4AD will be issuing a boxset of all three This Mortal Coil albums. Each record has been re-mastered from the original analogue studio tapes by John Dent at Loud Mastering, to achieve the best digital sound available today. Additionally there is a fourth album, Dust & Guitars, that compiles all the singles, including an unreleased one that was to have been part of the Rough Trade Singles Club and features the otherwise unavailable recording of Neil Young's 'We Never Danced'. The HDCD albums are packaged in paper sleeves printed to the highest standard by the Ichikudo company in Japan, along with inner sleeves and booklets. They are released in a very limited edition box set, with the box itself a deluxe two-piece. The official three albums have re-designed sleeves by Ivo Watts-Russell and Vaughan Oliver, 4AD's long time visual partner, which cater to the reduced size, feature gatefold sleeves, and remain inspired by the originals. The fourth album, which won't be available to general retail outside the box set, incorporates unseen images of Pallas Citroën, the 'face' of This Mortal Coil.
About the Artist
This Mortal Coil was the inspiration of Ivo Watts-Russell, the founder of 4AD. Initially the project was to re-record a medley that Modern English performed live and the B-side featured Elizabeth Fraser and Robin Guthrie of Cocteau Twins performing an obscure Tim Buckley composition, Song To The Siren. The plaudits for this recording encouraged Ivo to continue and an album, It ll End In Tears, was released in 1984. Featuring new interpretations of songs that inspired him, mixed with original compositions and musical links, this forged the template for This Mortal Coil.
Filigree & Shadow, which followed two years later, was even more cohesive and flowed over the four sides of the original album. With no defined breaks between tracks it was created to be listened to as a piece and the core of musicians added to the continuity.
1991 s Blood, the final part of the trilogy, was also a double album. By avoiding drums a lot of the time, and by not experimenting with new technology for the sake of it, we somehow pushed it away from the era s norm, those string-synth sounds and huge reverbs. Also in terms of content: we gave as much significance to a foghorn or helicopter as a Tim Buckley composition. Sometimes I d want a track to sound more blue , or more purple ... says Watts-Russell now.
At the heart of the three albums is an impeccably curated song selection which introduced (and continues to introduce) a new audience to the talents of the previous generation, including Big Star, the aforementioned Tim Buckley, Roy Harper, Spirit, Gene Clark, Dino Valenti, Rain Parade, Emmylou Harris, Syd Barrett and Colin Newman amongst many others.
With the strength of songs and unique approach to creating simple, warm and uncluttered arrangements these albums never belonged to a specific time, so sound as fresh and ambitious to a listener today as they did 25 years ago.