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Cocteau Twins

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Grangemouth, Scotland, UK (1979 – 1997)

Cocteau Twins were an innovative and influential Scottish band. Forming in 1979 in Grangemouth, Scotland, UK (the name taken from an obscure song by fellow Scots Simple Minds), they built a sound based on woozy atmospherics and singer Elizabeth Fraser’s unmatchable vocals, most of which featured lyrics of made-up words and words plucked at random from the dictionary.

Their first release was “Garlands” in 1982 on 4AD Records, which was received well. Founding member Will Heggie left the group in 1983 and soon joined fellow Grangemouth band Lowlife. The band’s second full-length, “Head Over Heels”, did enjoy more commercial and critical success than their first.

In 1983, the two remaining members, Fraser and Robin Guthrie, were part of the first album recorded by This Mortal Coil, a supergroup put together by Ivo Watts-Russell, head of 4AD Records. The pair had a hit with a cover of Tim Buckley’s “Song to the Siren”, and met Simon Raymonde, who joined the band on bass.

In April 1984 they released “Pearly-Dewdrops’ Drops”, the 12-inch that included “The Spangle Maker”. It was their first to reach the national top 40. When it peaked at 29 they were asked to play Top of the Pops, but turned it down.

The 1984 album “Treasure” followed, peaking at 29 on the UK album chart.

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