Blue Bell Knoll

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Blue Bell Knoll
CocteauTwins.BlueBellKnoll.lp.jpg
Studio album by
Released19 September 1988
GenreDream pop
Length35:17
Label4AD
ProducerCocteau Twins
Cocteau Twins chronology
The Moon and the Melodies
(1986)
Blue Bell Knoll
(1988)
Heaven or Las Vegas
(1990)

Blue Bell Knoll (1988) is the fifth studio album by Scottish alternative rock band Cocteau Twins, released on 19 September 1988 by 4AD.

This was the band's first album to receive major-label distribution in the United States, as it was originally licensed by Capitol Records from 4AD for North American release. After a period of being out of print while 4AD reclaimed the American distribution rights for their back catalogue, the album (along with much of the band's 4AD material) was remastered by Robin Guthrie and reissued in 2003. Elizabeth Fraser named the album after a peak in southern Utah called Bluebell Knoll.[1][2]

In 2014, the album was repressed on 180g vinyl using new high definition masters.[3]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic3/5 stars[4]
Drowned in Sound10/10[5]
The Great Rock Discography7/10[6]
Orlando Sentinel5/5 stars[7]
Pitchfork8.3/10[8]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide3.5/5 stars[9]
Spin Alternative Record Guide6/10[10]
The Village VoiceC+[11]

In a contemporary review of Blue Bell Knoll, Victoria Thieberger of The Age appraised it as "everything that atmospheric music should be and usually isn't".[12] NME also viewed Blue Bell Knoll positively, placing it at number 33 for Albums of the Year 1988.[13] A less favourable response came from Robert Christgau, who criticized the "momentary momentum" of the record's guitar playing, and highlighted its supposedly boring nature: "Ever hear the one about being so open-minded that when you lay down to sleep your brains fall out?"[11]

AllMusic critic Ned Raggett retrospectively wrote that "Blue Bell Knoll has some striking moments that are pure Cocteaus at their best", citing the opening track "Blue Bell Knoll", "For Phoebe Still a Baby" and the U.S. single "Carolyn's Fingers" as highlights, before suggesting that "things slowly but surely slide back a bit" afterwards.[4] Gen Williams of Drowned in Sound disagreed, saying in her 2002 review that "from start to finish, it's a record that gleams with grace and emotion; chiming, mournful guitars and layered tapestry of sounds evoke a vast array of imagery".[5] Consequence of Sound's Leni Comaratta wrote that the album, "with its rich and ambitious expressiveness, returns the band to its dream pop roots in the ether."[14] Pitchfork listed Blue Bell Knoll as the 81st best album of the 1980s, describing it as a return to the band's ethereal style explored on Treasure.[15]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Elizabeth Fraser, Robin Guthrie, and Simon Raymonde.

No.TitleLength
1."Blue Bell Knoll"3:24
2."Athol-Brose"2:59
3."Carolyn's Fingers"3:08
4."For Phoebe Still a Baby"3:16
5."The Itchy Glowbo Blow"3:21
6."Cico Buff"3:49
7."Suckling the Mender"3:35
8."Spooning Good Singing Gum"3:52
9."A Kissed Out Red Floatboat"4:10
10."Ella Megalast Burls Forever"3:39
Total length:35:17

Personnel[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Bluebell Knoll". dangerousroads.org.
  2. ^ Aston, Martin. "Cocteau Twins – Searching for Heaven". 4ad.com.
  3. ^ "Cocteau Twins Classics, Blue Bell Knoll, Heaven or Las Vegas, to be Reissued on Remastered 180G Vinyl". musictap.com. 23 May 2014.
  4. ^ a b Raggett, Ned. "Blue Bell Knoll – Cocteau Twins". AllMusic. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
  5. ^ a b Williams, Gen (5 December 2002). "Album Review: Cocteau Twins – Blue Bell Knoll". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
  6. ^ Strong, Martin C. (2006). The Essential Rock Discography (1 ed.). Canongate Books. p. 222. ISBN 1-84195-827-1. OCLC 70402621.
  7. ^ Henderson, Bill (9 October 1988). "Cocteau Twins". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 7 April 2017.
  8. ^ Deusner, Stephen (16 July 2014). "Cocteau Twins: Blue Bell Knoll / Heaven or Las Vegas". Pitchfork. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
  9. ^ Considine, J. D. (2004). "Cocteau Twins". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian. The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. pp. 174–75. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  10. ^ Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig, eds. (1995). Spin Alternative Record Guide. Vintage Books. ISBN 0-679-75574-8.
  11. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (24 January 1989). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved 29 September 2015.
  12. ^ Thieberger, Victoria (28 October 1988). "Best New Albums – Blue Bell Knoll". The Age. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 30 December 2011.
  13. ^ "Albums and Tracks of the Year: 1988". NME. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
  14. ^ Comaratta, Leni (27 April 2013). "Dusting 'Em Off: Cocteau Twins – Blue Bell Knoll". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
  15. ^ "Top 100 Albums of the 1980s". pitchforkmedia.com.

External links[edit]