You’re The Match Of Jericho

In the nearly eight years I’ve been doing this blog the only Cocteau Twins song I’ve featured has been Frosty The fucking Snowman so it’s well past time to rectify that. Their 1989 album Heaven Or Las Vegas found them approaching accessibility and looking for the fabled crossover. Iceblink Luck is full of wobbly, woozy sounds but is also technicolour, centre stage, looking for attention, and in tune with the times it has a rhythm that you could almost dance to/shamble about to.

Iceblink Luck

For all her new audibility I’m still none the wiser as to what Liz is singing about but it doesn’t really matter.

‘You’re the match of Jericho
That will burn this whole madhouse down
And I’ll throw open like a walnut safe
You will seem more like being that same bot-tle of exquisite stuff
Yes, you are the match of Jericho
That will burn
This whole madhouse down and I’ll throw
Open like the wall, not safe

You, yourself, and your father don’t know
So part in your own ways
You’re really both bone setters
Thank you for mending me babies’



Advent Post Number Six

That advent calendar’s looking a bit battered now isn’t it? It hasn’t helped that someone sat on it, bending it in two. Since then two of the chocolates have slipped down the back.

Some people think that Cocteau Twins’ version of Frosty The Snowman is on the twee side of things. They might be right.

Sometime in the 1920s Loretta Young hangs up a big wreath. Two more sleeps everyone.

Frosty The Snowman

Pete Wylie’s Imperfect List

‘Adolf Hitler, the dentist, Terry and June…’

In 1990 this 12″ came out on One Little Indian, a list of bad stuff, credited to Big Hard Excellent Fish.

‘…fucking bastard Thatcher, Scouse impersonator, silly pathetic girlies, macho dickhead…’

It was shrouded in mystery, the chewy Scouse vocal incorrectly said by some to be actress Margi Clarke. It came with four versions, produced and remixed by Andrew Weatherall (Rimming Elvis The Andrew Weatherall Way read the sleeve).

‘…lost keys, Stock Aitken and Waterman, smiling Judas, heartbreaking lying friend…’

The voice belonged to Wylie’s then girlfriend Josie Jones and the track was written and recorded by an uncredited Pete Wylie along with Cocteau Twin Robin Guthrie.

‘…The Sun newspaper, acid rain, AIDS inventor, Leon Britton, weird British judges, the breakdown of the NHS, Heysel stadium, homelessness, John Lennon’s murder, anyone’s murder…’

In 2004 Morrissey used it to arrive on stage to.

‘…tasteless A&R wanker, the Jimmy Swaggart Show, Clause 28, Nelson Mandela’s imprisonment, miscarriage…’

This is the lead version, seven minutes forty five seconds long.

‘…where were you?’

The Imperfect List (Version 1)

I Did All My Best To Smile

The most famous cover version of Tim Buckley’s Song To The Siren (and there are many) was by This Mortal Coil, a 4AD band. Described on wiki as a ‘gothic dream pop supergroup’ This Mortal Coil were label boss Ivo Watts-Russell and John Fryer, with a rotating cast of 4AD musicians including The Cocteau Twins Liz Fraser and Robin Guthrie. Song To the Siren was just Guthrie and Fraser. It was a massive independent hit in 80s Britain and deservedly so. It’s a ghostly, spectral, ‘gothic dream pop’ cover version that surely even people that don’t like The Cocteau Twins must be impressed by.