Sunday 5 March 2023

Cocteau Twins 1983

Cocteau Twins - Sugar Hiccup (1983)
What's amazing about this most exquisite pop tune is that it's a blueprint for what was to become The Cocteau Twins most famous record Heaven Or Las Vegas which was still 7 years away at this stage. It's also the signpost for all future great Cocteau Twins tunes.

Sugar Hiccup is a truly historic moment in pop. This is where Cocteau Twins emerged out of the post-punk and goth jungle with a lustrous template of future pop which would eventually lead them to becoming music icons.

Someone asked me in the mid 90s "Why on earth are you still listening to this?" As if it was the most anachronistic and lame thing to be spending my time doing. As if to say "You left high school five years ago. Grow up. This is so 80s it's embarrassing that you are still listening to this right now" This was a dumb comment then, as it is now.

What they were really saying was: "Timmy why are you listening to one of the most delightful tunes in history of pop music?"

Timmy: "Gee I dunno because it's the best!"

For new artists The Cocteau Twins are still a popular name to drop as an inspiration in interviews apparently. They ended up becoming one of the most influential groups ever. The thing is nobody who has employed a Cocteau aesthetic has ever bettered them. Not one artist influenced by them has come anywhere near capturing their essence. That would be impossible due to their supreme uniqueness. Even capturing their spirit or showing a proper understanding what they were achieving artistically seems elusive to the countless artists who have cited them as influence.  

Cocteau Twins - When Momma Was Moth (1983)
If you stripped the vocals and drums off here, this would sound like a Burzum intro from 1992. 

Also this is produced by John Fryer, just before The Cocteau Twins took over producing their own records. Nobody talks about him any more but he was good at the ole producing and stuff. I mean this fella fiddled the knobs on Song To The Siren as well as for 80s legends Fad Gadget, Depeche Mode, Clan Of Xymox etc. He later produced Nine Inch Nails & Pale Saints.

Impressively Cocteau guitarist Robin Guthrie quickly became a consummate producer so by 1984 he was also producing other artists. By the time he got to 1987 he had produced some legendary records for some great artists like Felt, Gun Club, Edwyn Collins, Dif Juz & AR Kane. Not a bad roll call for somebody who'd been producing for less than five years.

Anyway this has an epic nocturnal vibe. Their goth-y post-punk moments are underrated. Also very bloody strange.

No comments:

Post a Comment