Treasure (Cocteau Twins album)

Treasure is the third studio album by Scottish alternative rock band Cocteau Twins, released on 1 November 1984 by 4AD. With this album, the band settled on what would, from then on, be their primary lineup: vocalist Elizabeth Fraser, guitarist Robin Guthrie and bass guitarist Simon Raymonde. The album also reflected the group's embrace of the distinctive ethereal sound they became associated with.[1][2]

Treasure cover.jpg
Studio album by
Released1 November 1984
RecordedAugust–September 1984
  • Palladium Studios, Edinburgh
  • Rooster, West London
ProducerCocteau Twins
Cocteau Twins chronology
The Spangle Maker

The album reached number 29 on the UK Albums Chart, becoming the band's first UK Top 40 album, and charted for eight weeks.[3] It also became one of the band's most critically successful releases, although the band considered it underdeveloped.[4] The track "Lorelei" became a minor dance hit during the mid-1980s.[2]

Background and musicEdit

The album was recorded from August to September 1984 at Palladium Studios, Edinburgh and Rooster, West London.

Record label executive Ivo Watts-Russell originally tried to hire Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois to produce the album. However, Eno felt the band did not need him and Guthrie ended up producing the album.[5] Pitchfork noted that the album's drum machine backing added a sharp edge in contrast to the band's ethereal sound and Elizabeth Fraser's "angelic vocals".[2]

Raymonde alluded to Treasure being rushed and unfinished, while Guthrie referred to it as "an abortion",[6] "our worst album by a mile",[5] and to the period in which it was made as "arty-farty pre-Raphaelite".[4] Nonetheless, as Raymonde observed, "It seems to be the one that people like the best and it's probably sold the best".[6]

Reception and releaseEdit

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [7]
Louder Than War10/10[8]
Q     [9]
Record Collector     [10]
Record Mirror     [11]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide     [12]
Smash Hits8/10[13]
Spin Alternative Record Guide9/10[14]
Stylus Magazine7/10[15]

Treasure is considered by many fans to be the band's finest work,[4] and has received critical acclaim. Pitchfork wrote, "Cocteau Twins' third album was titled simply enough. Treasure was an adjective for the endlessly inventive melodic lines you'd find buried in these songs, and a verb for what you'd do with them for years to come", and noted that the record signalled the start of Cocteau Twins' "signature ethereality".[2] Ned Raggett of AllMusic complimented its "accomplished variety", saying, "Treasure lives up to its title and then some as a thorough and complete triumph".[7] BBC Online wrote, "Treasure was where the Cocteau Twins first got it 100 percent right".[17] Steve Sutherland in Melody Maker described the album as "true brilliance" and stated that the band were "the voice of God".[18][19]

In March 2018, the album was repressed on 180g vinyl using new masters created from high definition files transferred from the original analogue tapes.[20]

Legacy and accoladesEdit

Jeff Terich of Treblezine placed the album on his list of best dream pop albums, stating: "In contrast to the band's more abrasive post-punk albums that arrived earlier, Treasure is an exercise in making beauty seem alien, and making alienation seem sublime, for that matter".[21] Slant Magazine listed the album at No. 74 on its list of the best albums of the 1980s,[22] while NME named Treasure the 37th best album of 1984.[23] Pitchfork listed Treasure as the 98th best album of the 1980s.[2] Paste magazine's Josh Jackson listed the album at No. 38 on his list of "The 50 Best Post-Punk Albums", describing it as "the first full realization of the band's ethereal pop sound".[24] PopMatters included it in their list of the "12 Essential 1980s Alternative Rock Albums" saying, "Fraser's ability to deliver her nonsensical lyrics with the diaphanous touch of a moth or with the muscle of a ravenous lion is astonishing". Jennifer Makowsky concluded that "Treasure is an aptly titled album".[25] The album was included in the 2008 edition of 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.[26] In Beautiful Noise, the shoegaze/dream pop documentary, Robert Smith of The Cure calls it one of the most romantic records ever recorded,[5] so much that he played it as he was getting ready on his wedding day.[citation needed]

Track listingEdit

All tracks are written by Cocteau Twins (Elizabeth Fraser, Robin Guthrie and Simon Raymonde).

Side A
5."Pandora (for Cindy)"5:35
Side B

Initial pressings of the Canadian LP release included the "Aikea-Guinea" 12" single as a bonus.


Cocteau Twins



Chart performance for Treasure
Chart (1984) Peak
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[27] 34
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[28] 32
UK Albums (OCC)[29] 29


  1. ^ Scourfield , Jack (14 July 2014). "Cocteau Twins: The Complete Guide". Clash. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e Dare, Christopher (20 November 2002). "Staff Lists: Top 100 Albums of the 1980s | Features | Pitchfork". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on 28 August 2014. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
  3. ^ "The Official Charts Company - Treasure by Cocteau Twins Search". The Official Charts Company. 6 May 2013.
  4. ^ a b c "Cocteau Twins |".
  5. ^ a b c Lindsay, Cam (10 June 2015). "An Essential Guide to Cocteau Twins". Exclaim!. Retrieved 14 December 2020.
  6. ^ a b Select, October 1990
  7. ^ a b Raggett, Ned. "Treasure – Cocteau Twins". AllMusic. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
  8. ^ Ray, Mark (February–March 2018). "Cocteau Twins: Head Over Heels / Treasure". Louder Than War. No. 14.
  9. ^ Segal, Victoria (May 2018). "Cocteau Twins: Treasure". Q. No. 384. p. 117.
  10. ^ Atkins, Jamie (March 2018). "Head Over Heels, Treasure | Cocteau Twins". Record Collector. No. 477. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
  11. ^ Strike, Andy (24 November 1984). "Cocteau shaker". Record Mirror. p. 20.
  12. ^ Considine, J. D. (2004). "Cocteau Twins". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. pp. 174–175. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  13. ^ Cranna, Ian (8–21 November 1984). "The Cocteau Twins: Treasure". Smash Hits. Vol. 6, no. 22. p. 23.
  14. ^ Hannaham, James (1995). "Cocteau Twins". In Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig (eds.). Spin Alternative Record Guide. Vintage Books. pp. 86–88. ISBN 0-679-75574-8.
  15. ^ Parrish, Peter (7 May 2004). "Cocteau Twins – Treasure". Stylus Magazine. Archived from the original on 8 November 2004. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
  16. ^ Bonner, Michael (May 2018). "Cocteau Twins: Head Over Heels / Treasure". Uncut. No. 252. p. 44.
  17. ^ Jones, Chris (22 August 2008). "BBC – Music – Review of Cocteau Twins – Treasure". Retrieved 24 August 2012.
  18. ^ Sutherland, Steve (10 November 1984). "? [Cocteau Twins: Treasure review]". Melody Maker.
  19. ^ Raggett, Ned (24 February 2016). "Cocteau Twins – 10 of the best". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 December 2020.
  20. ^ "Cocteau Twins : 'Head Over Heels' and 'Treasure' Represses". 4ad. 16 January 2018. Archived from the original on 7 July 2018. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  21. ^ Terich, Jeff (5 April 2012). "10 Essential Dream Pop Albums". Treblezine. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
  22. ^ "Best Albums of the 1980s | Music | Slant Magazine". Slant Magazine. 5 March 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
  23. ^ "Albums and Tracks of the Year: 1984". Retrieved 3 January 2013.
  24. ^ Jackson, Josh (13 July 2016). "The 50 Best Post-Punk Albums". Paste. Retrieved 26 August 2016.
  25. ^ Makowsky, Jennifer (11 February 2020). "Hope Despite the Times: 12 Essential Alternative Rock Albums from the 1980s". PopMatters. Archived from the original on 30 November 2018. Retrieved 11 February 2020.
  26. ^ Robert Dimery; Michael Lydon (7 February 2006). 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die: Revised and Updated Edition. Universe. ISBN 0-7893-1371-5.
  27. ^ " – Cocteau Twins – Treasure". Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 June 2021.
  28. ^ " – Cocteau Twins – Treasure". Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 June 2021.
  29. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 8 June 2021.

External linksEdit