I think it was my general, though not universally applied, early 90s rule of looking to the near future rather than the near past that was responsible for my missing out on Cocteau Twins. I bought Four-Calendar Cafe in 1993, but singularly failed, other than catching Sugar Hiccup on a free magazine CD, to own any other Cocteau Twins releases.
Or perhaps I was just wary of all the made-up garbled nonsense Liz Fraser seemed to favour instead of actual lyrics made of real worlds with, you know, meanings. Given my later love for Sigur Ros, this argument doesn’t hold up too well, but it’s not completely implausible: sometimes when you’re building a music collection from scratch, working on a very limited budget, you are looking for music you can identify with, and hold closely as your own: if the identity you are trying hard to cultivate (whether you admit it or not) is the anti-MOR indie-kid who’s into that shoegazing stuff, then you probably won’t also be looking for CDs that an older sister and her friends might have relied on at College. (It will take more time before you realise that older sisters can actually have pretty cool taste in music).
If I’d opened my heart and ears a little, I might have noticed that lyrically Heaven or Las Vegas was less obtuse than earlier Cocteau Twins albums. I might have noticed that the gentle drone and the floating waves of sound were not far removed from the same elements in shoegazing that seemed so transcendent. I might have noticed that dream pop, shoegazing, all those are just labels: music is music.
Heaven or Las Vegas was the sixth album by Cocteau Twins, and their last for 4AD before being moved on. They found a home at Fontana, for whom they recorded two albums - Four-Calendar Cafe in 1993 and Milk and Kisses in 1996 - before splitting up.