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BBC Sessions Live


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Audio CD, Live, October 12, 1999
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Frequently Bought Together

BBC Sessions + Lullabies to Violaine: Singles & Extended Plays 2 + Lullabies to Violaine: Singles & Extended Plays 1
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 12, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Live
  • Label: Rykodisc
  • ASIN: B00001X5BO
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #139,502 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

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

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By CDS on December 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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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By filterite on June 1, 2003
Format: Audio CD
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. It's just the band recording the songs at BBC's studios so that it can be broadcasted on radio at a particular time. So for those who were wondering why there were Liz's voice in the background as well as at the forefront should rest at ease - there was a little bit of studio trickery there. I just I should point that out lest someone gets confused
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By loteq on November 5, 1999
Format: Audio CD
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.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By W Mianecke on October 18, 1999
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
While packaged in a somewhat overly fussy sleeve, with the same info repeated several times, this is wish fulfillment for fans of pre-BLUE BELL KNOLL Cocteau Twins. The alternate versions of early songs esp. highlight Liz's uncanny, howling delivery (I never understood all the comparisons to Siouxsie). "Strange Fruit" is a jaw-dropping fusion of post-punk and the blues... whew! while some tracks are redundant and strictly fan-friendly, nothing seems like filler. The later tracks are a bit weak. However, they feature Liz belting things out in a manner that became increasingly RARE (in the studio at least) after, say, 1988. The band that once sounded like it had at least two vocalists was starting to sound a LOT like its imitators. However, this is highly recommended, especially for those that like they're Twins simple and STARKLY, DARKLY beautiful, rather than obviously "pretty"...
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy York on 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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