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  • The Cocteau Twins

    I sometimes wonder if my tastes are regressing and I'm actually just a frustrated goth at heart... Lately I've found myself really liking the Cocteau Twins. Like REALLY liking them, after having a passing interest in them over 25 years ago when I was still at school... After listening to an album, I find it hard to decide what to listen to next. Apart from... more Cocteau Twins.

    What I'm never quite sure is... are all the records basically the same? I struggle to find a trajectory path, or to trace a development in sound or style. But pick any track off any record and you know instantly it's the Cocteau Twins. My favourite might be Treasure, but as mentioned I can sit through about another three or four albums in one go.

    So... Your thoughts, comments, favourites, least favourites, suggested cameo appearances, things they've done since, links to Scottish private press psych records they made before forming the band etc etc much appreciated!
    Club stuff: www.facebook.com/DivineGlasgow

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  • #2
    Spooky.

    I have had exactly the same thing over the last couple years. I liked them a bit at the time but now they seem stranger and more unique somehow, I didn't realise quite how special they were.

    See also...... The Go-Betweens
    www.45cat.com
    http://www.45worlds.com/

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    • #3
      And of course the Ivor Raymonde connection is pretty mind blowing!
      www.45cat.com
      http://www.45worlds.com/

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      • #4
        Originally posted by The Divine One View Post
        I sometimes wonder if my tastes are regressing and I'm actually just a frustrated goth at heart... Lately I've found myself really liking the Cocteau Twins. Like REALLY liking them, after having a passing interest in them over 25 years ago when I was still at school... After listening to an album, I find it hard to decide what to listen to next. Apart from... more Cocteau Twins.

        What I'm never quite sure is... are all the records basically the same? I struggle to find a trajectory path, or to trace a development in sound or style. But pick any track off any record and you know instantly it's the Cocteau Twins. My favourite might be Treasure, but as mentioned I can sit through about another three or four albums in one go.


        So... Your thoughts, comments, favourites, least favourites, suggested cameo appearances, things they've done since, links to Scottish private press psych records they made before forming the band etc etc much appreciated!
        I was really bang into them when I was much younger and had most of their records, still do as it happens apart from the last couple they did ('Milk And Kisses'? 'Four Calender Cafe'?) i think.

        The EP's were tidy. 'Aikea Guinea' EP is very close to the sound of the Treasure LP. You'll like that. 'Victorialand' and 'Blue Bell Knoll' are otherworldly records.
        In fact, I'd probably go with most of their stuff is buy on sight really, they did an LP with ambient miester Harold Budd "The Moon And The Melodies' or something like that which is good.
        And Liz Frazer has lect her vocal talents to bands like Dif Juz and Felt, (and of course Massive Attack) both of which Robin Guthrie also produced.
        Guthrie's done a lot of spin off stuff of his own with People like John Foxx.
        They also contributed a lot to the first This Mortal Coil LP. Which I think is the best one in the series for feel and general wierdness at that time.
        It was pretty left field stuff when it came out.
        Original bassist Will Heggie split early on and left to form Lowlife who made some cool records. The best of which is probably the 'Swirl It Swings' EP.

        Highland Cow beat me to the Raymonde connection.

        I do still like them a lot and have found a few nice b sides in the last couple of years which are on my 'wants' list.....
        Fleas the size of rats suck on a rat the size of a cat....



        Not As Great As His Very Best, But Pretty Much As Great As Most Anyone Else's.

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        • #5
          Ah, and you wanted links?

          the Will Heggie stuff here - http://www.discogs.com/artist/Lowlife+%283%29
          This Mortal Coil http://www.discogs.com/This-Mortal-C...s/master/30061
          Felt feat Liz Frazer
          Fleas the size of rats suck on a rat the size of a cat....



          Not As Great As His Very Best, But Pretty Much As Great As Most Anyone Else's.

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          • #6
            I like them well enough, but prefer This Mortal Coil by a good margin.
            https://www.discogs.com/user/moecurlythanu/collection

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            • #7
              Dec 31st is Cocteau Twins day here for me and a few mates - that goes way back to a trip we took after the 87 World Cup.

              as for a trajectory, I'd say it's that their gear got better overtime. the drum machine on Garlands didn't last much beyond Head Over Heels as I recall. and still adore Blue Bell Knoll and Heaven or Las Vegas, that one has that big Aerosmith sound for sure.

              have to admit it did take a few plays till I clocked that I was playing Victorialand on the wrong speed.

              just wish they'd toured down this way. from the clips her voice was something else live.

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              • #8
                Love the Cocteau Twins, bought most of the releases, but not the two records after the excellent 'Heaven and Las Vegas.' I saw them live in 80's, the sound was never that great, and the drum machine always seemed louder than anything else. Robin Guthrie has released some interesting recordings, quite a few with Harold Budd. He still has the guitar sound, and you do often wait for Elizabeth Fraser to start singing.

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                • #9
                  Saw them live, and they were very average.
                  some times play g+ with back noise,some times vg , super psyché juju lpfront sleeve is very nice vg back vg , but the top corne left is eating buy rats, ask for picture

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by medlar View Post
                    Saw them live, and they were very average.
                    that was my experience at the time as well, combination of acoustics, expectation and liz fraser's stage fright issues. still got 4 or 5 albums somewhere, Treasure being the one i enjoyed most at the time. will dig them out and report back in due course. i'm banned from listening to anything other than swap mix candidates though, so it might be a wee while.

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                    • #11
                      They were always a bit too ethereal for me. I think one of the male members (sounds a bit dodgy) has released an album this year you might be interested in if you haven't come across it already.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by alanmck View Post
                        that was my experience at the time as well, combination of acoustics, expectation and liz fraser's stage fright issues. still got 4 or 5 albums somewhere, Treasure being the one i enjoyed most at the time. will dig them out and report back in due course. i'm banned from listening to anything other than swap mix candidates though, so it might be a wee while.
                        I think they painted themselves into a corner with their pristine studio sound which obviously they could never reproduce live. Also, I'm not a great fan of that big drum machine sound, I recall an interview with them ages ago whereby they said they used real crash cymbals in the studio. Why stop there, I asked myself, chuck the drum machine out and get a real percussionist in, that would have been amazing, and maybe Lee Perry at the controls for good measure
                        some times play g+ with back noise,some times vg , super psyché juju lpfront sleeve is very nice vg back vg , but the top corne left is eating buy rats, ask for picture

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                        • #13
                          I can´t stand them. They remind of once when I was in a kids playground in Spain and I was on the roundabout with my kid and there were all millions of cobwebs blowing in the wind and I got covered in them.
                          Vardy.....¡¡¡PELIGRO!!!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by babycart View Post
                            I can´t stand them. They remind of once when I was in a kids playground in Spain and I was on the roundabout with my kid and there were all millions of cobwebs blowing in the wind and I got covered in them.
                            "Spanish Cobweb Roundabout Catcher" - yup, that sounds like a Cocteau Twins track right there!

                            Thanks for all the comments - think I have most of the things mentioned, Felt, This Mortal Coil etc. I just read the Wiki page and realised I've just heard the albums in the order I picked them up - and had never really put them into any kind of chronological order. But they make a bit more sense now, thinking about band members leaving, recording as a duo, new members joining, subtle shifts in sound and language etc. Will try and check out the Harold Budd album - oddly enough I picked up one of his solo albums yesterday (The White Arcades), with parts recorded at the Cocteau Twins studio...

                            Personally, I always loved the drum machine sound - it gives them that extra ethereal-ness (??? ethereal-ality ??? other-ness??) - having a drummer would just make them more traditional sounding. Like, I always loved the Broadcast album (Tender Buttons?) with the drum machine - just one less thing to get in the way. Although when Broadcast used a drummer, he was just one of the finest jazz drummers you could hope to hear...
                            Club stuff: www.facebook.com/DivineGlasgow

                            Mixes: https://www.mixcloud.com/andrewdivine/

                            Photos: www.instagram.com/divine_glasgow/

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by highland cow View Post
                              See also...... The Go-Betweens
                              Even spookier! Think we might be leading parallel lives... don't tell me you bought the Mazzy Star album, Klaus Johann Grobe and Tame Imala?!
                              Club stuff: www.facebook.com/DivineGlasgow

                              Mixes: https://www.mixcloud.com/andrewdivine/

                              Photos: www.instagram.com/divine_glasgow/

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