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Cocteau Twins

Data updated on 2024-05-22 14:25:35 UTC
A group whose distinctly ethereal and gossamer sound virtually defined the enigmatic image of the record label 4AD, Cocteau Twins were founded in Grangemouth, Scotland, in 1979. Taking their name from an obscure song from fellow Scots Simple Minds, the Cocteaus were originally formed by guitarist Robin Guthrie and bassist Will Heggie and later rounded out by Guthrie's girlfriend Elizabeth Fraser, an utterly unique performer whose swooping, operatic vocals relied less on any recognizable language than on the subjective sounds and textures of verbalized emotions.

In 1982, the trio signed to 4AD, the arty British label then best known as the home of the Birthday Party, whose members helped the Cocteaus win a contract. The group debuted with Garlands, which offered an embryonic taste of their rapidly developing, atmospheric sound, crafted around Guthrie's creative use of distorted guitars, tape loops, and echo boxes and anchored in Heggie's rhythmic bass as well as an omnipresent Roland 808 drum machine. Shortly after the release of the Peppermint Pig EP, Heggie left the group, and Guthrie and Fraser cut 1983's Head Over Heels as a duo; nonetheless, the album largely perfected the Cocteaus' gauzy formula, and established the foundation from which the group would continue to work for the duration of its career.

In late 1983, ex-Drowning Craze bassist Simon Raymonde joined the band to record the EP The Spangle Maker; as time wore on, Raymonde became an increasingly essential component of Cocteau Twins, gradually assuming an active role as a writer, arranger, and producer. With their lineup firmly solidified, they issued The Spangle Maker, followed by the LP Treasure, their most mature and consistent work yet. A burst of creativity followed, as the Twins issued three separate EPs -- Aikea-Guinea, Tiny Dynamine, and Echoes in a Shallow Bay -- in 1985, trailed a year later by the acoustic Victorialand album, the Love's Easy Tears EP, and The Moon and the Melodies, a collaborative effort with minimalist composer Harold Budd.

With 1988's sophisticated Blue Bell Knoll, the trio signed an international contract with Capitol Records, which greatly elevated their commercial visibility. After 1990's Heaven or Las Vegas, the Cocteaus severed their long-standing relationship with 4AD; notably, the album also found Fraser's vocals offering the occasional comprehensible turn of phrase, a trend continued on 1993's Four-Calendar Cafe. In 1995, they explored a pair of differing musical approaches on simultaneously released EPs: while Twinlights offered subtle acoustic sounds, Otherness tackled ambient grooves, remixed by Seefeel's Mark Clifford. On the other hand, 1996's Milk & Kisses LP marked a return to the band's archetypal style. Cocteau Twins quietly disbanded while working on an uncompleted follow-up. Posthumous releases followed, such as 1999's BBC Sessions, 2000's Stars and Topsoil, and 2005's Lullabies to Violaine. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi

Total plays

668.1 million
Updated on 2024-05-22

Country

United Kingdom

Monthly listeners

2,988,842

Followers

999,882

Top Cities

  1. United States
    68,934 listeners
  2. United Kingdom
    59,393 listeners
  3. United States
    44,014 listeners
  4. United States
    42,616 listeners
  5. United States
    37,758 listeners

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Most popular tracks

Track Plays Duration Release date
Cherry-coloured Funk
Cherry-coloured Funk
111,561,985 3:12 1990-09-17
Sea, Swallow Me
Sea, Swallow Me
99,847,751 3:09 1986-11-10
Heaven or Las Vegas
Heaven or Las Vegas
66,936,925 4:58 1990-09-17
Lorelei
Lorelei
25,665,721 3:43 1984-11-01
Pitch the Baby
Pitch the Baby
25,414,241 3:14 1990-09-17
Pearly-Dewdrops' Drops - 7" Version
Pearly-Dewdrops' Drops - 7" Version
20,486,208 4:11 1984-04-02
Iceblink Luck
Iceblink Luck
18,193,075 3:19 1990-08-28
Fifty-fifty Clown
Fifty-fifty Clown
14,249,182 3:10 1990-09-17
Serpentskirt
Serpentskirt
13,114,562 3:58 1996-01-01
Frou-frou Foxes in Midsummer Fires
Frou-frou Foxes in Midsummer Fires
13,044,670 5:38 1990-09-17
Know Who You Are At Every Age
Know Who You Are At Every Age
11,852,618 3:40 1993-10-18
Pandora (for Cindy)
Pandora (for Cindy)
10,315,251 5:35 1984-11-01
I Wear Your Ring
I Wear Your Ring
8,912,092 3:29 1990-09-17
Wolf in the Breast
Wolf in the Breast
7,701,435 3:31 1990-09-17
Persephone
Persephone
7,665,609 4:20 1984-11-01
Those Eyes, That Mouth
Those Eyes, That Mouth
7,511,062 3:38 1986-10-13
Fotzepolitic
Fotzepolitic
7,290,315 3:31 1990-09-17
Sugar Hiccup
Sugar Hiccup
7,222,917 3:41 1983-10-31
Bluebeard - Remastered 2006
Bluebeard - Remastered 2006
6,757,028 3:54 1993-10-18
Lazy Calm
Lazy Calm
6,599,043 6:35 1986-04-14
Wax And Wane
Wax And Wane
6,141,191 4:04 1982-07-09
Carolyn's Fingers
Carolyn's Fingers
5,744,870 3:06 1988-09-19
Ivo
Ivo
5,655,375 3:53 1984-11-01
She Will Destroy You
She Will Destroy You
5,235,021 4:18 1986-11-10
Road, River and Rail
Road, River and Rail
5,019,656 3:21 1990-09-17
Cico Buff
Cico Buff
4,498,174 3:46 1988-09-19
Evangeline - Remastered 2006
Evangeline - Remastered 2006
4,449,919 4:29 1993-10-18
Why Do You Love Me?
Why Do You Love Me?
3,675,729 4:52 1986-11-10
Blue Bell Knoll
Blue Bell Knoll
3,576,561 3:22 1988-09-19
Beatrix
Beatrix
3,495,366 3:12 1984-11-01
In Our Angelhood
In Our Angelhood
3,325,957 2:60 1983-10-31
Summerhead - Remastered 2006
Summerhead - Remastered 2006
3,154,945 3:37 1993-10-18
Bloody And Blunt
Bloody And Blunt
2,871,992 2:13 1986-11-10
Blood Bitch
Blood Bitch
2,670,089 4:35 1982-07-09
Musette And Drums
Musette And Drums
2,634,607 4:40 1983-10-31
Amelia
Amelia
2,575,244 3:32 1984-11-01
Blind Dumb Deaf
Blind Dumb Deaf
2,542,800 3:47 1982-07-09
Crushed
Crushed
2,537,357 3:20 1987-06-15
Squeeze-Wax - Remastered 2006
Squeeze-Wax - Remastered 2006
2,508,881 3:47 1993-10-18
Alice
Alice
2,430,158 4:30 2007-01-09
The Ghost Has No Home
The Ghost Has No Home
2,420,818 7:36 1986-11-10
Athol-brose
Athol-brose
2,341,429 2:59 1988-09-19
Whales Tails
Whales Tails
2,323,733 3:16 1986-04-14
Aloysius
Aloysius
2,302,935 3:27 1984-11-01
Pink Orange Red
Pink Orange Red
2,202,630 4:38 1985-11-01
Millimillenary
Millimillenary
2,139,922 3:40 1986-01-13
My Truth - Remastered 2006
My Truth - Remastered 2006
2,115,019 4:32 1993-10-18
Pur - Remastered 2006
Pur - Remastered 2006
2,111,877 5:01 1993-10-18
Eyes Are Mosaics
Eyes Are Mosaics
2,104,031 4:10 1986-11-10
Memory Gongs
Memory Gongs
2,094,953 7:28 1986-11-10
Oil Of Angels - Remastered 2006
Oil Of Angels - Remastered 2006
2,075,854 4:37 1993-10-18
Theft, And Wandering Around Lost - Remastered 2006
Theft, And Wandering Around Lost - Remastered 2006
2,066,967 4:29 1993-10-18
Seekers Who Are Lovers
Seekers Who Are Lovers
2,046,704 4:45 1996-01-01
Oomingmak
Oomingmak
2,033,079 2:43 1986-04-14
Shallow Then Halo
Shallow Then Halo
1,986,941 5:17 1982-07-09
For Phoebe Still A Baby
For Phoebe Still A Baby
1,912,921 3:15 1988-09-19
Violaine
Violaine
1,874,736 3:46 1996-01-01
Ella Megalast Burls Forever
Ella Megalast Burls Forever
1,829,550 3:40 1988-09-19
Otterley
Otterley
1,732,956 4:04 1984-11-01
Half-Gifts
Half-Gifts
1,724,248 4:18 1996-01-01
Aikea-Guinea
Aikea-Guinea
1,682,717 3:58 1985-03-04
Rilkean Heart
Rilkean Heart
1,661,423 4:02 1996-01-01
Fluffy Tufts
Fluffy Tufts
1,659,330 3:06 1986-04-14
Garlands
Garlands
1,641,553 4:32 1982-07-09
The Itchy Glowbo Blow
The Itchy Glowbo Blow
1,620,890 3:19 1988-09-19
Donimo
Donimo
1,586,625 6:19 1984-11-01
Love's Easy Tears
Love's Easy Tears
1,585,944 3:36 1986-10-13
Cicely
Cicely
1,556,429 3:30 1984-11-01
Little Spacey
Little Spacey
1,536,022 3:26 1986-04-14
Essence - Remastered 2006
Essence - Remastered 2006
1,514,023 3:01 1993-10-18
Five Ten Fiftyfold
Five Ten Fiftyfold
1,461,801 4:60 1983-10-31
A Kissed Out Red Floatboat
A Kissed Out Red Floatboat
1,445,270 4:10 1988-09-19
Tishbite
Tishbite
1,412,250 3:50 1996-01-01
Ooze Out And Away, Onehow
Ooze Out And Away, Onehow
1,397,451 3:41 1986-11-10
Throughout The Dark Months Of April And May
Throughout The Dark Months Of April And May
1,357,975 3:05 1986-04-14
Hitherto
Hitherto
1,355,544 3:52 1986-01-13
Orange Appled
Orange Appled
1,320,777 2:50 1986-10-13
Pandora
Pandora
1,312,939 5:26 2000-10-16
Watchlar
Watchlar
1,273,547 3:16 1990-08-28
The Spangle Maker
The Spangle Maker
1,209,302 4:40 1984-04-02
Suckling The Mender
Suckling The Mender
1,205,632 3:31 1988-09-19
Frosty The Snowman
Frosty The Snowman
1,186,102 2:56 2007-01-09
The Thinner The Air
The Thinner The Air
1,157,812 3:16 1986-04-14
But I'm Not
But I'm Not
1,144,997 2:45 1982-07-09
Calfskin Smack
Calfskin Smack
1,116,191 4:59 1996-01-01
Treasure Hiding
Treasure Hiding
1,114,403 4:55 1996-01-01
How To Bring A Blush To The Snow
How To Bring A Blush To The Snow
1,011,051 3:50 1986-04-14
Spooning Good Singing Gum
Spooning Good Singing Gum
962,275 3:50 1988-09-19
When Mama Was Moth
When Mama Was Moth
944,165 3:06 1983-10-31
Eperdu
Eperdu
930,128 4:38 1996-01-01
Feet-like Fins
Feet-like Fins
889,671 3:26 1986-04-14
In The Gold Dust Rush
In The Gold Dust Rush
873,201 3:41 1983-10-31
The Hollow Men
The Hollow Men
834,138 5:02 1982-07-09
Pepper-Tree
Pepper-Tree
818,484 3:58 1984-04-02
Ups
Ups
797,297 3:34 1996-01-01
The Tinderbox (of A Heart)
The Tinderbox (of A Heart)
759,880 4:57 1983-10-31
My Love Paramour
My Love Paramour
749,128 3:40 1983-10-31
Glass Candle Grenades
Glass Candle Grenades
669,308 2:45 1983-10-31
From the Flagstones
From the Flagstones
628,553 3:38 1986-01-13
Grail Overfloweth
Grail Overfloweth
623,689 5:23 1982-07-09
Multifoiled
Multifoiled
610,741 2:36 1983-10-31
Sigh's Smell of Farewell
Sigh's Smell of Farewell
534,348 3:34 1986-10-13
Feathers Oar-Blades
Feathers Oar-Blades
508,686 4:27 1982-11-01
Wax And Wane - Remixed
Wax And Wane - Remixed
498,492 3:52 1986-01-13
Pearly-Dewdrops' Drops - 12" Version
Pearly-Dewdrops' Drops - 12" Version
485,829 5:14 1984-04-02
Pale Clouded White
Pale Clouded White
447,778 5:02 1985-11-01
Winter Wonderland
Winter Wonderland
435,000 2:51 2007-01-09
Summer-Blink
Summer-Blink
400,431 3:10 2007-01-09
Peppermint Pig - 7" Version
Peppermint Pig - 7" Version
393,552 3:24 1983-03-04
Mizake the Mizan
Mizake the Mizan
381,909 3:00 1990-08-28
Ribbed and Veined
Ribbed and Veined
364,632 3:55 1985-11-01
Alas Dies Laughing
Alas Dies Laughing
350,376 3:38 1982-11-01
Kookaburra
Kookaburra
336,991 3:19 1985-03-04
My Love Paramour
My Love Paramour
313,192 3:38 2000-10-16
Sultitan Itan
Sultitan Itan
302,765 3:50 1985-11-01
Quisquose
Quisquose
302,173 4:10 1985-03-04
Plain Tiger
Plain Tiger
296,847 4:02 1985-11-01
Great Spangled Fritillary
Great Spangled Fritillary
275,583 4:02 1985-11-01
Rococo
Rococo
274,448 3:06 1985-03-04
Hazel
Hazel
269,432 2:49 1983-03-04
It's All But an Ark Lark
It's All But an Ark Lark
263,145 8:04 1982-11-01
Melonella
Melonella
256,547 4:01 1985-11-01
Laughlines
Laughlines
256,368 3:20 1983-03-04
Eggs and Their Shells
Eggs and Their Shells
248,488 3:04 1985-11-01
Oomingmak - Instrumental
Oomingmak - Instrumental
230,719 2:44 1991-11-04
Sugar Hiccup
Sugar Hiccup
230,186 3:38 2006-02-13
Serpentskirt - 2024 Remaster
Serpentskirt - 2024 Remaster
219,795 4:00 2024-01-12
Rilkean Heart - EP Version
Rilkean Heart - EP Version
219,492 2:22 2007-01-09
High Monkey Monk
High Monkey Monk
219,168 3:09 1991-11-04
Dials
Dials
216,998 2:42 1991-11-04
Mud And Dark
Mud And Dark
193,819 3:42 2007-01-09
Three Swept
Three Swept
187,409 3:37 2007-01-09
Pearly-Dewdrops' Drops - Alternate Version
Pearly-Dewdrops' Drops - Alternate Version
186,719 4:47 2006-02-13
Aikea-Guinea - Alternate Version
Aikea-Guinea - Alternate Version
158,259 3:57 2006-02-13
Because of Whirl-Jack
Because of Whirl-Jack
157,901 3:27 2006-02-13
Ice Pulse
Ice Pulse
157,352 3:46 2007-01-09
Cherry Coloured Funk - Seefeel Remix
Cherry Coloured Funk - Seefeel Remix
156,595 5:47 2007-01-09
Primitive Heart
Primitive Heart
153,146 4:07 2007-01-09
Peppermint Pig - 12" Version
Peppermint Pig - 12" Version
151,158 5:02 1983-03-04
Circling Girl
Circling Girl
139,653 3:33 2007-01-09
Tranquil Eye
Tranquil Eye
135,109 3:55 2007-01-09
Round
Round
115,837 3:37 2007-01-09
Flock Of Soul
Flock Of Soul
113,036 3:36 2007-01-09
Smile
Smile
101,856 4:26 2007-01-09
Rilkean Heart - 2024 Remaster
Rilkean Heart - 2024 Remaster
99,638 4:00 2024-01-12
An Elan
An Elan
95,701 4:36 2007-01-09
Ups - 2024 Remaster
Ups - 2024 Remaster
82,355 3:38 2024-01-12
Half-Gifts - EP Version
Half-Gifts - EP Version
79,197 4:15 2007-01-09
Touch Upon Touch - Volume Magazine Version
Touch Upon Touch - Volume Magazine Version
77,577 4:07 2018-10-05
Golden-Vein - EP Version
Golden-Vein - EP Version
76,620 2:51 2007-01-09
Bluebeard - EP Version
Bluebeard - EP Version
73,121 3:08 2007-01-09
Pink Orange Red - EP Version
Pink Orange Red - EP Version
71,341 4:31 2007-01-09
Feet Like Fins
Feet Like Fins
63,499 5:31 2007-01-09
Seekers Who Are Lovers - EP Version
Seekers Who Are Lovers - EP Version
59,425 5:42 2018-10-05
Circling Girl - Volume Magazine Version
Circling Girl - Volume Magazine Version
57,253 3:36 2018-10-05
Golden-Vein - Mark Radcliffe BBC Session
Golden-Vein - Mark Radcliffe BBC Session
54,502 2:47 2018-10-05
Serpentskirt - Mark Radcliffe BBC Session
Serpentskirt - Mark Radcliffe BBC Session
54,444 3:46 2018-10-05
Seekers Who Are Lovers - Mark Radcliffe BBC Session
Seekers Who Are Lovers - Mark Radcliffe BBC Session
53,264 4:23 2018-10-05
Fifty - Fifty Clown - Robert Elms BBC Session
Fifty - Fifty Clown - Robert Elms BBC Session
52,698 3:16 2018-10-05
Half-Gifts - Mark Radcliffe BBC Session
Half-Gifts - Mark Radcliffe BBC Session
51,925 3:51 2018-10-05
Tishbite - Single Version
Tishbite - Single Version
51,033 3:13 2018-10-05
Calfskin Smack - Robert Elms BBC Session
Calfskin Smack - Robert Elms BBC Session
50,238 4:27 2018-10-05
Violaine - EP Version
Violaine - EP Version
49,159 5:08 2007-01-09
Violaine - Robert Elms BBC Session
Violaine - Robert Elms BBC Session
48,841 3:48 2018-10-05
Tishbite
Tishbite
41,025 3:12 2007-01-09

New releases

Milk & Kisses (2024 Remaster)
Milk & Kisses (2024 Remaster)
2024-01-12
[4AD]
Treasure Hiding: The Fontana Years
Treasure Hiding: The Fontana Years
2018-10-05
[UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)]
Lullabies To Violaine - Volume 2
Lullabies To Violaine - Volume 2
2007-01-09
[Soleil Après Minuit]
Lullabies To Violaine (Volume One)
Lullabies To Violaine (Volume One)
2006-02-13
[4AD]
Stars And Topsoil - A Collection 1982-1990
Stars And Topsoil - A Collection 1982-1990
2000-10-16
[4AD]
Milk & Kisses
Milk & Kisses
1996-03-01
[4AD]
Milk & Kisses
Milk & Kisses
1996-01-01
[UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)]
Milk & Kisses
Milk & Kisses
1996-01-01
[UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)]
Milk & Kisses
Milk & Kisses
1996-01-01
[EMI]
Four-Calendar Café
Four-Calendar Café
1993-10-18
[4AD]
Cocteau Twins Singles Collection
Cocteau Twins Singles Collection
1991-11-04
[4AD]
Heaven or Las Vegas
Heaven or Las Vegas
1990-09-17
[4AD]
Iceblink Luck
Iceblink Luck
1990-08-28
[4AD]
Blue Bell Knoll
Blue Bell Knoll
1988-09-19
[4AD]
The Moon and the Melodies
The Moon and the Melodies
1986-11-10
[4AD]
Love's Easy Tears
Love's Easy Tears
1986-10-13
[4AD]
Victorialand
Victorialand
1986-04-14
[4AD]
The Pink Opaque
The Pink Opaque
1986-01-13
[4AD]
Echoes In A Shallow Bay
Echoes In A Shallow Bay
1985-11-01
[4AD]
Tiny Dynamine
Tiny Dynamine
1985-11-01
[4AD]
Aikea-Guinea
Aikea-Guinea
1985-03-04
[4AD]
Treasure
Treasure
1984-11-01
[4AD]
The Spangle Maker
The Spangle Maker
1984-04-02
[4AD]
Head Over Heels
Head Over Heels
1983-10-31
[4AD]
Peppermint Pig
Peppermint Pig
1983-03-04
[4AD]
Lullabies
Lullabies
1982-11-01
[4AD]
Garlands
Garlands
1982-07-09
[4AD]