Treasure (Cocteau Twins album)

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Treasure cover.jpg
Studio album by
Released1 November 1984
RecordedAugust–September 1984
  • Palladium Studios, Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Rooster, West London, England
GenreDream pop
ProducerCocteau Twins
Cocteau Twins chronology
The Spangle Maker

Treasure is the third studio album by Scottish alternative rock band Cocteau Twins. It was released on 1 November 1984 by 4AD. With this album, the band settled on what would, from then on, be their primary lineup: vocalist Elizabeth Fraser, guitarist Robin Guthrie and bass guitarist Simon Raymonde. This new lineup also coincided with the development of the ethereal[1] sound associated with the band's music.[2]

The album reached No. 29 on the UK Albums Chart, becoming the band's first UK Top 40 album, and charted for eight weeks.[3] It also became one of the band's most critically successful releases, although the band considered it underdeveloped.[4]

Background and music[edit]

The album was recorded from August to September 1984 at Palladium Studios, Edinburgh and Rooster, West London.

Raymonde alluded to it being rushed and unfinished, while Guthrie referred to it as "an abortion"[5] and to the period in which it was made as "arty-farty pre-Raphaelite".[4] Nonetheless, as Raymonde observed, "It seems to be the one that people like the best and it's probably sold the best".[5]

Reception and release[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[6]
The Great Rock Discography9/10[7]
Q4/5 stars[8]
Record Collector5/5 stars[9]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide3.5/5 stars[10]
Smash Hits8/10[11]
Spin Alternative Record Guide9/10[12]
Stylus MagazineB−[13]

Treasure is considered by many fans to be the band's finest work,[4] and has received critical acclaim. Pitchfork wrote, "Cocteau Twins' third album was titled simply enough. Treasure was an adjective for the endlessly inventive melodic lines you'd find buried in these songs, and a verb for what you'd do with them for years to come", and noted that the record signaled the start of the Cocteau Twins' "signature ethereality".[2] Ned Raggett of AllMusic complimented its "accomplished variety", saying, "Treasure lives up to its title and then some as a thorough and complete triumph".[6] BBC Online wrote, "Treasure was where the Cocteau Twins first got it 100 percent right".[15] Melody Maker described the album as "true brilliance" and stated that the band were "the voice of God".[16]

In March 2018, the album was repressed on 180g vinyl using new masters created from high definition files transferred from the original analogue tapes.[17]

Legacy and accolades[edit]

Jennifer Makowsky of PopMatters included the album on the "12 Essential Alternative Rock Albums from the 1980s" list and wrote that the album stood the test of time and paved the way for bands like Sigur Rós and Beach House.[18] Jeff Terich of Treblezine placed the album on his list of best dream pop albums, stating: "In contrast to the band's more abrasive post-punk albums that arrived earlier, Treasure is an exercise in making beauty seem alien, and making alienation seem sublime, for that matter".[19] Slant Magazine listed the album at No. 74 on its list of the best albums of the 1980s,[20] while NME named Treasure the 37th best album of 1984.[21] Pitchfork listed Treasure as the 98th best album of the 1980s.[2] Paste magazine's Josh Jackson listed the album at No. 38 on his list of "The 50 Best Post-Punk Albums", describing it as "the first full realization of the band's ethereal pop sound".[22] The album was included in the 2008 edition of 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.[23] In Beautiful Noise, the shoegaze/dream pop documentary, Robert Smith of The Cure calls it one of the most romantic records ever recorded, so much that he played it as he was getting ready on his wedding day.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Cocteau Twins (Elizabeth Fraser, Robin Guthrie and Simon Raymonde).

Side A
5."Pandora (for Cindy)"5:35
Side B


Cocteau Twins


  1. ^ Scourfield , Jack (14 July 2014). "Cocteau Twins: The Complete Guide". Clash. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
  2. ^ a b c Dare, Christopher (20 November 2002). "Staff Lists: Top 100 Albums of the 1980s | Features | Pitchfork". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on 28 August 2014. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
  3. ^ "The Official Charts Company - Treasure by Cocteau Twins Search". The Official Charts Company. 6 May 2013.
  4. ^ a b c "Cocteau Twins |".
  5. ^ a b Select, October 1990
  6. ^ a b Raggett, Ned. "Treasure – Cocteau Twins". AllMusic. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
  7. ^ Strong, Martin C. (2006). The Essential Rock Discography (1 ed.). Canongate Books. p. 222. ISBN 1-84195-827-1. OCLC 70402621.
  8. ^ Segal, Victoria (May 2018). "Cocteau Twins: Treasure". Q (384): 117.
  9. ^ Atkins, Jamie (March 2018). "Cocteau Twins – Head Over Heels, Treasure". Record Collector (477). Retrieved 10 May 2018.
  10. ^ Considine, J. D. (2004). "Cocteau Twins". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. pp. 174–75. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  11. ^ Cranna, Ian (8–21 November 1984). "The Cocteau Twins: Treasure (4AD)". Smash Hits: 23.
  12. ^ Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig, eds. (1995). Spin Alternative Record Guide. Vintage Books. ISBN 0-679-75574-8.
  13. ^ Parrish, Peter (7 May 2007). "Cocteau Twins – Treasure – Review". Stylus Magazine. Archived from the original on 14 August 2007. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
  14. ^ Bonner, Michael (May 2018). "Cocteau Twins: Head Over Heels / Treasure". Uncut (252): 44.
  15. ^ Jones, Chris (22 August 2008). "BBC – Music – Review of Cocteau Twins – Treasure". Retrieved 24 August 2012.
  16. ^ ?, ?. "? [Cocteau Twins: Treasure review]". Melody Maker (10 November 1984).
  17. ^ "Cocteau Twins : 'Head Over Heels' and 'Treasure' Represses". 4ad. 16 January 2018. Archived from the original on 7 July 2018. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  18. ^ Makowsky, Jennifer (27 August 2014). "12 Essential Alternative Rock Albums from the 1980s". PopMatters. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
  19. ^ Terich, Jeff (5 April 2012). "10 Essential Dream Pop Albums". Treblezine. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
  20. ^ "Best Albums of the 1980s | Music | Slant Magazine". Slant Magazine. 5 March 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
  21. ^ "Albums and Tracks of the Year: 1984". Retrieved 3 January 2013.
  22. ^ Jackson, Josh (13 July 2016). "The 50 Best Post-Punk Albums". Paste. Retrieved 26 August 2016.
  23. ^ Robert Dimery; Michael Lydon (7 February 2006). 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die: Revised and Updated Edition. Universe. ISBN 0-7893-1371-5.

External links[edit]