“When I moved to New York in the early 90s, all the punk drag queens who’d listened to This Mortal Coil in their teens were lip-synching to those songs in late night clubs...” Anohni quantifies the immeasurable influence of It'll End In Tears, borne in an era when, depending where you lived, you may have felt you were the only person in the world who knew about it. In 1984, 4AD label founder Ivo Watts-Russell set out to marry the lush dreampop which was coming to define the label with his childhood admiration of 1970s decadence a la Dark Side Of The Moon and the 60s pop avantgardisms of Scott Walker and Tim Buckley. Putting together an ensemble of musicians from 4AD acts (Cocteau Twins, Dead Can Dance, Modern English, Colourbox) and scene figurehead Howard Devoto (Buzzcocks, Magazine), he and producer John Fryer constructed an epic, cinematic reaction to the cold sexlessness pervading the early 1980s music scene. Initially a cover project, the group eventually recorded some original tunes at the insistence of Dead Can Dance, who turn in two of the album’s most chilling entries (“Dreams Made Flesh,” “Waves Become Wings”) alongside renditions of lost classics by Buckley, Big Star, Roy Harper and veteran 4AD group Rema Rema. Robin Guthrie & Liz Fraser of the Cocteaus’ arresting version of “Song To The Siren” is perhaps the most well-known cut here (and for good reason), but don’t sleep on their cover of Harper’s “Another Day” either.
"My friends and I all found It'll End In Tears weirdly hopeful and with an air of gentleness, humanity and spirituality that accompanied me through my adolescence. It was taking a risk by being poetic and using piano and cellos as well as lush, ambient Eno-esque sound. I didn’t realize they were cover versions until years later!” - Anohni
It’ll End In Tears sees the core tenets of the 4AD aesthetic executed just short of perfection (“Not Me” is the sole weak link), and would serve as the de facto template for ambitious large-ensemble long players by Massive Attack and Gorillaz. Deluxe 2018 pressing with audio remastered from the original tapes, housed in glossy gatefold jacket with printed inner sleeve, recommended.
- black vinyl pressing
- remastered from the original analog tapes
- high-gloss gatefold jacket
- full color printed inner sleeve w/ album credits
- music label: 4AD 2018
reviewed by winston wolf 02/2019