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Chapter Thirteen

Further diversions...


1986 was, indeed, a prolific year for Cocteau Twins, and saw them not only busily recording their own music, but also managing several external projects and guest appearances as well.

Simon did not participate in Victorialand, as he was working at the time with Ivo Watts-Russell and others at 4AD on the double This Mortal Coil LP, Filigree and Shadow. Simon played a principle role in arranging and composing much of the tracks featured on Filigree and Shadow. In this capacity, he worked closely with other 4AD regulars Martin McCarrick and John Turner. This Mortal Coil had, by this time, become a much more amorphous entity, and featured not only a few of 4AD's own musicians, but also a longer list of non-4AD artists (i.e. they were not involved in any other 4AD bands or projects aside from This Mortal Coil).

Around the same time, Robin and Liz were also working with other artists outside of Cocteau Twins. Liz was in great demand, and made a guest vocal appearance on the Dif Juz track "Love Insane" on their LP, Extractions, with Robin acting as co-engineer and producer. The two also helped their friend Lawrence of Felt, with Liz providing vocal accompaniment on the songs "Primitive Painters" and "The Day the Rain Came Down," and Robin again playing the part of guitarist/producer. Liz made a second appearance with The Wolfgang Press on the track "I Am the Crime," from their LP Standing Up Straight, and Robin worked with yet another 4AD band, A R Kane, on their debut EP, Lollita.

4AD was, along with 23 Envelope (the graphic arts arm of 4AD), concurrently developing the project known as Lonely Is An Eyesore. Lonely Is An Eyesore, released in 1987, is essentially a showcase of the label's various artists, which was released in a variety of formats, including a video.

The Cocteau Twins track featured on Lonely Is An Eyesore, "Crushed," is a track recorded at the same time as the Love's Easy Tears EP, and would easily have been the fifth track to that EP had it not been intended for Lonely Is An Eyesore. "Crushed" continues in the same wall-of-sound vein as Love's Easy Tears, and even the title of the song gives a similar impression as the other titles on that record. The song itself features ringing guitars that spiral upward while Simon plays at the piano and Liz's characteristic wail fleshes out the piece.

The video for "Crushed," though visually quite interpretive of the music in some ways, suffered from unstable 8-millimeter footage and the occasional problem with synchronization (at one point the viewer is hearing Liz sing one thing while her mouth is moving to something else entirely). But it nevertheless comes close to capturing the visual aspect of the music. The colours are bright and vibrant, and appear to move in and out of the shadows, along with the band members. We even catch a glimpse of Simon playing piano at one point, as well. The video ends with the camera panning to Liz, who bursts into laughter.

"Crushed" is typically a favorite among listeners, and it was performed live during the 1990/91 tour supporting Heaven or Las Vegas.

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