Heel to toe to hair and hoof and it's head over heels and it's all but an ark-lark...
Heaven or Las Vegas

“One of the things that’s a stand-out in my memory was a little party we had just at the end, when all the mixing had been done and it had been sequenced—and there was a whole bunch of our mates over [to listen to it for the first time] and part of you is just looking at how they’re reacting… What’s the worst thing in the world? You’re playing somebody a new song and twenty seconds into it they start talking—about themselves, usually. Well, this was 40 minutes of just silence and mouths open. That, for me, was a very powerful moment. It was like, whoa, it’s a goodie.” Robin Guthrie

Heaven or Las Vegas

  • September 1990
  • 4AD / Capitol
  • CAD 0012
  • 37 min, 42 sec

Track listing

  1. Cherry-coloured funk
  2. Pitch the baby
  3. Iceblink luck
  4. Fifty-fifty clown
  5. Heaven or Las Vegas
  6. I wear your ring
  7. Fotzepolitic
  8. Wolf in the breast
  9. Road, river and rail
  10. Frou-frou foxes in midsummer fires


  • Vinyl
  • Cassette
  • CD
  • Digital


Release notes

  • Written, recorded, and produced by Cocteau Twins at September Sound, London.
  • Sleeve design by Paul West. Photography by Andy Rumball.

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  • Heaven or Las Vegas has been Cocteau Twins most commercially successful LP.
  • Peaked at #7 on the UK album chart, and #99 in the US. “Iceblink luck” peaked at #38 on the UK singles chart, and #4 on the US alternative singles chart. “Heaven or Las Vegas” peaked at #9 on the US alternative singles chart.
  • Promotional videos were produced for “Iceblink luck” and “Heaven or Las Vegas.”
  • A promotional-only single of “Heaven or Las Vegas” was released, which featured an edit of the song (the version featured in the video), backed with “Dials.”
  • “Iceblink luck” was featured as b-side on a 1990 Japan-only release of the single “Athol-Brose” (from the LP Blue Bell Knoll).
  • An alternate version of “Pitch the baby” was recorded and released on the Mute Records/4AD compilation “Red Tape.”
  • A version of “Cherry-coloured funk,” remixed by Mark Clifford, appears on the 1995 EP Otherness.
  • The following songs have appeared in live performances: “Cherry-coloured funk,” “Pitch the baby,” “Iceblink luck,” “Fifty-fifty clown,” “Heaven or Las Vegas,” “I wear your ring,” “Wolf in the breast,” and “Road, river, and rail.”
  • The songs “Cherry-coloured funk,” “Pitch the baby,” and “Frou-frou foxes in midsummer fires,” were performed live with new arrangements by Elizabeth Fraser during her Meltdown Festival solo performances in 2012.
  • The songs “Iceblink luck,” “Fifty-fifty clown” and “Heaven or Las Vegas” appear on the 2000 compilation Stars and Topsoil.
  • “Road, River, and Rail” was included on the two-disc compilation that accompanied the 2013 book, Facing the Other Way: The Story of 4AD, by Martin Aston.
  • The album title was suggested by Lawrence (Hayward) of Denim/Felt, who liked the line from the song of the same name.
  • The working title of the song “Heaven or Las Vegas” was “Crispy Fiver Blue,” a joke name that Melody Maker had included in a lampoon of the band’s tendency toward eccentric titles.
  • This was the last Cocteau Twins recording to appear on the 4AD label, and was simultaneously released on Capitol Records in the United States.
  • Heaven or Las Vegas was digitally remastered and re-released by 4AD in 2003.
  • Voted #18 of “Scotland’s 100 Best Rock and Pop Albums” in 2003.
  • Heaven or Las Vegas was the focus of a BBC Scotland programme, “Classic Scottish Albums,” in 2007.
  • The track “Heaven or Las Vegas” was remixed by Starslinger in 2010.
  • A digitally remastered vinyl edition of Heaven or Las Vegas was released by 4AD in 2014.
  • Ranked #1 on Pitchfork.com’s “Greatest Dream Pop Albums of All Time” list.
  • Received a “Perfect 10” review on Pitchfork.com (for vinyl reissue in 2014).
  • Included in the 2005 book, 1,001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.
  • Ranked #245 on Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Albums of All Time.”
  • Ranked #18 on Pitchfork’s “Top 150 Albums of the 90s.”
  • “Cherry-coloured funk” ranked #188 on Pitchfork’s “250 Best Songs of the 1990s.”
  • Ranked #1 on Paste Magazine’s “Top 25 Dream Pop Albums of All Time.”
  • Ranked #1 on Brooklyn Vegan’s “Top 30 Albums of 1990.”

Listen and buy online


  • "Iceblink Luck" official video © 1990 4AD.
  • "Heaven or Las Vegas" official video © 1990 4AD.


External links