Most faithful mirror

June 28, 2009 · 2 comments

You may remember the Cocteau Twins, the second best band1 on the 4AD label. What I loved about them — apart from their moody, evocative music — was the voice of their singer, Elizabeth Fraser. She made what were essentially nonsense lyrics sound like outpourings from the depths of her soul.

Despite her contributions to the band’s 9 albums and 12 EPs during the course of the 15-year career, Fraser may be best known for her wordless vocalising on “Papua New Guinea” by The Future Sound of London, and her contribution to Massive Attack’s “Teardrop,” a song you’ve definitely heard2.

I bring all this up because I caught this 2007 performance of “Teardrop” on the “Live from Abbey Road” series on the Sundance Channel:

Ten years on, she can still hit every note. And I love the note-perfect performance by the band, including the sound of a crackling vinyl record.

1 The best 4AD band? The Pixies, of course.

2 The intro preceding the vocal is the theme music for “House.”


JO'N June 28, 2009 at 8:58 pm

Unfortunately, as you allude, one doesn’t actually hear Elizabeth Fraser’s vocals on House. And, to establish music-geek creds, I think you’ll find that they edited together the intro and the bridge for the House theme. Then again, I haven’t watched House for several years, so I could be wrong.

David June 28, 2009 at 9:22 pm

What you said about “House:” no vocals, intro and bridge edited together. I was already running two footnotes, didn’t want to get even more pedantic.

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