The Cocteau Twins tonight. In session for Mark Radcliffe at BBC Radio 1 and preserved for posterity on March 12, 1996.
Originally characterized as a Punk Band, because their influences ranged from The Sex Pistols to The Birthday Party, they drifted into the realm of Ethereal Wave and Dream Pop and this was where their fortunes lay.
Their debut album, Garlands, was an instant success and it immediately established The Cocteau Twins as a potent force in the new directions music was taking during this time. Things were drifting away from Punk and even New Wave was not as popular as it once was. But The Cocteau Twins, and the other-worldly voice of Elizabeth Fraser made a lasting impression with fans and record buyers alike and it was the evolution of their sound; the effects laden guitar and soundscape, against the captivating vocals of Elizabeth Fraser only added to their mystique.
The Cocteau Twins experienced a good long run during their tenure, which went from their beginnings in 1979 to their ultimate breakup in 1997 – between that period there were numerous discoveries, all which aided in enhancing the band and making it practically the household name it became on both ocean shores.
This session, from March 1996 comes just at the time of the release of that debut album, and it signaled what would follow over the coming years.
Never flinching or turning back, The Cocteau Twins were one of the more innovative groups to come out the late 70s and they helped establish the solid base of listeners with what was a new genre on the horizon.
In the years since their demise, the band have continued to make an impression, not only as solo artists, but influencing a new generation of bands coming along.
If you missed The Cocteau Twins the first time around, but were curious how things evolved from the beginning – start with this session as the get-acquainted introduction, and keep an open mind from there.
But whatever you do – play this session loud.