On October 31st, 1983, Scottish post-punk progenitors of dreampop and shoegaze Cocteau Twins released their second studio album Head Over Heels.
Previously, the band had released their 1982 debut record Garlands. Though critically (and unfairly) derided as derivative and unremarkable, the record served as an incredible statement of intent, with washes of guitar, hypnotic bass, and Liz Frasier’s signature vocals sending a feedback loop through the underground.
After parting ways with founding bassist Will Heggie who would go on to join Lowlife after the release of the Peppermint Pig single/ep earlier in 1983, the band was pared down to a two-piece of guitarist Robin Guthrie and vocalist Elizabeth Fraser for their next effort.
The result was Cocteau Twins recording their first true masterpiece in Head Over Heels, where something wonderful and new had been created,
Evident from the lush and surreal abstract cover design from 23 Envelope, which was the perfect visual indication of where the music was going.
While a transformative record in scope, opening track “When Mama Was Moth” sets the tone for the sonic journey that follows, with tracks such as the spellbinding “Five Ten Fiftyfold”, the gothic whirl of “In Our Angelhood”, and the resplendent “Musette and Drums”.
The record is often supplemented by the equally incredible Sunburst and Snowblind EP, with more variations on the same syrupy textures, and an encore of the album track “Sugar Hiccup”.
The alternative cover below is now being used by record label 4ad on current reissues of Head Over Heels.