Infobox Album | Name = Garlands
September 01, 1982
Recorded = 1981-1982
Post-punk Dream Pop
Length = 35:25
4AD- CAD 211
Cocteau Twins, Ivo Watts-Russell
AllmusicRating|2|5 [http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:99x8b5f4tsqj link]
Last album =
This album = "Garlands"
(1982) | Next album = "Head over Heels"
"Garlands" is the 1982 debut album of
Cocteau Twins. It is the only album with original bassist Will Heggieand his chugging basslines give the album a distinctive sound. Robin Guthrie, by his own admission, had no idea how a studio worked at the time, but was confident enough in his burgeoning ability to get involved in the production, along with label owner Ivo Watts-Russell. The result is an album, and a guitar sound, with a strangled, constricted range and a dark ambience. In the post-punk world of the early 1980s the influence of Siouxsie and the Bansheesand other proto-goths is clear, but the beginning of the trademark ethereal Twins sound is also here, especially in Elizabeth Fraser's curious and indecipherable vocals.
The songs are simple, repetitive and haunting, with guitar, vocals, bass and the lo-fi drum machine usually entering separately and building to a climax, as on "Grail Overfloweth". Other songs, notably "Wax and Wane" and "Blind Dumb Deaf", are built around a simple repetitive guitar refrain that is almost
Robert Fripp-like in its minimalism.
The album made a huge impression at the time with its distinctive sound, a still embryonic sound which the band would continue to develop over the succeeding albums and other releases. "Garlands" ended the year as one of the best-selling 'indy' albums, helped by the fact that band was championed by
BBC Radio 1DJ John Peel. With the nurturing of label boss Ivo Watts-Russell, who also co-produced the album, and the band's participation in the successful first This Mortal Coilalbum, the Cocteau Twins soon became the iconic 4AD band.
With her often opaque textured singing style, Elizabeth Fraser's lyrics were a source of debate from the start, though "Garlands" is one of the few Cocteau Twins releases to feature any printed lyrics, albeit only a few lines from "But I'm Not", "Blind Dumb Deaf", "Shallow Then Halo", "Garlands", and "Grail Overfloweth".
#"Blood Bitch" – 4:34
#"Wax and Wane" – 4:04
#"But I'm Not" – 2:45
#"Blind Dumb Deaf" – 3:46
#"Shallow Then Halo"* – 5:16
#"The Hollow Men" – 5:02
#"Garlands" – 4:32
#"Grail Overfloweth" – 5:22All songs composed by the Cocteau Twins.
*The title printed on the sleeve reads, "Shallow Then Hallo" [sic] .
The original British cassette release included four additional tracks from a John Peel Radio session. The original British and Canadian CD releases featured the album, the Peel session and two other tracks that were recorded for an unreleased single which was to have been the band's first release.
Gordon Sharpof Cindytalkprovided backup vocals on "Dear Heart" and "Hazel".
#"Blind Dumb Deaf"
#"Speak No Evil"
#"Perhaps Some Other Aeon"
A remixed version of "Wax and Wane" is available on the 1985 compilation "
The Pink Opaque".The four Peel Session recordings were later released as part of "BBC Sessions" in 1999, and a version of "Hazel" appears on the " Peppermint Pig" EP, released in 1983. A remastered version of "Blind Dumb Deaf" is available on the 2000 compilation " Stars and Topsoil".
*Elizabeth Fraser - Vocals, Voices
*Robin Guthrie - Guitar
*Will Heggie - Bass
Produced by Ivo Watts-Russell and Cocteau Twins. Engineered by Eric and John at Blackwing Studios.
The art direction, photography and sleeve design were created by
23 Envelopeand a dedication is printed on the sleeve: "Dear Carol, We shall both die in your rosary : Elizabeth", which incorporates a line, in a slightly altered form, from the song "Garlands".
* [http://www.cocteautwins.com/html/discography/discog_01.html Cocteau Twins, Bella Union; Garlands] . Accessed 9 November 2006.
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