Best Cocteau Twins album

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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

I wound up voting for Garlands, just because this poll ends tomorrow and I am in a Garlands mood right now. I would have voted for Echoes in a Shallow Bay in a heartbeat though!

Curt1s Stephens, Wednesday, 9 May 2007 21:30 (ten years ago) Permalink

I voted for Milk & Kisses because I felt sorry for it.

HI DERE, Wednesday, 9 May 2007 21:50 (ten years ago) Permalink

Hahah Dan :) I feel sorry for Four Calendar Cafe! Has anyone voted for that?

Trayce, Wednesday, 9 May 2007 22:17 (ten years ago) Permalink

I really should do a Coc's ep/singles poll too. But then that still leaves out awesome songs like Millimillenary.

Trayce, Wednesday, 9 May 2007 22:19 (ten years ago) Permalink

RESULTS! As I expected, Treasure won by a mile. Actually the whole result was pretty obvious, and poor old Four-Calendar Cafe :(

Trayce, Thursday, 10 May 2007 05:02 (ten years ago) Permalink

summerhead dudes! :(

Charlie Howard, Thursday, 10 May 2007 17:18 (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:

yugi ex, Friday, 17 February 2012 18:48 (six 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:

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

Completely agree. So many classic bsides

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

Is there an EP's poll?

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

Thanks, Ross.

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


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

Another vote for Victorialand. Love the absence of drums

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

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

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

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

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

oh totally RAG, "blind dumb deaf"

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

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