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Bbc Sessions

3.9 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

Price: CDN$ 121.95
Only 2 left in stock.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 14 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: EMI Music Canada
  • ASIN: B00001X5BO
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #117,857 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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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

Top 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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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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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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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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