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The start of something special,
This review is from: Head Over Heels (Audio CD)This review is the starting point of a journey to find my music and marks the start of a sporadic series of reviews to try and chart this journey and hopefully provide some pointers on the way. Not the first record I bought (anyone who says a record this good is the first record they bought is obviously a liar - mine... 'Remember your a Womble' aged 7) but the first record I bought that felt truly unique, that I felt was mine, and it instilled a need from thereon to find music that did the same.
I first saw the Cocteau Twins on The Tube perform what is still for me the defining track - 'Musette and Drums' and was awestruck. It sounded like music from another world - Liz's voice was becoming her own and Robin Guthrie was finding the sound that would become a cornerstone of my collection.
The nostalgic in me has given this album 5 stars, looking dispassionately at it now it is probably only a 4 star record, but to forget the passion I had then and still do (Lullabies to Violaine made sure of that - 'Sugar Hiccup' especially) would be to forget what made the Cocteau Twins then and now a special band. They would go on from here to make their masterpieces, for me Treasure and Victorialand plus the EPs in-between, but this is as much a landmark for me as for them and is essential.
From this point on the label 4ad could do little wrong - this was a period when you could buy a new 4ad release without even hearing it and be guaranteed something special (not only the record either, with Vaughan Oliver and 23 envelope producing some of the most beautiful artwork to grace a sleeve). Soon after they would release the much coveted This Mortal Coil album 'It'll End in Tears' which again featured Liz on 'Song to the Siren' - another remarkable performance on a remarkable record.
However I'm going to skip labels from here to another that could be relied upon for the same combination of outstanding music and beautiful artwork - that of Factory records, Peter Saville and most importantly The Durutti Column with 'Return of...' - another pivotal release from the criminally underated Vini Reilly.