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on 22 September 2013
This is the much rougher and edgier Cocteau's I used to adore live and far edgier and raw than their studio albums. Personally I really like it.
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on 21 February 2000
Cocteau Twins Beeb sessions has by many been long overdue and now, at last it has arrived, thanks, I think to 4AD going down the pan. This is indeed more than just peel sessions in a plain wrapper. Hearing early numbers such as wax and wane, Garlans and Alas Dies Laughing makes one realise that Massive Attacks 1998 release "Mezzanine" is not that far removed from the delight of those early Cocteaus tracks (the last time 808 drum machines were trendy). Although the press liked to portray there earlier stuff as goth, really, although quite dark sounding it is, it has far more substance than alot of that o'l pap. Fluttering dove sounding guitar noises, Liz Frasers sticatto vocal endings and Will Heggies haunting bass chunderings make this earlier stuff a definate audio enterpretation of the "Blair Witch Project".....I imagine (not seen the film). Moving on to a seesions from their second and third albums the darkness appears to lift leaving a sound that more in tune with a refreshing misty dew drenched spring morning, appart from the cover of Billie Hollidays "Strange Fruit", a song which vividly describes the pain and torture suffered by so many Black slaves in America such as the very brave Frederick Douglas (1818-1895). Both Versions of "From the Flagstones" are without doubt more moving than the studio version. "My Hue and Cry", another previously unreleased track... "Beartrix" and "Otterley", pointing to the beauty of that ornate garden of an album "Treasure", are also very groovy indeed.....(without the actual groove of course.....this is the Cocteaus after all). The real wonder for myself however is the live version of "Seekers who are lovers" and "Fifty fifty Clown", both of which demonstrate that Liz's voice has indeed matured perfectly and that the Cocteaus were still able to hit the nail on the head right to the end. My only missgiving is that tracks like "Lorelei" from OGWT and Pink, Orange, Red from channel 4s Tube were not on their. Thier are indeed many "other versions" that I have that I wished I could get a decent copy of. Nonetheless, maybe next time. Meanwhile, Robin Guthrie and Simon Raymonde have a great new label, called Bella Union, with loads of new bands plus thier own projects, and Liz Fraser, it seems, I hope, has a solo album comming out on Blanco Negro Records. So the world is still a good place to be!
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on 13 May 2001
A confession up front: the 5 star rating is an average. I went off the Cocteau Twin after "Heaven and Las Vegas", and the final few tracks on CD2 of this collection are, in my opinion, eminently ignorable.
THat leaves a mere 1 3/4 CDs of perfection. I started listening to the Cocteau Twins in 1983, and spent years neing entranced by their glamours. Even with bands one loves, time tends to bring newer pleasures.
My vinyl collection was stolen a few years back, along with it all Twins releases up to "..Las Vegas". Some were replaced (the first 6-7 LPs), but the early EP tracks were unavailable.
Recently I bought the BBC sessions CD, and suffered a revelation. Yes, they were every bit as good as I've raved about over the years. A slice of pure pleasure. What surprised me more is that I'd also "forgotten" - a useful euphemism for overlooked - how influential they must have been on all sorts of modern groups. Reading recent reviews, and hearing various "experimental" types, it feels like listening to the Cocteau twins through a watercolour painting: all images faded, no richness of texture or depth, full-blooded tastes wiped away to leave elusive echoes of repasts passed. Like the debasing of anything gradually, one only gains perspective when re-presented with the original. THIS is the original! Bathe in the pleasure.
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on 14 January 2013
A collectors dream. Raw but perfectly captured. A must for any true Cocteau Twins fan. Really recommend it to complete the collection
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on 14 November 2009
I like the Cocteau Twins, all the albums are great. This is a nice addition to my collection. Nice to hear the Peel Session versions of these beloved songs. Must have for any CT fan.
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on 24 December 2013
l have all their studio albums.However l was not aware until l bought this album that the twins only began to get good playing live in the 1990s.Therefore just the last 3 tracks seem to me rather good.The 1980s stuff is not so well played.It is a bit empty of that wonderful lush,soaring sound of later years.Quite a few of the vocals are a bit too shouty for my taste.It seems that they split up when they were at the zenith of the ability.For me this is an album that l will not play often as the studio stuff is much better
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on 14 October 2003
Older fans with long memories will enjoy these tracks, whether they were at University or leaving school. I remember listening to Peel when I was 18 and looking forward to every Cocteau Twins session.
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