Jun 15, 2011

RhoDeo 1124 Aetix

Hello, Aetix again, as we near the moment of another solstice a somewhat more esoteric take on the eighties even though in the beginning Cocteau Twins relied heavily on the likes of Joy Division, The Cure and Siouxsie for direction, their label 4AD quickly picked up on their skills, specially Elizabeth Frasers voice must have rung some big chimes in Ivo Watts (4AD) head. The band finally did end in tears as the meanwhile parenting couple finally split in 1997...Well they left us with plenty to muse about..here's some..

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Robin Guthrie and Will Heggie (bass guitar), both from Grangemouth, Scotland, formed the band in 1979. At a local disco, they met Elizabeth Fraser, who would eventually provide vocals. The band's influences at the time included Joy Division, The Birthday Party, Sex Pistols, Kate Bush, and Siouxsie and the Banshees. The band was named after the song "The Cocteau Twins" by fellow Scotsmen 'Johnny and the Self-Abusers' (Simple Minds). Their debut recording, Garlands (released by 4AD Records in 1982), was an instant success, as was the subsequent Lullabies EP.

Will Heggie left the group after the tour that followed the 1983 release of the band's second EP, Peppermint Pig. He subsequently joined Lowlife. The band's sound on its first three recordings relied on the combination of Heggie's rhythmic basslines, Guthrie's minimalist guitar, and Fraser's voice; the Cocteau Twins' next full-length LP, Head over Heels, relied solely on the latter two. This led to the growth of the band's characteristic sound: Fraser's voice, by turns ethereal and earthy, combined with Guthrie's effects-heavy guitars. Like its very dissimilar predecessor, Head over Heels was well-received by the public and press.

In 1983, the band participated in 4AD's This Mortal Coil project (this spawned "Song to the Siren" performed by Guthrie and Fraser), and during their work for that, they got to know Simon Raymonde, who joined the group later that year as bass player. With Raymonde, the band released a series of critically acclaimed albums and EPs that explored their new style. Naming Treasure (1984), Tiny Dynamine and Echoes in a Shallow Bay (1985), and Love's Easy Tears (1986). Raymonde, who was called in to work on the second album by This Mortal Coil, did not participate in the recording of the fourth Cocteau Twins LP, Victorialand (1986), a predominantly acoustic record which featured only Guthrie and Fraser. Raymonde returned to the group for The Moon and the Melodies (1986), a collaboration with ambient composer Harold Budd, which was not released under the Cocteau Twins name.

While remaining a 4AD band internationally, the Cocteau Twins finally signed a major-label contract with Capitol Records in 1988 for distribution in the US, and released their fifth proper LP, Blue Bell Knoll, in October of that year. The style the group had begun exploring with Head over Heels reached its peak on Heaven or Las Vegas, released in late 1990. The most commercially successful of their many recordings, the album rose to the higher reaches of the UK charts immediately after its release. However, despite the success of the record and the subsequent concert tours, not everything was well with the band. They parted ways with 4AD following Heaven or Las Vegas partly because of conflicts with the label's founder Ivo Watts-Russell, and were close to breaking up over internal problems due in large part to Guthrie's addiction to drugs and alcohol.

From 1990 noted Japanese guitarist Mitsuo Tate joined the band, as did English guitarist Ben Blakeman.

The band's seventh LP, Four-Calendar Café, was released in late 1993. It was a departure from the heavily-processed, complex and layered sounds of Blue Bell Knoll and Heaven or Las Vegas, featuring clearer and more minimalistic arrangements. This, along with the record's unusually comprehensible lyrics, led to mixed reviews for the album: The band themselves explained that it was a response to the turmoil that had engulfed them in the intervening years, with Guthrie entering rehab and quitting alcohol and drugs, and Fraser undergoing psychotherapy. The two had been in a long-term relationship, and by this time had a young daughter, Lucy-Belle, born in 1989.

Milk and Kisses (1996).saw the return of more heavily layered guitars, and Fraser began once again to obscure her lyrics, though not entirely. The band, augmented by an extra guitarist and a drummer, toured extensively to support the album and in live performances seemed to have found a cohesive freshness and power that had been lacking during their previous outing in 1993/94. A new song, "Touch Upon Touch", which debuted during the live shows and was recorded later in 1996, became the last Cocteau Twins song ever released.

In 1997, while recording what was to have been their ninth LP, the trio disbanded over irreconcilable differences in part related to the break-up of Guthrie and Fraser. While a number of songs were partially recorded and possibly completed, the band has stated that they will likely never be finished or released in any form. In 1999, Bella Union, the record label founded by Guthrie and Raymonde, released a double-CD Cocteau Twins compilation entitled BBC Sessions. The collection is a complete record of the band's appearances on UK radio programs from 1983 to 1996, with rare and unreleased material included.

Since March 2007, the band has started podcasts of exclusive material.[4] On 6 October 2008 the Cocteau Twins accepted the Q Awards Inspiration Award. This was the first time they have publicly been seen together since the group broke up over 10 years earlier

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Deep, heavy mood verging on doom and gloom that's how Cocteau Twins presented itself on it's debut. Bassist Will Heggie, in the only full album he did with the Twins, clearly follows the Peter Hook/Simon Gallup style of low, ominous throb, while Guthrie's guitar work more often than not screeches loudly than shimmers. Fraser's singing has a starker edge, unsettling even at its most accessible, sometimes completely disturbing at other times. As a debut effort, Garlands makes its own curious mark, preparing the band for greater heights to come.

Cocteau Twins – Garlands (257mb)

01 Blood Bitch 4:35
02 Wax And Wane 4:03
03 But I'm Not 2:43
04 Blind Dumb Deaf 3:56
05 Shallow Then Halo 5:15
06 The Hollow Men 5:02
07 Garlands 4:29
08 Grail Overfloweth 5:24

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After losing their bassplayer, Head Over Heels introduces a variety of different shadings and approaches to the incipient Cocteaus sound, pointing the band towards the exultant, elegant beauty of later releases. Fraser's singing is much more upfront, while Guthrie creates a bewitching mix of dark guitar notes and sparkling keyboard tones, with percussion echoing in the background. The original United Kingdom and Canadian cassette and CD and the Brazilian CD versions of Head over Heels included the EP Sunburst and Snowblind. This 2003 CD, remastered by Robin Guthrie version, does not include the EP.

Cocteau Twins - Head Over Heels (254mb)

01 When Mama Was Moth 3:06
02 Five Ten Fiftyfold 4:59
03 Sugar Hiccup 3:42
04 In Our Angelhood 2:59
05 Glass Candle Grenades 2:44
06 In The Gold Dust Rush 3:41
07 The Tinderbox (Of A Heart) 4:57
08 Multifoiled 2:36
09 My Love Paramour 3:39
10 Musette And Drums 4:39

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BBC Sessions is a whopper of a treat for fans and the uninitiated, two hours of sound that builds and builds until one is overcome with unspeakable, barely understood emotions. At 30 songs on two CDs, it's an overview that sheds light on the masterful way the trio mutated so subtly, until their artistically premature end.

Cocteau Twins - BBC Sessions (378mb)

1.01 Wax And Wane 3:59
1.02 Garlands 4:27
1.03 Alas Dies Laughing 3:29
1.04 Feathers-Oar-Blades 2:23
1.05 Hearsay Please 4:28
1.06 Dear Heart 3:38
1.07 Blind Dumb Deaf 3:44
1.08 Hazel 3:28
1.09 The Tinderbox (Of A Heart) 4:48
1.10 Strange Fruit 1:54
1.11 Hitherto 3:57
1.12 From The Flagstones 3:32
1.13 Sugar Hiccup 3:41
1.14 In Our Angelhood 3:55
1.15 My Hue And Cry 3:02
1.16 Musette And Drums 4:12

Cocteau Twins - BBC Sessions (316mb)

2.01 Hitherto 3:57
2.02 From The Flagstones 3:33
2.03 Musette And Drums 4:13
2.04 Pepper-Tree 4:06
2.05 Beatrix 3:05
2.06 Ivo 3:36
2.07 Otterley 4:29
2.08 Serpentskirt 3:49
2.09 Golden-Vein 2:50
2.10 Half-Gifts 3:56
2.11 Seekers Who Are Lovers 4:28
2.12 Calfskin Smack 4:41
2.13 Fifty-Fifty Clown 3:24
2.14 Violaine 3:58

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Anonymous said...


Can you re-up Cocteau Twins?

Many thanks

Anonymous said...

Hey Rho...thanks for the re-ups. Wish there was something I could do for you.