Snow - 1993

Snow Winter Wonderland
Frosty The Snowman

It is surely no coincidence the Twins released a Christmas EP shortly after Four Calendar Café, the most gentle and peaceful record of their career. The sleeve artwork is very similar to that found on the album: lots of little toylike things, in this case mostly Christmas related, fittingly put against a white background.

Rather then composing their own material the band for once opted to record existing songs. Both are well known Christmas tunes, instantly recognizable and yet performed in the inimitable style of the Cocteau Twins.

Snow was released as a limited edition only and is long out of print. Although hardly a landmark release true fans of the band will still want to add it to their collection. Even though it contains just under six minutes of music only, its rarity makes this EP easily the most expensive item among the Cocteau Twins' regular releases. Those just wishing to add the two songs to their collection should purchase the Lullabies To Violaine compilation box.

Winter Wonderland

This classic Christmas song was written as early as 1934 by Smith and Bernard, and has been recorded by over one hundred different artists since, some of whom turned it into a million seller. However old the song, this enchantingly naive version with its minimal arrangement still manages to sound remarkably fresh. Liz' angelic voice might even make you wonder whether this song wasn't really written especially for her!

Because Snow was released in a limited edition only the version of the Cocteau Twins is extremely rare. Ironically though sales of this song by all artists, currently estimated at 45 million copies worldwide, may even outnumber the collective sales of all Cocteau Twins records.

Frosty The Snowman

When somebody asked the band to contribute a cover version to a 1992 Christmas record Liz jokingly suggested they should do Frosty The Snowman. Robin immediately enthused that with a song title as odd as that most people would probably think it was a normal Cocteau track anyway.

When Liz later learned the lyrics were all merry and lighthearted she apparently had second thoughts, feeling that she was unable to sing such happy phrases. The song was nevertheless recorded shortly thereafter and released on the Volume 5 compilation album. As Snow was released the track found its way to a Cocteau Twins record as well.

Frosty The Snowman is a gentle tune with playful lyrics that manages to catch the atmosphere of a carefree and happy Christmas perfectly. To the band's credit they did not try and redefine the song but kept their version as simple and straightforward as possible. Liz' vocals sound truly warm and the lyrics are easily understandable. A tambourine adds just that little bit to the arrangement to give it a real Christmas flavour. What version of this song could possibly be preferred to this one?