I bring the Cocteau Twins’ ‘Cherry Coloured Funk’ off Heaven or Las Vegas, the band’s most beloved album. Liz Fraser’s voice draws, swoops and amazes.
Seven years after Massive Attack’s Blue Lines introduced what would become to be known as trip-hop, they released another ground-breaking affair, Mezzanine. Last month, I featured Felt’s collaboration with Elizabeth Fraser. This was 13 years after ‘Primitive Painters’ and Massive Attack had the wherewithal to collaborate with Fraser, a worthy successor to their previous muses Tracey Thorn and Shara Nelson. The dubby treatment of the album’s ‘Teardrop’ would reach a wide audience via the Hugh Laurie series House.
1985 was no high watermark in popular music, which makes Felt’s ‘Primitive Painters’ even more remarkable. Featuring on their album Ignite the Seven Cannons, the song is positively spellbound by the vocals of Elizabeth Fraser and the production of her Cocteau Twin, Robin Guthrie.
‘Song to the Siren’ was written and performed by Timothy Charles Buckley III (father of Jeff Buckley) and first released on his 1970 album Starsailor. However, the song had already become notable for Buckley’s performance as Micky Dolenz’s guest on the final episode of The Monkees in 1968. The song had been written a year earlier 1967 and Buckley was still singing it as a folk song. By 1970 and the Starsailor release, progressive reverb-filled guitars had entered stage left. But the song is probably better known nowadays for Elizabeth Fraser and Robin Guthrie’s 1983 cover in collaboration with This Mortal Coil. Take your choice – a great song is a great song.