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Stars And Topsoil [VINYL] Double LP

4.7 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

Price: £16.43 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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£16.43 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details Only 7 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched and sold by Amazon in certified Frustration-Free Packaging. Gift-wrap available.
Amazon Has Certified That This Packaging Is Frustration-Free
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Product details

  • Vinyl (6 Feb. 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Double LP
  • Label: 4AD
  • ASIN: B006JQ94N8
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 72,489 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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Product Description

2LP set. Vital 18-track "best of" compilation of 4AD material from 1982 to 1990! Includes "Sugar Hiccup" ; "Carolyn's Fingers" ; "Iceblink Luck" ; "Lorelei" ; "Heaven Or Las Vegas" and more indisputable classics.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Stars&Topsoil is a pretty definitive selection of Cocteau Twins career on 4AD from 1982 to 1990- their work after was slightly less interesting (though the Bella-Union sampler'At Least You Can Die With a Smile On Your Face' showcases the later work of Fraser, Guthrie&Raymonde- as does MassiveAttack's Mezzanine). This is a pretty definitive single compilation, one that takes in their whole 4AD career, rather than focusing on singles like the lovely boxset or compilation'The Pink Opaque'.
The opening track is a curious choice- more of a product of their obssession with Siouxsie&the Banshees (which wouldn't be completely expunged till 1984's Treasure). I'd have preferred Peppermint Pig personally- though as with every compilation there are so many titles that YOU feel should be hear (eg Blue Bell Knoll, Crushed, Musette&Drums, Rococo,The Spangle Maker, Love's Easy Tears,Pitch the Baby, Cherry-Coloured Funk etc).
We get the early highlights- the sublime Sugar Hiccup, Head Over Heels' My Love Paramour and the kind of hit single Pearly Dewdrops'Drops (one of Fraser&Guthrie's most popular moments, along with This Mortal Coil's Song to the Siren & 1990's Iceblink Luck). Next up are two tracks from the wonderful Treasure, where Simon Raymonde came on board & the classic Cocteau's sound was born and developed on- there is a wild feel to the drum machine, which is more akin to EricB&Rakim at times (no surprise that the Cocetaus would influence AR Kane and PM Dawn- bands who fused beats with those obligatory sonic cathedrals & palatial chimes!). It gets better with a selection of ep tracks from 1985- the huge Aikea-Guinea and the sublime Pink-Orange-Red...
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Format: Audio CD
Stars and Topsoil is a fairly definitive cross-section of Cocteau Twins material from their near-legendary years on 4AD. The collection includes carefully selected tracks from the period, which began with their debut album Garlands, before progressing right the way through to what some consider to be their ultimate masterpiece, Heaven or Las Vegas. As with the majority of these collections the choice of tracks included is merely subjective, with no single-disk career retrospective ever likely to please the die-hard fans, who will no doubt be too busy bemoaning the fact that a lesser song has been included over their all-time favourite. As a result, Stars and Topsoil works best an introduction to the band for those who don't already have all the albums and are curious as to the style of music the Cocteau Twins create.
This collection also best demonstrates the evolution the Cocteau's underwent from those first two albums, Garlands and Head Over Heels - which were a lot more rooted in the sound of the early-80's post punk scene - into the band that created the lush dream pop of definitive albums like Blue Bell Knoll, Treasure and Victorialand. The 18-tracks run pretty much in chronological order, progressing on from Blind Dumb Deaf from their first album and beyond into the utter delights of those watershed albums that would follow. Both Sugar Hiccup and My Love Paramour from second album Head Over Heels show early signs of that Cocteau's sound beginning to emerge, with the style and overall integration of Robin Guthrie's layered and cascading guitar tones with the sublime and intoxicatingly opaque vocals of Elizabeth Fraser.
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Format: Audio CD
Play this and remember when the british record industry made little sense or had even less credibility (except for Liz's BRIT)than today. There in the glare of mullets, rolled-up jacket sleeves and white footwear shone the black-light of the Cocteaus and along with fellow hooded guardians 'the Chain, Smiths, Cure and New Order maintained the balance between the lameness of 'pop' and what really mattered . Anyone who had a thought in their head during the 80's will remember that this was the reason late-night radio existed. Nearly two decades on and the pretenders of ambient and trance are still pretending. Long dormant memories and emotions manifest in the form of Sugar Hiccup, The Thinner The Air and Fifty-Fifty Clown. You'll have your own reasons for owning this compilation but to me and anybody with children named Pandora, Carolyn or Phoebe it's what being in-love sounded like.
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Format: Audio CD
This is probably the best introduction to the Cocteaus, although for me nothing tops "Treasure" for total album perfection. For me this album though catapulted me back 15 years to my teenage years, being all moody, dressed in black and totally, totally hooked on the magic of the Cocteaus. Nothing can ever top Liz Fraser's voice for sublime beauty. Or the rage from proles who say "but you can't understand the words" ...GRRRR...they're not songs! Once you understand Liz's voice is another musical instrument then you can float away on the magic of it all. The sax and gradual climax to Lazy Calm is for me fabulous - when Liz's voice finally kicks in it blows the top of your head off. I also cannot get over Lorelei - is it me or does it remind you of Christmas? Buy this album now. And begin to appreciate the finer things in life.
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