12 Songs, 44 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

With 1984’s It’ll End in Tears, Ivo Watts-Russell established This Mortal Coil as an outlet where all the artists on his 4AD label could spontaneously collaborate and pay tribute to the songs that shaped them. While Watts-Russell played keyboard on some of the songs, his role is better understood as that of facilitator. Thankfully he'd assembled one of the era’s most astonishing stables of young talent. Most prominently, he nurtured the careers of Lisa Gerrard (of Dead Can Dance) and Elizabeth Fraser (of Cocteau Twins), two of the most original female voices in pop history. Cocteau Twins would never have covered Tim Buckley’s “Song for a Siren,” but the performance here that Watts-Russell coaxed out of Fraser is one of her defining moments. Same for “Waves Become Wings” and “Dreams Made Flesh,” two stunning solo performances from Gerrard. While Watts-Russell and the three members of Cocteau Twins were responsible for playing on the album, its undeniable centerpiece is a cover of Alex Chilton’s “Holocaust” sung by Howard Devoto of Magazine and The Buzzcocks; he turned the American classic into a rainy cabaret ballad.

EDITORS’ NOTES

With 1984’s It’ll End in Tears, Ivo Watts-Russell established This Mortal Coil as an outlet where all the artists on his 4AD label could spontaneously collaborate and pay tribute to the songs that shaped them. While Watts-Russell played keyboard on some of the songs, his role is better understood as that of facilitator. Thankfully he'd assembled one of the era’s most astonishing stables of young talent. Most prominently, he nurtured the careers of Lisa Gerrard (of Dead Can Dance) and Elizabeth Fraser (of Cocteau Twins), two of the most original female voices in pop history. Cocteau Twins would never have covered Tim Buckley’s “Song for a Siren,” but the performance here that Watts-Russell coaxed out of Fraser is one of her defining moments. Same for “Waves Become Wings” and “Dreams Made Flesh,” two stunning solo performances from Gerrard. While Watts-Russell and the three members of Cocteau Twins were responsible for playing on the album, its undeniable centerpiece is a cover of Alex Chilton’s “Holocaust” sung by Howard Devoto of Magazine and The Buzzcocks; he turned the American classic into a rainy cabaret ballad.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.9 out of 5
35 Ratings

35 Ratings

digital slush ,

Meaningful Music

If this was released today, it still would be ahead of its time.

Lulusez ,

More than worth every penny!

It's an unbelievably beautiful album. Still perfect and distinctly individual, after all these years.

PeterTheGreat56 ,

Song to the Siren

Timeless -- as the waves, as the stars, as the sunshine and the tears of human beings. Thank you.

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