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 (eleven 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 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Waaah, I wanna vote for The Pink Opaque.

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

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

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

x-post, btw

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

This is really hard!

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

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

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

VICTORIALAND by a million countrified miles.

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

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

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

victorialand!

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

VIC-TORRR-EE-OUS

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

I'll send you some more stuff C.

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

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

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

OR NOT OF, ARGH

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

Sounds like a Cocteau Twins song title, that.

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

Treasure for the ubiquitous personal reasons.

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

victorialand because its pink cocaine candyfloss

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

They're all splendid.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Really tough but Blue Bell Knoll just pips Treasure.

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

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

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

It feels like the one album everyone knows or something?

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

I heart my EP box.

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

Bumpity boo.

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

Completely agree. So many classic bsides

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

oops... to Love's Easy Tears.

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

Is there an EP's poll?

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

Thanks, Ross.

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

can up with = can come up with

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

Half Gifts is devastating partly because of its direct intimate lyrics

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

Cocteau Twins make me happy

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

Treasure

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

Another vote for Victorialand. Love the absence of drums

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

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

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

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

Robert Adam Gilmour, Tuesday, 7 November 2017 16:30 (eleven months ago) Permalink

oh totally RAG, "blind dumb deaf"

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

nine months pass...

It's Victorialand but HoLV is stiff competition.

Britain's Sexiest Cow (jed_), Thursday, 30 August 2018 21:03 (one month ago) Permalink

Its nice to see my few old polls I ever did on ILM bobbing back up now and then!

Stoop Crone (Trayce), Tuesday, 4 September 2018 06:51 (one month ago) Permalink

Heaven for me but Victorialand is close.

yes, said (Ross), Tuesday, 4 September 2018 16:50 (one month ago) Permalink

those two records are always doing battle in my head. depressive me says victorialand, the me that loves great pop says holv

princess of hell (BradNelson), Tuesday, 4 September 2018 17:00 (one month ago) Permalink

Victorialand always.

jmm, Tuesday, 4 September 2018 17:06 (one month ago) Permalink

BBK forever but I did listen to Head Over Heels for the first time in a few years on a solo wander around Epping Forest, after a lunchtime pint, and it was glorious!

Michael Jones, Tuesday, 4 September 2018 21:17 (one month ago) Permalink

They were always one of those bands where I'd change my mind on which my favourite album was. I think Head Over Heels was my favourite when I first got into them. Heaven Or Las Vegas is far ahead of the others these days. Victorialand in second place.

kitchen person, Tuesday, 4 September 2018 21:21 (one month ago) Permalink

I think I'd forgotten how cavernous and teenage-intense HoH is; some of Liz's most memorable pre-conlang lyrics too - "There’s only a hair’s breadth between us/Askew as we are", "Paramour/ooze out and away onehow", "In the gold dust rush I only genuflect". No wonder her and Ian McC were such good mates. Sing nonsense as if your life depends on it.

Michael Jones, Tuesday, 4 September 2018 22:22 (one month ago) Permalink

Genuflect is a very bunnymen word, yes. In fact I was after another use of genuflect to complete a trilogy and this will do nicely.

(Ultra Vivid Scene being the other, shut your eyes and genuflect, the avenging angel comes.)

koogs, Tuesday, 4 September 2018 22:33 (one month ago) Permalink

there's also 23 years too late by wire from read and burn 3

com rad erry red flag (f. hazel), Wednesday, 5 September 2018 00:45 (one month ago) Permalink

ugh

Elizabeth Fraser, the other worldly voice of Cocteau Twins performed a rare gig in London on Monday night. Fraser has been elusive these days, having only performed live a handful of times since the band’s demise over 20 years ago.

http://www.post-punk.com/cocteau-twins-elizabeth-fraser-makes-a-rare-live-performance-in-london/

Britain's Sexiest Cow (jed_), Wednesday, 5 September 2018 02:04 (one month ago) Permalink

Society of the Golden Slippers
Like This Page · 19 hrs ·

So, last night we hosted a rare performance from the glorious Liz Fraser who was joined by John Grant for a song. What a privilege! We still can't quite believe it happened! Huge thanks to Elena Tonra (Daughter) and Julia Biel for their gorgeous opening sets. What a night! — with Caroline Cremin.

Britain's Sexiest Cow (jed_), Wednesday, 5 September 2018 02:04 (one month ago) Permalink

Did it actually happen? Yes it did. Liz Fraser and John Grant joined us in our intimate salon and sang us to heaven. pic.twitter.com/CIGxne9214

— Golden Slippers (@GoldenSlippers7) September 4, 2018

Britain's Sexiest Cow (jed_), Wednesday, 5 September 2018 02:06 (one month ago) Permalink

HOLV seems to be the consensus pick these days, and would probably win if this poll were run again. I dunno, I still think Treasure is their defining moment – the apex of their early pre-Raphaelite leanings.

the word dog doesn't bark (anagram), Wednesday, 5 September 2018 09:36 (one month ago) Permalink

To me it's always felt HOLV was the consensus pick?

It will never not be Blue Bell Knoll for me, but any of the others can give it a run for its money on a suitable day. Currently rediscovering Victorialand for the tenth time.

lbi's life of limitless european glamour (Le Bateau Ivre), Wednesday, 5 September 2018 09:44 (one month ago) Permalink


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