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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A history more beautiful than most
There are fanatics who hold an annual Cocteau Twins convention in unlikely places like Toronto. People travel from all over the world to attend and luxuriate in the company of fellow Cocteau devotees and dance to their sumptuous back catalogue. To someone who has loved the band since stumbling across “Sunburst and Snowblind” in 1983 it sounds like a rather...
Published on 24 Dec. 2005 by russell clarke

versus
6 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Where are the deleted songs?
This is a response to other reviewers.
Most of the actual music here deserves a five-star rating - but this isn't the kind of compilation the Cocteau Twins catalogue needs.
The Fontana singles, long deleted and containing some of their best (e.g `Mud and Dark',`Ice Pulse', `Flock Of Soul') and worst (`Tranquil Eye') material, certainly needed to be reissued,...
Published on 2 Dec. 2005 by coca-ebola


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A history more beautiful than most, 24 Dec. 2005
By 
russell clarke "stipesdoppleganger" (halifax, west yorks) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Lullabies to Violaine: Singles and Extended Plays [4CD] (Audio CD)
There are fanatics who hold an annual Cocteau Twins convention in unlikely places like Toronto. People travel from all over the world to attend and luxuriate in the company of fellow Cocteau devotees and dance to their sumptuous back catalogue. To someone who has loved the band since stumbling across “Sunburst and Snowblind” in 1983 it sounds like a rather fine if slightly exhausting and expensive idea. Bit beyond me in terms of endurance and pocket I’m afraid, but this sumptuous exhaustative box set of the bands singles output up to their demise in 1996 is a very agreeable placebo in lieu of that particular event.
It’s a fine idea collecting all the songs off all those E.P.s- The Cocteau,s in their pomp only released L.P.s and E.P.s - and collating them all in one box set. What’s surprising is how much material there is, what’s not surprising is the quality. Far too much to analyse individually here except to say that some of the songs are incandescent in their brilliance. I would argue vociferally that “Orange Applied” which was stuck away on the “Loves Easy Tears” E.P. is their single finest moment, a ravishing and entirely representative cascade of luminescent sound with one of Liz Fraser’s most passionate vocal performances which is saying something. When this is on everything within a mile radius seems to glow and you are sucked willingly into the lambent eye of its musical storm. Other personal favourites included here are “Sugar Hiccup”, “From The Flagstones”, “The Spangle Maker” , “Pepper Tree”, “Pearly Dewdrops Drops” ”Sultitan Itan” “Iceblink Luck”, but really you can’t go wrong with anything in this box set. Liz Fraser could sing an “Eastenders script and make it sound the most ravishing thing you’ll hear all week.
The more observant will have noticed that the songs I’m fondest of are from the period after the gloomy atmospherics of “Lullabies” and up the beginning of the nineties which I believe was their peak period where Guthrie and Raymond really weaved their magic. The music they made then often had to be heard to be believed and every new release was a major event and would have me salivating in anticipation. It’s a tough call of course but I think if I had to pick a definitive top ten album lists for some spurious reason then “Treasure” would almost certainly be in there. The Cocteaus sound was unique and would send music critics into apoplexy and Guthrie into a huff when trying to analyse their sound, their method and just what the hell Liz was singing about. They were called the “Voice of God”, while dissenting voices likened them to “Childish wittering over scraping guitars”. That gentleman was deaf, mad or just acting as devils advocate.
The later material and remixes isn’t up there with the peak, but it’s still more often than not bewilderingly beautiful and knocks great big spots of most music you will hear. Cocteau’s aficionados will already know all this of course but those unfamiliar with the band should not hesitate as there really is a wealth of treasure waiting to be discovered here. For me, the music in this box set approximates some kind of history; the stacks of vinyl on my shelves bearing their name are testament to that. Unlike most history though, this one can only be measured in sheer pleasure and endless moments of radiating brilliance
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive singles collection..., 23 Nov. 2005
By 
Jason Parkes "We're all Frankies'" (Worcester, UK) - See all my reviews
(No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Lullabies to Violaine: Singles and Extended Plays [4CD] (Audio CD)
'Lullabies to Violaine: Singles and Extended Plays' is a comprehensive companion to the Cocteau Twins/Budd-Fraser-Guthrie-Raymonde reissues a few years ago. This limited edition represents great value, containing the majority of the material found on the 1991 Cocteau Twins box-set, as well as their post-4AD/post'Heaven or Las Vegas' material.
The first two discs are what many will buy this for, taking in their A's, B's and e.p.-tracks from 1982 ('Lullabies') to hit-single 'Iceblink Luck' (1990) Many of these tracks even had their own 4AD albums at one point, 'The Pink Opaque' and the 'Tiny Dynamine/Echoes in a Shallow Bay' (while the initial c.d. of 'Head Over Heels' contained 'Sunburst & Snowblind'). It's all fantastic stuff, from the Alan Rankine-produced 'Peppermint Pig' (sounding like the missing link between The Banshees & 'Sulk'), to the gorgeous 'Sugar Hiccup' (...words cannot express...), the alternate-version of 'Pearly Dewdrops'Drops'& the vast 'Aikea-Guinea.' The joys are continued on the second disc, taking in the sublime 'Pink Orange Red', the superior b-side 'Orange-Appled', and the two fantastic b-sides to 'Iceblink Luck', 'Mizake the Mizan' and 'Watchlar' ("emotions are emotional" recurs here...)
Discs three and four are ripe for demonstrating that Cocteau Twins weren't completely over as many felt at the time - it was probably just the fact that many acts influenced by them had encroached on their turf: Slowdive, Lush, Pale Saints, Seefeel, AR Kane, Galaxie 500, Chapterhouse, Cranes, & My Bloody Valentine (whose mighty 'Loveless' advanced on the Cocteaus sound, tracks like 'Loomer' and 'blown a wish' like 'blue bell knoll' colliding with 'Metal Machine Music'). There's plenty of great stuff on these latter discs, 'Winter Wonderland' and 'Frosty the Snowman' seem to get played more with the advancing years, while the 'Twinlights' e.p. continues the minimal-approach of 'Victorialand'- 'Rilkean Heart' and 'Pink Orange Red' standing out here. Likewise the fourth-disc has much greatness on it , the remix of my favourite Cocteau Twins' song 'Cherry Colored Funk' is a must, as is 'Seekers Who Are Lovers', 'Feet Like Fins' (another older song re-evaluated), and 'Alice' - which I first heard in the great looking kleenex-fest 'Stealing Beauty.' The comparisons at the time to Enya were wide of the mark...
Cocteau Twins were great and much of the evidence beyond albums like 'Treasure', 'The Moon & the Melodies','Victorialand','Blue Bell Knoll' & 'Heaven or Las Vegas' is here. Admired by people such as Prince, Jane's Addiction, Duran Duran, people who make mineral water, Jeff Buckley, Massive Attack, P.M. Dawn, AR Kane, most indie bands, The Cure, Jeffrey Lee Pierce (whose 'The Breaking Hands' is one of Robin Guthrie's great productions), Sigur Ros, Goldfrapp (Alison is very Liz Frazer sometimes...), Cranes, My Bloody Valentine etc they certainly made their presence known. One of the key acts of the 1980s, their performance of 'Pink Orange Red' on 'The Tube' blew my mind (I learnt to speak the language later...)
This collection warrants a place in anyone's record-collection, as does many an album released on Guthrie & Raymonde's label Bella-Union (Dirty Three, Gwei-Lo, Undark, Lift to Experience, Laura Veirs, Violet Indiana) and Guthrie's recent soundtrack collaboration with Harold Budd, 'Mysterious Skin.' Timeless stuff, how could you live without it?
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Complete Cocteaus in box-set form...1982 - 1996, 26 Nov. 2005
By 
Jason Parkes "We're all Frankies'" (Worcester, UK) - See all my reviews
(No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Lullabies to Violaine: Singles and Extended Plays [4CD] (Audio CD)
This limited-edition box-set is wonderful completist stuff which gives us the complete picture of Cocteau Twins non-album material (the back-catalogue was given a remaster/reissue a few years ago). Contained are 'Lullabies' (1982);'Peppermint Pig' (1983); 'Sunburst & Snowblind' (1983); 'The Spangle Maker' (1984);'Aikea Guinea' (1985); 'Tiny Dynamine' (1985); 'Echoes in a Shallow Bay' (1985); 'Love's Easy Tears' (1986); 'Iceblink Luck' (1990); 'Evangeline' (1993); 'Snow' (1993); 'Bluebeard' (1994); 'Twinlights' (1995); 'Otherness' (1995); 'Tishbite' (1996) & 'Violaine' (1996). Some of this material may be familiar as extra-tracks on the initial cd issue of 'Head Over Heels', from the compilation of 'Tiny Dynamine/Echoes...' & the early e.p.'s collection 'The Pink Opaque.' The packaging is lovely and the collection great value when you consider the cost of the 1991-singles-box-set (£60something I recall...)The booklet is lovely and the songs sound more wonderful than ever...
Too many songs to go into, the first two discs collecting the 4ad years - highlights including the Alan Rankine-produced 'Pepperimint Pig', 'Pearly Dewdrops' Drops', the 12" of 'Sugar Hiccup', 'Aikea Guinea', instrumental 'Ribbed & Veined', 'Love's Easy Tears' b-side 'Orange Appled' and my favourite Cocteau Twins' song 'Watchlar' - which takes an alternate approach to music & lyrics also found on 'Heaven or Las Vegas' 'Fifty-Fifty Clown.' & hasten to say the post-'Rock Bottom'/'Trout Mask Replica'-titles here rival album track-titles such as 'ella megalast burls forever','cherry colored funk' & 'oomingmak' - the titles alone conjur up other realms: 'Rococo', 'Sultitan Itan', 'Mizake the Mizan', 'Great Spangled Fritillary', and so on...
The second half of this collection stem from Cocteau Twins releases on Mercury, when they fell out of favour - having influence and been usurped by acts such as My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, Lush, AR Kane, Seefeel, Chapterhouse, Pale Saints et al. The poor critical reputation for this material is undeserved (some buffoon compared it to Enya!!!), while 'Heaven or Las Vegas' was their peak, songs like 'Evangeline', 'Bluebeard' & 'Alice' (which featured in the sublime exploitation that was 'Stealing Beauty') are similarly wonderful. The 'Snow'-single is a lovely bonus, one that will nuzzle against Low's 'Christmas' and Mogwai's 'My Father the King' in a few weeks time! The acoustic/alternative versions of songs like 'Pink Orange Red', 'Feet-Like Fins', 'Seekers Who Are Lovers' & 'Cherry Colored Funk' are all fantastic - the acoustic session returning to the acoustic direction of 1986's sublime 'Victorialand.'
Name-checked by the great and dire alike (Prince, Duran Duran, Jane's Addiction, Massive Attack, Goldfrapp etc), Cocteau Twins are due a revival (...not that I really stopped listening...). The reissues of their back-catalogue, Guthrie & Raymonde's excellent Bella-Union label and the recent soundtrack to 'Mysterious Skin' (by Harold Budd & Robin Guthrie)have all lead to this great celebration of one of the great artists of the 1980s/1990s. This set alone demonstrates how great e.p.'s and singles can be...
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Magical Treasure Trove for Cocteau Twins Fans, 11 Feb. 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: Lullabies to Violaine: Singles and Extended Plays [4CD] (Audio CD)
I love the Cocteau Twins but only discovered them 2 years ago. I bought everything I could get, but the EPs proved hard to get hold of. In the end I assumed they would have been just left-over rejects from album sessions and gave up looking.

When this collection came out I ordered it from Amazon expecting that the four discs might yield 2 or 3 tracks I liked. I was stunned and delighted to find no less than 20 tracks which are new to me and of at least equal quality to my personal favourites on "Heaven or Las Vegas", "Blue Bell Knoll" and "Four Calendar Cafe".

True stunners are "Summer Blink", "Round", "Mizake the Mizan", "Watchlar", "Kookaburra", "Three-Swept" and the fabulous "Primitive Heart"

If you like the Cocteaus, and you don't already have the EPs, YOU NEED THIS COLLECTION - which is fantastic value (and a beautiful presentation case, by the way, too!)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars cocteau twins lullabies to violaine and extended plays, 10 Mar. 2006
By A Customer
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Lullabies to Violaine: Singles and Extended Plays [4CD] (Audio CD)
This boxset is a must have,a superb collection of one of the most unique bands of all time.If you are a fan of this great band you simply have to have it,its that simple.Every track on it is great,even the package it comes in is super.I strongly
recommend this to every one who likes to relax and chillout.This
wonderfull boxset is worth every penny,and more.So what are you waiting for,just get it!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Perfect History, 2 Jan. 2006
By 
Mrs. Julie Hogg "Julie Hogg" (Tyne and Wear United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Lullabies to Violaine: Singles and Extended Plays [4CD] (Audio CD)
For me, a fan since 1983 and the same age as Liz Fraser, this album is like a walk down Memory Lane. It's a rare and wonderful thing to get a band's singles/EP back catalogue in one magnificent opus. I got this as a Christmas present and spend all day Boxing Day listening to it. To try and pick highlights would be futile so I won't try. Get some good headphones (Grado are good), lie back and immerse yourself in it. Adjectives run out...joyful, stunning, perfect.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best band in the history of the universe, 9 May 2006
By 
Mr. Mark Quinn "Quinny" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Lullabies to Violaine: Singles and Extended Plays [4CD] (Audio CD)
The Cocteau Twins will always be the best band in the history of the universe and this box set simply confirms this fact. As usual, their products are beautifully packaged but it is what lies within that sparkles. From the wonderful 'Feathers Oar Blades' right up to 'Violaine', each track is perfection. Favourite track...ooh difficult...look out for 'All but an ark lark' from Lullabies and probably 'Ice Pulse' from the Bluebeard ep. But really you could stick a pin in the track listing and still come up with something quite magical.

Purchase and enjoy!!!

M
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pur-fection, 21 Dec. 2005
This review is from: Lullabies to Violaine: Singles and Extended Plays [4CD] (Audio CD)
Finally your hunt for all the singles and EP's is over! Robin Guthrie has remastered these gems and 4AD have put them together in one lovely package. There are some typographical errors on the release and it has some design flaws, but those things aside this is a beautiful release and a must have for any fan of Cocteau Twins.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic collection, superb packaging, 3 Dec. 2005
By 
john peers (leeds, w.yorks United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Lullabies to Violaine: Singles and Extended Plays [4CD] (Audio CD)
This is just a fantastic set. To have the cocteau twins release all the ep's in one set is great , but to have Vaughan Oliver design the cover and it being on the 4ad label just finishes the set off beautifully. I have to disagree with the previous reviewer about the packaging. It is a design masterpiece and i have just ordered my second copy to keep and collect without opening. The feel of the paper and the design reminds me of what the whole cocteau twins era was about. Beautiful music with beautiful design. As for the music, well it still brings me to tears. Get this set before it disappears forever!.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifuly designed package for a beautiful music, 29 Nov. 2005
By 
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This review is from: Lullabies to Violaine: Singles and Extended Plays [4CD] (Audio CD)
The Cd set is put on this unusual beautiful deluxe packaging, that makes me remembering the oldies but goldies black 33rpm discs. I think 4AD should re-publish all the albums of Cocteau Twins in that kind of special pachaging. About the music...well, Cocteau had have an astonishing production of beautiful tracks and unique pieces that finaly are all in one place. In 90's it was already on shop a box with all of their singles, but this is also very well conceived and very well designed by V23.
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