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This Mortal Coil
(TMC)
1983-1991

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"This group was essentially the creation of Ivo Watts-Russell, the co-owner of 4AD Records, a highly successful Wandsworth, London-based independent label. This Mortal Coil was actually a collaboration of musicians recording in various permutations, overseen and directed by Watts-Russell. The first single, an epic cover version of Tim Buckley 's 'Song To The Siren', was originally intended as a b-side. However, bolstered by the considerable talents of Robin Guthrie and Elizabeth Fraser ( Cocteau Twins ), it saw its own release and became a near-permanent fixture in the independent charts as a result. The album that followed set the pattern for the occasional outings to come.(...)
Featuring a selection of artists from the 4AD roster plus various outsiders, the albums included several cover versions of works by Watts-Russell's favourite songwriters (Buckley, Alex Chilton, Roy Harper, Gene Clark and Syd Barrett )."
Yahoo! Music reviews

 This Mortal Coil Discography - Album / CD Reviews

****¼ 1984: It'll End in tears audio

"Back when gothic and ethereal music were ruled by the 4AD label and its co-owner Ivo Watts-Russell, this abum was a revelation of the greatest musical talents in the business all gathered on one album. Elizabeth Frazor (Cocteau) singing Buckley's 'Song to the Siren' and Harper's 'Another Day', is reason enough to own this masterpiece. Add to that Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry from DCD performing a couple of songs, Robbie Grey from Modern English singing his rendition of Colin Newman's 'Not Me' with Manuela Rickers (Xmal Deutshland) and Guthrie/Raymonde (Cocteau) on guitars; Gordon Sharp (Cindytalk) supported by Simon Raymonde (Cocteau) covering Chilton's Kangoroo, and various contributions from Mark Cox (Woolfgang Press), Martyn/Steven Young (Colourbox) and Martin McCarrick (Siouxsie and the Banshees)."
Said Sukkarieh, musicfolio.com, 7/01

***¾ 1986: Filigree & Shadow audio
""Filigree & Shadow" finds itself almost exactly halfway between the glacial goth of "It’ll End In Tears" and the lush Technicolor fruit tree that was "Blood". Using the tried and tested TMC formula of stunningly hip cover versions linked together by intricately detailed ambient pieces and instrumentals, "Filigree & Shadow" boasts a line-up drawn from Breathless, The Wolfgang Press, Dif Juz, Cocteau Twins, Dead Can Danceand the mighty Colourbox.

(...) The production dates it a little - on some tracks Dominic Appleton’s vocals sound as if he was recorded in a telephone kiosk - and the numerous instrumentals seem to be more a way of filling time than carving new directions in music. Nevertheless there are moments of greatness here, whether they be in uncovering long-neglected genius, or shedding new light on much-loved classics, such as an ethereal take on lonesome Timmy’s 'Morning Glory' that cut through to the emotional core of a song that was buried alive under a bombastic Spectoresque arrangement on 'Goodbye & Hello'. The angular fog of Byrne and Eno’s original has been hammered into a kind of paranoid, disorientated funk that seems more in line with the spirit of the lyrics, all topped with terrific vocals from a pre-fame Alison Limerick. "
www.tiny-home-central.freeserve.co.uk/this.html

*** 1991: Blood audio
"(...) the musical climate had changed since TMC's last effort "Filigree and shadow", and it would've been inappropriate for an avantgarde project to repeat the ideas and sounds of previous albums. And there are still many 4AD artists involved, just look at Heidi Berry, Kim Deal (Breeders), Tanya Donelly (Belly), Pieter Nooten (Clan Of Xymox), or John Fryer (producer). Overall, "Blood" shifts the focus from independent rock to contemporary chamber music and drumless ballads. This album comes up with a great variety of styles, including exceptionally beautiful synth passages ("The lacemaker", "Mr. Somewhere", "Several times"), psychedelic guitar rock ("I come and..", "I am the cosmos"), and several interesting cover versions. "Blood" is TMC's most ambitious effort and represents a singularly charming and disarming album. Only some underdeveloped tracks annoy, the rest is flawless."
Chris Turk , via amazon.com reviews, 5/00
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Recommended Links:

Eyesore: This Mortal Coil
This Mortal Coil album info
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Dead Can Dance | Lisa Gerrard | Cocteau Twins | Love is Colder Than Death | Faith & the Muse | Brendan Perry | Hope Blisters

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