Cocteau TwinsGarlands

Label:4AD – CAD 211
Vinyl, LP, Album
Style:Post-Punk, Ethereal


A1Blood Bitch4:37
A2Wax And Wane4:02
A3But I'm Not2:49
A4Blind Dumb Deaf3:46
This Side
B1Shallow Then Halo5:15
B2The Hollow Men5:03
B4Grail Overfloweth5:23

Companies, etc.



Liner notes:
Engineered by Eric and John at Blackwing.
'Déar Carol, Wé shall both die in your rósary: Elizabeth'.

Pressed at MPO Averton.

℗ 1982 4 A.D.

Copies imported to Germany have got an IIS sticker and Intercord Cat# 198576 (see last pic).

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Matrix / Runout (Side A, etched): MPO CAD 211 A¹ BILBO TAPE ONE
  • Matrix / Runout (Side B, etched): MPO CAD 211 B¹ BILBO TAPE ONE

Other Versions (5 of 48)

View All
Title (Format)LabelCat#CountryYear
Recently Edited
Garlands (LP, Album, Test Pressing, Stamped)4ADCAD 211UK1982
New Submission
Garlands (LP, Album)4ADCAD 211New Zealand1982
Recently Edited
Garlands (LP, Album)4AD656.039Netherlands1982
Garlands (LP, Album)Intercord, 4ADINT 145.071, CAD 211Germany1983
Recently Edited
Garlands (Cassette, Album, White)4ADCAD C 211UK1983
  • musicinqs's avatar
    well ... so much for that .... I see the style category has been voted back into existence ...

    congrats ! now we can all feel safer that it's been put into its cage and we know how to approach it before the sound waves get into our ears ... God forbid we should find music listening to be disorienting or in any way too challenging ! :)
    • musicinqs's avatar
      to whomever just removed the categorizing-of-style label from this release ... thank you much
      I know people often have good intentions, but it can be really annoying to see people retroactively trying to "cage" works that at one time existed largely on their own merits and attracted people who often used a different part of their brain than the part that always needs to have things spoon-fed to them in order to properly contextualize and digest work .... sadly, the people who arrive latest to any scene often bring all this baggage that didn't exist for years ... and sometimes even decades ...after works were created and released
      • DDkin9's avatar
        Ok so I know this review will be met with likely fierce fanboy disagreement, but in my humble opinion this is THE Cocteau Twins album to end all. I have to say that nothing after it matches the dreamy, brooding, hypnotic droning shoe gaze magic that they invoke with this debut. Everything after feels like a slow and painful disintegration towards commercialism. Head over heels they begin to fall flat on their faces, and it gets worse from there. Sure they manage to maintain a thread of the dreamy gothic magic that Garlands created, but it just gets prettier and tamer and far less interesting.
        That’s what I’ve got to say about it anyway. I only wish this wasn’t limited to one album.
        • Climateofhunter's avatar
          Alright, mates? Can anyone shed light on whether this original 4AD issue had a printed inner sleeve, or instead just a plain, generic inner? I seem to be finding some conflicting information regarding this...
          • Misannthorpe's avatar
            In the unlikely event that somebody out there has a NM/Excellent+ cover ONLY(!) for this album, please get in touch. Thank you.
            • HoRions's avatar
              Superbe pressage ! Son limpide, chaleureux, profond, puissant. Thanks 4AD
              • tigerandfruitbat's avatar
                4AD has just announced that they will be re-issuing vinyl of both Garlands and Victorialand.
                • maxal's avatar
                  Garlands is such a strange album. I have written a few bits here on Discogs, but have not yet brought myself to chain this album to words . . .

                  I love all of Cocteau Twins' releases, but Garlands definitely has a place of its own in my heart. Many 'fans' don't like Garlands. Others say Cocteau Twins albums get better, one after the other until Heaven and Las Vegas (the professed pinnacle). Obviously personal taste affects assessment of how to rank a Cocteau Twins album. It is hard to 'pick a favourite', kicking the others off the pedestal.

                  I'd say the best CT albums are the first three and between the first three there is a kind of odd journey - emerging a primordial state (Garlands); raw, seeing for the first time, all is a dazzle and there is little difference between blindness and sight. The journey continues in Limbo (Head over Heels); and finally there is arrival, or transcendance (Treasure). Of course I love the CT albums succeeding these three as the gems are all undoubtedly still present. (Alice is a wonderful track - and Dif Juz's Love Insane with Elizabeth Fraser's vocals is one of my favourite tracks . . .). But for those first three albums there seems to be something more complete / completely perfect.

                  Treasure is certainly a beauty, and with the track titles - godly, with a small G. It is a finely polished gem. Donimo is like arriving at the pearly gates, wings aflutter. Lorelei evokes the feeling of having been in heaven and passed straight through it. What else is there? Listen to Lorelei from 2 minutes twenty secs onwards: 'de dow de dow de dow de dow de dowwww . . . wwwwwop!' this part of the song effortlessly conveys a past yearning for heaven, twiddling thumbs to the turned face of beauty.

                  Head over Heels is also a beauty with its extraordinary position between two other perfect albums. "When Mama Was queer, I broke down in my womb" . . . this first track has the raw, vital sound of the album it is leaving, Garlands, but there is a new twinkling of purity, the future sound of CT: listen to this track, you'll hear what I mean. My Love Paramour - can you imagine if a piece of music like this were to emerge again today? And then the final track, Musette and Drums - insinuating the fusion of hard and soft, the delicate musette and the beating of drums.

                  To get back to the feeling of Garlands as a Cocteau Twins album in a territory of its own, part of the reason for this is the different line-up, having Will Heggie's bass. But also, Garlands has a rawer sound, almost grating - this gets to the magic of the album. Garlands seems to fuse the beauty of sound with its discordant opposite better than I have heard in other music. This fusion reveals a kind of pure light as it first emerges from its partner, darkness. It's difficult to put into words, once put in words they seem too small: sacred / profane, a religious feeling of being shown something secret, a lot of people have spoken like this to me of this album.

                  Blind Dumb Deaf seems to evoke some kind of fated, unrelenting, inescapable entrance into reality, "by the method of faith, I'll swear that I'm part of it." Swearing into a reality which could be both horrific and wonderful - the only reality. And then the title track itself, Garlands. I do love the opening track of Blood Bitch, it's supremely powerful with it's bass. However, if Blood Bitch weren't there, then Garlands could be. Garlands starts off with a strange build up of discordant screeches (very much like the sound of Gordon Sharpe's Cindytalk at that time). It's a bit like a train approaching. The music then hits you like a train. Garlands therefore is the perfect beginning album for the CT journey.

                  By the way, most of the Cocteau Twins' lyrics are words. I really wish Elizabeth would publish them - she obviously worked on them very hard and they do contribute to the beauty of the sound.

                  I mentioned Gordon Sharpe of Cindytalk. He appears with vocals in some of the extra tracks of Garlands. I wish there were more of these collaborations: his voice with Elizabeth's would be the perfect accompaniment. Camoufalge Heart is a stunning Cindytalk album (along with Wappinschaw and In This World.) Cindytalk is the best group 4AD didn't release - Gordon Sharpe did some work with This Mortal Coil.
                  • chunkyricesushi's avatar
                    Siouxie and the Banshees as well as Bauhaus loom large over this LP, but it does of course have its own colours too. More overtly melodic and self-similar in instrumentation and sonics than the Banshees, for example, and Elizabeth Frazers vocals are always a joy. They improved a lot from this promising start...
                    • Crijevo's avatar
                      Edited 6 years ago
                      Somewhere halfway down the early-era Mute (due to the use of similar synthdrum patterns in most songs) with bizarre Siouxsie/Yazoo-ish leanings, Cocteau Twins ignited their beautiful firestorm that will rapidly progress with every next record.

                      In stark contrast to their later albums however, "Garlands" is definitely rawer and more experimental a debut, but the established trademark sound is already there and at full pace knocking on 1983's door - merciless hazy guitars ("Psychocandy" was still some years away), brushed along distant, murky basslines with Elisabeth Fraser's gorgeously agitated glossolalia attacks. Intense and nostalgic, it's a beautifully disturbing little story told, getting away with its secret kept safe.

                      Originally 8 songs alone, 4AD's earlier CD edition is of particular recommendation due to its included extras - a stunning Peel Session which already marks sound improvement ("Dear Heart" especially sends shivers down the spine, an odd track that never resurfaced in studio form other than this session) plus a few stunning early studio outtakes that were intended for the album but were left off in the end - the claustrophobic-agoraphobic stare of "Speak No Evil" and the tantrum that is "Perhaps Some Other Aeon".



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