[[caption-width-right:400: Cocteau Twins in the 1980s. Left to right: Elizabeth Fraser, Simon Raymonde and Robin Guthrie.]]

The Cocteau Twins was a Scottish AlternativeRock band, known for being the TropeMakers and {{Trope Codifier}}s (along with Music/ThisMortalCoil and possibly Music/DeadCanDance) of the DreamPop genre.

Its members were:

* Elizabeth Fraser - vocals
* Robin Guthrie - guitar, keyboards, drum machine programming
* Simon Raymonde - bass

The band was formed in 1979 by Guthrie, bassist Will Heggie, and Fraser. They took their name from the song "The Cocteau Twins" by Johnny and the Self-Abusers (who you might know under their new name, Music/SimpleMinds), and quickly obtained a record deal with Creator/FourADRecords. Their first album, ''Garlands,'' was a largely PostPunk album heavily indebted to their acknowledged influences: Music/JoyDivision, Music/TheBirthdayParty, and Music/KateBush. It was an instant success.

Heggie left the band in 1983, after a tour supporting their second EP, ''Peppermint Pig.'' Undaunted, Guthrie and Fraser recorded a new album, ''Head Over Heels,'' entirely on their own with producer John Fryer. It was with this album, that the band arrived at its SignatureStyle: Guthrie's [[EchoingAcoustics heavily echoed and processed]] guitars, combined with Fraser's powerful singing and IndecipherableLyrics, creating an overall atmospheric sound.

Guthrie and Fraser next contributed to 4AD's collective {{Supergroup}} Music/ThisMortalCoil, being the sole players on the highly acclaimed [[CoveredUp cover]] of "Song to the Siren" by Music/TimBuckley. It was during these sessions, that they met Simon Raymonde, who joined the group shortly thereafter as bassist, and remained with them until the end of their career.

With the classic Fraser / Guthrie / Raymonde lineup now in place, the Cocteaus put out a long series of critically acclaimed albums and [=EPs=], that continued to refine their DreamPop style. The one anomaly in this series is the album ''Victorialand,'' which Raymonde did not contribute to, as he was busy working on the new This Mortal Coil album. As a consequence, ''Victorialand'' is a largely acoustic ambient dream pop album, featuring only vocals, reverbed guitars, and occasional saxophone (courtesy of Dif Juz member Richard Thomas).

The band also began gaining attention over the Atlantic, after signing a contract with Capitol Records in 1988 for US distribution. By this point, the relationship between the band, and 4AD president Ivo Watts-Russell had soured, and he dropped them from the label, after the release of the more accesible ''Heaven or Las Vegas,'' their most commercially successful album. Tensions also appeared in the band, due to Guthrie's drug and alcohol abuse, and the end of Fraser and Guthrie's romantic relationship.

For their next move, the band signed with Fontana Records for global distribution while remaining with Capitol in the USA. Their first album for the label, ''Four-Calendar Café,'' was recorded amidst continued turmoil, with Guthrie entering rehabilitation for substance abuse, and Fraser suffering a nervous breakdown. [[NewSoundAlbum It departed even further from their trademark complex dream pop,]] moving instead towards clear, conventional AlternativeRock. It drew a predictably mixed reaction. Their next album, ''Milk and Kisses'', returned to heavily layered guitars, and incomprehensible lyrics.

The band broke up in 1997 while recording a new album, due to irreconcilable differences. All three members have gone on their own ways, with Raymonde and Guthrie focusing on producing for other artists, and recording solo albums. Fraser has had the most public exposure since, due to her vocal contributions to Music/MassiveAttack's song "Teardrop", and "Lament for Gandalf" off Music/HowardShore's soundtrack for ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings'', but has otherwise stayed in a sort of semi retirement, only rarely releasing new material.

The band were supposed to reunite for the 2005 Coachella Festival, but Fraser pulled out for "personal reasons".

!! Discography:

* ''Garlands'' (1982)
* ''Lullabies'' EP (1982)
* ''Peppermint Pig'' EP (1983)
* ''Head Over Heels'' (1983)
* ''Sunburst and Snowblind'' EP (1983)
* ''Pearly-Dewdrops' Drops'' EP (1984)
* ''The Spangle Maker'' (1984)
* ''Treasure'' (1984)
* ''Aikea-Guinea'' EP (1985)
* ''Tiny Dynamine'' EP (1985)
* ''Echoes in a Shallow Bay'' EP (1985)
* ''Victorialand'' (1986) (made without bassist Simon Raymonde)
* ''Love's Easy Tears'' EP (1986)
* ''The Moon and the Melodies'' (1986) - collaboration with {{Ambient}} musician Harold Budd.
* ''Blue Bell Knoll'' (1988)
* ''Heaven or Las Vegas'' (1990)
* ''Four-Calendar Café'' (1993)
* ''Snow'' EP (1993)
* ''Twinlights'' EP (1995) - acoustic album.
* ''Otherness'' EP (1995) - remix album.
* ''Milk and Kisses'' (1996)
* ''Lullabies to Violaine'' (2005) - box set with all the band's singles and [=EPs=].

!! Tropes:

* AddedAlliterativeAppeal: As an instance of the Cocteau Twins' greater emphasis on the sounding of the lyrics, than on their literal meaning, in ''Treasure'' there are several songs in which, most of the words begin with a certain letter. In "Ivo" this letter is ''P,'' in "Pandora" it's ''F,'' and in "Aloysius" it's ''S.''
* AsLongAsItSoundsForeign: Yet another way of looking at Fraser's lyrics. According to Guthrie, when they went on tour in UsefulNotes/{{Japan}}, they learned that audiences there, had always thought she was singing in their language.
* DreamPop
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: ''Garlands'' is PostPunk, as opposed to the band's reputation as DreamPop heroes.
** And ''Peppermint Pig,'' their second EP, sounds more pop influenced, almost like they were Music/ThePolice wannabes.
* EchoingAcoustics
* EpicRocking: Shows up occasionally, such as with "It's All But an Ark Lark," "Donimo," and "Lazy Calm."
* IndecipherableLyrics: Leading to {{Mondegreen}}s.
* LoudnessWar: Guthrie's remasters of the band's albums have been heavily criticised for this, with even fans advising others to seek out the original versions instead.
* NewSoundAlbum: ''Treasure'' brought some jazz and world beat influences in, making their sound even airier and a lot less Goth-y. ''Blue Bell Knoll'' boasted the fuller sound, and much more polished production, that characterized their last four albums.
* NonIndicativeName: There were three of them, none of them related, and none of them named Cocteau.
* OneWomanWail
* SpeakingSimlish
* SpiritualSuccessor: The ''Lullabies to Violaine'' collection is the successor to their earlier CD single box set.
* SubduedSection
* RecordProducer: Raymonde and Guthrie's other line of work. Guthrie, for instance, produced Music/{{Lush}}'s ''Spooky.''
* TranslatedCoverVersion: Faye Wong did a few of these on her albums, since she's a big fan of the band.
* TheUnintelligible: Fraser. Less so on ''Heaven or Las Vegas'' and ''Four-Calendar Café.''
* TitledAfterTheSong: Their name came from the rare Music/SimpleMinds song "The Cocteau Twins," about two gay guys who were really into Jean Cocteau.
* WordSaladLyrics
* {{Word Salad Title}}s
* WorkingWithTheEx: A major reason why the band broke up, as Elizabeth Fraser didn't want to anymore.