Release Date: 31 October 1983
To listen to Head Over Heels from the vantage point of 30 years is to rediscover an album that at once is a bold step forward in establishing a unique identity in British independent music as well as building a bridge to a place of odd and strange beauty. It doesn’t matter now any more than it did then that the songs are shrouded in a wilful and perverse mystery that will forever elude interpretive consensus. What is important is that this remains a unique collection of music in a body of work that’s often been imitated but rarely equalled. Moreover, the Cocteau Twins’ power to enthral and beguile with their second album remains undiminished and subsequent visits prove as enriching as when they first revealed themselves to an unsuspecting world. Head Over Heels rarely tops anybody’s list of favourite Cocteau Twins albums but it’s probably the one that should command the most respect. Created in the face of adversity, the album remains a perfect example of how the influence of heroes doesn’t have to mean creating a facsimile; it means sharing an aesthetic and a determination to forge ahead, develop and grow. As Mark Lanegan pointed out to The Quietus, you can’t escape your influences. Quite so but Head Over Heels demonstrates emphatically how to transcend them.
- John Doran, The Quietus