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COCTEAU TWINS

Cocteau Twins

Milk & Kisses - 2024 Reissue

    This re-issue of the Cocteau Twins 1996 album faithfully replicates the original 1996 Fontana Records UK release and is pressed onto high quality 140g vinyl.

    Cocteau Twins – vocalist Elizabeth Fraser, guitarist Robin Guthrie, and bassist Simon Raymonde – formed in Grangemouth, Scotland in the late 70s. The brainchild of Guthrie and original bassist Will Heggie, by 1981 they had added Fraser and the following year signed to 4AD, one of the most illustrious of the indie labels. With Raymonde replacing Heggie in 1983, the trio went on to create some of the most unique and otherworldly music of the 80s, built around Guthrie's chiming guitar and Fraser's unmistakable soprano.

    By the early 90s, the group had just released their most successful album, the commercial Heaven Or Las Vegas, after which they moved to Mercury imprint Fontana, joining the likes of The Fall and the House Of Love.

    Although not intended so at the time, Milk & Kisses – released in March 1996 – became the final album issued the group. The trio worked separately but effectively – Raymonde would work in the daytime, Guthrie at night, leaving Fraser to add her vocals. Because of the aftershocks of her split with Guthrie, lyrics came easy to her. Led by the beautiful, hushed Top 30 single Tishbite and containing fan favourites Violane and Eperdu, Milk & Kisses has tended to be overlooked within the group's canon, and therefore is ripe for investigation. Although work had begun on a follow up album to Milk & Kisses, the Cocteau Twins split up in 1997.

    TRACK LISTING

    Violaine 
    Serpentskirt 
    Tishbite 
    Half-Gifts 
    Calfskin Smack 
    Rilkean Heart 
    Ups 
    Eperdu 
    Treasure Hiding 
    Seekers Who Are Lovers

    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

      Treasure - 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.

        Treasure:
        The band returned to being a trio in 1984 with guitarist Simon Raymonde joining their ranks in time for third album, Treasure. Produced by Robin Guthrie and featuring tracks ‘Lorelei’, ‘Ivo’ and ‘Persephone’, Treasure is often celebrated as one of the band’s finest works.

        As Pitchfork put it when including the album in their Top 100 Albums of the 1980s, “Treasure was titled simply enough. An adjective for the endlessly inventive melodic lines you'd find buried in these songs, and a verb for what you'd do with them for years to come.”


        STAFF COMMENTS

        Andy says: Amazing record. Stunningly beautiful tunes and voice, incredible guitars, and not one bad track. We thought we'd all died and gone to heaven when this came out in the early 80's!

        TRACK LISTING

        A1. Ivo (3.53)
        A2. Lorelei (3.42)
        A3. Beatrix (3.11)
        A4. Persephone (4.17)
        A5. Pandora (For Cindy) (5.35)
        B1. Amelia (3.29)
        B2. Aloysius (3.26)
        B3. Cicely (3.27)
        B4. Otterley (4.03)
        B5. Donimo (6.11)

        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

        Stars And Topsoil - A Collection (1982-1990)

        ‘Stars and Topsoil’, Cocteau Twins’ collection of the best of their 4AD years, is belatedly issued on vinyl. Perfectly suited to the format, there’s a greater cohesion to the tracks when they are split into four sides.

        Following their ascent from alternative novices to universally acclaimed artists, ‘Stars and Topsoil’ is a fine testament to one of the most original bands to emerge in the last three decades. Over a career at 4AD that spanned six albums and seven eps, Cocteau Twins retained an intriguing uniqueness of style that defied comparison. Elizabeth Fraser (vocals), Robin Guthrie (guitars) and Simon Raymonde (bass guitar) were always fiercely protective of their privacy, preferring to let the music speak for itself; it spoke volumes and continues to do so.

        From day one Cocteau Twins had something special; Liz’s glittering vocals, unintelligible and perfect, Robin’s edgy guitar, all grounded by Simon’s bass. This chronological collection is a fitting reminder of why Cocteau Twins are so important: musical visionaries who transcended convention yet achieved massive international success.

        Cocteau Twins

        Heaven Or Las Vegas

          Originally out in 1990, "Heaven Or Las Vegas" was the Cocteau Twins' last LP for 4AD, and the pinnacle of their releases to date. Everything you love about the trio's music is present here: phased, shimmering guitar soundscapes, subtle synth washes and textures, and of course Liz Fraser's swooping, soaring vocal. If you had to pick only one Cocteau Twins LP to own, then this has to be it!

          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

            Victorialand

              "Victorialand" is an altogether more relaxed affair than some of their early work as the Cocteau Twins reverted to a duo of Fraser and Guthrie in Simon Raymonde's absence. Without Raymonde's hectic bass the rhythms are subtler as layered guitar lines and lush soundscapes fill the air. Over all Liz Fraser's wonderfully fine voice weaves in and out. A few saxophone textures, a little tabla and the effect is complete. Highlights include the albums majestic opener "Lazy Calm", the multi textured "Fluffy Tufts", and the haunting and darker closing number "The Thinner The Air".

              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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