The celebrated last two albums Cocteau Twins released on 4AD, Blue Bell Knoll and Heaven or Las Vegas, will finally be back in the vinyl racks from the week commencing 14th July. The first time either have been pressed since release, both will come on heavyweight black vinyl and are being cut from brand-new HD 96/24 masters.
Released in 1988, Blue Bell Knoll is the Cocteau Twins’ fifth studio album. Delivered after a slightly longer period between records than fans had been used to, this was the first they recorded in their own studio. Freed to now make music how they wanted and with no clock to beat, they rose to the challenge of producing it themselves with real aplomb, introducing a new pop sensibility to their sound, expressed through shorter, ‘hookier’ songs with occasionally intelligible lyrics. Sound On Sound magazine praised them for showing “an uncanny feel for contemporary sound possibilities without making even the slightest concessions towards the mainstream.” A beautiful record that showed the band’s continued maturity, it also included one of their most enduring songs, ‘Carolyn’s Fingers’, which was reflected on the album’s cover – a close-up of their friend Carolyn’s hand as shot by Juergen Teller.
Heaven or Las Vegas followed in 1990 and is recognised as their most commercially successful release, reaching number seven in the UK album charts. Numerous publications have since declared it one of the best albums of the 90s, Pitchfork calling it “a core of ungodly gorgeous songs that is every bit as moving and relevant today as it ever was.” Label founder Ivo Watts-Russell goes further, candidly revealing in the recent 4AD biography, Facing The Other Way, that this album wasn’t just his favourite Cocteaus album but also his favourite all-time 4AD album, and “by a long shot”, calling it “the perfect record.”
High definition audio downloads of both albums are also being made available through specialist retailers. Buy links will be found here closer to release.