. Freed to now make music how they wanted and with no clock to beat, they rose to the challenge of producing it themselves with real aplomb, introducing a new pop sensibility to their sound, expressed through shorter, ‘hookier’ songs with occasionally intelligible lyrics. Sound On Sound magazine praised the band for showing “an uncanny feel for contemporary sound possibilities without making even the slightest concessions towards the mainstream.”

          A beautiful record that showed the band’s continued maturity, it also included one of their most enduring songs, ‘Carolyn’s Fingers’, which was reflected on the album’s cover - a close-up of their friend Carolyn’s hand as shot by Juergen Teller.

          STAFF COMMENTS

          Martin says: Liz Fraser possesses possibly the most sublime voice in the history of contemporary music, and never was it put to more exquisite use than on the peerless 'Carolyn's Fingers, the very high point of a celestial, iridescent sonic daydream.

          TRACK LISTING

          Blue Bell Knoll 3:25
          Athol-Brose 3:00
          Carolyn's Fingers 3:08
          For Phoebe Still A Baby 3:16
          The Itchy Glowbo Blow 3:21
          Cico Buff 3:50
          Suckling The Mender 3:35
          Spooning Good Singing Gum 3:53
          A Kissed Out Red Floatboat 4:10
          Ella Megalast Burls Forever 3:39

          Cocteau Twins

          Blue Bell Knoll

            Classic Cocteau Twins album re-issued by 4AD, with it's original tracklisting, remastered by Robin Guthrie and featuring repackaged artwork.

            Cocteau Twins

            Head Over Heels

              Creating one of the most distinctive sounds in 80s music, The Cocteau Twins were one of the 4AD label's greatest bands. In Elizabeth Fraser, the band had an utterly unique performer who eschewed conventional lyrics for the sound and textures that were layered onto Robin Guthrie's banks of distorted guitars, tape loops and echo.

              Losing original member Heggie might at first have seemed a troubling blow, but in fact it allowed the duo of Fraser and Guthrie to transcend the darkened one-note gloom of "Garlands" with "Head Over Heels". The album introduces a variety of different shadings and approaches to the incipient Cocteaus' sound, pointing the band towards the exultant, elegant beauty of later releases. Opening number "When Mama Was Moth" demonstrates the new musical range nicely; Fraser's singing is much more upfront, while Guthrie creates a bewitching mix of dark guitar notes and sparkling keyboard tones, with percussion echoing in the background. Other songs, like the sax-accompanied "Five Ten Fiftyfold" and "The Tinderbox (Of a Heart)" reflect the more elaborate musical melancholy of the group, while still other cuts are downright sprightly. "Multifoiled" in particular is a charm, a jazzily-arranged number that lets Fraser do a bit of scatting, while "In the Gold Dust Rush" mixes acoustic guitar drama into Fraser's swooping singing. Perhaps the two strongest numbers of all are "Sugar Hiccup," mixing the mock choir effect the band would use elsewhere with both a lovely guitar line and singing; and "Musette and Drums," a massive, powerful collision of Guthrie's guitar at its loudest and most powerful and Fraser's singing at its most intense.

              Now remastered from the original tapes by Robin Guthrie.

              Cocteau Twins

              Treasure

                "Treasure" is arguably the Cocteau Twins finest album, bassist Simon Raymonde joined the band in 1983 and after a couple of brilliant EPs came "Treasure". Opening with "Ivo", one of their best album openers featuring a brilliant Robin Guthrie guitar solo and followed by one of my all time favourite Cocteau Twins tracks in "Lorelei" the pace never slackens, the quality of the songs never lets up right to the last note on the albums climax "Donimo" which ultimatly explodes into a heavenly choral wall of sound.

                Cocteau Twins

                Garlands

                  Formed by guitarist Robin Guthrie and bassist Will Heggie in Stonehaven in 1979 and with the addition of Guthrie's then girlfriend Elizabeth Fraser as vocalist, the Cocteau Twins signed to 4AD in 1982 releasing their debut "Garlands" later that year. Anchored by a Roland 808 drum machine and Heggie's swooping bass lines, guitarist Guthrie created an atmospheric sound providing a perfect platform for Fraser's remarkable vocals.

                  Easily the darkest and most straightforwardly post-punk album Cocteau Twins ever recorded, "Garlands" has a spare, desolate, insistently minor-key sound that owes a clear debt to Joy Division; however, what keeps the proceedings from sounding derivative are Robin Guthrie's spiraling guitar textures (far more primal than on future albums) and Elizabeth Fraser's vocals, which somehow manage to evoke beauty and dread simultaneously. While the album suffers a bit from the use of a drum machine and several songs that are overly repetitious (something rarely found on their later albums), "Garlands" manages to create a sound that, while not indicative of where Cocteau Twins were heading next, still played an important role in defining the 4AD sound of the early 80s.

                  Now remastered by Guthrie with new artwork.


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