Best Cocteau Twins album

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The Kate Bush poll inspired me to this. I have omitted all compilations which is a bugger because this drops songs like "Millimillenary" and "Strange Fruit", but hey, someone start a Cocteaus EP poll why not.

Hoo boy this is going to be hard to decide on.

Poll Results

OptionVotes
Treasure 25
Heaven or Las Vegas 18
Victorialand 10
Blue Bell Knoll 9
Garlands 4
Head Over Heels 4
Milk and Kisses4
The Moon and the Melodies 2
Four Calendar Cafe 0


Trayce, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 01:14 (ten years ago) Permalink

(and yes I know CTs POX etc have been done before but POLLS. OK whatever. Oh god I cant decide)

Trayce, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 01:21 (ten years ago) Permalink

Waaah, I wanna vote for The Pink Opaque.

da croupier, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 01:21 (ten years ago) Permalink

Yeah I wanted to include it! But it is a compilation, if I included it Id have to have included BBC sessions and then my head would have fallen off.

Trayce, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 01:21 (ten years ago) Permalink

Treasure - which feels like a boring choice but I can't really help it.

mrlynch, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 01:22 (ten years ago) Permalink

I know, I know. But that's totally my go-to CT record when I'm in the mood.

It would be funny if a hits comp won one of these polls, too. Almost kind of a dis.

da croupier, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 01:23 (ten years ago) Permalink

x-post, btw

da croupier, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 01:23 (ten years ago) Permalink

This is really hard!

Curt1s Stephens, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 01:24 (ten years ago) Permalink

I know, I started the damn thing and now I cant work out what to vote for!

I am torn between Victorialand and Heaven or Las Vegas... then again wait, Garlands... OH MY GOD WHAT HAVE I DONE.

Trayce, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 01:25 (ten years ago) Permalink

I almost want to apologize for finding this easy. *sorry*

Treasure is the clear choice.

Bimble, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 01:59 (ten years ago) Permalink

For "Five Ten Fiftyfold" and "Sugar Hiccup" I pick Head Over Heels

ellaguru, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 02:01 (ten years ago) Permalink

I went with Treasure.

Actually, my heart is with Moon and the Melodies, but I think it is Harold Budd's two instrumental pieces on Side A that are responsible for a lot of that album's greatness (plus the immaculate "Sea, Swallow Me"), so don't feel right assigning it the "Best Cocteau Twins" album title.

Joe, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 02:08 (ten years ago) Permalink

Treasure is the one I want to vote for least! Not to imply I dont like it, I love it - but the EPs from that time (Echoes/Tiny Dynamine) clearly win there. Hm they almost count as an album, I should have cheated and included them :(

Trayce, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 02:09 (ten years ago) Permalink

VICTORIALAND by a million countrified miles.

pisces, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 02:10 (ten years ago) Permalink

I wanted to vote victorialand. I went with HOH in the end.

Trayce, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 02:10 (ten years ago) Permalink

Oh don't get me started on the damn Echoes/Tiny Dynamine!

Why don't I pull that out right NOW?

Bimble, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 02:13 (ten years ago) Permalink

Also, Joe, if you had voted Moon & The Melodies the best Cocteaus release, I would have definitely wanted to chat with you before you did anything like that.

Bimble, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 02:14 (ten years ago) Permalink

victorialand!

f. hazel, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 05:06 (ten years ago) Permalink

VIC-TORRR-EE-OUS

poortheatre, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 05:08 (ten years ago) Permalink

I set the poll end date to May 10 which is way too far off, darnit. I'll have to remember to bump this later in the week.

Trayce, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 05:20 (ten years ago) Permalink

It'll give me time to listen to all my Cocteaus (and buy the ones I don't have!)

Curt1s Stephens, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 05:43 (ten years ago) Permalink

Way to go Curtis!

I'm ashamed to admit that even though I pulled out Treasure (again), I still didn't play it yet. Time is needed.

Bimble, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 06:01 (ten years ago) Permalink

I'll send you some more stuff C.

Trayce, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 06:42 (ten years ago) Permalink

I voted for Milk + Kisses, or at least I think I did because it told me off for voting twice. I might have clicked twice by mistake. Anyhow - M&K is the best - beautifully layered sound ( as ever), Liz's best singing, at least 8 absolutely KILLER tracks, as opposed to a max of 4 or 5 on the other albums and great, great guitar sounds (the Jazzmaster on Serpentskirt for example). And....by now, RG had sorted out a decent drum sound that didn't sound like a car door closing.(to be fair he'd probably sorted this by H&LV).

Pushing it close, but not that close, are H&LV, Bluebell and Garlands.

Dr.C, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 07:57 (ten years ago) Permalink

I have no idea whether to pick Treasure of Heaven & Las Vegas.

Scik Mouthy, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 08:12 (ten years ago) Permalink

OR NOT OF, ARGH

Scik Mouthy, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 08:13 (ten years ago) Permalink

Sounds like a Cocteau Twins song title, that.

Marcello Carlin, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 08:25 (ten years ago) Permalink

It's Treasure or Heaven or Las Vegas for me too. Sod it I'll go for the latter.

Colonel Poo, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 08:27 (ten years ago) Permalink

Treasure for the ubiquitous personal reasons.

Marcello Carlin, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 08:28 (ten years ago) Permalink

heaven or las vegas. i feel that they reached their peak with that one. it was the first one i listened to. in the beginning it didn't make sense but then i got totally overwhelmed by it. and it has a perfect flow. something which can't be said from most of their albums.

alex in mainhattan, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 09:02 (ten years ago) Permalink

victorialand because its pink cocaine candyfloss

600, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 09:13 (ten years ago) Permalink

It was a very close race between Treasure and Victorialands but my god, Victorialands is just in another world in every best possible way.

Masonic Boom, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 12:43 (ten years ago) Permalink

They're all splendid.

Alex in NYC, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 12:56 (ten years ago) Permalink

I'll have to go with Blue Bell Knoll, since that was my introduction to the Cocteaus...(Sade was right: it's never as good as the first time)...

henry s, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 12:57 (ten years ago) Permalink

Bump. Why do things fall off new answers so fast.

Trayce, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 21:40 (ten years ago) Permalink

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4VdcMXVO_g

Display Name, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 22:07 (ten years ago) Permalink

1. Heaven or Las Vegas
2. Treasure
3. Four Calender Cafe

avonhun, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 22:17 (ten years ago) Permalink

Treasure, no question for me at all. And I like all of them!

sleeve, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 22:26 (ten years ago) Permalink

Not familiar with more than a few. Out of those I have heard (mainly the most "canonical" ones), "Treasure" has been my favourite.

Geir Hongro, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 22:29 (ten years ago) Permalink

Really tough but Blue Bell Knoll just pips Treasure.

SeekAltRoute, Wednesday, 2 May 2007 11:25 (ten years ago) Permalink

Treasure is so going to win, which for some reason disappoints me.

Trayce, Wednesday, 2 May 2007 12:28 (ten years ago) Permalink

It feels like the one album everyone knows or something?

Trayce, Wednesday, 2 May 2007 12:28 (ten years ago) Permalink

i voted heaven or las vegas (which to my ears is their most cohesive album, no big lulls in the play order and great songs all the way around)...personal favorites are head over heels and victorialand...and i could make a "best cocteaus album" case for anything excluding garlands and four calendar cafe, which are the dull spots in their impeccable discography for me

stephen, Wednesday, 2 May 2007 22:55 (ten years ago) Permalink

I think I'm actually more a fan of their EPs than their albums. But that's splitting hairs, as honestly I love about 95% of their output completely unconditionally.

Trayce, Thursday, 3 May 2007 00:27 (ten years ago) Permalink

I'm w/ Trayce. HOLV and M&K are my favorite long-players, but if it's desert island thing, I'm bringing the EP box...

Naive Teen Idol, Thursday, 3 May 2007 01:34 (ten years ago) Permalink

I heart my EP box.

Trayce, Thursday, 3 May 2007 01:50 (ten years ago) Permalink

Now that I've read the actual thread and see so many votes for Treasure, I wish I could change my vote to Head Over Heels, but too late...

Lostandfound, Thursday, 3 May 2007 02:41 (ten years ago) Permalink

I think I loved their EPs better, too. In another life I had them all on vinyl, and now that I know it exists I need to get a hold of that box set I think.

Lostandfound, Thursday, 3 May 2007 02:43 (ten years ago) Permalink

Bumpity boo.

Trayce, Tuesday, 8 May 2007 00:53 (ten years ago) Permalink

I was sort of over the Cocteaux sound about five years ago, but BBK completely reassigned my pop circuits when I was 20, so that's my vote. One day I'll buy it on DAT...

Michael Jones, Tuesday, 8 May 2007 09:22 (ten years ago) Permalink

Dammit I was the only one who voted Moon and the Melodies.

Noodle Vague, Thursday, 10 May 2007 17:22 (ten years ago) Permalink

I know, I love Summerhead too Charlie!

Trayce, Friday, 11 May 2007 04:46 (ten years ago) Permalink

But - and it is one of the only CTs songs I'll say this about - I really dont like "Bluebeard" at all.

Trayce, Friday, 11 May 2007 04:46 (ten years ago) Permalink

head over heels WUZ ROBBED (maybe the only album of theirs besides the pink opaque that i consistently listen to the whole way through)

impudent harlot, Friday, 11 May 2007 06:29 (ten years ago) Permalink

lyrically, i like 'bluebeard'. but the song itself isn't fantastic.

interesting results, in any case.

Charlie Howard, Friday, 11 May 2007 08:12 (ten years ago) Permalink

Impudent: I voted for head over heels, and I am listening to it RIGHT NOW. Musette and Drums was basically my intro into this band, and it was the live version on the Tube, omg.

Theres something about Liz's performances that does my head in, she is all at once nervous and wired and controlled and powerful.

Trayce, Friday, 11 May 2007 16:56 (ten years ago) Permalink

I thought this poll was another lovely example of ILM. For OF COURSE TREASURE WINS and OF COURSE HEAVEN OR LAS VEGAS WAS SECOND. FOR THAT IS THE WAY OF THE COCTEAUS AND I AGREE. *holds candle in reverence*

Bimble, Saturday, 12 May 2007 12:02 (ten years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

i voted "heaven or las vegas" here but i listened to all songs today in a non-album kontext and the result was quite surprising. for each song there was only the option to either love it or not to love it.

1. 90% (9/10) four-calendar café
2. 88% (7/8) garlands
3. 80% (8/10) heaven or las vegas

the only album which nobody voted for in the poll is my favourite at the moment. very weird.

alex in mainhattan, Sunday, 19 April 2009 16:05 (eight years ago) Permalink

i forgot the others. also strange, the poll winner is my least favourite album by them:

4. 50% milk & kisses
5. 44% victorialand
6. 40% head over heels
7. 30% blue bell knoll
8. 25% the moon % the melodies
9. 20% treasure

alex in mainhattan, Sunday, 19 April 2009 16:12 (eight years ago) Permalink

Oh my god, we're talking about Cocteaus on this board again? Please stop encouraging me! I don't know if I want to play Milk & Kisses or Blue Bell Knoll or Garlands or whatever the fuck. I really don't know.

Earl of Gothington Manor (Bimble), Sunday, 19 April 2009 16:48 (eight years ago) Permalink

two years pass...

My favourite is definitely Blue Bell Knoll for reasons outlined here:

http://devonrecordclub.wordpress.com/2012/02/17/cocteau-twins-head-over-heels-round-21-grahams-choice/

yugi ex, Friday, 17 February 2012 18:48 (five years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

i really don't understand why nobody voted for four-calendar café. i still think it is their most consistent album. and it has one of their most amazing songs on it: theft, and wandering around lost.

it's the distortion, stupid! (alex in mainhattan), Friday, 6 September 2013 19:14 (four years ago) Permalink

ten months pass...

maybe it's just because it's the first one i heard way back when, but blue bell knoll is probably my favorite, just wall to wall classics. it's so cool how the cocteau twins have such artfully subtle sonic variations on each of their albums so that choosing a favorite is almost down to what specific texture grabs you the most on a particular day.. like different alloys or something.

brimstead, Monday, 7 July 2014 22:54 (three years ago) Permalink

three years pass...

xp to brimstead - title track on Blue Bell Knoll is probably one of my favourite songs by Cocteaus.

I could totally go for a whole album of this country-fried dream rock though:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7igZdDJyz4

Week of Wonders (Ross), Friday, 21 July 2017 00:36 (three months ago) Permalink

I probably would've voted for "Treasure" but really the answer is the singles box.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Friday, 21 July 2017 02:18 (three months ago) Permalink

Completely agree. So many classic bsides

Week of Wonders (Ross), Friday, 21 July 2017 03:25 (three months ago) Permalink

listening to four calendar café and milk & kisses for the first time ever and ...they're not as bad as i assumed they'd be? nowhere near the highs of heaven or las vegas, but not bad at all

just another (diamonddave85), Wednesday, 2 August 2017 18:43 (three months ago) Permalink

Nah. I might have a soft spot because they were two of the first I heard but I think they're great.

I Dream of Juice (Old Lunch), Wednesday, 2 August 2017 18:44 (three months ago) Permalink

Songs like 'Summer-Blink' are a million miles away from where they started but it feels like a well-earned and reflective respite at the end of a long journey.

I Dream of Juice (Old Lunch), Wednesday, 2 August 2017 18:46 (three months ago) Permalink

The problem I have with Four Calendar Cafe and Milk & Kisses is that they didn't advance beyond the sound of Heaven or Las Vegas. Before that, each album was a progression from the sound of the previous one (admittedly, only a matter of degrees--they were never not going to sound like Cocteau Twins). But after briefly experimenting with some very different approaches on the 1995 Twinlights and Otherness EPs, I was disappointed the following year when Milk & Kisses seemed to reflected none of that.

Hideous Lump, Thursday, 3 August 2017 03:13 (three months ago) Permalink

The Otherness EP is post-peak peak CT, but owe's more to Seefeel's Mark Clifford.

For me, its either Head Over Heels or the EPs from Spangle Maker to

Are you Eating It...or is It Eating You? (Sanpaku), Thursday, 3 August 2017 03:40 (three months ago) Permalink

oops... to Love's Easy Tears.

Are you Eating It...or is It Eating You? (Sanpaku), Thursday, 3 August 2017 03:41 (three months ago) Permalink

The problem I have with Four Calendar Cafe and Milk & Kisses is that they didn't advance beyond the sound of Heaven or Las Vegas.

Agreed but I think "Four Calendar Cafe" is almost a perfect album, the sound is so lush, there is hardly a medium track. In a way it is an improvement on "Heaven or Las Vegas" though I heard that one first and it will always be my #1 pick of the Cocteaus. "Milk & Kisses" really pales at the end, the sound is there again but the songwriting isn't. It feels pretty hollow. They should have finished with "Four Calendar Cafe".

Ich bin kein Berliner (alex in mainhattan), Thursday, 3 August 2017 11:24 (three months ago) Permalink

I feel exactly the opposite. "Milk & Kisses" really is Cocteau by numbers, but at least the songs are there. I find 4CC kind of boring and uninspired.

LeRooLeRoo, Thursday, 3 August 2017 14:33 (three months ago) Permalink

never got into four calendar cafe, agree with LeRooLeRoo here. Really been into head over heels / sunburst and snowblind lately. Though I think the version of "sugar hiccup" on BBC session kills the studio flat. BBC sessions is probably one of their best records

Week of Wonders (Ross), Thursday, 3 August 2017 17:32 (three months ago) Permalink

Is there an EP's poll?

Cake hawn. (jed_), Thursday, 3 August 2017 18:19 (three months ago) Permalink

Hi Jed

Can you pick the best Cocteau Twins EP/single? (poll ends 15/05/07)

love's easy tears is clearly the best tho

Week of Wonders (Ross), Thursday, 3 August 2017 19:47 (three months ago) Permalink

Thanks, Ross.

Cake hawn. (jed_), Thursday, 3 August 2017 20:35 (three months ago) Permalink

This album poll is impossible though. Depends on whatever CT i'm listening to at the time. Victorialand would probably be my choice. "Sunday" on Valet's album "Nature" totally rips on "Lazy Calm" by CT, recommended if you like that same sublime buzz

Week of Wonders (Ross), Thursday, 3 August 2017 20:45 (three months ago) Permalink

I have the suspicion that "Four Calendar Cafe" is not loved as it is the first album where she sings in English, where her lyrics make sense. The mystery is gone, she is just like you and me, no angel and no elf. That's totally ridiculous but the only possible reason I can up with why nobody except me loves that album. "Bluebeard" is such a great tune and the guitar has got that phantastic twangy indierock feel. And the song after is probably the best song in their oeuvre. I wrote it already upthread. It is utter perfection, music to bath in. The next song where she stutters is phantastic again. Are you all deaf? FCC is a pop album but it is of one piece, seriously underestimated. If I want to öisten to ONE album by them these days it is FCC.

Ich bin kein Berliner (alex in mainhattan), Friday, 4 August 2017 20:19 (three months ago) Permalink

can up with = can come up with

Ich bin kein Berliner (alex in mainhattan), Friday, 4 August 2017 20:20 (three months ago) Permalink

There's the problem: twangy indierock feel. For longterm fans, Cocteau Twins always offered otherworldly escapism.

#IMPOTUS (Sanpaku), Friday, 4 August 2017 20:25 (three months ago) Permalink

Half Gifts is devastating partly because of its direct intimate lyrics

Week of Wonders (Ross), Friday, 4 August 2017 20:29 (three months ago) Permalink

Cocteau Twins make me happy

Week of Wonders (Ross), Friday, 4 August 2017 20:40 (three months ago) Permalink

If I was going to vote in this poll again, I would vote for Garlands

Milk & Kisses is great, though.

this iphone speaks many languages (DJP), Friday, 4 August 2017 20:49 (three months ago) Permalink

Treasure

more Allegro-like (Turrican), Friday, 4 August 2017 20:55 (three months ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

Just listened to Garlands, Head Over Heels and Treasure back to back, which I've never done before. It's been many years since I heard these:

Garlands is genuinely unsettling, I still love the dark vibe. It's always been it's own thing.
Head Over Heels is more of a mixed bag than I remembered, the second half really pales in comparison to the first. It's transitional nature is apparent, it retains some of the early darkness while the better tracks let the light in.
Treasure is glorious in its fullness, they've arrived at their signature sound and it all works, even the drum machine.

I think I'll spin the next three in a row now.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Saturday, 26 August 2017 23:22 (two months ago) Permalink

One of the most consistent bands of the 80s.

he doesn't need to be racist about it though. (Austin), Saturday, 26 August 2017 23:43 (two months ago) Permalink

I was one of the Victorialand votes - some of that has to do with how left-field a move it seemed at the time; in my peer group, the Cocteau Twins, from the EPs through Treasure, had rapidly become the "everybody agrees this band is awesome" band -- I remember specific parties with Aikea-Guinea playing on the stereo, the sound stapling itself permanently to the moment & the era. It felt like music that would bind us in the coming years. Victorialand was the first one to come out the year after I graduated high school, and I bought it fresh off the rack -- I knew I had to hear it. To get it home and hear that they'd jettisoned the propulsive, driving percussive sound that informed so much of their preceding year-plus: it felt SO brave & nervy, so confident -- I listened to that album every day for a long time in '86. Get stoned, listen to Victorialand. Feel like committing suicide, listen to Victorialand. Wonder if there's any real future, listen to Victorialand.

It was the perfect album for that time & for me then, it was a world into which I could grant myself entrance where things were beautiful and safe but not so safe that deep sadness and longing weren't also there.

she carries a torch. two torches, actually (Joan Crawford Loves Chachi), Sunday, 27 August 2017 00:36 (two months ago) Permalink

Victorialand is my favorite, as well.

he doesn't need to be racist about it though. (Austin), Sunday, 27 August 2017 00:52 (two months ago) Permalink

Head Over Heels is more of a mixed bag than I remembered, the second half really pales in comparison to the first.

I mean, the second half contains "In The Gold Dust Rush", "The Tinderbox (Of a Heart)", and "Musette and Drums" which are three of my favorite CT songs ever, though I agree "Multifoiled" and "My Love Paramour" aren't as strong.
I always thought "Multifoiled" sounded like Siouxsie's "Cocoon" from the year before. And there's also The Cure's "Speak My Language" that came out around the same time.

LeRooLeRoo, Sunday, 27 August 2017 00:57 (two months ago) Permalink

I'm with you on "Musette And Drums", an excellent closer, but the others don't do it for me like "When Mama Was Moth" or "Sugar Hiccup". I'm hardly saying they're bad but there's a noticeable drop-off in quality for me.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Sunday, 27 August 2017 01:51 (two months ago) Permalink

Another vote for Victorialand. Love the absence of drums

Week of Wonders (Ross), Sunday, 27 August 2017 04:25 (two months ago) Permalink

two months pass...

moon and melodies is super underrated. in time tho my heart is with heaven or las vegas, which is probably their most perfect distilled dream pop statement - never fails to brighten up any day

Week of Wonders (Ross), Tuesday, 7 November 2017 05:17 (one week ago) Permalink

Feel you on M+M. 'Why Do You Love Me' is one of my all-time favorite instrumentals.

Your welcome. (Old Lunch), Tuesday, 7 November 2017 06:12 (one week ago) Permalink

It's funny to see old threads like this revived... apparently, I was "over the Cocteaus" in about 2002. Well, they came back. I've been listening to them a lot in the last 2-3 years.

And it's still BBK.

Michael Jones, Tuesday, 7 November 2017 10:29 (one week ago) Permalink

That sounds like 'I'm over my skeleton' to me.

Your welcome. (Old Lunch), Tuesday, 7 November 2017 11:22 (one week ago) Permalink

Not a big fan despite loving all the other usual suspects from that scene/era, and only heard half of these I think, but Heaven or Las Vegas would be the easy choice for me. More muscular and groovy than all the other stuff I heard.

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Tuesday, 7 November 2017 11:52 (one week ago) Permalink

I would say the early Heggie stuff was easily the most muscular.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Tuesday, 7 November 2017 16:30 (one week ago) Permalink

oh totally RAG, "blind dumb deaf"

Week of Wonders (Ross), Wednesday, 8 November 2017 23:03 (one week ago) Permalink


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