Cocteau Twins : Classic or Dud

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Her album's not going to happen is it?

Back to the question 'Treasure' for me, though they're all pretty much interchangeable.

fun loving and xtremely tolrant (Billy Dods), Tuesday, 27 March 2012 19:45 (2 years ago) Permalink

Yeah, if you're looking for something Heaven Or Las Vegas-ish, get Milk and Kisses. Maybe Four Calendar Cafe (although it seems to be held in slightly lower esteem for reasons I don't understand).

Woodsy The Allen (Deric W. Haircare), Tuesday, 27 March 2012 19:51 (2 years ago) Permalink

Decipherable lyrics is the reason

tanuki, Tuesday, 27 March 2012 19:59 (2 years ago) Permalink

it was kind of disappointing at the time but now it sounds great.

akm, Tuesday, 27 March 2012 20:13 (2 years ago) Permalink

I wouldn't mind an album with Yann Tiersen.

I favor steatopygous buttocks and I do not dissimulate. (Sanpaku), Tuesday, 27 March 2012 20:18 (2 years ago) Permalink

Sanpaku thanks for the Orange link! I forgot all about those guys.

neutral sequence for flute (blank), Tuesday, 27 March 2012 20:22 (2 years ago) Permalink

i appreciate all the answers but i can't help feel like i'm back at square one here folks

A Little Princess btw (s1ocki), Tuesday, 27 March 2012 20:24 (2 years ago) Permalink

well, most/all of their albums are pretty special. again, if you want stuff that sounds like HILV, go for the surrounding albums (blue bell knoll,four calendar cafe, milk and kisses, heck even victorialand). tresure and head over heels are incredible but are relatively harsher and more goth.

neutral sequence for flute (blank), Tuesday, 27 March 2012 20:28 (2 years ago) Permalink

dang i remember pining for this comp back in high school. probably just for the alison's halo track:
http://www.discogs.com/Various-Splashed-With-Many-A-Speck/release/597128

neutral sequence for flute (blank), Tuesday, 27 March 2012 20:29 (2 years ago) Permalink

Seriously, I can't think of many other bands deserving of a 'BUY EVERYTHING!' recommendation.

Woodsy The Allen (Deric W. Haircare), Tuesday, 27 March 2012 20:30 (2 years ago) Permalink

Though I've got a bunch of songs from every album, I gotta admit when I'm in a cocteau mood I just throw on my college radio station's old LP of The Pink Opaque

da croupier, Tuesday, 27 March 2012 20:33 (2 years ago) Permalink

Singles comp is the way to go on this one, folks: http://www.discogs.com/Cocteau-Twins-Lullabies-To-Violaine-Volume-1/master/248410

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Tuesday, 27 March 2012 20:46 (2 years ago) Permalink

s1ocki here are some polls for reference, top 3 in each are HOLV, Treasure, & Victorialand.

Best Cocteau Twins album

BEST COCTEAU TWINS ALBUM POLL

Flat Of NAGLs (sleeve), Tuesday, 27 March 2012 21:20 (2 years ago) Permalink

S1ocki - I second the Vol 1 Lullabies to Violaine recommend. You can find it cheap and it's both a great overview of the evolution of their sound and has, for me, absolutely crucial ep's: Tiny Dynamine and Love's Easy Tears kill me every time.

And I agree with Woodsy the Allen - they are definitely a 'buy everything' band.

sknybrg, Tuesday, 27 March 2012 21:23 (2 years ago) Permalink

Stars And Topsoil (1982-1990) is also a good comp that has tracks from every era and almost every album and EP.

LeRooLeRoo, Tuesday, 27 March 2012 21:40 (2 years ago) Permalink

singles comp is definitely a good investment

da croupier, Tuesday, 27 March 2012 21:41 (2 years ago) Permalink

Slocki I think the issue here is that Cocteau Twins albums all express different relational arrangements of their qualities, such that there's not really an obvious answer to "which is the second album I need". This is especially because Heaven or Las Vegas isn't at the far end of their sound's continuum, but is somewhere close to the middle. So it's like you're in a choose your own adventure and you can go down one of several different doors based on your preferences.

I'd ask: what is it that you like most about Heaven or Las Vegas?

- if it's the sharpness and drama of the tunes, try Treasure

- if it's the sensuosness of the atmospherics and vocals, try Victorialand

- if it's the lushly produced thickness of the sound, try Milk & Kisses

- if it's the concise energy of the songwriting, try Head Over Heels

I probably wouldn't recommend Blue Bell Knoll or Four Calendar Cafe as your next choice in part because I think they're slightly lesser albums and in part because they're close enough stylistically and chronologically to Heaven or Las Vegas (in very different ways to one another though) that what is loveable in them is a slant on things that are loveable in that album.

Tim F, Tuesday, 27 March 2012 21:57 (2 years ago) Permalink

No. No. No. The best Cocteau Twins 'album' is Tiny Dynamine/Echoes In A Shallow Bay, two Eps released in quick succession during the fall of 1985. Just perfect from beginning to end.

Life Is Most Assuredly NOT a Long Song (Dr. Joseph A. Ofalt), Tuesday, 27 March 2012 22:04 (2 years ago) Permalink

I would actually put Tiny Dynamine/Echoes In A Shallow Bay in a slightly different category in that (a) it's at the absolute center of the band's aesthetic, and (b) perhaps for this reason its greatness is much more evident once you've absorbed and internalised that aesthetic.

Whereas with most of the albums what makes them interesting is how they push into the spotlight a different facet of the group's sound.

Tim F, Tuesday, 27 March 2012 22:07 (2 years ago) Permalink

Four Calendar Cafe is underrated, but its merits cannot be justly appreciated without the attendant b-sides, particularly Summer-blink. I completely love Liz Frazer's 'affirmation' lyrics, I never get tired of hearing her sing 'I accept myself as I really am' and 'I'm doing a fine job.' Especially after viewing some of the psychologically disturbed interviews (see Youtube, you'll find them) of her with Robin Guthrie prior to this period. It's no wonder they can't reform, ever, at any price!

Life Is Most Assuredly NOT a Long Song (Dr. Joseph A. Ofalt), Tuesday, 27 March 2012 22:11 (2 years ago) Permalink

xpost Tim F: you are completely correct!

Life Is Most Assuredly NOT a Long Song (Dr. Joseph A. Ofalt), Tuesday, 27 March 2012 22:12 (2 years ago) Permalink

I completely love Liz Frazer's 'affirmation' lyrics, I never get tired of hearing her sing 'I accept myself as I really am' and 'I'm doing a fine job.'

For real. I like to pair it with something from Garlands for extra emphasis.

Calvin Coolranch (Deric W. Haircare), Tuesday, 27 March 2012 22:14 (2 years ago) Permalink

i really do love how everybody has a different answer and that the catalog is so much bigger than i had assumed!

great post tim.

i would say what really enchanted me about heaven or las vegas was the way the band combined that gorgeous gauzy ethereality with a driving, pulse-racing intensity

the way songs like "pitch the baby" build to a sort of euphoric climax... does that make sense?

A Little Princess btw (s1ocki), Wednesday, 28 March 2012 15:27 (2 years ago) Permalink

Yes -- see "The Spangle Maker" (1984) or "Seekers Who Are Lovers" (1996). They did that sort of thing quite well.

Naive Teen Idol, Wednesday, 28 March 2012 19:44 (2 years ago) Permalink

since this got buried beneath the fold from two years ago, let me recommend this local TV news feature about a CT show in Ohio, circa 1985:

Flat Of NAGLs (sleeve), Wednesday, 28 March 2012 19:57 (2 years ago) Permalink

Yes, that was brilliant!

โตเกียวเหมียวเหมียว aka Colored on TV! (Mount Cleaners), Wednesday, 28 March 2012 20:00 (2 years ago) Permalink

"consistently one of britain's number one bands"

Valéry Giscard d'Staind (NickB), Wednesday, 28 March 2012 20:42 (2 years ago) Permalink

I love that clip.

Also, what everyone else said. I don't care if it's contradictory, just get everything, thank me later.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 28 March 2012 20:43 (2 years ago) Permalink

worth it for the ethereal indie-goth look combined with a moustache - think this is quite a rare sighting?

Valéry Giscard d'Staind (NickB), Wednesday, 28 March 2012 20:48 (2 years ago) Permalink

i'd go for garlands and four-calendar café. as they are different. their first album garlands is a post-punk album with some synthesizer experiments where they are still quite rough and have not yet found their final sound. four-calendar café has tunes which are as strong as those from heaven or las vegas but here they sing intelligible lyrics. btw there are many albums by them which did not age well i find.

alex in mainhattan, Wednesday, 28 March 2012 20:49 (2 years ago) Permalink

Can't believe the Otherness ep has not been mentioned yet. Wish there was a whole albums worth of Seefeel remixing Cocteau Twins.

neutral sequence for flute (blank), Wednesday, 28 March 2012 20:52 (2 years ago) Permalink

otherness didn't live up to expectations, for me. just kind of sits there and bores me.

akm, Wednesday, 28 March 2012 21:44 (2 years ago) Permalink

So many EPs I've never heard of...

A Little Princess btw (s1ocki), Wednesday, 28 March 2012 21:49 (2 years ago) Permalink

the way songs build to a sort of euphoric climax... does that make sense?

My friend and I used to call this the Cocteau structure. It's very minimalist and repetitive for most of the song and then BAM it explodes into fireworks and confetti and sometimes swooshes of caramel and cotton candy.
They've used that specific structure throughout their career, the fisrt one was "The Spangle Maker" I think.
There's also "Donimo", "Feet-Like Fins", "Great Spangled Fritillary", "Sigh's Smell of Farewell", "Ooze Out and Away, Onehow", "Frou-Frou Foxes in Midsummer Fires", "Pur", and "Treasure Hiding".

LeRooLeRoo, Wednesday, 28 March 2012 22:43 (2 years ago) Permalink

Can't believe the Otherness ep has not been mentioned yet.

I like it a lot, but I guess on a slightly different wavelength than the one on which I enjoy most of their other stuff.

So many EPs I've never heard of...

No sweat, s1ocki. I do believe the entirety of their EP and single discography is covered by their two singles collections.

Calvin Coolranch (Deric W. Haircare), Wednesday, 28 March 2012 23:00 (2 years ago) Permalink

My friend and I used to call this the Cocteau structure.

As utilized by the Sundays to wonderful effect in "Joy", imo.

Calvin Coolranch (Deric W. Haircare), Wednesday, 28 March 2012 23:01 (2 years ago) Permalink

this was really the first band that totally enchanted me. I heard Wax And Wane on the radio and started tracking down the records, the Sunburst & Snowblind EP had just come out. then I found Head Over Heels and was hooked, when Treasure came out I was gushing to any of my friends who would listen. I remember Tesco Vee listed it as one of his favorite 1985 records in a MRR issue, alongside Swans' Cop.

the covers and general anonymity were a big part of the mystique back then, you really couldn't find out much about them and it was like... I still don't know how the hell 23 Envelope did some of those sleeves, like alien art.

Flat Of NAGLs (sleeve), Wednesday, 28 March 2012 23:51 (2 years ago) Permalink

I'd never recomment M&K as a starting point, it is really a bit to bland. You need to be hit over the HEAD with their stuff. Head over Heels or Treasure and Pink Opaque are what I'd go for.

Any of the compilations y'cant go wrong to be honest. Maybe try "Stars and Topsoil" for an overview.

zooey bechamel (Trayce), Thursday, 29 March 2012 00:17 (2 years ago) Permalink

But, I started off with Garlands after Pink Opaque, and i'mn one of those rarer "prefer Garlands/Lullabies/Pepperment Pig" people.

zooey bechamel (Trayce), Thursday, 29 March 2012 00:18 (2 years ago) Permalink

Co-sign, love the dark early stuff as much as the woozy later material.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Thursday, 29 March 2012 02:22 (2 years ago) Permalink

the way songs build to a sort of euphoric climax... does that make sense?
― A Little Princess btw (s1ocki), Wednesday, March 28, 2012 10:27 AM

My friend and I used to call this the Cocteau structure. It's very minimalist and repetitive for most of the song and then BAM it explodes into fireworks and confetti and sometimes swooshes of caramel and cotton candy.
― LeRooLeRoo, Wednesday, March 28, 2012 5:43 PM

I feel a thread coming on...

Hideous Lump, Thursday, 29 March 2012 02:50 (2 years ago) Permalink

the kid arrested for his hair went on to drum for majesty crush.

keythhtyek, Thursday, 29 March 2012 02:54 (2 years ago) Permalink

4 months pass...

Jesus, Liz's show is tomorrow and she hasn't cancelled yet. Trying not to jinx it, but it looks like this is actually going to happen. Haven't seen her perform in 20 years maybe and can't wait?

passive-aggressive display name (aldo), Friday, 3 August 2012 20:54 (1 year ago) Permalink

a few Cocteaus tracks are promised aren't they? so.. an Ivo here maybe or a Heaven Or Las Vegas there. it'll be very exciting either way!

piscesx, Saturday, 4 August 2012 00:58 (1 year ago) Permalink

OK, I know of one ILXor going to the RFH and have told him not to read here. I'm not prepared to spoiler it for others if some of you are going so shout up or I will review tomorrow afternoon.

passive-aggressive display name (aldo), Saturday, 4 August 2012 22:17 (1 year ago) Permalink

just put SPOILER ALERT and skip a bunch of lines....must know how it was!!

Iago Galdston, Saturday, 4 August 2012 22:53 (1 year ago) Permalink

Ok, will post a summary of my thoughts at about 1300 GMT tomorrow unless someone expressly asks me not to.

passive-aggressive display name (aldo), Saturday, 4 August 2012 23:44 (1 year ago) Permalink

fwiw a couple of robin guthrie's collaborations w/harold budd are now available on limited edition vinyl, i picked this one up a couple days back:

omar little, Saturday, 4 August 2012 23:46 (1 year ago) Permalink

This thread just reminded me of the exhilarating climax of "The Spangle Maker." Shocks me every single time.

Turangalila, Sunday, 5 August 2012 06:35 (1 year ago) Permalink

SPOILER ALERT

SPOLIER ALERT

Oomingamk!

piscesx, Sunday, 5 August 2012 10:42 (1 year ago) Permalink


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