60 ALBUMS @ 60 : #32


Head Over Heels – Cocteau Twins (1983)

Second successive part of this rundown day in which I’m going to cheat.

Decided to ask Chat GPT, “Why is Head Over Heels by the Cocteau Twins such a great album?”  The reply was immediate….

As an AI language model, I do not have subjective opinions or personal preferences, but I can provide you with some objective information about the Cocteau Twins and their album “Head Over Heels”.

“Head Over Heels” is the second studio album by the Scottish rock band Cocteau Twins, released in 1983. It is often considered a breakthrough album for the band and one of their most influential works. Here are some reasons why:

  1. Ethereal sound: The Cocteau Twins are known for their unique sound, characterized by Elizabeth Fraser‘s haunting vocals, Robin Guthrie‘s atmospheric guitar work, and Simon Raymonde‘s melodic basslines. “Head Over Heels” showcases this sound in its purest form, creating a dreamlike atmosphere that transports the listener to another world.
  2. Experimental approach: The Cocteau Twins were not afraid to push boundaries and experiment with their sound. “Head Over Heels” features unconventional song structures, otherworldly lyrics, and a mix of electronic and acoustic instruments, creating a truly unique listening experience.
  3. Influence on shoegaze and dream pop: The Cocteau Twins were one of the pioneers of the shoegaze and dream pop genres, and “Head Over Heels” is a prime example of their influence. The album’s ethereal sound and unconventional approach inspired countless artists in the years to come.
  4. Critical acclaim: “Head Over Heels” received widespread critical acclaim upon its release and is still considered one of the Cocteau Twins’ best albums. It has been praised for its otherworldly atmosphere, experimental approach, and hauntingly beautiful sound.

In summary, “Head Over Heels” is a great album because of its ethereal sound, experimental approach, influence on shoegaze and dream pop, and critical acclaim.

That’s all fair enough, but it doesn’t really capture the real ‘wow’ factor upon its release in October 1983.   The debut album, Garlands (July 1982) and the first EP, Lullabies (October 1982), had brought attention to a group who were a bit different but whom I was a little bit sceptical of, based on seeing them live in April that same year when they opened for The Fall at show in Glasgow.  The second EP, Peppermint Pig (April 1983) was very much a step forward, but the quantum leap came with Head Over Heels, quickly followed up the following month with the Sunburst and Snowblind EP.

My first exposure to the album was via the flatmate who has been previously mentioned in this series.  The sounds coming from his expensive stereo system were astonishing, almost unworldly at times.  When I bought my own copy a few days later and played it on my cheap stereo, it sounded good, but not as majestic as it did on the equipment sitting in the bedroom through the wall.  It was then that I vowed to save to get myself a bigger, better and more powerful set-up, which I achieved some nine months later, thanks to the generosity of my parents on the occasion of my 21st birthday….and I’ve always made sure, ever since, that my equipment, whether for vinyl and/or CDs, has been decent but affordable.

mp3:  Cocteau Twins – Musette and Drums

Still my all-time favourite Cocteau Twins song, by the proverbial country mile.


5 thoughts on “60 ALBUMS @ 60 : #32

  1. …and was that second EP the inspiration for the name of the cartoon Peppa Pig??

  2. This LP captures the band before a seismic change.
    I love it. I could go on and on and on….

  3. I had caught a 45 second clip of “Pearly Dewdrops Drops” in 1984 and immediately rushed out to my favorite import album emporium to buy whatever Cocteau Twins I could, which that day was “Head Over Heels.” Obsession ensued. Of course they were Scots!

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