|Studio album by|
|Released||1 November 1984|
|Cocteau Twins chronology|
Treasure is the third studio album by Scottish alternative rock band Cocteau Twins. It was released on 1 November 1984 by 4AD. With this album, the band settled on what would, from then on, be their primary lineup: vocalist Elizabeth Fraser, guitarist Robin Guthrie and bass guitarist Simon Raymonde. This new lineup also coincided with the development of the ethereal sound associated with the band's music.
The album reached No. 29 on the UK Albums Chart, becoming the band's first UK Top 40 album, and charted for eight weeks. It also became one of the band's most critically successful releases, although the band considered it underdeveloped.
- 2Reception and release
Background and music
The album was recorded from August to September 1984 at Palladium Studios, Edinburgh and Rooster, West London.
Raymonde alluded to it being rushed and unfinished, while Guthrie referred to it as 'an abortion' and to the period in which it was made as 'arty-farty pre-Raphaelite'. Nonetheless, as Raymonde observed, 'It seems to be the one that people like the best and it's probably sold the best'.
Reception and release
|The Great Rock Discography||9/10|
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
|Spin Alternative Record Guide||9/10|
Treasure is considered by many fans to be the band's finest work, and has received critical acclaim. Pitchfork wrote, 'Cocteau Twins' third album was titled simply enough. Treasure was an adjective for the endlessly inventive melodic lines you'd find buried in these songs, and a verb for what you'd do with them for years to come', and noted that the record signaled the start of the Cocteau Twins' 'signature ethereality'. Ned Raggett of AllMusic complimented its 'accomplished variety', saying, 'Treasure lives up to its title and then some as a thorough and complete triumph'.BBC Online wrote, 'Treasure was where the Cocteau Twins first got it 100 percent right'.Melody Maker described the album as 'true brilliance' and stated that the band were 'the voice of God'.
In March 2018, the album was repressed on 180g vinyl using new masters created from high definition files transferred from the original analogue tapes.
Legacy and accolades
Jennifer Makowsky of PopMatters included the album on the '12 Essential Alternative Rock Albums from the 1980s' list and wrote that the album stood the test of time and paved the way for bands like Sigur Rós and Beach House. Jeff Terich of Treblezine placed the album on his list of best dream pop albums, stating: 'In contrast to the band's more abrasive post-punk albums that arrived earlier, Treasure is an exercise in making beauty seem alien, and making alienation seem sublime, for that matter'.Slant Magazine listed the album at No. 74 on its list of the best albums of the 1980s, while NME named Treasure the 37th best album of 1984.Pitchfork listed Treasure as the 98th best album of the 1980s.Paste magazine's Josh Jackson listed the album at No. 38 on his list of 'The 50 Best Post-Punk Albums', describing it as 'the first full realization of the band's ethereal pop sound'. The album was included in the 2008 edition of 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.
All tracks written by Cocteau Twins (Elizabeth Fraser, Robin Guthrie and Simon Raymonde).
|5.||'Pandora (for Cindy)'||5:35|
- Cocteau Twins
- Elizabeth Fraser – vocals, production
- Robin Guthrie – guitar, production
- Simon Raymonde – bass guitar, production
- Droston J. Madden – engineering
- Jon Turner – engineering
- 23 Envelope – sleeve design
- ^Scourfield , Jack (14 July 2014). 'Cocteau Twins: The Complete Guide'. Clash. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
- ^ abcDare, Christopher (20 November 2002). 'Staff Lists: Top 100 Albums of the 1980s Features Pitchfork'. Pitchfork. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
- ^'The Official Charts Company - Treasure by Cocteau Twins Search'. The Official Charts Company. 6 May 2013.
- ^ abc'Cocteau Twins '.
- ^ abSelect, October 1990
- ^ abRaggett, Ned. 'Treasure – Cocteau Twins'. AllMusic. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
- ^Strong, Martin C. (2006). The Essential Rock Discography (1 ed.). Canongate Books. p. 222. ISBN1-84195-827-1. OCLC70402621.
- ^Segal, Victoria (May 2018). 'Cocteau Twins: Treasure'. Q (384): 117.
- ^Atkins, Jamie (March 2018). 'Cocteau Twins – Head Over Heels, Treasure'. Record Collector (477). Retrieved 10 May 2018.
- ^Considine, J. D. (2004). 'Cocteau Twins'. In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. pp. 174–75. ISBN0-7432-0169-8.
- ^Cranna, Ian (8–21 November 1984). 'The Cocteau Twins: Treasure (4AD)'. Smash Hits: 23.
- ^Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig, eds. (1995). Spin Alternative Record Guide. Vintage Books. ISBN0-679-75574-8.
- ^Parrish, Peter (7 May 2007). 'Cocteau Twins – Treasure – Review'. Stylus Magazine. Archived from the original on 14 August 2007. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
- ^Jones, Chris (22 August 2008). 'BBC – Music – Review of Cocteau Twins – Treasure'. bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
- ^?, ?. '? [Cocteau Twins: Treasure review]'. Melody Maker (10 November 1984).
- ^'Cocteau Twins : 'Head Over Heels' and 'Treasure' Represses'. 4ad. 16 January 2018. Archived from the original on 7 July 2018. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
- ^Makowsky, Jennifer (27 August 2014). '12 Essential Alternative Rock Albums from the 1980s'. PopMatters. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
- ^Terich, Jeff (5 April 2012). '10 Essential Dream Pop Albums'. Treblezine. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
- ^'Best Albums of the 1980s Music Slant Magazine'. Slant Magazine. 5 March 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
- ^'Albums and Tracks of the Year: 1984'. nme.com. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
- ^Jackson, Josh (13 July 2016). 'The 50 Best Post-Punk Albums'. Paste. Retrieved 26 August 2016.
- ^Robert Dimery; Michael Lydon (7 February 2006). 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die: Revised and Updated Edition. Universe. ISBN0-7893-1371-5.
- Treasure at Discogs (list of releases)
Robin Guthrie, Elizabeth Fraser, Simon Raymonde
Cocteau Twins were a Scottish rock band active from 1979 to 1997. They were formed in Grangemouth by Elizabeth Fraser (vocals), Robin Guthrie (guitars, drum machine), and Will Heggie (bass), with Heggie replaced by multi-instrumentalist Simon Raymonde in 1983.
The group has earned critical praise for their distinctive ethereal sound and the soprano vocals of Fraser, whose lyrics often abandon recognizable language. They have been recognized as pioneering the 1980s subgenre dream pop, and were associated with the British record label 4AD for much of their career.
Early years, 1979–1983
Guthrie and Heggie, both from Grangemouth, Scotland, formed the band in 1979. At a local disco called Nash they met Fraser, also from Grangemouth, who would eventually provide vocals. The band's influences at the time included The Birthday Party (drummer Phill Calvert encouraged the group to sign to 4AD), Sex Pistols, Kate Bush, and Siouxsie and the Banshees, (Fraser had Siouxsie tattoos on her arms for several years). The band was named after the Johnny and the Self-Abusers' (who later renamed themselves Simple Minds) song 'The Cocteau Twins' (later rewritten as 'No Cure'). Their debut recording, Garlands (released by 4AD in 1982), was an instant success, as was the subsequent Lullabies EP. Around that time, NME's Don Watson compared the style of the band to gothic rock bands like Gene Loves Jezebel and Xmal Deutschland, while Spin magazine's Sue Cummings compared it retrospectively to Siouxsie and the Banshees and Bauhaus. In 1983, the band released a second EP, Peppermint Pig.
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Sample of 'The Spangle Maker', (1984)
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Microsoft official academic course: microsoft office: 2013 edition. Cocteau Twins' sound on their first three recordings relied on the combination of Heggie's rhythmic basslines, Guthrie's minimalist guitar melodies, and Fraser's voice. The band's next full-length LP record, Head over Heels, relied solely on the latter two, following Heggie's amicable departure after the tour that followed the release of Peppermint Pig (he would later join Lowlife). This led to the growth of the characteristic Cocteau Twins sound: Fraser's voice, by turns ethereal and operatic, combined with increasingly effects-heavy guitar playing by Guthrie (who has often said that he is far more interested in the way the guitar is recorded than in the actual notes being played, though he later admitted that his reliance on effects and layering was initially due to his own technical limitations).
“The Cocteau Twins are still the best by far at the 4AD ethereal dreamscape, thanks largely to the extraordinary voice of Liz Fraser. Somehow she's found a voice that falls completely outside 'Rock' or 'Pop'.”
– Simon Reynolds, New Statesman, 1987
In 1983, the band participated in 4AD's This Mortal Coil project, which spawned a cover version of Tim Buckley's 'Song to the Siren' performed by Guthrie and Fraser). Despite appearing under the This Mortal Coil name, the cover has subsequently become one of the best-known Cocteau Twins tracks: in 2012, Dawn French selected 'Song to the Siren' on Desert Island Discs as, in her words, 'The song that made me fall in love again'. During the TMC sessions, Guthrie and Fraser became acquainted with another project contributor, multi-instrumentalist Simon Raymonde (formerly a member of Drowning Craze), who joined Cocteau Twins later that year.
Rise to fame, 1984–1989
With Raymonde, the band released a series of critically acclaimed albums and EPs that explored their new style. These included The Spangle Maker (1984), Treasure (1984), Aikea-Guinea (1985), Tiny Dynamine (1985), Echoes in a Shallow Bay (1985), and Love's Easy Tears (1986). Raymonde, who was called in to work on the second album by This Mortal Coil, did not participate in the recording of the fourth Cocteau Twins LP, Victorialand (1986), a predominantly acoustic record which featured only Guthrie and Fraser. Raymonde returned to the group for The Moon and the Melodies (1986), a collaboration with ambient composer Harold Budd, which was not released under the Cocteau Twins name.
In 1985, 4AD signed an agreement with Relativity Records for distribution of Cocteau Twins releases in the US and other territories. To commemorate the event, the compilation The Pink Opaque (1985) was released as a way of introducing the new, broader audience to the band's back catalogue.
While remaining a 4AD band internationally, Cocteau Twins finally signed a major-label contract with Capitol Records in 1988 for distribution in the US, and released their fifth album, Blue Bell Knoll, in September of that year.
Mainstream success, 1990–1994
The group released Heaven or Las Vegas in late 1990. The most commercially successful of their many recordings, the album rose to the higher reaches of the UK charts immediately after its release. Despite the success of the record and the subsequent concert tours, not everything was well with the band. They parted ways with 4AD following Heaven or Las Vegas partly because of conflicts with the label's founder Ivo Watts-Russell, and were close to breaking up over internal problems due in large part to Guthrie's addiction to drugs and alcohol.
While on their international tour supporting Heaven or Las Vegas, the group signed a new recording contract with Mercury Records subsidiary Fontana for the UK and elsewhere, while retaining their US relationship with Capitol. In 1991, 4AD and Capitol released a box set that compiled the band's EPs from 1982 to 1990, and also included a bonus disc of rare and previously unreleased material.
The band's seventh LP, Four-Calendar Café, was released in late 1993. The band explained that Four-Calendar Café was a response to the turmoil that had engulfed them in the intervening years, with Guthrie entering rehab and quitting alcohol and drugs, and Fraser undergoing psychotherapy. The two had been in a long-term relationship, and by this time had a young daughter, Lucy-Belle, born in 1989.
Later releases and break-up, 1995–1997
1995 saw the release of two new EPs: Twinlights and Otherness. Some of the tracks on Twinlights and Otherness were versions of songs from the band's eighth album, Milk & Kisses (1996). The record saw the return of more heavily layered guitars, and Fraser began once again to obscure her lyrics, though not entirely. Two singles were taken from the album: 'Tishbite' and 'Violaine'; both exist in two CD versions, with different B-sides included on each. The band, augmented by an extra guitarist and a drummer, toured extensively to support the album, their last for Mercury/Fontana. A new song, 'Touch Upon Touch', which debuted during the live shows and was recorded later in 1996, became the last Cocteau Twins song ever released.[clarification needed] It was also one of the two songs written and arranged by Fraser, Guthrie and Raymonde for Chinese pop singer Faye Wong for her Mandarin album Fuzao released in June 1996, the other being 'Tranquil Eye' from Violaine released in October 1996.
In 1997, while recording what was to have been their ninth LP, the trio disbanded over irreconcilable differences in part related to the break-up of Guthrie and Fraser. While a number of songs were partially recorded and possibly completed, the band has stated that they will likely never be finished or released in any form. In the same year Guthrie and Raymonde wrote and performed a new song in Faye Wong's eponymous album.
In 1999, Bella Union, the record label founded by Guthrie and Raymonde, released a double-CD Cocteau Twins compilation entitled BBC Sessions. The collection is a complete record of the band's appearances on UK radio programs from 1982 to 1996, with rare and unreleased material included. In 2000, 4AD released Stars and Topsoil, a compilation of selected songs picked by the band members that had been released during their years with 4AD; all recordings had been digitally remastered by Guthrie. Finally, in 2003, 4AD followed Stars and Topsoil with the release of digitally remastered versions of the first six Cocteau Twins LPs.
On 31 January 2005, Cocteau Twins announced that they would be reforming to perform at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on 30 April 2005, and later indicated that additional tour dates would be added. However on 16 March, the reunion was cancelled after Fraser announced that she would not take part. In a 2009 interview, Fraser said she could not go through the pain of sharing the stage with her former lover Guthrie, the issue behind the band's 1997 breakup. Later in 2005, 4AD released a worldwide limited edition of 10,000 compilation box set titled, Lullabies to Violaine, a 4-disc set that details every single and EP released from 1982 to 1996. This was shortly followed up by two 2-disc sets of the same names, known as Volume 1 and Volume 2.
Since March 2007, the band has started podcasts of exclusive material. On 6 October 2008 Cocteau Twins were awarded, and accepted in a rare collective live appearance, the Q Awards Inspiration Award.
In 2009, the Cocteau Twins song 'Alice' was used in Peter Jackson's film The Lovely Bones.
In 2013 the first book about the band, Des Punks Célestes, was published in France.
The former members of Cocteau Twins have remained active musically in the years since the band's demise. In addition to forming Bella Union, Guthrie and Raymonde have produced releases from new bands signed to that label.
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Raymonde released the solo album Blame Someone Else as the first release on Bella Union. He also co-produced the posthumous album by Billy Mackenzie from the Associates, then went on to produce several Domino Records artists like James Yorkston, Archie Bronson Outfit (whom he later managed) and Clearlake. More recently he has produced the UK band The Duke Spirit, London-based duo Helene, former Golden Virgins frontman Lucas Renney and has mixed the Mercury Prize nominated album The End of History by Fionn Regan. In his role running Bella Union, he has discovered such artists as Laura Veirs, Fleet Foxes, Midlake, Lift to Experience, The Low Anthem, I Break Horses, The Czars and John Grant. The label is renowned for its long-term relationships with its artists, such as Beach House who have released all four of their albums with Bella Union, as have Dirty Three, Midlake etc. Raymonde picked up the Independent Record Company of the Year award at the Music Week Awards (as voted by UK independent retailers) in 2010, 2012 and 2014.
Guthrie has released five solo albums – Imperial, Continental, Carousel, Emeralds and Fortune – and five EPs. He toured extensively with his band Violet Indiana, which included ex-Cocteau's guitarist Mitsuo Tate in the line-up. He has also scored the music for three movies—Gregg Araki's Mysterious Skin (in collaboration with Harold Budd), Mexican/Spanish movie 3:19, and worked again with Gregg Araki and Harold Budd on the score and the soundtrack of White Bird in a Blizzard. He has also reunited with Budd to collaborate on two companion CDs, Before the Day Breaks and After the Night Falls, and the later Bordeaux and Winter Garden, the latter a collaboration also with Italian electronica artist Eraldo Bernocchi. In 2006, Guthrie produced three songs on Mahogany's 'Connectivity,' on which Lucy Belle Guthrie made her singing debut. He most recently produced and played guitar on Apollo Heights debut album, White Music for Black People.
Fraser provided guest vocals on The Future Sound of London's single 'Lifeforms' (1993), vocals for three songs on Massive Attack's Mezzanine in 1998 (as well as touring with them several times), and for other musical projects and groups. Notably, she wrote the lyrics and sang the vocals for 'Teardrop' by Massive Attack which was released as a single in 1998 and reached number 10 in the UK singles chart It has been speculated that she has been working on a solo album, though details of this are as yet unavailable. Fraser provided the vocals for 'Lament for Gandalf' in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. In 2000 she sang with Peter Gabriel on Ovo (The Millennium Show). In 2005, she worked with Breton musician Yann Tiersen on two songs for his album Les retrouvailles. In 2009, she released the single 'Moses' on Rough Trade.
- Elizabeth Fraser – vocals (1979–1997)
- Robin Guthrie – guitars, bass, production, drum machine (1979–1997)
- Will Heggie – bass (1979–1983)
- Simon Raymonde – bass, guitars, piano (1983–1997)
- Garlands (1982)
- Head over Heels (1983)
- Treasure (1984)
- Victorialand (1986)
- The Moon and the Melodies (1986) (in collaboration with Harold Budd, credited to the members' individual names)
- Blue Bell Knoll (1988)
- Heaven or Las Vegas (1990)
- Four-Calendar Café (1993)
- Milk & Kisses (1996)
- The First Time I Heard Cocteau Twins (2012), edited by Scott Heim. Rosecliff Press.
- Cocteau Twins: Des Punks Celestes (2013), by Jean-Christophe Manuceau. Camion Blanc.
- ^'Dream Pop Music Genre Overview - AllMusic'. AllMusic. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
- ^'The Story Behind the Music of 'Twin Peaks''. rollingstone.com. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
- ^'10 Essential Gothic Rock Albums'. www.treblezine.com. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
- ^'cocteau twins - history'. www.cocteautwins.com. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
- ^ abcdefghiAnkeny, Jason. 'Cocteau Twins' Biography'. allmusic.com. Retrieved 8 March 2012.
- ^'Dream Pop Music Genre Overview - AllMusic'. AllMusic. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
- ^Reynolds, Simon (1 December 1991), 'Pop View; 'Dream-Pop' Bands Define the Times in Britain', The New York Times, The New York Times Company, retrieved 7 March 2010
- ^https://www.cocteautwins.com/html/history/history01.html, Retrieved May 5, 2019.
- ^Liz Fraser interview. Melody Maker. 6 November 1993
- ^King, Richard (2012). How Soon is Now?: The Madmen and Mavericks who made Independent Music 1975-2005. Faber & Faber. ISBN0571243908.
Colin Wallace, their friend, confident and roadie has come from the same background as Fraser, Heggie and Guthrie. 'Liz's mum and my mum used to work in the same factory', he says, 'and God, it was awful, and I became their roadie through default. The first Cocteaus album, Garlands, was written off in the UK as another Siouxsie copy band, and Elisabeth was a huge Siouxsie fan - she had Siouxsie tattoos which she's had lasered off since'.
- ^Don Watson, Don (6 November 1982). The Cocteau Twins: Fun From Falkirk – Fat Chance?. NME.
- ^Sue Cummings: 'The Pink Opaque', Cocteau Twins review, p. 28, SPIN magazine, March 1986
- ^Paynes, Steph: 'Robin Guthrie', Guitar Player, 25(2):25–26, 1991.
- ^Simon Reynolds, New Statesman, p.60, Band 114, 1987
- ^'The song that made me fall in love again'. Express Newspapers. 23 December 2012.
- ^'Cocteau Twins, UK charts, Albums'. officialcharts.com. Retrieved 8 August 2012.
- ^Dave Simpson (26 November 2009). 'Elizabeth Fraser talks about why she finds it too difficult to even think about her old Cocteau Twins bandmates'. The Guardian. London. Retrieved 30 December 2011.
- ^Simpson, Dave (26 November 2009). 'Elizabeth Fraser: the Cocteau Twins and me'. The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved 30 June 2016.
- ^'Cocteau Twins offer previously unreleased live tracks via podcast'. Side-line.com. 22 February 1999. Retrieved 30 December 2011.
- ^'Q Song Awards'. Wn.com. Retrieved 30 December 2011.
- ^'Cocteaus an Inspiration – Q Awards 2008'. .qawards.co.uk. 29 June 2005. Archived from the original on 14 June 2013. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
- ^'The Lovely Bones soundtracks'. IMDb.com. Retrieved 4 April 2014.
- ^'Camion Blanc, Des Punks Célestes, Jean-Christophe Manuceau'. Camionblanc.com. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
- ^http://www.officialcharts.com/artist/_/massive%20attack/ Massive Attack. Official Charts. Retrieved 2014-09-05.
- ^Simpson, Dave (26 November 2009). 'Elizabeth Fraser talks about why she finds it too difficult to even think about her old Cocteau Twins bandmates'. The Guardian. London.
- ^Elizabeth Fraser releases new single 'Moses'. Side-line.com. 2009. Retrieved 2014-09-05.
- Cocteau Twins on 4AD website
- Strangeways Radio Station where Simon Raymonde broadcasts Beneath the Surface