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BBC Sessions
Cocteau Twins
BBC Sessions
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (16) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (14) - Disc #2

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 ...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Cocteau Twins
Title: BBC Sessions
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Rykodisc
Original Release Date: 10/12/1999
Release Date: 10/12/1999
Album Type: Live
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
Styles: Indie & Lo-Fi, British Alternative
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaCD Credits: 2
UPCs: 014431049729, 5033826701320

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

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CD Reviews

I love them, but live Cocteau Twins isn't optimal
Erik D. Robson | Bay Area, CA, USA | 03/04/2002
(2 out of 5 stars)

"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, layered sound. I never knew how important this element was until it was gone. Live recordings (including the BBC Sessions) just feel sort of anemic, because only one melody is being sung. Yes, her voice is still beautiful, but it changes the nature of the songs.I'm not going to tell anyone not to listen for themselves, but I was disappointed."
Exquisite Journey
CDS | Wilmington, Delaware | 12/09/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"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. On the recordings from the 90's, tracks 8-14, Liz's voice is simply breathtaking, especially on "golden-vein," "half-gifts," "seekers who are lovers," and "calfskin smack." But it's hard to play favorites. Indeed, by the end of the second disk listeners can expect to emerge from an exquisite journey through time and space changed for the better and wanting to do it all over again."
Very good
loteq | Regensburg | 11/05/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This box set is clearly a must-have for fans, but it also is a good first purchase for newcomers. However, disc one could be a surprise for those who are only familiar with the dreamy soundscapes of the Cocteau's "middle-era". Some lesser known songs have already appeared on their first 12" release "Lullabies" and on the European edition of the album "Garlands". All in all, the performance makes the Cocteaus sound darker and more rock-oriented than they used to be. Disc two is a surprise too, because the clinical production of songs from "Milk and Kisses" is stripped away, and these songs definitely sound more "underground". I think the whole album is a great new way to listen to the Cocteau Twins and it proves that they were among the most innovative and enjoyable '80s dark wave groups."