Cocteau Twins

Not in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Eligible since: 2007 (The 2008 Induction Ceremony)

Previously Considered? No  what's this?

Essential Albums (?)WikipediaAmazon MP3Amazon CD
Head Over Heels (1983)

Cocteau Twins @ Wikipedia

Cocteau Twins Videos

Will Cocteau Twins be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame?
"Musical excellence is the essential qualification for induction."


41 comments so far (post your own)

HIGHLY important alternative act. Would love to see an induction, but it will NEVER happen. They hardly seem to have a following amongst the modern indie kids, which is a shame.

Posted by Casper on Tuesday, 12.12.06 @ 02:59am

You could search for a hundred years and not find a band that sounds like the Cocteau Twins. Pre-dated Shoegaze by about five years, just incredible albums, which of course means that they will not be nominated. Such is the cost of true innovation.

Posted by Kit on Thursday, 03.22.07 @ 14:13pm

Never heard of them. Could be influencers perhaps but are they rockers? Did they move a generation? no.

Posted by AlphaKid42 on Saturday, 06.16.07 @ 02:08am

^^^Rather than making an uninformed decision, you could try becoming informed. It's not very difficult, so to not do so only implies laziness.

Posted by William on Saturday, 06.16.07 @ 09:55am

"Never heard of them. Could be influencers perhaps but are they rockers? Did they move a generation? no."

You think everyone deserving induction MOVED A GENERATION? So you know nothing about this band, and based solely on that lack of knowledge you feel comfortable dismissing them. That's rich. Not only are you uninformed, but you're enabled by it.
What, in your mind, are "Rockers" and what defines "Rock and Roll" music?

Posted by shawn mc on Saturday, 06.16.07 @ 13:17pm

"Never heard of them." then maybe you shouldn't fucking be commenting here then

Could be influencers perhaps but are they rockers? Is Snoop Dogg a rocker?

"Did they move a generation?" No, but if that's the case we'll be halting any inductions after Oasis. What's that? There are still influential bands? Well, it doesn't matter, becuase we don't induct bands without 50 million sales or more.

Posted by liam on Friday, 09.7.07 @ 15:28pm

get them in. Shoegazing would not exist without them, surely. Hell, even Prince used one of their songs as a sample. They deserve to get in, but not until the ground is broken with the likes of Siouxsie, The Cure, and New Order/Joy Division.

Posted by gary on Wednesday, 12.26.07 @ 11:55am


I have learned something new. I know these bands but I didn't know of this term as actually being the name of a sub-genre. I still think all these different terms; names, whatever you want to call them will hurt these very talented bands when it comes to the Hall.

Posted by Dameon on Friday, 01.18.08 @ 14:58pm

Add Lush onto the list and I'll sign it.

Posted by William on Friday, 01.18.08 @ 16:28pm

Liam...this band and Gang of Four, who are both relatively new to me, are ones that really struck a nerve...I really like them! It is just such a pleasure to hear stuff that for some reason I missed and have it be so good!

Rhapsody has a list of contemporaries that I'm also looking into. Great fun!!!

Posted by Terry on Saturday, 02.23.08 @ 15:38pm

Cocteau Twins made some amazing music. I especially like the sonic landscapes Robin Guthrie created on guitar - really haunting at times!

Posted by Liam on Saturday, 02.23.08 @ 15:44pm

My thought exactly...and I really like Elizabeth Fraser's vocals.

Posted by Terry on Saturday, 02.23.08 @ 15:48pm

Me too! When I was younger, I didn't get her vocals and thought she must have been some sort of mental patient. Now, I can apreciate the intention and what they add to the songs.

Posted by Liam on Saturday, 02.23.08 @ 15:52pm

I like how Siouxsie SIoux has that kind of "moodiness" in her voice, too! You can tell the mood of the song just by listening to her.

Posted by Terry on Saturday, 02.23.08 @ 15:56pm

Liam...this may or may not prove how daft I can be when it comes to music from the U.K., but who was Bros? I'd never heard of them until today. I stumbled across a song called "Panda Bear", and although I couldn't really understand the lyrics, it didn't sound too horrible. All I could find out about them was that they were a "U.K. vocal group that had a few hits in the 80's & 90's..." Of course, nothing on Rhapsody. Worth looking into, or do I earn the "booby prize"!!!

Posted by Terry on Sunday, 02.24.08 @ 10:26am

If it's the same "Bros" as I remember, they were one of those awful dance-pop boy bands from the late 80s and early 90s. Horrendous.

Posted by Liam on Sunday, 02.24.08 @ 10:38am

WHOA!!!! I'll wear the "booby prize" with!!!! I guess you don't know unless you ask!!

Posted by Terry E. Roller on Sunday, 02.24.08 @ 10:48am

I've been looking into U.K.'s Rock history and they had their own cast of characters too, didn't they? My mother, of all people (MAJOR Elvis fan in the 50's) asked me if I knew who Adam Faith, Billy Fury, or Vince Taylor were, and I said "No, and I'm surprised you do"!!! I did some research and know who they are now!! Great fun looking it up!

Posted by Terry on Sunday, 02.24.08 @ 11:08am

If the FRH is basing chances of induction on objective criteria, then the Cocteaus should be about 60% at least.

Posted by Liam on Monday, 03.24.08 @ 11:29am

Well Liam, after 2 listens to "Head Over Heels" my reactions are: interesting, I don't hate it but I am not in love with it, I do like Fraser's vocals quite a lot and I am continuing to listen to the layers (!) of production and guitar to try to appreciate the Cocteaus's music as more.

I read the comments and the reviews and the history of this group, and so I see that they are well regarded, even loved, so I am continuing to strive to get more out of them than I would with my lazy ear.

I like some tracks (Sugar Hiccup, When Mama Was Moth, Multifoiled, My Love Paramour) more than others.
Fully seeing that this genre of music (dream-pop, pre-shoegaze) was very popular (relatively) and is important to many, I may eventually have to just contend that I can enjoy this style when I am in the mood; dunno, maybe it will grow on me.
I guess my question is: What is the value in making eveythig so murky, distant and echo-like?
I know it's a stylistic choice, but why is this considered brilliant or visionary? It's OK for a mood in a song or three, but to construct an entire album, much less a career on turning the treble down to -0- is kinda.... gimmicky maybe?

Don't get me wrong - much of this is interesting, haunting, beautiful and dreamy, trippy, when you are in the mood for that, but some of the tracks are like, "Music to Build Stonehenge By" - I mean is this fukking Druid-rock? (tracks 6 & 7 & 10).

I will give it 3 more listems to see if something more clicks with me. I generally enjoyed it, esp after reading more about them.

Posted by shawn on Thursday, 05.1.08 @ 16:38pm

I recommended Head Over Heels because it's easily their most rawkin' album. Treasure, the follow-up, was much, much more melody-centric than Head Over Heels, and is definitely up there as one of their best. If you like Sugar Hiccup you should definitely try that album. Heaven or Las Vegas is a lot more acessible, but less experimental, so try that one if you feel.

You don't like In The Gold Dust Rush or Musette and Drums!?!?!? They're among my favourites. If something's not your bag, it ain't your bag. I can't really recommend much, apart from trying to listen to all the production layers.

ps: What did you think of Ocean Rain?

Posted by Liam on Friday, 05.2.08 @ 10:33am

Liam - You would know this; it seems to be your expertise. Back in 1979, a band from the UK called New Muzik released a track called Straight Lines. They had a few others; "On Islands" and "Living By Numbers". I have an imported EP by them. I know they lasted a few years and then disbanded. Did any of them go on to do anything else? I thought they were decent.

Posted by Dameon on Friday, 05.2.08 @ 11:57am

I think I've heard their album Straight Lines somewhere.... didn't care for it much, if I remember correctly.

Posted by Liam on Friday, 05.2.08 @ 13:24pm

Yaw, Musette & Drums has some nice power behind it, both with her voice and his surging guitar - that was good.
I'll try Treasure now.
I like listening for production layers, it's just that this murky style of the Cocteaus sometimes feels like I am listening through applesauce and it can get distracting if I don't force myself to acceptthe "mood" of it. It obviously appeals to lots of people, so I'm not going to be dumb and knock it. Just doesn't speak to me immediately.

But I do enjoy her vocals, even though it's hard to decipher her words often. I read that this album was actually much more inteligible than the first few where she was almost doing some kind of Scottish scat singigng or speaking in tongues.

Posted by shawn on Friday, 05.2.08 @ 13:32pm

Their first album was Garlands (HOH was 2nd), which is HUGELY different to the rest. The post-punk influences are alot more prominent on it, most notably The Birthday Party, Public Image Ltd and Joy Division.

Part of the appeal of Fraser's vocals IS the fact that you cannot decipher the lyrics. I like the way they always keep you guessing, especially the times when you only get the occasional real words among many discernable ones. I even hear that they used to write the lyrics by picking random words from a dictionary.

Posted by Liam on Friday, 05.2.08 @ 13:43pm

I have now listened several times to the Cocteau Twins and I am still convinced the chick from Roxette was their singer!

Posted by dano on Saturday, 05.3.08 @ 07:12am


Just because you post here a lot does not make you right.

It just mean you post here a lot.

Posted by Reality Check on Saturday, 05.3.08 @ 08:59am

The huge difference between Joy Division and Def Leppard is that the former is hugely important to rock's developement and the latter did nothing that hadn't been done before and better. The most obvious sign of a fanboy is that they take negative comments against their band as personal insults against them.

"Reality Check," if there's anything factually incorrect in my post, feel free to point out what. Not that that'll ever happen.

Posted by Liam on Saturday, 05.3.08 @ 09:53am

Liam, after the third listento Head Over Heels - something clicked; I get it. I not only don't mind the trippy, layered guitars and muted vocals of Elizabeth, I reaaly am enjoying the sound now. And you're right - Musette & Drums and In the Gold Dust Rush are great, lush, surging song. I guess there are some styles or artists that if you open your mind and have some patience, you can finally hear what escaped you heretofore and what others love about them.

I am now a fan.

Posted by shawn on Saturday, 05.3.08 @ 23:10pm

I will check them out since I've heard good things about them, but if what I've read on here is true then the Hall's credibility just dropped even further with this omission.

Posted by Sam on Monday, 08.2.10 @ 21:03pm

"I recommended Head Over Heels because it's easily their most rawkin' album. Treasure, the follow-up, was much, much more melody-centric than Head Over Heels, and is definitely up there as one of their best. If you like Sugar Hiccup you should definitely try that album. Heaven or Las Vegas is a lot more acessible, but less experimental, so try that one if you feel." - Liam

Couldn't have said it better myself.

Posted by Tahvo Parvianen on Wednesday, 02.2.11 @ 12:42pm

Despite Liz Frazier's voice being nails on the chalkboard, Robin Guthrie saved this band by being one of the most innovative guitarists of the rock and roll era.

The RNR HOF is too busy scraping the 60s barrel and our own Rock Hall Revisited is too busy moving on to fake punk and any mullet rock band who ever released a record to get around to the Cocteaus for this to ever happen, but it's a shame on both projects.

Posted by DarinRG on Thursday, 02.10.11 @ 06:08am

If they start moving on to British alternative band then these are a must, though it's about as likely as neo nazi in a synagouge.

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Posted by personalized dog collars on Saturday, 04.28.12 @ 04:14am

Tahvo I know you made that comment more than a year ago, but i'm interested to know who yo uconsidered "fake punk" and "mullet rock"

Posted by GFW on Thursday, 09.20.12 @ 10:37am

Well GFW, since I don't recall ever making that comment I honestly have no idea, lol.

Posted by Tahvo Parvianen on Thursday, 09.20.12 @ 10:59am

Wait.. now I see where you got that comment from, it was by Darin, not me.

Posted by Tahvo Parvianen on Thursday, 09.20.12 @ 11:01am

Welp, guess I got you two mixed up in the minute or so after i saw that post.

Posted by GFW on Thursday, 09.20.12 @ 11:05am

I believe 'Treasure' should be an essential album.

Posted by Bitchkitty on Saturday, 05.3.14 @ 12:12pm

Vote for it in the Album Project then, we could always use more participatants.

Posted by GFW on Saturday, 05.3.14 @ 14:20pm

It would be a well overdue addition to the Album Project. I'd vote for it.

Posted by DarinRG on Saturday, 05.3.14 @ 18:28pm

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