Catching up on forty years. 1990: Heaven or Las Vegas – Cocteau Twins

heaven or las vegas

1990 was the year the first page was posted on the internet.  It probably said hello world, but at that stage I suppose there was no one to read it.  It was also the year I bought my last vinyl album, Heaven or Las Vegas by the Cocteau Twins.  A fitting tribute to the passing of vinyl.  Often cited as one of the top albums of the 90’s and also one of those ones that you should listen to before you die!

It has kept spinning for many years as it took the ultimate atmospherics of Guthrie and Raymonde and made them a little happier!  Elizabeth Frasier was at her sublime best (as she always is) but actually more decipherable than usual.  You could actually understand what they were singing this time!

I had acquired the Cocteau Twins taste through friends at university.  The simpering bedside manner of Victorialand; the ethereal Treasure and their ambient work with Harold Budd, The Moon and the Melodies were a few particular favourites.  But they were always reserved for recluse or ‘bedsit chats’.

Heaven or Las Vegas took the group to party-time with it’s hypnotic dance beats and nod to an audience that might actually want to understand what they’re singing about.  It does only nod though, as the essence of the band’s music is to remain just beyond your grasp.  The whole album is nothing short of brilliant and the two singles are not necessarily the best but I’ll opt for the title single, if only because it is better known and captures a happy Cocteau Twins…

So while the internet comes in and vinyl goes out it seems like 1990 marks a time of change.  Oh hang on, Germany won the World Cup so that’s not quite the case…

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