This Mortal CoilIt'll End In Tears

Label:4AD – CAD 411
Vinyl, LP, Album
Genre:Electronic, Rock
Style:Avantgarde, Ethereal, Ambient, Dream Pop


Bass, Acoustic Guitar, Synthesizer [DX7]Simon Raymonde
CelloMartin McGarrick*
VocalsGordon Sharp
Written-ByAlex Chilton
A2Song To The Siren
GuitarRobin Guthrie
VocalsElizabeth Fraser
Written-ByTim Buckley
CelloMartin McGarrick*
PianoSteven Young
Violin, ViolaGini Ball
VocalsHoward Devoto
Written-ByAlex Chilton
OrganMark Cox
SynthesizerMartyn Young
A5Fond Affections
Guitar, Bass, SynthesizerMartyn Young
Synthesizer [DX7]Mark Cox
VocalsGordon Sharp
A6The Last Ray
Electric Guitar [6 And 12-string Electric Guitars], E-Bow, Acoustic GuitarRobin Guthrie
Written ByIvo, S. Raymonde, R. Guthrie
Written-ByIvo*, R. Guthrie*, S. Raymonde*
B1Another Day
Cello, Arranged By [String Arrangement]Martin McGarrick*
Violin, ViolaGini Ball
VocalsElizabeth Fraser
Written-ByRoy Harper
B2Waves Become Wings
Accordion, VocalsLisa Gerrard
Written-ByLisa Gerrard
Accordion [Looped Accordion]Lisa Gerrard
Guitar [Guitars], Synthesizer [DX7]Simon Raymonde
Written-ByS. Raymonde*
B4Dreams Made Flesh
Drone [Bass Drone], DrumBrendan Perry
Written-ByLisa Gerrard
Yang T'Chin, VocalsLisa Gerrard
B5Not Me
VocalsRobbie Grey
Written-ByColin Newman
B6A Single Wish
PianoSteven Young
Synthesizer [DX7], Effects [Gizmo]Simon Raymonde
VocalsGordon Sharp
Written ByS. Raymonde, S. Young, G. Sharp
Written-ByG. Sharp*, S. Raymonde*, S. Young*

Companies, etc.


  • Co-producer, EngineerJohn Fryer
  • Concept By [Conceived By], ProducerIvo*
  • Loops [All Additional Loops], Instruments [All Additional Instruments], Performer [All Additional Incidentals]Ivo*, John Fryer
  • Sleeve [Sleeves By]23 Envelope


A1) Black Neon Music
A2) Carlin Music
A3) Black Neon Music
A4) Copyright Control
A5) Beggars Banquet Music
A6) Beggars Banquet Music
B1) Warner Bros. Music
B2) Copyright Control
B3) Beggars Banquet Music
B4) Copyright Control
B5) Copyright Control
B6) Midnight Music/Copyright Control/Beggars Banquet Music

Recorded at Blackwing Studios, London

Sleeves (for ivo and for lucy)

Includes a printed inner sleeve or 24" x 12" insert.

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Matrix / Runout (Side A runout, etched): CAD 411 A1 TOWNHOUSE MPO
  • Matrix / Runout (Side B runout, etched): CAD 411 B1 HEAVENS JUST A MEMORY AWAY MPO

Other Versions (5 of 75)

View All
Title (Format)LabelCat#CountryYear
Recently Edited
It'll End In Tears (Cassette, Album)VertigoVOG4-1-3349Canada1984
Recently Edited
It'll End In Tears (LP, Album)Vertigo, 4ADVOG-1-3349Canada1984
Recently Edited
It'll End In Tears (Cassette, Album, Clear)4ADCADC411UK1984
Recently Edited
It'll End In Tears (LP, Album)4AD, 4AD, Virgin206 692, 206 692-620Europe1984
New Submission
It'll End In Tears (LP, Album)4ADVPL1 6699Australia & New Zealand1984



  • ringorider's avatar
    A truly amazing album. But if you were to be a bit of a "corndog" you might focus on the sheer power of "Song To The Siren". This is the kind of song that one might struggle to comprehend that one of your peers might not like / be remotely moved by it. I played it to a very close friend at the end of a long session and she was completely nonplussed by it, and immediately wanted to go back to big room house music. I was shocked, and part of me feels I can never look at her the same way again.
    • maxal's avatar
      Picking favourite tracks or albums can be difficult, inappropriate or weird. As Colin Newman might say, “I didn’t see the point”. When you pick ‘favourites’ it can be mean or exclusive. I like all three TMC albums, there is no doubt the musicianship and curating are top notch on all of the albums. So in this case, it is not “mean” to state a favourite as it is not a matter of which is better, but where your musical taste is. More: the point of choosing a favourite This Mortal Coil album is telling, about individual taste and how the label’s sound shifted after, say, 1985. This shift in 4AD sound puts the second and third TMC albums distinctly into a different musical territory to the first.

      I have no trouble choosing a favourite. DEFINITELY, my favourite TMC album is the first. For me it is a sampler of 4AD at its genesis, treasure-house best. When the music seemed out of this world. Honestly: where did this music come from? And why was it not just one group but around ten, all performing amazing sounds, not like each other, but somehow fitting well with each other. 4AD released gem-groups which all further inspired and created trends; no other 80’s label did this so beautifully, with such varied artists. The label started with some rare, idiosyncratic punk bands of interest, but then coalesced into something else, the phoenix from punk – postpunk. Certain groups started to emerge, Cocteau Twins, Wolfgang Press, Dead Can Dance, Modern English, Colourbox, Clan of Xymox, X-mal Deutschland, Wolfgang Press – other artists hanging around and quickly moving on: The The, Bauhaus, Nick Cave, and the best artist 4AD didn’t latch on to, Gordon Sharpe.

      I have heard people say their favourite TMC album is a later one. For me, unequivocally, my favourite is the first. The first TMC album is different in its musical content to the subsequent two. The first is an esoteric collection of music from stunning performers getting together. Though the second TMC album arrived two years later, closer in time to the first TMC album; the second has much more in common with the third which came out five years later. For the subsequent albums John Fryers and Ivo, the producers / management of the music must have been more determined to achieve a tightly controlled, and particular / cohesive vision (a more classical, traditional vision with added violins; it is also a more mainstream vision). Can I assume the artists have freer reign in the first album? (Also of course, those same artists largely didn’t appear on the 2nd and 3rd . . . but I think the control of the sound, the reigning in, is as important an issue).

      First album: 3 x tracks by Lisa Gerard, all transcendent, with the trademark DCD attention to strings in Dreams Made Flesh (is it a mandolin?) creating music of breathtaking, pure beauty. Everybody knows Liz Fraser’s contribution with Song to the Siren, but also her rendition of Harper’s Another Day. There’s Gordon Sharpe’s Kangaroo and Fond Affections. These three singers, together on one album is an extraordinary combination. There are the musical interludes such as Fyt and Baramundi, giving the album space, room to breathe, then Holocaust (!) and finally Not Me.

      I loved Not Me* so much. After the eternal lamenting of the core of the singing on the album, Not Me is such a relief (!), also a strong song of independence in its own right. Brilliant, fun, peppy. Post-punk pop (from a serious lineage – Colin Newman of Wire, on this occasion sung by Robbie Grey of Modern English). Much of TMC album is lovelorn, a deep plea of unrequited love, the problem of ATTACHMENT to mortal life and individual suffering. Except Not Me – Not Me is the exalting joke of the album, a fool aloof, the antidote. Whether it takes position of the question or the answer, it is a kind of Buddhist stance (but who wants to be detached from the world?) The coiling, paradoxical woe of the album is clear, we wouldn’t have it any other way, if it weren’t so beautiful, universal, relatable, it would be self-obsessively overbearing (“let’s all sit down and cry”). Not Me is a pin to the balloon. “It may be as well that, I didn't see the point, You didn't touch me, You didn't touch me, You didn't touch me ad infinitum . . . “

      Altogether the first TMC album is a rare gem, unlike any other album; there is a strong FINALITY in its (questioning?) statement. Importantly, it is also unlike its TMCII TMCIII successors. It doesn’t need to be a double album. It represents a unique collection of music from genius musicians, at a special moment in time, a collection which cannot be repeated.

      * A favourite track of mine, I searched for the original of Not Me for years, I think it is hard to find because it wasn’t properly released (?). It finally appears, as demos, on Colin Newman’s “A-Z”, the double CD edition, and having waited all that time for it you get it twice! The Riverside demo is of high quality and fantastic to listen to. The choice of Not Me is critical to the first TMC album, it’s like the addition of pepper to a stew. Bad metaphor, but you know what I mean.
      • YN1F's avatar
        Excellent album, a masterpiece. My favorites are Fyt, Waves Become Wings, The Last Ray, Barrumundi... although I enjoy them all... but, I admit to being a huge Lisa Gerrard fan. Not to take anything away from Elizabeth Fraser who's voice is also quite wonderful. I of course have been a long-time fan of Cocteau Twins and Dead Can Dance as well. It'll End In Tears is a very emotion-laden ride to say the least. And the album art, ethereal. The disc, cassette, LP... looks quite nice among my collection.
        • cyrild168's avatar
          I reckon there hasn't been a month gone by that I haven't listened to this album.. and I bought it the week it was released back in the mid 80's.! If there was a 'Desert Island Discs' for albums this would be the one I saved... amazing album.
          • joerg.beyer's avatar
            How can I distiguish the UK version from the Italy version --- both are CAD 411?
            • Dronemf11's avatar
              This album is boring as hell. I listened again this shit for more than 10 times on LP, and is bad, verry verrrrry bad , maybe the worst album of the 80's.
              • Cadmium_Red's avatar
                Just picked up the vinyl remaster edition today and am listening to it now. The vinyl is super quiet and not a pop or click on side one. Side two has a few minor, but that could be static electricity (It IS winter!). The mastering sounds good. Vocals are less shrill and a bit earthier than the original UK CD. Overall, less highs and more mids gives it a slightly warmer sound. Instrumentals have a tighter sound and seems less gauzy, which may not be entirely a good thing given the subject matter. I am able to pick out a few instruments I never noticed before.
                • djkiss72's avatar
                  A classic timeless piece of a record.. .. .. .


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