Head over Heels (Cocteau Twins album)

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Head over Heels
Cocteau Twins, Head Over Heels (Alternative cover).jpg
Studio album by Cocteau Twins
Released 31 October 1983
Recorded 1983
Studio Palladium Studios, Edinburgh, Scotland
Genre Gothic rock, ethereal wave, post-punk
Length 37:01
Label 4AD
Cocteau Twins chronology
Peppermint Pig
(1983)Peppermint Pig1983
Head over Heels
Sunburst and Snowblind
(1983)Sunburst and Snowblind1983
Alternative cover
Alternative cover
Alternative cover

Head over Heels is the second studio album by influential Scottish rock band Cocteau Twins. The album was released in October 1983 by 4AD, and was their first album as a duo of Elizabeth Fraser and Robin Guthrie. It featured the band's signature sound of "Guthrie’s lush guitars under Fraser’s mostly wordless vocals" and is considered an archetype of early ethereal wave music.[1]


With this album, journalist Julian Marszalek said that "Fraser’s voice became just as much an instrument" as those played by her musicians. Guthrie played "multi-layered and heavily reverberated guitars". The Quietus also remarked: "'In Our Angelhood' probably fits the bill best and it's a track that wouldn’t have sounded out of place on Siouxsie and the Banshees' Kaleidoscope".[2] "The Tinderbox (Of a Heart)" conveys a sense of menace and danger, while the closing track "Musette and Drums" features sweeping guitars and chimes backed up with keyboards.[2]

Release and reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[3]
Martin C. Strong 8/10[4]

Head over Heels was released on 31 October 1983 by 4AD. The original United Kingdom and Canadian cassette and CD of Head over Heels, and the Brazilian CD versions, also included the Sunburst and Snowblind EP. The 2003 CD, remastered by Guthrie, did not include the EP.

Head over Heels was ranked at No. 7 in Sounds magazine's End of Year List for 1983.[5]

In 2003, the album was named one of the most eccentric British albums of all time by Mojo magazine.[6]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Cocteau Twins (Elizabeth Fraser and Robin Guthrie).

Side A
No. Title Length
1. "When Mama Was Moth" 3:06
2. "Five Ten Fiftyfold" 4:59
3. "Sugar Hiccup" 3:42
4. "In Our Angelhood" 2:59
5. "Glass Candle Grenades" 2:44
Side B
No. Title Length
1. "In the Gold Dust Rush" 3:41
2. "The Tinderbox (Of a Heart)" 4:57
3. "Multifoiled" 2:36
4. "My Love Paramour" 3:39
5. "Musette and Drums" 4:39


Cocteau Twins
Additional personnel


  1. ^ MTV News Staff: "In 1983, Heggie left the band, and the group recorded Head Over Heels as a duo. The album was highly improvised and is the first recording to feature the Twins’ signature sound — Guthrie’s lush guitars under Fraser’s mostly wordless vocals. The group became a trio again when bassist Simon Raymonde joined in 1984. Later that year, they released Treasure, an album that hit No. 29 on the UK charts and cemented the band’s ethereal sound.", Cocteau Twins short biography, January 4, 1998
  2. ^ a b Doran, John (11 November 2013). "30 Years On: Cocteau Twins' Head Over Heels Revisited". Thequietus`. Retrieved 12 September 2015. 
  3. ^ Raggett, Ned. "Head Over Heels - Cocteau Twins". AllMusic. Retrieved 2011-10-14. 
  4. ^ "[Unknown title]". The Essential Rock Discography - Volume 1: 222. 2006. 
  5. ^ "Sounds End Of Year Lists". Rock List Music. Retrieved 28 January 2013. 
  6. ^ "Top 50 UK Eccentric Albums". Music List NL. Retrieved 28 January 2013. 

External links[edit]