“I’ve consciously been stripping things back. In the past, I’ve always wanted one more overdub, one more melody, because I’m terrible for thinking that my music isn’t good enough. So if I put in a few more frilly overdubs, then it’ll be all right. These one’s are more substantial. The ideas are more focused.” Robin Guthrie
“I tend to go from one extreme to the other. To go from an album like ‘Blue Bell Knoll,’ which is so heavily disguised and removed from reality to ‘Heaven or Las Vegas,’ or even more to this one, where everything on it is in English and it’s all audible…it is extreme, I think. But it seems important for me to do that.” Elizabeth Fraser
“I think it’s an amazing record, and I think people will probably realise that many, many years in the future. It was such a departure from what we’d done before. And the fact that it wasn’t on 4AD, and the fact that we’d jumped ship and we were on the other side, with the enemy, on a major label, I think people were sort of like, ‘Oh, that can’t be any good.’ But I think in time people will realise what a great album ‘Four-Calendar Café’ is. Because I think it’s beautiful.” Simon Raymonde
- November 1993
- Fontana/Mercury & Capitol
- 518 259-1
- 41 min, 32 sec
- Know Who You Are at Every Age
- Theft, and Wandering Around Lost
- Oil of Angels
- Squeeze Wax
- My Truth
- All songs written and produced by Cocteau Twins.
- Recorded and mixed at September Sound, London.
- Additional Engineering by Lincoln Fong.
- Additional Guitars by Mitsuo Tate and Ben Blakeman.
- Additional Drums and Percussion by Benny DiMassa and David Palfreeman.
- Original photography by Walter Wick. Sleeve design by Lifeboat Matey.
- Peaked at #13 on UK album charts, and #78 in the US. “Evangeline” and “Bluebeard” peaked at #34 and #33, respectively, in the UK.
- Promotional videos were produced for the singles, “Evangeline” and “Bluebeard.”
- A promo-only single was released for “Summerhead.”
- The following songs were performed live on television, radio, and on tour: “Know Who You Are At Every Age,” “Evangeline,” “Bluebeard,” “Theft, And Wandering Around Lost,” “Summerhead,” and “Pur.”
- Alternate Chinese versions of “Know Who You Are At Every Age” and “Bluebeard” were recorded by Faye Wong (Wangfei).
- Four-Calendar Café was digitally remastered and re-released on CD in 2006, with slightly modified artwork and extensive sleeve notes.
- A remastered vinyl pressing of Four-Calendar Café was released in 2017 by Universal Music.
- Four-Calendar Café was included in the 2018 release, Treasure Hiding: the Fontana Years.
- The title is taken from the writings of William Least-Heat Moon.
Listen and buy online
- “The truth is not perfect: Robin Guthrie on the Cocteau Twins’ major label years”. Sonic Cathedral. 31-May 2020.
- “Virtual Ethereality”. Sarah Champion. Creem. May 1994.
- Interview. Polish Television TVP2. May 1994.
- “Café of Pain”. Maureen Odell. B-Side. Apr/May 1994.
- “At the Cocteau Café”. Robert Levine. Los Angeles Times. 02-Apr 1994.
- Interview. On the Edge. Apr 1994.
- “The Demons Within”. Stephanie Young. Propaganda: Gothic Chronicle. April 1994.
- Interview with Robin Guthrie. Pat Mannion and Brant Nelson. Dewdrops Fanzine. 1994.
- “Ethereal this, thicky”. Dave Thompson. Alternative Press. Feb 1994.
- “Heart to Tape”. Adam Beyda. Mix. Dec 1993.
- Review of Four-Calendar Café. Josef Woodard. Entertainment Weekly. 19-Nov 1993.
- Interview. Andrew Smith. Raygun. Nov 1993.
- “Sound Whirl”. Andrew Smith. The Wire. Nov 1993.
- Review of Four-Calendar Café. James Hannaham. Details. Nov 1993.
- Retrospective Discography. NME/New Musical Express. 02-Oct 1993.
- Untitled. NME/New Musical Express. 02-Oct 1993.
- “Botanic Rites”. Max Bell. Vox. Oct 1993.
- Review of Four-Calendar Café. Simon Price. Melody Maker. 1993.
- Interview. Kimberly Haas. WXPN Philadelphia Radio. 1993.
- “No More Pre-Raphaelite Bullshit”. Andy O’Reilly. Lime Lizard. Oct 1993.
- “Obscured by Words”. Jason Morgan and Diana Trimble. Mondo 2000. Oct 1993.
- “Fraser-Guided Melodies”. David Cavanaugh. Select. Oct 1993.
- Interview. Peter Suciu. Anti-Matter. Oct 1993.
- “Dreams of Consciousness”. Chris Roberts. Melody Maker. 11-Sep 1993.
- “Cocteaus’ Experiential ‘Calendar’”. Timothy White. Billboard. 11-Sep 1993.