At the height of the post-punk movement, amid the wails of Siouxsie and the Banshees, the guitar riffs of The Cure, the haunting bass of Bauhaus and the madness of PiL, appeared a band like no other: Cocteau Twins. From the early 1980s to the end of the following decade, the Scottish trio produced a unique sound filled with crystalline guitars, soundscapes that were alternately dreamlike and electrifying, and the incomparable voice of eccentric soprano Elizabeth Fraser, whose unintelligible singing infuriated and delighted the group’s fans in equal measure. Although largely unnoticed by the general public, Cocteau Twins gained a huge following on the indie scene, plus a few high-profile fans including Prince and Madonna. The band’s influence on the music scene was enormous, leading to a range of new movements.
Published in France in 2013, Jean-Christophe Manuceau’s Cocteau Twins: Des Punks Célestes is the world’s very first book about this cult band. Offering rare photos and fresh material based on interviews with Robin Guthrie, Vaughan Oliver and Lincoln Fong, it tracks the evolution of an uncompromising band that resisted trends while struggling to overcome its demons. Solo careers are also explored, and the final chapters focus on the language Elizabeth invented to write her lyrics, the 4AD label and Cocteau Twins’ lasting impact on the music scene, as well as cover art, music videos and the band’s rare television appearances.
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