The inspiration of Ivo Watts-Russell, This Mortal Coil emerged in the early-'80s when the post-punk scene was splintering in exciting new ways and Ivo's then-fledgling record label 4AD was in the thick of it all. This Mortal Coil were not a band per se, never performing live, rather a collaboration of musicians, with both Ivo and co-producer John Fryer the only constant while the cast rotated. Experimentation was rife over three albums, they produced a heady mix of original works, musical links and reinterpretations of impeccably curated songs; helping to introduce a new audience to the talents of a previous generation, including Big Star, Tim Buckley, Roy Harper, Spirit, Gene Clark, Dino Valenti, Rain Parade, Emmylou Harris, Syd Barrett and Colin Newman, amongst others. Intriguing, almost amorphous, the ethereal qualities of This Mortal Coil were further enhanced by the stunning artwork that ran throughout the project -- with the mysterious figure of Pallas Citroën adorning each album cover, making her the project's de facto face.
Released two years after their debut album, This Mortal Coil's Filigree & Shadow (1986) was no less ornate than its predecessor. A double album with no defined breaks between tracks so each of its four sides became a self-contained unit. The core expanded to add Simon Raymonde (Cocteau Twins) and arranger Martin McCarrick, backing (with the help of members of Dif Juz and The Wolfgang Press) a variety of new singers Ivo handpicked including Alison Limerick, Dominic Appleton (Breathless), sisters Deirdre and Louise Rutkowski, Caroline Seaman (Heavenly Bodies) and Richenel. An intense record, The Quietus called it "tortured yet oddly euphoric... (music which) could easily rip flimsy souls apart."
Using remasters made from the original analogue studio tapes by the late, great John Dent at Loud Mastering, this reissue comes housed in a beautiful, hand finished and high-gloss gatefold sleeve with reimagined artwork by Ivo Watts-Russell and Vaughan Oliver, 4AD's long-time visual partner.