Fontana favourites: Cocteau Twins fans choose their major label masterpieces

We asked a number of famous Cocteau Twins fans (not to mention former members of the band) for their favourites from the band’s Fontana years and here they are. Scroll to the bottom for a handy Spotify playlist.

Simon Raymonde (Cocteau Twins): “‘It’s not easy for me to listen to our music as it brings back so many feelings, but we used to close our shows with ‘Pur’ and I think the euphoric feel to the end of the song used to send people home happy, which is always a positive thing.”

Anton Jakovljevic (Lowtide): “Cocteau Twins always knew how to close out an album. ‘Pur’ is no exception. When the guitar solo hits, it still shakes me.”

Stan Raymonde (Opposite Number Records): “‘Evangeline’ features a simple but gorgeous bassline, Robin at his beguiling best and those heartbreaking vocals that we all know so well.”

Dean Wareham: “I toured opening for the Cocteau Twins twice, first (on the final Galaxie 500 tour) in 1991, and then, exactly three years later, with Luna. That was a more sober affair and, for the first time, you could make out what Liz was singing. Some of them (‘Bluebeard’) seemed directed at Robin, how could they not be…”

Emma Anderson (Lush): “The band’s music did not change dramatically because of the label change and why should it have? In my mind it was a seamless transition. I love ‘Summerhead’, it’s probably one of my most played songs of theirs.”

Joar Andersén (Echo Ladies): “I always loved ‘Summerhead’. It captures the feeling of an entire season in just one song.”

Cian O’Neill (Tallies): “On ‘Know Who You Are At Every Age’, when Liz sings “I’m not real”, it sounds like she really isn’t.”

Jamie Windless (Winter Gardens):
“The melody of ‘Frosty The Snowman’ makes it seem like they wrote it.”

Matilda Bogren (Echo Ladies): “The Otherness EP version of ‘Feet Like Fins’ has that big soundwall that never stops.”

Mark Peters: “Something that never gets mentioned is the almost classical musicality in their compositions. Echoing selections from Górecki’s Symphony No.3 and Canteloube’s Songs Of The Auvergne, there’s an anxious magic in ‘Need-Fire’, from the Judge Dredd soundtrack.” 

Ulrich Schnauss: “There are a few hidden gems in the Cocteaus’ catalogue that temporarily abandon the classic Guthrie guitar tone. ‘Alice’ does so to an unforgettably moving degree.”

Paula García (Sobrenadar): “‘Serpentskirt’ gives me goosebumps from those first guitar notes to the end. But the bridge is the reason why I keep coming back to it, that vocal line is so beautiful.”

Mattis Andersson (Echo Ladies): “The small crash at the beginning of ‘Serpentskirt’ always gets me. It’s a song where it feels like the bass takes the lead, it sets the feel for the whole song.”

Daniel Land: “Intimacy’s when we’re in the same place at the same time/Dealing honestly with how we feel and who we really are”. I can’t express how much these words meant to the isolated young gay I was when I first heard ‘Half-Gifts’.”

Stephen Patman (Chapterhouse): “On ‘Seekers Who Are Lovers’ Liz is almost singing like Joni Mitchell in the verses and the yearning, emotional depth of the song is more than equal to my earlier favourites of ‘Musette And Drums’ and ‘Persephone’.”

Pat Nevin (former Chelsea, Everton and Tranmere footballer): “The BBC session version of ‘Seekers Who Are Lovers’. It caught how good they could be live, even if Robin always underlined that they were predominantly a studio band.”