Beloved 4AD records studio project This Mortal Coil is receiving deluxe reissues of the project’s three classic albums this fall. The project, led by the label’s founder Ivo Watts-Russell and featuring numerous collaborations from post-punk alumni, was conceived to shed a light on forgotten favorites past and present.
Over the span of eight years, Ivo collaborated with Blackwing Studios house engineer/ co-producer, John Fryer on the records, sculpting sonic textures that helped put the label on the map. Fryer had previously made a name for himself working with Daniel Miller on some of Mute’s early releases from artists such as Fad Gadget, Depeche Mode, and Yazoo before joining the 4AD roster to work with bands like Cocteau Twins and Xmal Deutschland.
The first album from This Mortal Coil was 1984’s It’ll End In Tears, which featured all-star cast of guest musicians and vocalists such as: Elizabeth Fraser, Robin Guthrie, and Simon Raymonde of Cocteau Twins. Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry of Dead Can Dance, Gordon Sharp of Cindytalk, Martyn and Steve Young of Colourbox, Mark Cox of Wolfgang Press, Manuela Rickers of Xmal Deutschland, Martin McCarrick and Gini Ball (Siouxsie and The Banshees), Howard Devoto of Magazine, and Robbie Grey from Modern English, whose tracks “Sixteen Days” and “Gathering Dust” served as the original inspiration for the project.
Howard Devoto sang “Holocaust”, which was one of two covers of songs from the Third/Sister Lovers album by Big Star. The other Alex Chilton track was album opener “Kangaroo”, gorgeously sung by Gordon Sharp. The track was also released as a single and video to promote the album.
The most popular release from the album, however, was more or less a full Cocteau Twins cover version of Tim Buckley’s “Song To the Siren”.
The next in the trilogy of albums was 1986’s Filigree and Shadow, which retained Cocteau Twins’ bassist Simon Raymonde while enlisting new faces such as Alison Limerick, Jeanette, Dominic Appleton (Breathless), sisters Deirdre and Louise Rutkowski (Sunset Gun), and 4AD’s own Richenel. The album spawned a 10” single for their rendition of Van Morrison’s “Come Here My Love” and also featured covers of Talking Heads, Colin Newman, Pearls Before Swine, and Colourbox alongside esoteric ambient passages.
The final This Mortal Coil album was 1991’s Blood, which added the late Caroline Crawley (Shelleyan Orphan / Babacar) and 4AD label artists Heidi Berry, Kim Deal (Pixies / The Breeders), Tanya Donelly (Throwing Muses / The Breeders / Belly) and Pieter Nooten. Amongst seminal covers of The Byrds, Gene Clark, and even one of Nooten’s classic pieces from Sleeps With the Fishes, Caroline Crawley performed a breathtaking rendition of Syd’s Barrett’s “Late Night” for the album.
Here is more info on the releases via 4AD’s reissue campaign website:
“The new deluxe vinyl versions differ from the original releases with each album having had its artwork reimagined by Ivo Watts-Russell and Vaughan Oliver (4AD’s long-time visual partner). All three are now presented in beautiful, hand finished and high-gloss gatefold sleeves, using remastered audio made from the original analogue studio tapes by the late, great John Dent.
The deluxe CD editions are being manufactured by the Ichikudo company in Japan, coming packaged in striking gatefold paper sleeves which are printed to the highest standard. Originally made available as part of a highly limited boxset back in 2011, these new versions differ by being UHQCDs (Ultimate High Quality Compact Disc) rather than HDCDs (High Definition Compatible Digital).”
All three albums are set for release on October 26th, 2018.