Late last year, 4AD released HDCD, a deluxe CD box set compiling all three albums – and more – by This Mortal Coil.

It’ll End In Tears (1984), Filigree & Shadow (1986) and Blood (1991) formed the backbone of the set, but also featured was an exclusive fourth disc, Dust & Guitars, which collected all the band’s singles as well as a clutch of previously unreleased tracks. Each album was remastered from the original analogue studio tapes by John Dent.

August 2012 will see finally see the individual release of each disc in the set. Each album within the two-piece box was packaged in a paper gatefold sleeve printed by the Ichikudo in Japan, with inner sleeves, booklets and obi-strips. The sleeves have been re-designed This Mortal Coil’s Ivo Watts-Russell and Vaughan Oliver, the man behind 4AD’s distinctive visual identity.

This Mortal Coil, active between 1983 and 1991, was founded and led by 4AD boss Ivo Watts-Russell, and was something of a studio supergroup, calling upon the talents of members of various 4AD and related groups, including Cocteau Twins, Cindytalk, The Wolfgang Press, Dif Juz, Rema-Rema, Colourbox, The Pixies and Dead Can Dance. With the help of his collaborators and producer John Fryer, Watts-Russell developed a sweeping, gothic-hued dream-pop sound that would become synonymous with 4AD at large, and its influence can be seen on a huge number of acts that have come since, from Massive Attack and to The xx and Zola Jesus.

Around half of all TMC tracks were cover versions of songs close to Watts-Russell’s heart, written by the likes of Gene Clark, Colin Newman (Wire), Van Morrison, Syd Barrett and Judy Collins. The group’s first release was a towering, Liz Fraser-voiced cover of Tim Buckley’s ‘Song To The Siren’, and this remains their best-known recording.

Of the three official LPs, Filigree & Shadow, an epic double-album, is probably the most striking and rewarding; here TMC’s emotionally overwrought but generally irresistible ballads are balanced with denser, darker instrumentals.

It’ll End In Tears
1. Kangaroo
2. Song To The Siren
3. Holocaust
4. Fyt
5. Fond Affections
6. The Last Ray
7. Another Day
8. Waves Become Wings
9. Barramundi
10. Dreams Made flesh
11. Not Me
12. A Single Wish

Filigree & Shadow
1. Velvet Belly
2. The Jeweller
3. Ivy And Neet
4. Meniscus
5. Tears
6. Tarantula
7. My Father
8. Come Here My Love
9. At First, And Then
10. Strength Of Strings
11. Morning Glory
12. Inch-Blue
13. I Want To Live
14. Mama K (1)
15. Filigree & Shadow
16. Fire Brothers
17. Thaïs (1)
18. I Must Have Been Blind
19. A Heart Of Glass
20. Alone
21. Mama K (2)
22. The horizon Bleeds And Sucks Its Thumb
23. Drugs
24. Red Rain
25. Thaïs (2)

1. The Lacemaker
2. Mr. Somewhere
3. Andialu
4. With Tomorrow
5. Loose Joints
6. You And Your Sister
7. Nature’s Way
8. I Come And Stand At Every Door
9. Bitter
10. Baby Ray Baby
11. Several Times
12. Lacemaker II
13. Late Night
14. Ruddy And Wretched
15. Help Me Lift You Up
16. Carolyn’s Song
17. D. D. And E.
18. Til I Gain Control Again
19. Dreams Are Like Water
20. I Am The Cosmos
21. (Nothing But) Blood

CD4. Dust & Guitars
1. Sixteen Days / Gathering Dust
2. Song To The Siren
3. Sixteen Days (Reprise)
4. Kangaroo
5. It’ll End In Tears
6. Come Here My love
7. Drugs
8. Acid, Bitter And Sad
9. We Never Danced
10. Thaïs (Bird Of Paradise)



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