The Pink Opaque

Infobox Album | Name = The Pink Opaque
Type = Compilation Album
Artist = Cocteau Twins

Released = January 13, 1986
Recorded = 1982-1985
Genre = Dream pop
Length = 40:03
Label = 4AD - CAD513 Relativity - EMCD8040
Producer = Cocteau Twins, Ivo Watts-Russell
Reviews =
*Allmusic Rating|4.5|5 []
Last album ="Tiny Dynamine"
This album ="The Pink Opaque"
Next album = "Victorialand"


"The Pink Opaque" is a 1985 compilation album composed of tracks originally recorded between 1982 and 1985 by the Cocteau Twins. A joint release by the UK-based 4AD (the band's label) and the USA-based Relativity Records, this marked the first official domestic USA release by the Twins.

At this point in time, 4AD maintained an office in New York, but did not distribute their records in the USA. Instead, they licensed recordings to interested USA labels. This resulted in the vast majority of 4AD releases only being available in America as pricey imports. Beyond Modern English being licensed to Sire Records, and This Mortal Coil's "It'll End in Tears" having been released by Atco subsidiary Valentino in 1984, most 4AD releases were very rare in the USA.

Despite these limitations, the Twins' 1984 single "Pearly Dewdrops' Drops" fared quite well on American college and modern rock radio, leading Relativity to seek out an American distribution deal from 4AD. By the time the deal was made, the Twins already had a prolific output—from 1982 to 1985, they had released three LPs and five EPs on 4AD. Rather than reissuing all eight of these releases, "The Pink Opaque" was assembled as a sampler of the band's material up to that point.

"The Pink Opaque" is also significant in 4AD's history, as it was the label's first-ever CD release. As part of the agreement, Relativity pressed a single CD edition for both US and UK release. Therefore, the CD's sleeve contained both the 4AD and Relativity catalog numbers (CAD513CD and EMCD8040, respectively). Relativity also made the album available on cassette and LP in America only.

Track listing

#The Spangle Maker (4:40)
#Millimillenary (3:40)
#Wax and Wane (3:51)
#Hitherto (3:51)
#Pearly-Dewdrops' Drops (4:10)
#From the Flagstones (3:40)
#Aikea-Guinea (3:56)
#Lorelei (3:42)
#Pepper-Tree (3:57)
#Musette and Drums (4:36)

Differences between original recordings

While "Wax and Wane" is the only track acknowledged in the liner notes to have been remixed, there are several differences on many of the other songs in comparison to the original releases.

Overall, all the songs were re-mastered, even if very slightly, so that volume levels and such were consistent throughout the entire album.

The remix of "Wax and Wane" lowers the guitar in the mix, and brings the bass and vocals more to the forefront, in comparison to the version that appeared on Garlands. The drum machine track has been replaced with a new, more "dance-friendly" version.

"Pearly-Dewdrops' Drops" is faded out early in comparison to the version that was released by 4AD in 1984 on a 7" single and "The Spangle Maker" EP (which did not have a fade-out at all).

"Aikea-Guinea" is noticeably remixed, with the vocals brought to the forefront, giving the music a "flatter" sound in comparison to the 1985 4AD EP version.

"Millimillenary" was originally released on an extremely rare sampler given away with a UK music magazine in 1984. The version that appears here is significantly re-mixed, also with a fade-out added. This track has never been released again since, a sore point for many fans, since "The Pink Opaque" has long been out of print. Many fans had hoped that it would be included on 2005's "Lullabies to Violaine" compilation, but ultimately it was not. However, both the song and album are available on iTunes. (As a side note, "Millimillenary" was the first song recorded after Simon Raymonde became a member of the band.)


* Elizabeth Fraser sings and Robin Guthrie plays guitar on all tracks.
* Bass guitar is played by Will Heggie on track 3; by Guthrie on tracks 4, 6 and 10; and by Simon Raymonde on all other tracks.
* Like all Cocteau Twins releases, percussion is handled by a drum machine.
* The band is credited as producer on all tracks, except for "Wax and Wane," where Ivo Watts-Russell is credited as co-producer.

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