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Bbc Sessions

Cocteau Twins Audio CD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

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Product Details

Disc: 1
1. Wax And Wane
2. Garlands
3. Alas Dies Laughing
4. Feathers-Oar-Blades
5. Hearsay Please
6. Dear Heart
7. Blind Dumb Deaf
8. Hazel
9. The Tinderbox (Of A Heart)
10. Strange Fruit
See all 16 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Hitherto
2. From The Flagstones
3. Musette And Drums
4. Pepper-Tree
5. Beatrix
6. Ivo
7. Otterley
8. Serpentskirt
9. Golden-Vein
10. Half-Gifts
See all 14 tracks on this disc

Product Description


The Cocteau Twins were one of the more distinctive recording acts of the 1980s and their dreamy, atmospheric sound provided an ethereal sonic template for many Euro-pop groups of the time. With Elizabeth Fraser's haunting vocals and Robin Guthrie's innovative use of guitars, drum machines, and other electronic instrumentation, the Cocteau Twins created a rich, textured sound that endured over a large number of recordings. This double disc serves nicely as a greatest-hits package as well as a lengthy memento of the band's evolution from 1982 through 1996. Including shimmering renditions of old favorites like "Musette and Drums" and "Ivo," as well as a stirring rendition of Billie Holiday's "Strange Fruit," this collection is a must for all Cocteau Twins fans. --Mitch Myers

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
Format:Audio CD
WOW. If you're like me, you NEED this. CD1 highlights- tracks 1, 2, and especially "Hazel" are essential whether you were into CT's first rough albums or not. CD2 highlights- "Volaine" has gone from blah to stun-material! Check out the cut-throat majesty of "Seekers Who Are Lovers", one of the best Cocteau songs of all time. I can't tell which is better (bbc or original). We're talking some serious six stars here, with only five possible. (If I let it rule me, I'd give this whole thing a fiver based on that emotion alone.) "Half-Gifts" here is also necessary. While obviously not all tracks are probably going to be stellar on a BBC collection, this compilation is required for CT lovers such as myself. Drawbacks: uneven representation of work over the years (wish some other songs appeared); Liz sings in a range too high on some of the later ballads featured on these outtakes. COCTEAU TWINS FOREVER .... WAAAAaaaaaa i never DID see them live :'(
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4.0 out of 5 stars One more chance to relish their music Feb. 14 2001
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Like anyone who is bound to review this compiliation, I am a big fan of the Cocteau Twins' wonderous music. Prior to this, I had heard two live Twins recordings. First was when they used to broadcast the syndicated radio show Modern Rock Live here in Houston. The Twins were the featured guests one time, and they performed songs from Milk and Kisses as well as For Phoebe Still a Baby (from the Blue Bell Knoll album). I still have the recording of that event. The other live recording was a British concert from the mid-80's that I found on Bootleg CD. The recording was very amateur and horrid, but it was another chance to hear them live, since I NEVER GOT TO! (They didn't come to Houston for the Milk and Kisses tour)
In case you haven't figured it out, some of the Twins' better albums are underrepresened in these BBC live sessions. Nothing at all from Victorialand. From the impeccable and divine Heaven or Las Vegas, only Fifty-Fifty Clown. And nothing from Blue Bell Knoll OR Four-Calendar Cafe. They must have performed these songs live on BBC, at some point!!!
I still chose to give this album 4 stars, in spite of this, because this compilation is probably the last "new" stuff that we fans will ever get to hear. The only thing left to do now is to make compilations from their studio albums and EP's. (By the way, I refuse to buy Stars and Topsoil, for the reason that I could always make my own compilations with a CD burner).
Of the two discs, I enjoy far more the second one. The Milk and Kisses live recordings are excellent!! And I enjoy this CD's recording of From the Flagstones. On the first CD, there is a live recording of the same song, but on that recording Elizabeth tries too hard to clone the studio recording, and it winds up being a flop.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent otherworldly rock May 15 2000
Format:Audio CD
The first thing to know about this set is that roughly three-quarters of the tracks are recordings made in the early 80's, when the Cocteau Twins sound was heavier and darker. Stronger rhythms and more droning guitars than what you might be familiar with from their later works. If you liked Garlands or other releases from that era, you'll love this.
The remaining tracks are mostly from Milk and Kisses. On these tracks, especially, it's easier to hear details and nuances of Fraser's vocals that get lost in the highly produced studio versions of the tracks. This is especially noticeable in the quiet and personal "Half-gifts" and some of the heartier signing in "Seekers Who Are Lovers".
My only quibble with the album is that it's questionable just how "live" some of these performances are, particularly the recordings from the 80's. In spots, Fraser is obviously singing along with tapes of back-up vocals (either that or she brought a clone into the studio). Nearly the first minute of "The Tinderbox (of a heart)" sounds identical to the studio version.
In contrast, the tracks from the 90's sound more "live" (either the drum machines are better, or there are real musicians sitting in), and Fraser doesn't use any taped backing vocals. Since there's a lot of multi-tracked vocals on these tunes, Fraser has to choose which parts to sing. Although this helps you hear her singing more clearly, the absence of some of these parts leaves the songs sounding incomplete (especially true of "Violaine").
Still, those minor complaints aside, this is a great listen. Fraser's unique vocal style is why most of us love the Cocteau Twins, and it's great to be able to hear it front and center over the long evolution of the group's sound.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Exquisite Journey Dec 8 1999
Format:Audio CD
This new double disk compilation will both exhilarate and disappoint. Nonetheless, it is well worth buying. Long-time fans will find the tracks on the first disk recorded with BBC's John Peel in the early 80's too familiar if still great. Such early classics as "Wax and Wane" and "Musette and Drums" vary little from those appearing on 1983's Garlands and Head Over Heals, although live versions. Tracks 5-8 of disk 1 actually appeared on the UK version of Garlands. Notable exceptions are a wonderful "in our anglehood" from Head Over Heals and an interesting 1983 rendition of Billie Holiday's "Strange Fruit." And disk 1 does offer newer admirers of CT an excellent retrospective that captures the essential early CT sound, a sublime display of the band's punk sensibility and origins. Disk 2, on the other hand, is exceptional. The 14 tracks, three from a 1983 Saturday Night Live performance, illustrate Liz Fraser's live vocal explorations, offering up the incredible range of her affecting voice and demonstrating the musical and technical maturing of bandmates Robin Guthrie and Simon Raymonde. Yet anyone who has seen them live will probably agree that CT can offer even more than is demonstrated here. Unlike the Pink Opaque, where "Pepper-Tree" fell so forcefully into "Musette and Drums," they have reversed the order here because the tracks are organized chronologically by recording session, with "Musette and Drums" part of the Saturday Night Live session and "Pepper-Tree" from a 1984 Peel session. If some of the drama is lost, both are still nice. Read more ›
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A More Intimate Experience
This CD contains renditions of their songs that are slightly different and, to my mind, perhaps more intimate, than the studio versions. Read more
Published on May 19 2004 by Rod Doe
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly magnificent
This is an album you should enjoy and enjoy a lot. Incidentally when a BBC sessions album is released by a band it doesn't really mean it's a live album. Read more
Published on June 1 2003 by filterite
3.0 out of 5 stars Pleasant enough but don't listen to it straight through
I am not a huge Cocteau Twins fan but find their music works well as a background for when I am working. Read more
Published on Dec 11 2002 by Indian music lover
2.0 out of 5 stars I love them, but live Cocteau Twins isn't optimal
I'm as big a fan as they come, but live Cocteau has a problem -- there's just one Elizabeth. On studio albums, as you know, there are numerous vocal tracks, creating a rich,... Read more
Published on March 3 2002 by Erik D. Robson
5.0 out of 5 stars absolutely blissful
Cocteau Twins blended a wonderful concoction of heavenly voices and synesthetic guitars until you were transported into realms not seen by mere mortals. Read more
Published on June 22 2001 by Brian Wallace (Co-author of It's Not Your Hair)
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent CD set, but somewhat lacking
A remarkable collection of live songs by the Cocteau Twins. Unfortunatly, no tracks are included from certain albums, and I really would've liked to have heard those songs live. Read more
Published on Dec 3 2000 by Green Jeanz
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent "live" performance!
Beeing a fan of Cocteau Twins since 1992 my reference album was and still is Heaven or Las Vegas. The BBC Sessions allowed me to understand more of the CT, specially the early... Read more
Published on July 4 2000 by Antonio
4.0 out of 5 stars cocteau's delight
this very nice set overcame my good-but-not-great impression of CT. another reviewer called their performances here "coarse" and that's exactly right: in a few places... Read more
Published on March 26 2000
3.0 out of 5 stars Live jibe erroneous
I have to take issue with "A music fan from San Diego" regarding the Cocteau Twins live. I saw them in Manchester (U.K. Read more
Published on Jan. 4 2000 by DMDW
3.0 out of 5 stars An essential for the hardcore fan
For the hardcore Twins fan, this is a must-have. The material is familiar, and the mixes and vocals interesting, if not overwhelmingly new. Read more
Published on Dec 27 1999 by "violaine"
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