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57 of 57 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Complements the 4AD albums, 4 April 2006
By 
Lozarithm (Wilts, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lullabies To Violaine, Volume 1 (Audio CD)
Lullabies was the Cocteau Twins first EP, released in Autumn 1982 a couple of months after their debut album Garlands, and Violaine marked the final release by the band in the summer of 1996. Now that the lavish 4CD box set has sold out, the discs have been made available in two double-CD sets, of which the first represents their 8 year association with Four AD, and the second their period with Fontana. This distinction is less marked in America, where albums from Blue Bell Knoll onward were all on Capitol.
Volume One largely replaces the lavish and extremely expensive CD box set of singles and EPs that appeared in 1990, which marked the debut of most of the tracks on CD, as all their singles and EPs prior to Iceblink Luck had been vinyl releases only, and only a few of the lead tracks had been taken from albums. Most of the discs from the set were then released individually, though an exclusive four-track disc of rarities was not.
Though less lavish, this attractive package contains the vast majority of the contents of The Singles Collection, on two discs averaging an hour apiece. All tracks have been mastered by Robin Guthrie with Walter Coelho at Masterpiece and where they sound dissimilar to the previous CD versions, they are in my view improved, with greater clarity in the detail.
There are no previously released rarities from vinyl and cassette compilations, including those from The Singles Collection four-track disc.
The one exception to this is Orange Appled, which began life on a Melody Maker give-away 7" vinyl EP in 1986. It was added in 1990 to the new CD version of Love's Easy Tears and retains its position here. I imagine a disc that did collect those odds and ends and added items like the NME version of Ivo and the In Our Angelhood demo from the Pleasantly Surprised cassette would be snapped up pretty pronto.
Contrarily, the extended 12" mix of Peppermint Pig (the version broadcast by John Peel in the 1983 Festive Fifty, where it was voted to no. 28 by listeners) was added to the CD EP release but is not included here.
Furthermore, two of the tracks are included in previously unreleased alternative versions. Aikea-Guinea appears in slightly different mixes everytime it is released, as the beautiful counter-melody sung in the background by Elizabeth Fraser becomes more extensive and further forward in the mix, quite subtly on The Pink Opaque, more noticeably on Stars And Topsoil, and here competing for dominance with the main vocal. Secondly, the annoying fade-in start has been abandoned - a big improvement as far as I am concerned.
Both versions of Pearly-Dewdrops' Drops, the 7" and 12" mixes, have been dropped in favour of a new mix which most closely resembles the 12" version but without the tinkly-bells and vocals at the start, and remixed particularly to feature a previously buried guitar part. Again, I like the new mix but it does mean that the definitive 12" mix (as also played by Peel in 1984 when it made no. 2 in that year's Festive Fifty) is unavailable now that the CD EP is out of print.
Strongly recommended, though, especially if you only have the albums. A different mix of Sugar Hiccups appeared on Head Over Heels, and Iceblink Luck was on Heaven Or Las Vegas. All the others were single or EP releases only, though some have been included on compilations.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The 4AD years..., 10 Mar 2006
By 
Jason Parkes "We're all Frankies'" (Worcester, UK) - See all my reviews
(No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Lullabies To Violaine, Volume 1 (Audio CD)
Issued last December 'Lullabies to Violaine' was a limited edition four-disc box-set taking in Cocteau Twins' single releases through their brilliant career. Now this material has been reissued in a two volume, two disc form which makes available their singles work alongside the reissues of the albums proper in remastered form a few years ago.
A great compilation that opens with their Associates/Banshees-style sound that settled into their own distinctive nature around 'Sunburst & Snowblind.' The 'Lullabies' e.p. is quite harsh, while the Alan Rankine-produced 'Peppermint Pig' suggests where Associates sound could have gone after 'Sulk' has Mackenzie & Rankine not fallen out. Robin Guthrie & Liz Frazer became a duo with the realease of the 'Sunburst & Snowblind' ep (Will Heggie being the original bassist). This set the tone for their sound that would be explored on such classic albums as 'Head Over Heels', 'Treasure', 'Victorialand', 'Blue Bell Knoll' & 'Heaven or Las Vegas.' Their influence with this kind of work is apparent and they have been cited/can be detected in the work of the following: My Bloody Valentine, Seefeel, Slowdive, Chapterhouse, Duran Duran, Jane's Addiction, Prince, PM Dawn, Massive Attack (with whom Liz Frazer has recorded several tracks - notably 'Teardrop'), Delays, Geneva, The Cure, Goldfrapp (Alison G's moans on 'Ride a White Horse' are pure Liz Frazer!), Jeff Buckley, Belle & Sebastian, the Gun Club (whom Robin Guthrie produced), Ride, AR Kane, Cranes, Thieves, Jeniferever, Sigur Ros etc. The first disc climaxes with the gorgeous 'Aikea Guinea' e.p. , where they offer a world beyond similar explorations by Eno and Robert Wyatt - with those otherworldly titles 'Rococco', 'Quisquose', 'Kookaburra' and an alternate version of the title track.
The second disc is even better and represents the peak of their 4AD years, taking in material found on the compilations 'The Pink Opaque' and the one-disc version of 'Tiny Dynamine/Echoes in a Shallow Bay.' This is gorgeous stuff and the addition of Simon Raymonde made their sound even richer - sublime keyboards now loiter against those chiming guitars and that mindblowing voice. The 'Love's Easy Tears'-single is fantastic - my favourite track being 'Orange Appled.' My favourite tracks on this compilation come at the end - the two b-sides of 1990's 'Iceblink Luck', 'Mizake the Mizan' and 'Watchlar.' The latter is probably my fave Cocteau Twins song and has a repetitive synth-rhythm that Frazer weaves her vocals round, re-using lines that surfaced on 'Heaven or Las Vegas' 'Fifty-Fifty Clown.' Almost worth buying alone for this gorgeous song...
Volume I of 'Lullabies to Violaine' helps complete the picture of Cocteau Twins career - like The Smiths, they were a key singles outfit who put out great material in other places than the albums. There are a few tracks missing from the 1991 box-set ('Dials', 'Crushed')- but you can't have everything! This is the better volume of the two and something you can throw at someone who complains about how bad music was in the 80s...
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Proper Mastering At Last, 13 Feb 2009
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This review is from: Lullabies To Violaine, Volume 1 (Audio CD)
There are quite a few Cocteau Twins enthusiasts who have been disappointed by the CD releases. And justifiably so for those CDs sounded like they were mastered by someone who just didn't care. Enjoyable but not like the original vinyl.

I've done it myself. I've listened to the 'Echoes In a Shallow Bay/ Tiny Dynamine' CD release alongside the plush vinyl EPs and wondered what went wrong.

But here on 'Lullabies To Violaine - Volume 1' this problem has been set straight. These tracks now sound as wonderful as they were meant to be. Deep, resonant, evocative and masterful. Here at last we have 'Ribbed and Veined', 'Pink Orange Red' and 'Pepper Tree' in astonishing reality.

Ignore your turntable, you can forget the little pops and crackles on your precious vinyl. Get swept away.

You didn't think it would happen on CD but it has.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best CT complation CD, 13 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Lullabies To Violaine, Volume 1 (Audio CD)
This is a must for Cocteau Twins fans. By far the most superior complilation yet. You need this in your collection!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Ideal for the Cocteau Twins virgin, 4 April 2010
This review is from: Lullabies To Violaine, Volume 1 (Audio CD)
I have beeen in love with the Cocteau twins every since the album Garlands when I first heard them on the on the GREAT JOHN PEEL show late at night. This double CD is the first volume of a 4 disc set which is a must have for all C.Twins fans old and new.
This is the first volume which is taken from their early years on 4AD records which is very raw, but as you listen through the disc you can hear them evolve from a talented punkish band with Tracks like Feather-Oar-blades, Peppermint Pig and Sugar Hiccup and into a more accomplished band with tracks like Pearly-dewdrops drops, Pepper-tree and the amazing track Aikea-guinea, and this is where there song writing really started to shine and for me very brightly. Disc two of this 2 disc set is alot better and that is where you will find the Cocteau Twins sound. So if you are new to the C'Twins then please dont give up half way through the first disc, or you could be missing out, sorry will be missing out on a very rare musical experience.
If you are still not sure then take a look on You Tube. OH nearly forgot Volume 2 is even better.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Genius, 29 April 2006
By 
D. West "coralsea1" (Hampshire) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Lullabies To Violaine, Volume 1 (Audio CD)
The Cocteau Twins were a complete one-off and this is pure genius. Buy it while it is available....and at this price it has to be the steal of the century. Enjoy
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AT LAST ! AT LAST ! THANK YOU !!, 4 April 2006
By 
Mr. I. Stephen "dj_dadrock" - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Lullabies To Violaine, Volume 1 (Audio CD)
With so much of the Cocteau's very fine output from their first four or so years not being on albums, this is a very welcome release indeed. Stick the headphones on and soak up every delicious little nuance of sound hidden away in there !
Most excellent value, too - a useful way of discovering/re-discovering one of the most completely unique and imaginative bands from the early half of the '80s. Bliss !
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a must buy album, 16 July 2009
This review is from: Lullabies To Violaine, Volume 1 (Audio CD)
another must buy its great value and very enjoyable-sadly contains 7 poorish early songs at the start of the cd-if i remeber correctly-otherwise every other song is great-the first seven songs which are poor were obviously from the start of their career-ie 1982/83 when they had a very rough sound and when they wrote very crude songs-however -its great value and though a shade less enjoyable than the other latter violaine vol 2 -its still wonderful and like i said great value for money and of course mostly a collection of singles/eps and the like from the box set cllection-most or all of which were not on albums -i love it and can easily recommend it and describe it as great-but i always have to skip the first 7 songs-otherwise simply more cocteaus heaven
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars New to me, 8 Oct 2010
By 
Chris Law (Hants, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Lullabies To Violaine, Volume 1 (Audio CD)
Appreciation of music being subjective and all - do I rate the CDs themselves? Round and plastic, just what I wanted.
That said, the music isn't half bad either, I heard a recommendation online, listened to about 30 seconds on spotify and then bought a cd. Done.
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Lullabies To Violaine, Volume 1
Lullabies To Violaine, Volume 1 by Cocteau Twins (Audio CD - 2006)
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