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Stars and Topsoil - A Collection (1982-1990)

Cocteau Twins

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iTunes Editors' Notes

Long before dreampop was a genre, Robin Guthrie and Simon Raymonde of the Grangeland, Scotland–based Cocteau Twins were pioneering the sound. These songs chronologically span the Twins' tenure on 4AD before they signed to Fontana/Capitol for 1993’s Four Calendar Café—the album where Fraser first sang in proper English. Before that, her vocal approach focused on creating abstract textures and sounds with her beautiful soprano. “Blind Dumb Deaf” from 1982’s Garlands opens with an immediately decipherable nod to Joy Division’s dark pulsing bass lines and early-'80s Cure. The following “Sugar Hiccup” from 1983’s Head over Heels finds Guthrie and Raymonde moving away from gothy post-punk trappings and exploring new six-string soundscapes, which would be further realized in the gauzy chimes of “Pearly-Dewdrops' Drops” and the seductive “Lorelei.” Victorialand's opening track, “Lazy Calm,” solidified their sound, ushering in an Eno-like ambience under Fraser’s ethereal inflections. The standout songs “Carolyn’s Fingers” and “Heaven or Las Vegas” infused accessible pop melodies.

Biography

Formed: 1979 in Grangemouth, Scotland

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

A group whose distinctly ethereal and gossamer sound virtually defined the enigmatic image of the record label 4AD, Cocteau Twins were founded in Grangemouth, Scotland, in 1979. Taking their name from an obscure song from fellow Scots Simple Minds, the Cocteaus were originally formed by guitarist Robin Guthrie and bassist Will Heggie and later rounded out by Guthrie's girlfriend Elizabeth Fraser, an utterly unique performer...
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