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Fruitopia commercials scored by Kate Bush and the Cocteau Twins
08.16.2017
08:12 am
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If I say the word “Fruitopia” to you, there’s a decent chance you’ll respond with some comment about the 1990s—the savviest among you might even say “1994” specifically. Fruitopia was the brainchild of a marketing head at Coca-Cola named Sergio Zyman—he also brought the world the overt GenX pandering elixir OK Cola right around the same time. The fruit-flavored tea concoction was a clear attempt to move in on the territory staked out by Snapple, and while Fruitopia had its day in the sun, as is often the case the first product to define a niche gets to own that niche.

Fruitopia is remembered today for its neo-hippie trappings. The flavors had names like The Grape Beyond, Tangerine Wavelength, Citrus Consciousness, and Raspberry Psychic Lemonade, and the marketing consisted mainly of trippy and “deep” kaleidoscope commercials featuring cosmic music scored and performed by Kate Bush and the Cocteau Twins and the Muffs, among others.
 

 
Marty Cooke and Andrew Chinich of Chiat/Day oversaw the campaign; they reached out to Bush and were delighted when she agreed to do nine spots for the drink. According to Cooke, Bush indicated that “she was interested in providing a lot of variety, from Japanese drummers to Moroccan music ... and she came through in spades.”

In Graeme Thomson’s book Kate Bush: Under the Ivy, we get this:
 

[Bush] accepted a commission to write several brief pieces of music to accompany the $30m US TV ad campaign for the launch of Coca-Cola’s ne fruit drink Fruitopia…. It seemed an incongruous move. Bush had consistently turned down advances of this nature….

The motivation for her changing tack wasn’t clear but was probably varied: far from the commercial ingenue she sometimes appears, certainly the financial rewards would have been extremely significant; perhaps she liked the tone of the ads, which were relatively innoative and visually stimulating and over which she was given complete artistic control. She may also have recognised an opportunity to cast the net of her music a little wider, while also finding a home for all the melodic waifs and rhythmic strays that had never quite found a home in her “proper” songs. ... [each melody hinted] at a longer piece, several reminiscent of the kind of odd, rhythmic, electronic pop she was making around the time of The Dreaming.

 
Here are the ads—in some of them, Bush supplies identifiable vocals, as in “Fighting Fruit” in which you can hear her chant “Hey hey fruit!” and “Skin,” in which you can hear her uttering a sort of “bol,” or Indian rhythmic syllable, that sounds like “digga dha.”

Kate Bush, “Fighting Fruit”

 
Much more after the jump…...
 

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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08.16.2017
08:12 am
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Cocteau Twins play their entire ‘Spangle Maker’ EP live in Sweden, 1984
04.15.2016
10:47 am
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In 1984 Cocteau Twins put out a 12-inch called “The Spangle Maker” that contained within the title track as well as “Pearly-Dewdrops’ Drops” and “Pepper-Tree.” The release is significant for being the first Cocteau Twins product featuring contributions by Simon Raymonde, who would become an essential part of the band for years to come.

That year also saw the release of the “Aikea-Guinea” 12-inch as well as what is arguably their best album, Treasure, which features such standout numbers as “Ivo,” “Lorelei,” and “Otterley.” (Robin Guthrie didn’t feel so warmly towards the album, however, commenting quite hilariously that “I’ve always detested Treasure. Not because of the record, but because of the vibe at the time, when we were pushed into all that kind of arty-farty pre-Raphaelite bullshit.”)
 

“The Spangle Maker” 12-inch
 
“Arty-farty pre-Raphaelite bullshit” or not, it’s not a stretch to speculate that the Twins were at or near the height of their powers in 1984, so how splendid to come across this sweet footage from a gig taped in Örebro, Sweden, on October 25, 1984.

On that mini-tour of Scandinavia, Cocteau Twins would play Stockholm, Helsinki, and Oslo later the same week. Those places would all get full concerts, but for some reason their fans in Örebro were treated to a tidy 20-minute set of only five songs.

Continues after the jump…

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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04.15.2016
10:47 am
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Cocteau Twins fever hits Ohio town, 1985
02.23.2016
11:58 am
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These two local Columbus, Ohio TV news reports from 1985—the second one was even broadcast live as this “rock happening” was taking place—together provide a delightful time capsule of an era when being a “punker” meant that you were considered an outcast and got hassled by cops just for having weird hair or dressing “funny.”

The subject, curiously enough, is the ethereal Scottish dreampop group Cocteau Twins and their appearance in “the new rock mecca of Columbus.” Ask yourself how such a group would have found their audience in a pre-Internet time and you’ll have your answer. The reason the Cocteaus were in Columbus, Ohio of all places, one of only five dates on their 1985 US tour, was due to the early championing of the band by a prominent local music aficionado whose self-published newsletter covered them often. Some of these kids drove 100s of miles to get to this show.

I’m guessing that the newscaster was either a friend of the promoter, or a fan of the band himself, or both, owing to this event garnering two news reports in one week. I’m just glad that these clips still exist and that they were posted to YouTube.
 

 
You’ll note that when we meet Tim Anstead, publisher of “The Offense” music newsletter, that he was not even using a computer, but an electric typewriter to put his newsletter out. That’s some true-blue 80s-style dedication.

If you wait until the very end, you’ll hear some vintage goofball old man newscaster banter about these crazy kids and their wacky hair.
 

 
After the jump, a ‘bonus clip’ of Cocteau Twins performing “Millimillenary” live in Sweden, 1984…

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Posted by Richard Metzger
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02.23.2016
11:58 am
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Merry Christmas from the Cocteau Twins!
12.18.2015
12:01 pm
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It isn’t necessarily your first thought that the Cocteau Twins have Christmas content lurking somewhere in their catalog, but it turns out they do!

If you were a music fan in the early 1990s, you probably dimly recall the Volume “magazine” of CD compilations that were released pretty regularly between 1991 and 1997. They came with a thick booklet and they would always have a groovy picture of a tropical fish on the cover, remember those?
 

 
So the December 1992 edition (volume 5) included a cover by the Cocteau Twins of the Christmas classic “Frosty the Snowman”—according to Ned Raggett at Allmusic.com, the Cocteaus did it in part as “an acknowledgement that the band was still around.” Raggett also asserts that Robin Guthrie didn’t want to get involved with a religious-themed Christmas song, so went for something secular, which seems plausible enough.

For the holiday season a year later, the Cocteau Twins took their cover of “Frosty the Snowman” and added “Winter Wonderland” to create an EP called Snow consisting of only those two songs.
 

 
Snow came out in CD and 7-inch versions. The 7-inch is red and says “For jukeboxes only” on it. 

Both tracks are a perfectly dreamy addition to your holiday repertoire.

“Frosty the Snowman”:

 
“Winter Wonderland”:

 
Thank you Joe Yachanin!

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Cocteau Twin Simon Raymonde interviewed this week on ‘The Pharmacy’
Bauhaus, Japan, Cocteau Twins and more on ‘The Old Grey Whistle Test’

Posted by Martin Schneider
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12.18.2015
12:01 pm
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Cocteau Twin Simon Raymonde interviewed this week on ‘The Pharmacy’
01.30.2014
02:13 pm
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Gregg Foreman’s radio program, The Pharmacy, is a music / talk show playing heavy soul, raw funk, 60′s psych, girl groups, Krautrock. French yé-yé, Hammond organ rituals, post-punk transmissions and “ghost on the highway” testimonials and interviews with the most interesting artists and music makers of our times…

This week Simon Raymonde of Cocteau Twins and the Bella Union record label joins Gregg in the Rx, topics include:

—How the band experimented with sound and recorded those alien soundscapes.

—The beauty of recording Elizabeth Fraser’s voice.

—The untimely demise of Cocteau Twins and why they cancelled their announced 2005 Coachella reunion show.

—Starting a record label and his advice for young bands.



 
Mr. Pharmacy is a musician and DJ who has played for the likes of Pink Mountaintops, The Delta 72, The Black Ryder, The Meek and more. Since 2012 Gregg Foreman has been the musical director of Cat Power’s band. He started dj’ing 60s Soul and Mod 45’s in 1995 and has spun around the world. Gregg currently lives in Los Angeles, CA and divides his time between playing live music, producing records and dj’ing various clubs and parties from LA to Australia.
 
Setlist

Mr. Pharmacist - The Fall
Ex Lion Tamer - Wire
Release the Bats - The Birthday Party
Intro One - Big Empty Field (no.2) - Swell Maps
Interview with Simon Raymonde Part One
Wax and Wane - Cocteau Twins
I’m So Green - Can
Isolation - Joy Division
Lady Shave - Fad Gadget
Intro Two - Channel One Dub - Linval Thompson
Interview with Simon Raymonde Part Two
Sixteen Days - This Mortal Coil
Needles in the Camel’s Eye - Brian Eno
Kick in the Eye - Bauhaus
Send Me a Postcard - Shocking Blue
Foggy Notion - The Velvet Underground
Intro Three - White Magic - Rare Birds
Interview with Simon Raymonde Part Three
Love’s Easy Tears - The Cocteau Twins
Interview with Simon Raymonde Part Four
Sugar Hiccup - The Cocteau Twins
Interview with Simon Raymonde Part Five
Intro Four - New Career in a New Town - David Bowie
Mr.Pharmacist - The Fall
Baby I Love You (Vocal Track Isolation) - The Ronettes
 

 
You can download the entire show here.
 
Below, two news reports about the Cocteau Twins concert in Columbus, Ohio on September 19, 1985
 

Posted by Tara McGinley
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01.30.2014
02:13 pm
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Bauhaus, Japan, Cocteau Twins and more on ‘The Old Grey Whistle Test’


 
This morning, in the course of searching for a King Crimson video, I ran across an incredible - and given the criminally low view counts, apparently undiscovered - trove of high quality New Wave and Gothic videos from the legendary British television show The Old Grey Whistle Test, few of which are to be found on the DVD collection. I’ve posted a few of my favorites here, but there’s plenty more on the profile of YouTube user ArtNoyze. Enjoy.
 

Altered Images - ‘Insects’
 

Japan - ‘Ghosts’
 

Adam & The Ants - ‘Ant Invasion’
 
The Teardrop Explodes, Cocteau Twins and Bauhaus after the jump…

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Posted by Ron Kretsch
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11.23.2013
11:57 am
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Elizabeth Fraser Speaks Out About Cocteau Twins
11.28.2009
02:55 pm
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From the Guardian, Elizabeth Fraser speaks about her 18-year tenure in the groundbreaking band Cocteau Twins, and how time has not been good to her memories of the group. She also discusses her tumultuous relationship with Jeff Buckley.

The Cocteau Twins had been apart for seven years, the mystique they had attained during their lifetime gradually growing and their influence spreading, when the announcement came that they were to reform. The world was told they would be headlining the 2005 Coachella festival in California, and would follow that with a major tour. According to bassist Simon Raymonde, the band stood to benefit to the tune of ?Ǭ

Posted by Jason Louv
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11.28.2009
02:55 pm
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