Blue Bell Knoll

the opening track, blue bell knoll, is something from outer space. it can make you cry. i think it is the cocteau's signature tune. it's so distinct. it can lift you somewhere. i remember they used to open shows with it and it was just incredible. very, very special. we spent many lazy afternoons with this album, times that had a special shimmer or polish, spacing out to this beautiful, elegant music. it's got this stoned summer tea party vibe that's kind of dark and mysterious at the same time. the poppy side of it is kind of deceptive. a lot of cocteaus music has this rare quality of being almost blank, so whatever your mood it will take you there even further. it's like a continually moving kind of frame? or patchwork... you'll never see the end of it...
written by thomas (thomas@geyrhalter.freeserve.co.uk ) on June 08, 1999

I really don't understand all of the previous reviews in this section in which the Cocteau Twins' departure from "goth" is bemoaned, especially considering the fact that their affiliation with the "goth movement" was only ever iffy at best. And while I do find the term "dreampop" as equally reductive and offensive (think-gag!-Lush and Echobelly), it is far preferable to "goth" or "goth movement". That is not to say that I don't enjoy their early work, which is moody and dark, because I do love it very much. But you have to let a band evolve! Otherwise we might have had to see a double bill of the Twins with Marilyn Manson.
written by dietplum on April 30, 1999

I really don't comprehend all of the reviews in which the Cocteau Twins' departure from "goth" (which their affiliation with is iffy at best, as they themselves chuckle at the legions of mimes who attended their shows). And whereas I find the term "dreampop" as equally reductive and offensive (think Lush and Echobelly), it is far preferable to "goth". But honestly, their music is their music, and it pretty much defies category. This is it's selling point, for Chrissakes! Yes, their early stuff is moody and wonderful, but they progressed beyond that. All I can say is thank goodness, as I would hate to ever see a double bill of the Cocteau Twins and Marilyn Manson.
written by dietplum on April 30, 1999

They simply never reached these heights again. Heaven and Las Vegas had some fine moments but this is beautiful balanced bliss. Unique and timeless this is how I will always remember CT.
written by Mark (msten@blacksci.com ) on April 29, 1999

it is spring time and i feel that i must write about BBK as i haven't yet...it is an exquisite album to be sure...i was struck by the harpsichord loop on the title track the first time i heard it "cool, the CT play harpsichords!" :-) athol-brose, i played it on my radio show. the vocal over-dubbing is so unique, liz's higher vocals sound like the ringing of bells across the countryside, such freedom. carolyn's fingers is where it all comes together: amazing vocals and equally impressive instrumentation. lucy and lily are lucky to have a mother that can compose such lullabies like "for phoebe still a baby." what an incredible come down from the heights of carolyn's fingers. perhaps my favorite track of the album is "the itchy glowbo blow" it sums up what is so great about the cocteau twins. it seems to be the most "serious" of all of the tracks on BBK while remaining lucid. i adore "a kissed out red float boat" the electronic intro as only the CT can be electronic. it could easily be the closer of the album with its sense of finality, but we are carried away on the wings of "ella megalast burls forever" i can never have a favorite album of the twins as i adore all of them, but for spring time, this is as close as i will come to choosing BBK as my favorite. how can there be criticism of it? beats me.
written by ethereal (ethereal01@aol.com ) on April 22, 1999

Hear this feel what can't I just say BRILLIANT otherwise moved so much as to tears with or without joy...
written by illsh (artmuse@earthlink.net ) on April 04, 1999

All the bit mysterious, it's divine vibe gives me a gothic refresh and takes me from the forum of Sunshine to heaven to beauty and to love with tracks like "athol blue", "spoon good singing gum"," for phoebe is still a baby and of course "blue bell knoll" it self! this album makes me feel a mix of emotions i have felt while in relasionships and inside myself.As all the albums are it's true and bare which gives it a senual mark. i often feel the sweetbreath of nature and my love Tommy while listening to this album. Tara
written by Tara (Sle1640652 ) on March 23, 1999

...personally..I think "Blue Bell Knoll" was the album in which the Twins started to show what they were really made of...although "Treasure" had its moments along with a few of the earlier EPs and singles...I love "The Itchy Glowbo Blow", "Suckling the Mender" and "Ella Megalast Burls Forever"...other tracks like, "Athol-Brose", "Carolyn's Fingers" and "For Phoebe, Still a Baby..." are wonderful, too...but really, the other tracks seem to pull this album down...I consider this album the fourth best of theirs...#1: Heaven or Las Vegas.. #2: Milk & Kisses.. #3: Four Calendar Cafe.. I give this album a 7 out of a possible 10....Good, but could be better.. (:
written by Bryan McNeely (deepsympathy@yahoo.com ) on March 07, 1999

This was my first album by the Twins, recommended by a good friend. Honestly though, it's hard to say which albums are the best. Another favorite of mine would be Heaven or Las Vegas. I think it depends on your mood at the time. But it never falls, when you need quiet time to think, put on the Cocteau Twins and things are much nicer amid the stress.
written by E kEy (mailto:key@iserv.%20net ) on March 03, 1999

The title track provides the novice listener with a concept of the Twins' music which has yet to be matched. The second track of the disc, Athol-brose, is every bit as intoxicating as the beverage after which it was named. I cannot say a word about Carolyn's Fingers, other that it has been my favorite song ever written since the moment I heard it in the late eighties. I named my cat after "For Phoebe still a Baby", and it reminds me of fonder memories of my youth. The calm, exagerated tranquility of Cico Buff offers a stark contrast to the actual, far graver and lugubrious meaning of the song. Ella Megalast is noteworthy as well, though the second half of the LP seems to me a compilation of "might-be's" which never made it onto previous releases.
written by TeskoBoy (TeskoBoy@hotmail.com ) on February 28, 1999

Blue Bell Knoll stands out in my CD collection after 10 years as still one of my most listened to. This album, as a whole, takes forward in a certain direction and never loses any momentum anywhere. The leve of experimentation in the studio shows, and I am still dazzled by things I have never heard there before. This has got to be in the top 20 of all time.
written by Ipedigo on February 15, 1999

I'm just a dumb ignorant hillbilly from the Appalachians suffering from some serious insomnia. I thought I would search Cocteau Twins looking for a new release as the latest I have is Twinlights, or as I prefer to call sick rose. I guess my favorite is Blue Bell Knoll. I've been listening to the Cocteau Twins for maybe close to 10 years, and I think they are simply awesome. The first time I listened to to Blue Bell Knollit made me cry and I don't know why. Four Calendar Cafe also had the same effect(despite some people calling it a sell- out). Sometimes when I am listening to the Twins in my pickup truckpeople ask me "What kind of music are you listening to?" I really can't classify it. I think to call it new age conjures up flakey images of UFO's and Elvis sightings. The music of the C.Twins is so much deeper than that. Their music has helped me to appreciate opera and abstract & modern art. In adolescent days I really liked Pink Floyd and the like, while their music made me appreciate the horrors of the Battle of
written by ww2dogs (ww2dogs@bellsouth.net ) on February 05, 1999

Oh god what a distrurbing disappointment... I took your word for it and got this Lp in hopes that it was in fact one of their best releases. Well, it wasn´t. The title-track is great, but the rest of the stuff is so incredibly tasteless. I don´t get those seizures listening to BBK, like I got with the other stuff. I regret the fact that I named my e-mailadress Atholbrose. I´ve agreed with most of the reviews on this site before, but this time, I don´t understand the enthusiasm around this album. I am sorry, cos I had great expectations to it.
written by sti (atholbrose23@hotmail.com ) on February 01, 1999

This album provided a soundtrack for me to what are quite likely the most blissful five days of my life. It seems to be a common occurrence, though (more or less) as at least three other people who've reviewed here have explained that this album was a backdrop to the process of falling in, or being in love for them.
written by Wil Richardson (Lawyers@comnet.ca ) on January 27, 1999

By far their best work. I wore out the CD and had to replace it, nuff said.
written by Charles Perkins (charlesiv@earthlink.net ) on January 13, 1999

Now I am not one to complain, but I have to just get this off my chest. I for one am a very big fan of the Twins but I am sorry to admit that I am glad they have ended their career. The highest point they reached and when it seemed that they could no longer stay ahead of the dream goth movement was when the stunning BlueBell Knoll was completed. BlueBellKnoll is the best song ever created by this brilliant band and I am just wanting to let you all know that. Thanks for your eyes. Daniel
written by Daniel on December 20, 1998

How could the voice of Liz's could be so beautiful in Carolyn's finger and Cico buff. Actually her performance is great in this complete album and also two of her gangs Mr Robin and Simon. Thank's for your inspiration!!
written by Jin Ho (jhct@yahoo.com ) on December 14, 1998

I have just gotten to know the band. I loved Liz Fraser's voice in 'Mezzanine' by Massive Attack and I over-read in the Internet that she is former Cocteau Twin so I got the Cocteau Twins' album 'Blue Bell Knoll'. More I listen to it more I like it. I guess I'll have to buy some of their other albums. Can you guys advise me which's the best? Please, e-mail me... I live in Poland. Does it mean something? No.
written by Mirka (apiska@mailexcite.com ) on December 01, 1998

Aaaaaaaaaah… Jeg trenger bare tenkte på tittelen for å bli varm om hjerte. Når jeg atpåtil lener meg tilbake i sofaen for å lytte til magien, blir jeg paralysert. BBK er den andre platen i rekken av CT-utgivelser som kan karakteriseres som et konsept-album. Garlands er den andre. Alt går i ett. Jeg skipper sjeldent fram og tilbake når jeg først setter skiva i CD-spilleren. Når den fortryllende harpischord-soloen setter i gang på tittel kuttet, går det hele helt naturlig fram til avslutteren, Ella Megalast Burls Forever. Platens høydepunkt er utvilsomt spor 5. Jepp, that’s right, The Itchy Glowbo Blow er den beste låta på platen. Den inneholder alt jeg elsker ved bandet. Liz tryller med stemmen sin, og sammen med en nyyyyyyydelig gitarsolo på 2 deler, samt Simons perfekte bass-linje og trommemaskinens behagelige beats, er dette min all time fave. De har også her tatt vare på mystikken fra tidligere utgivelser. Med unntak av tittel-låten, gjelder ikke dette resten av albumet. Man hører helt klart overgangen til HOLV, 4CC og M&Ks lysere lydbilde på flere av låtene. A Kissed Out Red Floatboat er et godt eksempel på dette. Og så tittlene da… Wow! Dette er platen hvor Liz viser fram hele sitt reportuar! Hvor tar hun det fra?!? Pure magick.
written by kev on November 19, 1998

This was my first Cocteau Twins album. I got into to the song Carolyn's Finger from hearing it on world famous KROQ in LA Calif. I admit my first love had some influence on me. But the album intensified the emotions that I was experiencing as a passionate 18 year old. Reading some of the other entries, I have finally found the words that describe what it feels like to experience this music... floating. But it is more than just floating. It is floating through a sea of emotion. Now ten years after my first CT experience I am buying more CT music and still have not been disappointed. What an incredibly talented band!!! -Rachel
written by Rachel Bove (ERBOVE@AOL.com ) on November 02, 1998

When i bought this record (vinyl) i only heard one song before but i didn't know it's name, so i had the hope to find it here (i didn't), but what i discovered was simply huge this voice had captivated me before in one song (10 years later i found it and i knew it's name was Pink orange red), but all along this record full of strange words that made me thought that i had forgotten my entire english, broke me in pieces son to song from Blue bell knowll with his powerfull drums, guitar and bells at the end, or the luxury (to my mind) Athol-brose that makes me think of a man dancing with a woman who never put her feet on the ground, because her legs are stiff, and suddenly this legs go flying and the man keeps her by the waist but she has no more legs, it's weird... or the Itchy glowbo blow or... or... or...
written by Luis Bernal (luber1000@yahoo.com ) on October 26, 1998

This album was my second one from the Cocteau Twins. That’s why i have special feelings for it. But after a loooooooong time listening to it constantly, i can’t help but feel a bit tired of it. So if i just ignore that and focus on this albums qualities, i must say that it’s a very haunting and at times mysterious one. Even though there ain’t much ”goth” left in their music. Just listen to the title track, The Itchy Glowbo Blow and Suckling the Mender!!! You also got a big-time standout like Carolyn’s Fingers. That song is unlike anything they ever did and one of my favourites. When you look back at this album, there was and still is a catch with it; Becuz of the great success with BBK, they have always tried to copy songs like Cico Buff, A Kissed Out Red Floatboat and Ella Megalast Burls Forever. They’ve really locked themselves up in this sound. And that’s one of the reasons they broke up. I read somewhere on the net that the post-BBK-Cocteau sound was referred to as ”dream-pop”. BBK is the maker of this CT-sound. If only they could escape from this style of music, the CT adventure would’ve never ended. That’s my theory.
written by kevin (y'all should know it by now... ) on October 16, 1998

I could start this off by saying something like "The bright and richly textured guitar work chimes in warm contrast with the harrowing vocals." But --all ultra-contrived descriptions aside-- that's kind of why we listen to the Cocteau Twins in the first place, isn't it? One would be doing the band a severe injustice to describe this release, or the outfit in general as strictly 'ambient with vocals.' To this day, there is still a mystique about the band, a phantom energy that I first caught off of 'Blue Bell Knoll.' I almost liked it better when I didn't know what they looked like. I sometimes have to click past "A Kissed Out Red Floatboat." This isn't for lack of liking, but soley (souly?) because I feel like I will weep openly; and that's not the type of thing one wants occuring when he/she is listening to this cd at work. This track, like a good portion of the band's body of work, evokes some very strong emotions. The song 'Blue Bell Knoll' has a slight goth tinge to it, but the rest of the tracks compell me to vote this release as 'Most Likely To Get Listened To Before Drifting Off Into A Heavenly Slumber,' with Four Calendar Cafe coming in at a close second. The only possible qualm I can think of with this effort is that it is rather short in duration. ****1/4 stars (out of a possible 5)
written by scott (skycries@mindspring.com ) on October 10, 1998

Blue Bell Knoll is one of the best Cocteau's albums. I like to liten to it everytime. The songs are very interesting and mistifical. The guitars are incredible. All of the songs are delightful like Athol-Brose, Suckling the Mender etc. Good work...
written by Attila Meszaros (ateska@hotmail.com ) on September 29, 1998

My favourite album is Blue bell knoll (Well, it's very hard to choose only one!) I think that Garlands too is great; they were so much spectral!!! Heaven or Las Vegas is OK, but in comparison with Blue bell knoll, seems a miscellaneous of good songs instead of a unique album.
written by duccio mulinacci - italy (myplexus@yahoo.com ) on September 20, 1998

Of all the songs, with their unforgettable beauty and unmemorizable titles, I completely fall under the sway of Cico Buff and Ella Megalast Burls Forever. They crown this peak of performance, the most even full length CT output to date? Nothing is lacking (pre-Treasure aggression put aside), and the two songs above are heartbreaking; Cico expressing sheer bliss, and Ella lost out of this world forever, as if mute..
written by mizan (rotarot@yahoo.com ) on September 08, 1998

The first 90's Cocteau's album. Yeah, people, I know that it has been recorded in 1988, but it redefined their sound for the second time (they had redefined once with Treasure), getting ready for a new decade. This is my third album in preference. It has all the sounds & elements that people used to associate them with. It's for me a light-record, spiritual in many ways, soft, easy... Liz puts out in this one of her "tour-de-force" vocals (in Carolyn's fingers) which by we can say that she is THE WHITE FEMALE VOICE in pop music (Yes, 'cause the black one is forever ARETHA FRANKLIN). This album has not the ups and downs moods like in HOLV or FCC. It chooses one way and goes through it from the beggining to the end. Favorites? Carolyn's fingers, Cicco buff, Ella megalast, A kissed out red floatboat. Yeah, a masterpiece (I love this word, specially talkin' 'bout them) for all time. I rated it with 9.
written by Alvaro Azevedo (alvaroazevedo@unn.unisys.com ) on August 29, 1998

sorry but I don't have an e mail address. blue bell knoll has got to be my favorite album by the Cocteau Twins. Cico Buff has been my absolute favorite song! That song, song seems so cheap for the way it makes me feel. Anyhow, I've truly been inspired especially by Cico Buff. Then of course is For Phoebe Still A Baby. Another beautiful masterpiece. Oh yeah, and how about Carolyn's Fingers? Itchy Glow. I know I'm forgetting how to spell the title but I didn't want to deface nothing! Anyhow, the whole album I adore, and if anyone has not listened d to it your cheating yourself. THANK YOU DEARLY for the inspiration Elizabeth, Robin,and Simon. Till next time. Kelly from Rhode Iland.
written by kelly castilloux on August 17, 1998

Oooooh, yeeeaahh!!! Orgasm!!! Though i have yet to hear a few albums, this got to be the best one, ever!!! - "Blue Bell Knoll", this song shivers down my spine... gives me my biggest goose-pimples i can get. I love the heavy part at the end with drums and the whole lot! It contains the most sensible guitar solo ever written. "Athol-brose", fantastic ballad with no structure. That's one of the things i love about them; you rarely hear the "verse, chorus, verse, chorus"-structure. "Carlolyn's fingers", a vocal performence i imagine only God as a woman can create! "For Phoebe still a baby", it's like a drone of beauty... "The itchy glowbo blow", the most original song on the album. It really has a special thing to it. "Cico Buff", fantastic! "Suckling the mender", my favourite song on the album. Just listen really carefully to Liz' vocal-performance when the song changes from verse to chorus!!! The greatest thing I've ever heard!!! "Spooning Good Singing Gum", nostalgic. "A kissed out red floatboat", this one's the least of my favourites, but that doesn't mean it's a bad song, not at all... "Ella megalast burls forever", a perfect song to end a fantastic album. I recon, once i got all their albums, this one will still stand on the top of my list!!!
written by kevin by (kevin.by@admtrd.ninaniku.no ) on August 10, 1998

I used to think "heaven or las vegas" was my favorite until i relistened to this one. By far the most commercial yet somehow it works the best and for the most part never gets too cheesy. And definately contains the best titles.
written by Bryan Sander (bsander@linknet.kitsap.lib.wa.us ) on July 17, 1998

As a Cocteau Twins fan since the 80s, I would say that BBK was a distinct changing point for the band. Liz' voice became more ethereal on this record. The guttural sound you can still hear in live performances (non existent on Milk & Kisses) is balnced with lush higher octaves. I love BBK not only for its beautiful tunes, but for the song titles as well!
written by tom (montag101@aol.com ) on June 10, 1998

I really like the songs CAROLIN'S FINGERS, THE ITCHY GLOBO BLOW and SUCKLING THE MENDER!I listen to those songs 3 times before going to school!But I still like 4CALC way better.
written by Charles Mok (416 225 3093 ) on June 03, 1998

Just wanted to mention the standouts on this album for me (my previous review came up a little short on titles!): "Blue Bell Knoll" (whoa! that catharsis!), Athol-Brose (overdubs galore), "For Phoebe Still A Baby" a very beautiful lullaby, "Cico Buff", "Suckling The Mender" (brilliant, my #2 here), "A Kissed Out Red Floatboat" (if you only listen to one song, this should be it), and "Ella Megalast Burls Forever". A perfect closing song. Words simply aren't enough here folks.
written by Doug on April 19, 1998

This album originally marked the point at which I felt the twins and I began to go seperate ways a bit. After queuing up for two years waiting for it, what I got was a corporate label sellout record. Oh, I'll be honest. I HATED this record when it first came out. It was the antichrist, the downfall of everything sacred. I came a hair's breadth from writing Cocteau Twins off entirely. Good thing I didn't though, and I may be indebted to the town I live in for that. I couldn't relate to it BBK because I thought it sounded like Yuppie Heaven. It was only when I looked around and realized that "Yuppie Heaven" was (and is) an excellent description of Huntsville that I began to see the relevance. The previous records were all fantasies of some sort. Blue Bell Knoll took the marvellous spectral soundscape of the Twins and grounded it in hard reality. It is now my second favorite. This is a record that goes perfectly with snuggling up w/ someone on a sunny weekend afternoon in an ordinary living room setting. Kind of reminds me of the feeling I get whenever I hear Chicago's "Saturday in the Park" and drift back, for a moment to my sunny Southern-Californian childhood. Following the death knell of the title track, we are transported through the tunnel of light of Athol Brose (this is where the munchkins come out following the tornado) to the Heaven of happiness, home and loved ones, the Heaven we were already in and just didn't know it. The glory of life in the late twentieth century. Amen.
written by Dreadnaut (dtmarlow@hiwaay.net ) on April 11, 1998

I must say, I've had a love/hate relationship with this album ever since I bought it when it was first released. Over the years, one criticism has been consistent- I wish the percussion didn't sound so tinny. The songs could benefit from a more lush production. However, it's not without its highlights. "Itchy Glowbo Blow" doesn't suffer from the aforementioned sound problem and is stunning, and has an outstanding guitar "solo" near the end. "Caroline's Fingers" is an aural roller-coaster ride, with Liz pushing the envelope with her vocal extremes. It's "out there" WITHOUT being precious. Overall, it's a light album, very refreshing in parts. However, at times, I find myself wishing the group would go back and do a "remixed" version, utilizing the studio assuredness of "Four Calender Cafe" and "Milk and Kisses." That might be blasphemy to some fans, but, I'd certainly give it a listen.
written by warren j. g. mianecke (wmimanecke@mag.rochester.edu ) on March 25, 1998

When I first bought Blue Bell Knoll three years ago, I was struck by the astounding song titles, which looked liked something out of Finnegans Wake. I had already been hooked with Treaure, Head Over Heels, and Heaven Or Las Vegas. At first Blue Bell Knoll seemed disappointing to me. It was pretty, but my impression was that lots of the songs sounded more or less the same and it all blended together into layers of aural wallpaper (as one critic described it). I think this album takes longer to aquire a taste for than most CT stuff, but now after several years and many listens I have grown to love BBK as much as all the rest. The guitar work is richly textured and woven densely around each song. Liz definitely favors her high register on this album and doesn't have as much range as on most other stuff, yet BBK contains some of her most elaborately lovely melodies. Who else could have come up with the vocal for Carolyn's Fingers, A Kissed Out Red Floatboat, or Blue Bell Knoll? One complaint I have about this album is that the drums and bass are kind of tinny and wimpy - BBK overall is kind of a lightweight, wispy sounding recording, compared to Treasure or HOLV which are a little more bass-laden and beat-heavy. This is what distracted me at first from appreciating it. Now I just think that the sound quality is different, as it is on every CT release, but the songs are really as good as anywhere else. BBK is not my favorite, but it has some great material. The first half, tracks 1 through 5, are all in my opinion especially brilliant; the second half has some great moments but is weaker. Athol-Brose is great and seems different from the mood and sound of most of the other BBK songs - more like a link to the sound of HOLV which came next. Carolyn's Fingers is just one of the most incredible vocals I've heard anywhere, and the guitar fabric of the song knits it together so well. For Phoebe Still A Baby is a sweet tuck-me-in drifting off to sleep song, very soothing, tranquil, maternal. The ITchy Glowbo Blow is my favorite though. The guitar is particularly energetic and densely meshed, and Liz lilts out one of her stunning ascending melodies that builds to a climactic finale, and then the music sweeps you away, bells are ringing, it's totally orgasmic, heavenly, and then this sort of ethereal guitar twang, and it ends on a bittersweet note, kind of elegaic. GOrgeous. Other favorite moments are the end of Suckling the Mender an A Kissed Out Red Floatboat (in which Liz mentions the name "Heggie", departed CT band member), with its exquisitely wreathed vocal acrobatics and spacey sounding musical backdrop. Ella Megalast Burls Forever is a great title but a kind of lame note to end on, in my opinion: one of the weaker songs on the album. Blue Bell Knoll has the best song titles of all CT stuff, though, I must say. Somehow, by meaning nothing, they mean the most. My song by song ratings (from 1 to 10): blue bell knoll 7 athol-brose 8 carolyn's fingers 9 for phoebe still a baby 7 the itchy glowbo blow 9/10 cico buff 7 suckling the mender 6/7 spooning good singing gum 6 a kissed out red floatboat 8/9 ella megalast burls forever 5
written by joseph schlottman (dedril@elwha.evergreen.edu ) on February 25, 1998

Listen to the fifth song on this album and you will be in heaven!
written by Troth Tempest (mirromine@aol.com ) on February 13, 1998

Blue Bell Knoll is the last CD I bought from the Cocteaus. At least I had it on tape for some years but never listened to it. But during the last year, I more and more began to appreciate what the Cocteaus did. So now I'm playing the CD over and over again. Particularly the song 'Suckling the Mender' has striked me. Why not performing it live ??
written by Kurt (Kurt.verweire@rug.ac.be ) on January 04, 1998

Ah blissful. This, Victorialand and Heaven or Las Vegas are the soundtracks to my dreams. Music of rare wonder and emotion. Intoxicating and thrilling.......
written by Leo on December 27, 1997

This is MY PERSONAL favorite by the twins. The C.T. are the only group besides the smiths that can recollect a period or time for me. This album brings back SO MANY memories. And i believe that A Kissed Out Red Float Boat is the best song by them to date. The album has its ups and lows.. I would almost pick Treasure, if this album didnt have such remem- berance for me.
written by Beth Conaway (vivahate@phoenix.net ) on December 08, 1997

BlueBellKnoll is one of the the gratest ever Cocteau Album and I love it. Before ever hearing it I liked HorLV but looking through my dad's records one day I glimpsed a the fingers on the cover and insantly reconised it. I never knew that we had it but saw it in the discography a few times I listened to it right then and emediatly fell Head over Heels for the music. I have went through each track for my favourite each few weeks my favourite at the minute is A kissed out red floatboat which is truely amazing if you do not have this album you must now drop what your doing and get it this album is not to be missed!! I hope you enjoy it, I do BYE. PLEASE ALSO E-MAIL ME WITH ANYTHING ABOUT BLUE BELL KNOLL OR OTHER COCTEAU STUFF AND I WILL CHAT TO YOU WITH OBSESSION> BIG FAN written by Erinn McIlwaine (billymac@dnet.co.uk ) on December 08, 1997

This album is rather under-rated. A brilliant union of eighties pop and new wave weird beauty.
written by red on December 05, 1997

The Twins achieve new heights. A very unusual crystalline sounds, with layer upon layer of diaphanous effects. They must have spent a long time producing this one, it sounds very elaborate. I wish I knew what drum machine they used, and how they are recorded-they sound neat-o. The opening track is very epic & grand with that guitar crescendo.
written by Ernie (ealopez@csupomona.edu ) on December 01, 1997

Until I read others' comments, I had no idea anyone felt as rapturously as I do about Blue Bell Knoll. This is Music of the Gods. Audio Ambrosia. Completely transporting and transcending. I know I sound like a fanatic, but I don't understand how mere mortals can make music like this - how do they do it?
written by Nicole (greatbarrier@msn.com ) on November 05, 1997

Blue Bell Knoll is its own world. Seldom is transcendence so accessable. This is easily my favorite good feeling Cocteau Twins album. If you like this album, you will also like the "Love's Easy Tears" EP.
written by Brad H (myfretless@aol.com ) on September 12, 1997

I wondered why on this one. I was beginning to feel cheated by the world, but not by this music. It sounded softer and my friend complained. I had a friend then. So I went to the library which he never did and looked up an interview which said Liz was pregnant. Oh! So Blue Bell Knoll! Ever see a recent mom lay down around her born infant? Puffy tummy in a bluebell dress. Oh! I told my friend and he said he was jealous. So he went around the house with a pillow under his shirt. Luff. Bluebells ring in wind, tolling slow as the day shies under the western churchhills.
written by September Virgin (mouse@network.ucsd.edu ) on June 04, 1997

What can I say - the first album ever to include both my forname & surname!! Do I prefer Carolyn's Finger or Suckling the Mender????
written by carolyn (carolyn.suckling@tsw.btinternet.com ) on May 06, 1997

Did anyone see that episode of Baywatch that opened with a girl free-fall parachuting to A kissed out red floatboat? s'true....honest. I hope y'all got yer royalties. Reasonably tasteful of young Mr. Hasslehoff I thought. ...not that I make a habit of watching baywatch......
written by JB (106376.2270@compuserve.com ) on April 21, 1997

Well, what can I say. I pulled BBK out the other day when I was packing my CDs to move. This truly has to be the best Twins LP ever. Every time I listen to Treasure or HOLV, I think to myself, "wow, this is pretty good; maybe I should reconsider BBK as the best ever." From the first chords of BBK, the contest is over. The album is seamless, yet still manages to hit heights like Carolyn's Fingers, the always incredible Kissed Out Red Floatboat, and Ella at the end. Even the tenderness of Phoebe is expressed in every word Elizabeth mangles/gilds. For those Treasure holdouts still wearing black combat boots and ankhs every day, get with the program. Treasure is good with Lorelei and Domino, but its just not the same gut-wrenching, permagrin opiate that shows up in Love's Easy Tears, BBK.and HOLV. Even the lyrics are beautiful: "Men dont know much, felt from the heart....I feel joy, joy, joy." mmmmm.......cocteau twins, I love you.
written by Scott Hartzler (sha07@allstate.com ) on April 12, 1997

Okay, so Treasure is the sentimental favorite, but it perhaps in Blue Bell Knoll where the CT reach their artistic heights... and what heights they are. A virtually "perfect" album sans deadweight filler songs, BBK has a richness and texture to it that none of the other previous albums or albums to come later possesses. The title song is "haunting" (even though that sounds pretentious and a typical reviewer thing to say--it's true!). "For Phoebe Still a Baby" is a beautiful lullaby-type of song; "Itchy Glowbo Blow" is another gem; "Cico Buff" may be my favorite song--but can you have a favorite child?? "A Kissed Out Red Floatboat" was the song I was listening to when I got in a messy little auto accident--and despite the associations, I love it still. And as they USUALLY always do, CT give us a farewell song, that is, a song that sounds like a farewell, in "Ella Megalast"--Several of the albums have a farewell song: "Donimo" on Treasure, "Pur" on 4CC, and "Frou-Frou" on HOLV. But I don't want to say farewell to these songs... A dumb review, I'll admit. But I recommend this as one of those legendary albums that you usually plan on packing in those stranded on a desert island scenarios...
written by X revisited. on March 27, 1997

my introduction to the twins; completely beautiful in its meaninglessness; absolutely without a doubt perfect for lovemaking.
written by al (al_brown@gale.com ) on March 06, 1997

I'll not talk about baroc, pop(...) things. I only will talk about some impressions. I discovered Cocteau Twins about nine years ago by listening to "Blue bell knoll"... the first time I listened to, wath I call a new sound. Something different, strange. This remained me the impressionists proceeding in painting: not concentrated on line definitions and precise drawing (the academic style), but only on light and color rendering, giving a blured and stronger sensation. The words of Liz give this extraordinary feeling: not completely defined (for the listener), allowing a great liberty in a personal interpretation. Is what you feel not what you are?.. I find this impression on "Blue bell knoll" in particular, maybe because it was the first one... who knows? The other albums or eps (The forgotten 4ad tracks 15-17/The moon and the melodies/Victorialand ep/ Love's easy tears ep/Pink orange red track/ etc.) also give this impression at different levels. But the best is that you stop your computer, put your stereo on, listen to, and make your own idea...
written by Pascal Fontaine (PFontaine@hotmail.com ) on February 22, 1997

Back again!... :) Unfortunately, the subjuct I've chosen to tackle this time is "Blue-Bell-Knoll" :( not really my favourite Twins album. So, as a result, this review should, at least, be a refreshing change from the almost uniform, blinding praise usually seen on this site. Don't get me wrong, this album does have it's moments. They are; The soaring "Carolyn's Fingers", the baroque "Athol-Brose", the punch drunk "Cico-Buff", and, the sublime "A Kissed Out Red Floatboat" respectively. The rest of the album kinda sounds like androids took over the job of BEING Cocteau Twins, Liz's voice soars, and we're transported, as usual. But, listening to this album sorta gives me an all over squishy inside. (especially "Phoebe") Which, believe me, is not the reaction I'm looking for when listening to The Twins. There's something about the overall FEEL of this album that, quite frankly, makes "Suckling The Mender", and "Spooning good Singing Gum" sound like the same song back to back. Which brings us to a word I am loath to use in referance to our beloved Twins, but, that unfortunately applies here, and that word is "samey." This album is worthwhile for the four songs mentioned above, but the rest is only for the most hardcore Cocteau completists. Newcomers should definately opt for "Heaven or Las Vegas" (Also reviewed in this section by me.) And save this one for last. Just a consumer tip! DOO-DAH, DOO-DAH!
written by SCOTTY B.H.P. (bghvn@hotmail.com ) on February 13, 1997

This album opened up a whole new world for me musically. No group has influenced me more, not even close. Never before had I heard such beauty. I became instantly enchanted in their incredible sound. From there I had to know their past work, which was even more amazing. There music never seems to grow old or stale. Every song sounds the way it sounded when I first heard them. A new discovery everytime the music played through. This music will open up your imagination, even if you do not have an active one.
written by Tim Ely (churby@inetworld.net ) on November 06, 1996

Blue Bell Knoll - this is album that started it all for me. Shortly after its release in 1988, a friend played a track or two from the CD and I was instantly hooked. Brilliant, melodic, guitars and synth swirling in a haze of shimmering light. And that beautiful voice! It seemed there were no limits to its range, each wave engulfing you and simultaneously disappearing. Very different stuff, indeed. I still think this the the Cocteau's tour de force, evidently starting the next phase of their careers. This album defined their sound, the new ones expand upon it. One more thing: despite the obligatory disclaimers regarding effects and overdubs, the final product of these tools -- the recorded songs -- will make your spine tingle. The sad beauty this recording displays in thirty-five minutes is unlike anything I've ever heard before or since. Oh, yeah, and you don't have to worry about getting sick of the dumb lyrics -- they'll be your own!
written by Doug (dcmoon@capnet.ucla.edu ) on October 29, 1996

I love to waltz to several of the songs on this .....release...... i waltz around and around in a huge ballroom till the early moring with........ ..............................................
written by sfjim (sfjim@hotmail.com ) on October 22, 1996

Before the release of this album I remember thinking what could they do now to complete with what had already gone...However, this was quite simple, a change of sound in the production dept was to be the key to the new rich and more cosy sound. Wheather this was due to a new studio, who know's but what must be said is it was a definate rebirth of the twins. "Blue Bell Knoll" the title track starts off powerful yet restrained reaching to a climax where Robins controlled feedback starts to ecourage the increase in the rapidity of the drums, yet Liz and Simon appear to stay firm in there restrainedness, the song goes on but never ends in a predictable climax and as it closesthe only sound left is the brilliantly processed seering sound of the new Cocteau's guitar sound. Already Ive just realised how long it would take for me to reveiw this Album along with it buitifully written or put together guitar lines and Liz's perfect vocals and Harmonies not forgetting Simons base lines with perfect simplicity combined with flowingness and sincerity unmached! Ill have to go as this could well end up being highly pretencious as well as expensive. Ill finish another time... Harvey
written by H G Turner (95323764hgt@nene.ac.uk ) on October 08, 1996

An album of unprecedented brilliance by CT. "Blue Bell Knoll", the track, is magnificent beyond words, as is "Carolyn's Fingers", and "The Itchy..." The album is of elemental beauty, and this is most apparent - song after song.
written by john jeffrey mcginnis (john@tailored.com ) on October 07, 1996