Heaven or Las Vegas is the sixth album by Scottish rock group Cocteau Twins, their last for the music label 4AD. In terms of chart positions, it is the most successful Cocteau Twins album, reaching number seven in the UK. The album is noteworthy for the musical evolution the band was showing at the time. The lyrics of vocalistElizabeth Fraser are more intelligible; many of them concern her newborn daughter Lucy Belle. Guitarist Robin Guthrie was experiencing problems with drug addiction, and as a result of his decreased time in the studio, bassist Simon Raymonde's playing is more in the forefront.

Despite 4AD label president Ivo Watts-Russell proclaiming that this LP was one of the best releases ever on his label, he released the group from their contract at the end of 1990 because his relationship with the band had soured.


 [hide*1 Releases


Heaven or Las Vegas was released in 1990 by 4AD in the UK, and 4AD/Capitol Records in the USA. Early in the 21st century, 4AD set about re-acquiring American distribution rights for much of its back catalog. This resulted in a 2003 re-issue solely on 4AD, which was re-mastered by Guthrie.

Critical reception[edit]Edit

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic [1]
Martin C. Strong (7/10)[2]
Q [3]
Rolling Stone  1992[4]


Spin (favourable)[5]
Virgin Encyclopedia [6]

The album has received positive critical acclaim. It was listed as the 90th best album of the 1990s by Pitchfork, who complimented Elizabeth Fraser's more direct vocals and the album's complex songwriting.[7] The album is also included in the 2008 edition of 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die,[8] and in The Guardian's online edition of a similar list.[9] It was considered the band's strongest work since Treasure by Allmusic reviewer Ned Raggett, who described it as "simply fantastic" and successful in creating "more accessibility".[1]

Heaven or Las Vegas was named by NME as the 28th best album of 1990.[10] Retrospectively, The Observer listed the album as the 97th greatest British album ever made.[11]

Track listing[edit]Edit

All songs written by Cocteau Twins.

  1. "Cherry-Coloured Funk" – 3:12
  2. "Pitch the Baby" – 3:14
  3. "Iceblink Luck" – 3:18
  4. "Fifty-Fifty Clown" – 3:10
  5. "Heaven or Las Vegas" – 4:58
  6. "I Wear Your Ring" – 3:29
  7. "Fotzepolitic" – 3:30
  8. "Wolf in the Breast" – 3:31
  9. "Road, River and Rail" – 3:21
  10. "Frou-Frou Foxes in Midsummer Fires" – 5:38


  • Elizabeth Fraser - vocals
  • Robin Guthrie - guitar
  • Simon Raymonde - bass
  • Andy Rumball - photography
  • Paul West - sleeve design
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