Cocteau Twins : Classic or Dud

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A brief history of my relationship with The Cocteau twins : I bought everything they did as it came out. Liked it. Around 1993, decided I couldn't stand them any more. Sold most of it. Recently bought the BBC Sessions, as I couldn't resist it at £4.99. Loved them. Wondered why we ever fell out. Bought the compilation 'Stars and Topsoil'. I was wrong back in '93 - Classic all along. What do YOU think?

Dr. C, Thursday, 26 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

absolute classic. they don't seem to be mentioned very much now, but they were superb. again a part of the 80s that seems to have been glossed over in retrospect, comes back to that battle for cultural hegemony over 'our' shared past.

anyway. victorialand, blue bell knoll, heaven or las vegas probably favourites. even four-calendar cafe had some sublime moments.

not so keen on the very early stuff 82/83. 85-90 probably best period. not as edgy then, but don't see them as an 'edgy' band.

favourite song has to be 'the spangle maker'

and those sleeves were wonderful

gareth, Thursday, 26 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Funnily enough, I was surprised how good the early stuff sounds, after not hearing it for so long. "Garlands" "Wax and Wane" and "Feathers-Oar-Blades" in particular are magical. Splendid 808 programming. ( No doubt someone will tell me it wasn't an 808.)

Dr.C, Thursday, 26 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Very glad to say that I'm whole-heartedly AGREEING with the good Doctor C. again. CLASSIC, CLASSIC, CLASSIC. Even their more dubious moments have a completely unique charm to them.

alex in nyc, Thursday, 26 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

It was a moment of sudden liberation for me a couple of years ago when I realised that it was OK not to like the Cocteau Twins. I'd never really liked them but I'd always sit back as the fountains of critical praise bubbled because a small voice was saying "look, you can't actually say they're rubbish, they're beautiful ethereal cascades of sound" etc. etc.

But actually they're rubbish. Yeah they're beautiful ethereal cascades of sound but it just makes no connection with me, and listening to a whole album is like being force-fed merinques.

Tom, Thursday, 26 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

mmmm, merinque...

gareth, Thursday, 26 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Bravo Tom! a more eloquent wag than me described them as "gothick victorian whimsy" on the tangents site, which about sums up their horrible, horrible records.

Peter, Thursday, 26 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

mmmm, victorian whimsy...

gareth, Thursday, 26 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

That's kinda how I felt a few years back, Tom. As I said, I've changed my mind.

Dr. C, Thursday, 26 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Well, a careful Classic vote. I've never been really into them, but I sure love 'Heaven or Las Vegas', esp. the first 3 or 4 tracks with the pounding bass, there's something almost edible about those songs. Sweet, sticky, satisfying.

Omar, Thursday, 26 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Precious and overwrought artsyfartsy nonsense, but I love nearly every minute of it. They are the number one example of a loved band where I can understand if someone thinks it's utter garbage. They're like really good Indian food. You either eat enough 'til you burst or spit out the first bite.

I probably differ from most fans, since I didn't think their middle period ('88-'93) was so hot. To me, their career was similar to the Comsat Angels and Throwing Muses in that they started hot, cooled off, and ended hot. That said, I maintain that the endless murk and cheap rhythms of Garlands are totally bitchen. Same regard is held for Milk and Kisses, which most people tend to sour on.

Paging Mr. Raggett...

Andy, Thursday, 26 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Ha! I'm summoned! Oh, just feel free to browse the AMG entries for them and that about says it all.

There's more variety in their work than most give them credit for, I think, and while there are certainly patchy albums here and there, _Treasure_, _Victorialand_ and _Heaven or Las Vegas_ alone touch me and cut to the quick. Oh yeah, and "The Spangle Maker" single and the _Aikea-Guinea_ EP and "Pink Orange Red" and...

I like the meringue comparison, but no. The Victorian mentions, album title aside, can be laid at the feet of Vaughn Oliver's art. It's all about taking something dank and making it beautiful while keeping the heft, and about making something that *shouldn't* work -- incomprehensible lyrics, an emphasis on effects over clear melody -- work like a charm. Wouldn't change a single thing about 'em.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 26 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Dude. That first track on _Milk and Kisses_ alone makes them a classic.

Dan Perry, Thursday, 26 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Let's make three AMG writers in a row (provided no one else slips in ahead of me). Classic. Classic! CLASSIC! But again, I understand why others wouldn't really get into it: lyrically speaking, it's hard to get a grasp on, which could make it seem overly precious. I disagree that it's incomprehensible, as many have asserted. If you listen to a lot of it, you can begin to pick out phrases. It's more like a mystery than an affectation, to me...the more I listen to the Cocteaus, the more I discover. That's why I found Four Calendar Cafe disappointing: you could make out too much. But I love almost everything else, with the highlights being Heaven or Las Vegas, Sunburst and Snowblind, virtually all of the singles included in the singles box, and yes, even Milk and Kisses.

Sean Carruthers, Thursday, 26 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Dan! You wrecked the triad...but since I agree with your comment, I won't complain too hard.

Sean Carruthers, Thursday, 26 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Good, but do they write songs in anything other than 6/8?

DG, Thursday, 26 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Why mess with perfection? But yes, they do.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 26 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I know, I was being cheeky. :)

DG, Thursday, 26 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Classic. Heaven or las vegas got me out of the moz-mania. And then internet got me out of the cocteau-mania. Is that wrong? :] Still haven't heard garlands, and I don't think I want to. But as for c-o-d, classic.

fernando, Saturday, 28 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

seven months pass...
classic, imho. although my email address might give away my bias. good stuff from all periods. milk and kisses is a little weak, but there are good tracks on this one too. i would have thought that more people would have mentioned blue bell knoll, which i like quite a bit. as with other music, mood dictates which cocteau twins album i will pull for a spin.

jmh, Wednesday, 12 December 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Classic of course. They are one of those rare great bands which created a sound which is their own. Their sound is like a parallel universe. Music to forget the world around you. It is dreamy, fairy- tale like and so lulling. It must be the perfect music for babies rocking in the cradle. But I must admit that they started to get on my nerves in 1996 with their last album "Milk and Kisses". Suddenly the magic was gone and they were repeating themselves. I would have liked them to finish with a stronger album. When I first listened to them (and this was "Heaven or Las Vegas", my later favourite) their music sounded so dull so that I can understand Tom. But after a while it clicked. Similar to Belle and Sebastian's "Sinister" which I did not find special in the beginning. Additionally they expanded my English. Now I know what ethereal is.

alex in mainhattan, Wednesday, 12 December 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Classic, but with some dips into dudness. "Treasure" is still (just) in my all-time Top10 LPs. They put out way too much stuff in 1985-6, only half of which was any good. But then a roaring return to form with Blue Bell Knoll & Heaven And Las Vegas. After that, patchy again.

Jeff W, Wednesday, 12 December 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I changed my mind back again - the odd track mixed in with some other stuff is great, a whole album unbearable. Too cloying - too samey. They're a gnat's chuff away from grateness on a maybe half a dozen tracks - the one off Treasure (Lorelei? I never remember the silly titles)which couples a soaring breathy Liz with a kinda Glam stomp in slo-mo is damn near close to perfection. If Guthrie's production could have mixed the cotton woolly maximum flange which he uses all the time with an occasional sharper focus it would sound 100 times better. Contrast, see?

Dr.C, Wednesday, 12 December 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

one month passes...
come on. one of the best bends of the 80's if not the best.

justin case, Friday, 18 January 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Hey, since this is at the top of the NEW ANSWERS again, anyone heard that new project of Guthrie's? Violet Indiana, that is? I know what Andy thinks...anyone else have a take on it?

Sean Carruthers, Friday, 18 January 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

does no one around here rate head over heels? i think it's easily their best record. "sugar hiccup"...yowza...it's a bit like the sugarcube's "birthday"...it just sends me in a way few other songs do...the perfect distillation of their aesthetic into a brief almost-but-not-quite pop song. (hey tom, does this qualify for the "pop (not pop)" debate?) ;)

jess, Friday, 18 January 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Head Over Heels is their best, Jess? Well no shit, Sherlock.

Andy K., Friday, 18 January 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Head Over Heels is pretty damn great, and I think the album I play the most after Treasure and Heaven or Las Vegas. It has much more variety than many of the other albums, certainly in comparison to Garlands, and "Musette and Drums" is just monstrous.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 18 January 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I don't think anybody used the E word to describe them until well after Head Over Heels. Evil, perhaps, but not e-fucking-thereal. Those guitars sound ferocious and Liz' cries sound like child abuse. I like " The Tinderbox" along with "Musette" and "Hiccups". Great as Treasure was it marks the beginning, along with a slew of singles and EPs from that time, of the Cocteau's sweet side overtaking their gloriously sinister side.

Curt, Friday, 18 January 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

one year passes...
REVIVE-A-RAMA!

I'm on a spree tonight - and I'm massively back into the Cocs. I think Treasure is one of my all time fave albums, but my knowledge of the rest of their stuff doesn't extend much past it, only to "Four Calendar Cafe" (which I realise is to Treasure as Sing when Your Winning is to Life thru a Lens).

So go on - lets speak of how awesomely great Lorelei is.

Lynskey (Lynskey), Tuesday, 26 August 2003 22:59 (seventeen years ago) link

Cocteau twins are so very overdue for a rarities/b-sides collection. 4AD's reissued lots of the 80's EPs, but there's worthwhile stuff from the 90's too that's still lost. 'Round', 'An Elan', 'Flock of Soul' were all M&K b-sides, I think. there's also the lovely 'Need-Fire', which was only on, of all things, the Judge Dredd soundtrack. oh, and their last recorded song ever, 'Touch by Touch', which is a real connection to Violet Indiana... lovely stuff.

derrick (derrick), Wednesday, 27 August 2003 03:54 (seventeen years ago) link

As classic as it's possible to get -- despite later stuff letting them down.

One of the great bands of the 80s.

David A. (Davant), Wednesday, 27 August 2003 05:34 (seventeen years ago) link

Anyone who says "dud" gets the eternal middle finger from me.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Wednesday, 27 August 2003 14:42 (seventeen years ago) link

I've never really engaged with the Cocteaus... I can see why people like them, but what I've heard by them has never made me go "WOW! THAT'S BRILLIANT". with the exception of 'Song To The Siren', which might be by This Mortal Coil rather than the Cocs themselves as such.

DV (dirtyvicar), Wednesday, 27 August 2003 14:49 (seventeen years ago) link

Mmm, they are rather like eating a whole treacle steam pudding to yourself: delightful at first but 3 1/4 the way through and it's - glckk! ... enough spongey sweetness!
But those first few mouthfuls - wow wow wow, heaven!

David Merryweather (DavidM), Wednesday, 27 August 2003 16:09 (seventeen years ago) link

re-revive-orama !

some time last autumn i had a funny turn :

falling in love with the cocteaus again.

piscesboy, Wednesday, 27 August 2003 17:23 (seventeen years ago) link

DV, for all intents and purposes, "Song to the Siren" is a Cocteaus song (Liz and... Simon(?)).

Leee (Leee), Wednesday, 27 August 2003 20:18 (seventeen years ago) link

one year passes...
I'm seeing Robin Guthrie solo tonight in San Francisco. I will report back afterward.

kyle (akmonday), Friday, 12 November 2004 04:07 (fifteen years ago) link

Please do!

Seb (Seb), Friday, 12 November 2004 06:49 (fifteen years ago) link

It should be a very placid evening.

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Friday, 12 November 2004 06:50 (fifteen years ago) link

Yes tell us what happens, Kyle.

Bimble (bimble), Friday, 12 November 2004 08:03 (fifteen years ago) link

It was quite good! I fell asleep though (twice). He performed to a film he'd made which was kind of superfluous; pretty, but kind of sub-brakhage attempts at color and light with a few naked ladies thrown in for good measure. It was good to have something to look at occasionally though. Songs were from Imperial (a few of them) and some were new; they were definitely much more interesting live than the album, which, again, is pretty, but kind of inconsequential. It was great to see him generate those classic Guthrie reverb drenched tones though. He plays so effortlessly, everything looks so easy. I think the tour dates are on the bella union site, if you're a fan it's well worth going.

kyle (akmonday), Friday, 12 November 2004 08:31 (fifteen years ago) link

two months pass...
So Hilburn/LA Times are claiming the Cocteaus are reuniting and playing Coachella, as will be announced tomorrow. Allegedly.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Monday, 31 January 2005 07:25 (fifteen years ago) link

I know, I just read that on the other thread and I'm afraid I'm just in shock. Surely it can't really be?

Bimble... (Bimble...), Monday, 31 January 2005 07:30 (fifteen years ago) link

Maximum classic. Aside from echoing the feeling of other pro-Twin-ists, I can only add that immersion in their stuff truly is a dependable visit--I shall now sound very earnest and lame--to a very safe, candy-cotton cocoony place.

iang, Monday, 31 January 2005 07:38 (fifteen years ago) link

recorded, classic. live... dud.

fortunate hazel (f. hazel), Monday, 31 January 2005 07:52 (fifteen years ago) link

Yeah, well, she used to get pretty nervous live, that's true. But by the time of Milk & Kisses it seemed to me she might have conquered a lot of her fright.

Bimble... (Bimble...), Monday, 31 January 2005 08:03 (fifteen years ago) link

Can't find a damn thing on the "official web site" about a reunion other than rumours.

Bimble... (Bimble...), Monday, 31 January 2005 08:06 (fifteen years ago) link

Off to the desert!

http://www.ambitious-outsiders.com/images/lineup05.jpg

Ned Raggett (Ned), Monday, 31 January 2005 14:52 (fifteen years ago) link

maybe they'll tour later this year with Dead Can Dance and my head can FUCKING EXPLODE

kyle (akmonday), Monday, 31 January 2005 14:59 (fifteen years ago) link

this is a pretty good deal but it doesn't have 'The Spangle Maker' a 7" for $14

https://www.discogs.com/sell/item/1182030935

sleeve, Thursday, 15 October 2020 21:32 (one week ago) link

this also seems like a good deal? Peppermint Pig 12" for $17

https://www.discogs.com/sell/item/1183618315

everything else on vinyl in USD looks a bit scary pricewise for OGs

sleeve, Thursday, 15 October 2020 21:34 (one week ago) link

as per your links above, yes to BBK and no to Victorialand, looks like the latter has a lot of bad pressings

sleeve, Thursday, 15 October 2020 21:36 (one week ago) link

sadly, no. but there is this great Canadian twofer of Tiny Dynamine and Echoes for $35:

it is mine.

:D

president of my cat (Karl Malone), Thursday, 15 October 2020 21:38 (one week ago) link

Nice work. I have one of those Canadian Vertigo pressings that has the Treasure LP and the Aikea-Guinea EP packaged with it, sounds great.

sleeve, Thursday, 15 October 2020 21:42 (one week ago) link

and then i also bought the peppermint pig 12", as well as the pink opaque ($20). i did it!

i'll probably just pick up the BBK reissue, then, and hold off on victorialand. (but i adore victorialand)

president of my cat (Karl Malone), Thursday, 15 October 2020 21:57 (one week ago) link

the pink opaque i only got because it was from the same seller as the peppermint pig. i'm in collector mode so i know i'm going to end up getting them all anyway, but the pink opaque will tide me over in the meantime

president of my cat (Karl Malone), Thursday, 15 October 2020 21:58 (one week ago) link

I'd kind of love to be listening to some of these right now but a friend's funeral during lockdown closed with Domino and I can't bring myself to.

pedantly admonishment (aldo), Thursday, 15 October 2020 22:04 (one week ago) link

LeRoo was that interview in CREEM? If so, exact same here!

I think it was in French mag Les Inrockuptibles, but thanks Robert!!

LeRooLeRoo, Thursday, 15 October 2020 22:12 (one week ago) link

good call on The Pink Opaque as well, that way you get "Millimillenary" and all of The Spangle Maker 12"

sleeve, Thursday, 15 October 2020 22:18 (one week ago) link

(xpost to Karl)

sleeve, Thursday, 15 October 2020 22:18 (one week ago) link

Very sorry about that Aldo. Hopefully that song can bring you joy again and remind you of your friend. (x-post)

LeRooLeRoo, Thursday, 15 October 2020 22:28 (one week ago) link

My CT drug story: listening to the EPs box set on NYE 1991 while out of my mind on LSD in my bedroom, very specifically "quisquose"....there is a bit in it, which is transcribed on the internet as "Quise qualledo qualledo quallido quallido do do do do au
a Rococo au oahoo"

at that precise moment, it was like the fabric of reality was unraveled in glowing ribbons. Dunno if I ever recovered.

akm, Thursday, 15 October 2020 22:35 (one week ago) link

Darvon + Victorialand made for some lovely evenings

avellano medio inglés (f. hazel), Thursday, 15 October 2020 22:51 (one week ago) link

what are the antecedents of this band? I read somewhere that as high-haired scottish late teens/20 somethings, they were way into Siouxie… and that they collaborated with Harold Budd suggests that they had an interest in minimalist composition…but I have a harder time intuiting what they must have been into initially for inspiration than I do peers like, say, MBV…would they have been into the Berlin Trilogy? and I guess Fraser likes Tim Buckley…lemme know them thoughts…

From their website:

The band members have cited among their influences such artists as Patsy Cline, Roy Orbison, The Ronettes, and the Beach Boys, and reminiscences of these can be heard in the thick textures and melodies of Love's Easy Tears. Loud and trebled guitar roar and chime over thumping drums and a dancing bass and, of course—that voice—which pierces the colorful washes of sound with candy-coated choruses and howls of non-specificity.

LeRooLeRoo, Thursday, 15 October 2020 22:57 (one week ago) link

howls of non-specificity

working title for Smile

avellano medio inglés (f. hazel), Thursday, 15 October 2020 22:59 (one week ago) link

been a while since I had a DN, thanks

howls of non-specificity (sleeve), Thursday, 15 October 2020 23:00 (one week ago) link

let me just check out the allmusic review for the pink opaque, written by one..let's see...ned raggett? never heard of him. but ned says " The version of Garlands' "Wax and Wane" included here is slightly remixed and arguably even better than the original, bringing out everything a little more clearly and powerfully.", and to that i say YESSSSSS, because i love the original

president of my cat (Karl Malone), Thursday, 15 October 2020 23:07 (one week ago) link

Also the only release you can find Millimillenary on, I think?

avellano medio inglés (f. hazel), Thursday, 15 October 2020 23:11 (one week ago) link

it seems that when i set off to purchase cocteau twins records, i can do no wrong!

president of my cat (Karl Malone), Thursday, 15 October 2020 23:16 (one week ago) link

Yup. Also I have no idea who that guy is.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 15 October 2020 23:17 (one week ago) link

ned otm about the pink opaque version of wax and wane. i’m biased because it’s the first way i heard it

sknybrg, Thursday, 15 October 2020 23:49 (one week ago) link

Anyway I'm pleased to see that the legendary Great Pop Things strip on how the band came to be is still easily found:

https://wewillhavesalad.files.wordpress.com/2016/03/cocte.jpg?w=768&h=256

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 15 October 2020 23:59 (one week ago) link

bc of this thread i listened to treasure for the first time and holy shit lorelai, i knew i remembered it from somewhere and it was sampled by the field

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0aI6CJHqKs

cointelamateur (m bison), Friday, 16 October 2020 03:08 (one week ago) link

which if i had bothered to listen to this on youtube years ago i wouldve learned sooner, but o well

cointelamateur (m bison), Friday, 16 October 2020 03:09 (one week ago) link

I don’t agree with whatever ppl think Treasure lags in the middle, nfw

brimstead, Friday, 16 October 2020 04:04 (one week ago) link

Treasure has great stuff but I am kind of done with it, after 30+ years, in a way that I’m not done with other stuff of theirs.

assert (MatthewK), Friday, 16 October 2020 04:36 (one week ago) link

Anyway, this Sunday:

For Cocteau Twins lovers everywhere and even those of you who are curious, I am hosting a @LlSTENlNG_PARTY for our '93 lp Four-Calendar Cafe on Sunday 10pm 18th October (Uk time) so please join me for some music and stories to boot..... pic.twitter.com/FjMJWhmg0e

— mrsimonraymonde (@mrsimonraymonde) October 16, 2020

Ned Raggett, Friday, 16 October 2020 15:48 (one week ago) link

Abbey and I visited THE four-calendar canteen in CT’s honour in Bandung, Indonesia a couple of years and met some AMAZING CT fans. Here is a photo abbey took pic.twitter.com/6zgI5J74Xn

— mrsimonraymonde (@mrsimonraymonde) October 18, 2020

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 18 October 2020 21:37 (five days ago) link

most of my cocteau binge came in yesterday and this morning!

tiny dynamine/echoes in a shallow bay 2-fer
the pink opaque
peppermint pig

the dynamine/echoes compilation is great. i have another release by Vertigo, a comp of Kraftwerk 1 and 2, that is similarly excellent quality. i especially love the dynamine ep, out of the two. on a scale of warm hue combos, i am going to give this release 2 oranges, 2 pinks, and 1 red.

peppermint pig 12", i need to listen to it again, but i remember thinking that i liked the songs on the b-side ("laugh lines" and "hazel") a bit more than the single. i'll give it 1 orange, and 2 pinks, due to the pig theme.

the pink opaque is an instant favorite record for me, even though it's a comp. i think i love every goddamn song on there, and i've played it 5-6 times since i got it yesterday. 8 pinks, 4 purples, and 1 red.

the most reissue of blue bell knoll is on its way to my apartment tomorrow. :D

president of my cat (Karl Malone), Thursday, 22 October 2020 23:52 (yesterday) link

btw, i haven't allowed myself the luxury of reading through LBI's cocteau twins poll. i want to wait juuuust a bit longer, until i have a better grasp on garlands and head over heels. then i can scroll through the rollout with maximum fandom. can't wait!

president of my cat (Karl Malone), Thursday, 22 October 2020 23:54 (yesterday) link

so happy for you! Head Over Heels was the first LP I got of theirs and in many ways is my favorite.

howls of non-specificity (sleeve), Thursday, 22 October 2020 23:57 (yesterday) link

another simple luxury that i'm going to partake in at this very moment: I AM READING THE WHOLE WIKIPEDIA ENTRY. here we go.

president of my cat (Karl Malone), Friday, 23 October 2020 00:00 (three hours ago) link

(Fraser had Siouxsie tattoos on her arms for several years).[13]

amazing what a simple use of past tense can add

president of my cat (Karl Malone), Friday, 23 October 2020 00:10 (three hours ago) link

did not know that!

howls of non-specificity (sleeve), Friday, 23 October 2020 00:11 (three hours ago) link

Chapman, Rob (July 1998). "Dark Side of the Spliff: Massive Attack". Mojo. "Have you met Liz?" 3D splutters with laughter. "[...] She loved our Siouxsie and the banshees sample off ‘Metal Postcard’ — she’d just had this Siouxsie and the Banshees tattoo removed from her arm.
King, Richard (2012). How Soon is Now?: The Madmen and Mavericks who made Independent Music 1975-2005. Faber & Faber. ISBN 0571243908. Colin Wallace, their friend, confident and roadie has come from the same background as Fraser; Heggie and Gutrhie. [...] he says, '[...] Elisabeth was a huge Siouxsie fan - she had Siouxsie tattoos which she's had lasered off since'.

president of my cat (Karl Malone), Friday, 23 October 2020 00:13 (three hours ago) link

to be fair, Siouxsie was huge in the pre-Cocteau postpunk scene, 1978-1980

howls of non-specificity (sleeve), Friday, 23 October 2020 00:15 (three hours ago) link

over on the this mortal coil wikipedia entry:

One of the label's earliest signings was Modern English. In 1983, Watts-Russell suggested that the band re-record two of its earliest songs, "Sixteen Days" and "Gathering Dust", as a medley. At the time, the band was closing its set with this medley, and Watts-Russell felt it was strong enough to warrant a re-recording. When the band rebuffed the idea, Watts-Russell decided to assemble a group of musicians to record the medley: Elizabeth Fraser and Robin Guthrie of Cocteau Twins; Cindy Sharp of Cindytalk; and a few members of Modern English.[6] An EP, Sixteen Days/Gathering Dust, resulted from these sessions. A cover of Tim Buckley's "Song to the Siren", performed by Fraser and Guthrie alone, was recorded as a B-side for the EP. Pleased with the results, Watts-Russell decided to make this the A-side of the 7" single version of the EP, and the song quickly became an underground hit, leading Watts-Russell to pursue the recording of a full album under the This Mortal Coil moniker, 1984's It'll End in Tears.[6]

i didn't realize that the "song to the siren" cover was so key to the whole this mortal coil origin story! it's also, so it seems, where they met Simon Raymonde. damn. sometimes, when you got it, you got it

president of my cat (Karl Malone), Friday, 23 October 2020 00:23 (two hours ago) link

ya gotta hear her do Roy Harper's "Another Day" on the 1st TMC album, dear god in heaven it is one of the most heartrendingly beautiful things I have ever heard

howls of non-specificity (sleeve), Friday, 23 October 2020 00:26 (two hours ago) link

I also love "16 Days", so badass, wailing banshee action

howls of non-specificity (sleeve), Friday, 23 October 2020 00:27 (two hours ago) link

is there a version of 16 days by itself, or is it always combined with gathering dust?

president of my cat (Karl Malone), Friday, 23 October 2020 00:28 (two hours ago) link

always combined (although you can split them with a WAV editor), the original 7" just had the "reprise" as the B-side:

https://www.discogs.com/This-Mortal-Coil-Song-To-The-Siren/release/91768

howls of non-specificity (sleeve), Friday, 23 October 2020 00:31 (two hours ago) link

(I have never heard the Modern English original)

howls of non-specificity (sleeve), Friday, 23 October 2020 00:33 (two hours ago) link

On 31 January 2005, Cocteau Twins announced that they would be reforming to perform at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on 30 April 2005, and later indicated that additional tour dates would be added. However on 16 March, the reunion was cancelled after Fraser announced that she would not take part. In a 2009 interview, Fraser said she could not go through the pain of sharing the stage with her former lover Guthrie, the issue behind the band's 1997 breakup.[22] Raymonde revealed that the band had also booked a 55-date world tour, which would have paid him £1.5 million.[9]

lol, raymonde was like "can you two pleeeeeease just do a temporary truce, whatever this is"

president of my cat (Karl Malone), Friday, 23 October 2020 00:39 (two hours ago) link

WAIT - that's elizabeth fraser on Mezzanine?!?!!

jfc

i loved mezzanine so much. it was one of the first CDs i ever bought. amazing.

president of my cat (Karl Malone), Friday, 23 October 2020 00:47 (two hours ago) link

half the world has heard liz fraser, because Teardrop is the theme song to house

avellano medio inglés (f. hazel), Friday, 23 October 2020 00:56 (two hours ago) link

half the world has heard liz fraser, because Teardrop is the theme song to house

avellano medio inglés (f. hazel), Friday, 23 October 2020 00:56 (two hours ago) link

i'm sure a lot of people have thought - gedda load-of-those pipes!

president of my cat (Karl Malone), Friday, 23 October 2020 00:59 (two hours ago) link

they should have used Inertia Creeps for that show

avellano medio inglés (f. hazel), Friday, 23 October 2020 01:00 (two hours ago) link

it totally makes sense, though. i loved 'teardrop' so much that i always made it my mixtape/cd representation of massive attack, for my friends. one song per artist, obviously.

president of my cat (Karl Malone), Friday, 23 October 2020 01:01 (two hours ago) link


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