Boys Don’t Cry

Playlist: Play It Again

Ever wonder why some artists feel the need to re-record their big hits? Sometimes it’s to record with a new lineup, other times it’s for legal reasons. But more often than not it feels like a cheap cash cow and is almost always a bad idea. While some bands have gotten away with re-recordings that aren’t terrible, they never live up to the original. Let’s take a listen to some of the best and worst re-recorded hit songs.

“Boys Don’t Cry” – The Cure

The Cure have a lot of notable songs in their lengthy catalog, but this is their most iconic. Taken from their debut album, Three Imaginary Boys, the song received moderate praise upon original release. Over time, the single garnered more praise and acclaim quickly becoming a Cure staple. When Robert Smith revisited the band’s singles for their 1986 compilation cassette, Staring at the Beach, Smith and co-headed back into the studio to re-record the classic. Known as “New Voice New Mix” the new version sounds very similar to the original. The biggest difference is Smith’s mature and more playful vocal take. Though it doesn’t sound bad, it still doesn’t match the charm of the original. It seems the band knows this as the new version was only used for the companion video. Otherwise, it has not been officially released on subsequent Cure collections.

“Shout at the Devil” – Motley Crue

Normally, there is no reason why a band should re-record their songs, especially when they’re considered classics. Usually, it ends up a disaster. Sadly, this is the outcome of Motley Crue’s “Shout at the Devil 97.” The original is a staple of heavy metal and helped launched their career. It remains one of their best songs. In 1997, the band reunited with Vince Neil, who left 1992 and released their seventh album, Generation Swine. To celebrate Neil’s return the band decided to re-record the song. And it’s…weird. While the vocals are largely unchanged, the music sounds nothing like the original. It’s hard to even pick out the tracks’ notable riff. Is this supposed to be a heavy metal version? It’s like they wanted to prove how bad and edgy they were and this is the result. Best avoid this version at all costs.

“Ace of Spades” – Motorhead

If there’s one song that represents being a badass, heavy metal, and the awesomeness of Mr. Lemmy Kilmister, it’s “Ace of Spades.” It’s not only the band’s most well-known song, it’s often listed as one of the best songs ever. And with good reason. Everything about it from the iconic riff to Lemmy’s gruff vocals makes it kick ass. The song is pretty much perfect, so why mess with it? When Rockband wanted to use the song for their game, the band re-recorded it and branded it “Ace of Spades 08.” There’s nothing bad about it; it sounds pretty close to the original. But it’s just not the same. Hearing it you know something’s off and it’s a little disappointing. At least Motorhead didn’t try to rebrand the song, unlike the Crue boys.

“Every Day is Halloween” – Ministry

Ministry’s early work is spotty at best. Before they found their abrasive, brutal industrial sound they sounded more like a faceless new wave band. It wasn’t until this song that they began finding their sound. Though the band would have bigger hits later on, this song still played an important role for both the group and fans. It’s still considered a favorite in their catalog. But perhaps Al Jourgensen thought it wasn’t heavy enough. He “fixed” this by re-recording the song in 2010. This version sounds more in tune with later Ministry, but it also sounds like a mediocre cover. The grinding guitars, fast tempo, and new vocals suck out everything that made the original great. This just sounds like another boring metal song trying too hard to be edgy.

“Melt With You” – Modern English

Though Modern English found more success in the UK they’ll forever be known as the one-hit wonders who gave us this 80s classic in the States. Constant airplay on MTV and playing over the end credits of Valley Girl helped it become a hit. It eventually reached number 7 on Billboard’s Top Tracks chart. The band re-recorded the track for their 1990 album, Pillow Lips. While you can hear some slight vocal variations, the changes are minimal. The same can’t be said for the 2010 version of the song. Recorded for the I Melt With You soundtrack, this version is harrowing. It takes all the bouncy, fun nature out of the song. Instead, it sounds stark, dark, and haunting. The 1983 version is still superior, but there’s something oddly beautiful about the 2010 rendition.

“Missing You” – John Waite

John Waite has a notable career as the singer for Bad English and The Babys, but he’s best remembered for this 80s ballad. It’s a typical sappy song about getting over someone, but not really getting over them. It proved to be a major hit and topped the charts in several countries. He’s gone on to release other successful singles, but none as big as this. In 2007, he re-recorded the track with Allison Krauss for her album A Hundred Miles or More: A Collection. It’s nothing earth-shattering, but it’s not terrible. It’s okay at best. Krauss doesn’t sound horrible singing and Waite sounds pretty much the same. It’s a very vanilla rendition of the song that makes you wonder why it had to happen in the first place.

“In This Paradise”- London After Midnight

This track from LAM’s debut album, Selected Scenes from the End of the World, has a Gothic, mysterious nature with the tolling bells and Sean Brennan’s vampiric vibe. There’s a dark romanticism to it that’s alluring, yet mysterious. But the album received a limited release and as a result was reissued several times in the States and Europe. For the 2003 re-release, Brennan re-recorded various songs from the album, including this track. The most notable change is the better sound quality. It no longer sounds like the track is muffled. Brennan also tightens up his vocals and the instrumentation, though the dancing guitar riff found in the original is missing here. It’s actually a decent update but is still missing the tantalizing vibe of the original.

“Everybody Have Fun Tonight” – Wang Chung

This Wang Chung hit is one of those mindless pop songs from the 80s. You know it’s bad, but like it because it has a catchy, memorable hook. Whether or not you actually like it, you’ll be singing along with it. Besides, the song has a positive message: have fun tonight. Who can’t get behind that? At least listening to it is better than watching the nauseating video. The 2010 re-recorded version doesn’t change much, but there’s something missing. It doesn’t sound as upbeat and energetic as the original. It sounds like a Wang Chung cover band is performing instead. And they try to spice up the song with soulful backup singers, but it falls flat. The whole thing sounds deflated. So if you have to listen to the song, stick with the original. Just don’t ask what “everybody wang chung tonight” means. The band doesn’t know either.

“I Remember You Two” – Skid Row

Skid Row’s third single is a cut and dry power ballad. It has sappy lyrics, soothing acoustic guitars, and the “edgy” hard guitars meant to show you it’s not a cheesy love song even though it is. The band re-recorded the song in 2003 with new lead singer Johnny Solinger as “I Remember You Two.” Re-recording hit songs with a new singer is never a good idea. No matter how decent the singer is, it will never live up to the original. Sadly, this isn’t the only problem this version has. Rather than sticking with the power ballad formula, the band “update” it to be heavier giving a lame “punk rock” sound. This along with the over the top vocals make it sound like your dad’s cover band instead of Skid Row. This is why re-recording songs is almost always a bad idea.

“I Was Made for Lovin’ You” – KISS

Sometimes when a band changes its lineup, they feel it’s time to recapture the magic of classic hits with their “amazing” new members. Skid Row already showed us why this is a bad idea, yet bands keep doing it. Look to KISS’ Kiss Klassics, an entire album of re-recorded hits featuring their 2008 lineup of Paul Stanely, Gene Simmons, Tommy Thayer, and Eric Singer. All of their biggest hits are re-recorded with less enthusiasm and energy as before. “I Was Made for Lovin’ You” shows you just how bad the album is. Not only does the whole thing sound unenthusiastic and boring, Stanely clearly can’t hit those high notes during the bridge. That wouldn’t be a problem if his attempt actually sounded good; it just sounds sad.

“Your Sweet 666” – HIM

Originally found on their debut album, this track was later re-recorded for their breakout LP, Razorblade Romance. Unlike many of the tracks here, the two versions are obviously different from one another. The original sounded like it came from the depths of Hell with Ville Valo’s deep vocals and the hard, distorted guitars. The later version is lighter in tone featuring more keys and fewer guitars in the mix overall. Rather than sounding heavy, this one has more of a traditional rock tone with a bit of glam mixed in. Though some fans prefer the new version, the first packs a heavier punch. With its Gothic nature, dark tones, and haunting vibe, the original stands out with its dramatic, Hellish vibe fitting in with HIM’s long-running themes of love and death. The latter version sounds like another typical rock song and isn’t as exciting as the original.

“I’m Your Man” – Wham!

Wham’s 1985 single proved to be another hit for the duo and one of their last before their split in 1986. Just like their other singles, this one is upbeat and fun, making you want to dance as soon as you hear the bouncy beat. It also has a killer hook of “baby/I’m your man” that you can’t help but sing out. It’s one of those typical fun 80s songs that puts you in a good mood. When it was time for a Wham! greatest hits album in 1996, George Michael decided to update the hit with an R&B spin. And it’s…something. The sound is completely different with elements of funk, rap, and R&B. Hearing hype men shout “who da man” at the beginning leaves you scratching your head. The whole thing sounds like a cover from the Backstreet Boys. Rather than breathing new life into the song, it’s a sad attempt at trying to be relevant.

“Paradise City” – Slash

This is another sad attempt of trying to update a classic. With Slash and Axl Rose not on speaking terms, Slash decided to release his debut solo album in 2010. The previous year, he released the single “Sahara,” which featured this GNR classic as the b-side. You can’t fault Slash for wanting to reinvent one of the band’s biggest hits – he’s part of the reason the why the song is so popular. But you would think he’d enlist a viable rock singer for vocals. Instead, he recruits Fergie and Cypress Hill. Why? is the only thing you’ll ask yourself when hearing this terrible rendition. This is one case where rap and rock don’t get along. And when was the last time Cypress Hill were relevant? Fergie’s screeching in the background just makes matters worse. It’s not worth sitting through this crap to hear Slash’s killer licks. Just stick with the original.

Which re-recorded hits did I miss? Let me know in the comments!

Rank the Videos: The Cure 1986-1990 (REDUX)

I know I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The Cure are one of the best bands from the 80’s. Not only is the proof in their amazing songs, but it can also be found in their crazy, cool videos. If you’ve been following long enough, you know I’ve already ranked these videos. But since I’m lucky enough to be seeing the band next month, I wanted to revisit all of their videos. Have my opinions changed? Was I too harsh on one clip? Join me as I once again rank these Cure videos from best to worst. Where will your favorite land?

“Lullaby” (1989)

This is one of The Cure’s best videos and the best part is it still holds up 27 years later. The creepy song has an equally creepy video, which finds Robert Smith being eaten by a giant spider. For added effect, he is also shown covered in webs as this “spider man” who comes to eat people. Smith lays in bed gradually being covered in spider webs and even turns into a weird human spider sprouting several arms and legs. And even though it looks kind of cheesy, when they show Smith on the ceiling like a spider it still creeps me out; maybe because they linger on it longer than they should. Definitely don’t watch if you’re deathly afraid of spiders. Great make up, cool costumes, and one weird looking spider prop all make for an amazing video. Fun fact: originally a spider was supposed to be crawling all over Smith, but he refused since he is afraid of spiders.

“Close to Me (Remix)” (1990)

In 1990, the band released Mixed Up, their only remix album, and it included a new version of their hit “Close to Me.” They decided to film a new video to go along with and it has to be one of best things they’ve done. What makes the clip so ingenious is it continues where the original video left off. We see the wardrobe falling into the sea, then we are taken underwater where Smith and Co. swim out and explore the underwater world. More awesome costumes and weird props, including a trumpet playing octopus out to get Smith make the video odd, but fun. I love the part where they make it look like bubbles are coming out of Smith’s mouth while he’s singing. What makes the video even more charming is that they did this all on a set; no CGI found here. Unfortunately, this clip gets overshadowed by the original, which is also awesome.

“Why Can’t I Be You?” (1987)

This is probably the only time you’ll see The Cure attempting to dance and yes, it’s just as awful as you imagine. At least they tried. This is like a bad fever dream featuring awful dancing, flashing lights, bright colors, and a pair of disembodied lips. The band looks like they raided a Party City for various costumes ranging from vampire to bear. And let’s not forget one of the members imitating Louis Armstrong. Yeah…it’s pretty awkward. Aside from that it’s the silliest video they’ve ever done and it’s amazing. It also shows that it wasn’t all death and depression for the infamous dark band. They knew how to have a good time in the most bizarre way possible. Pope dubs it as the video he always wanted to make. The 12” version of the video features additional footage of the band dancing.

“Never Enough” (1990)

This is another quirky and odd video from the band featuring each member performing in a freak show. Robert Smith does double duty as an overweight woman who keeps flashing her thighs and a Siamese twin with bassist Simon, while Porl plays the bearded lady. Some of the visuals are really cool, such as The Cure looking gigantic while playing on a small stage or when it looks like Smith is hanging over the ocean. There are even some gruesome close ups of Smith in black make up that are kind of creepy when you look at them long enough. It’s videos like this that make you realize The Cure should get more credit for having some of the most creative and innovative music videos of the 80’s and 90’s.

“A Night Like This” (1986)

Even though this song got the video treatment, it was never officially released as a single, which is a shame because it’s one of their best. Unlike their previous videos, there’s nothing whimsical here. It’s mainly the band standing there playing the song looking morose, but what makes it stand out is how it seems to be running backwards. The band’s movement is very slow and spastic; Smith looks like he has no control over his arms at times. Also, rather than the camera zooming in on the group, it’s constantly moving away from them, something you don’t see very often. It’s a video that’s easy to miss, but it’s still one of their better clips.

“Just Like Heaven” (1987)

If you don’t know The Cure, you’ve at least heard this song. It’s still their most popular and most accessible single. The video is pretty memorable with the band back at Beachy Head, the cliff where they “fell off” in their previous video “Close to Me.” The video marks the only appearance of Smith’s long term wife Mary Poole; she’s the one who comes out and dances with him during the dreamy sequence. This is probably what The Cure will always be known for, but you can’t complain; it’s a great song. The clip is simple, yet beautifully shot. Though the band are wearing all black, they somehow manage to stand out against the sky backdrop.

“Boys Don’t Cry” (1986)

The whole idea for this video is actually really cute. Even though the video was released in 1986, the song was first recorded in 1979 for their debut album when the band was a trio, which is how they’re depicted here. They even went so far as to get their original bassist Michael Dempsy for the shoot. What makes the clip so adorable is that there are three young lads representing members of the band, while the members dance around as silhouettes. It gets kind of creepy at the end when the silhouettes of the members suddenly sport glowing red eyes. It doesn’t sound like it should be that scary, but it’s actually quite disturbing.

“Catch” (1987)

This is probably one of my favorite Cure songs, even though it doesn’t seem to get that much attention. Something about it is so relaxing and pretty. That might’ve been the vibe they were after with the video. There isn’t action or whimsy here. It’s only the band at the beach enjoying the beautiful scenery. And Lol walking around pretending he knows how to play the violin. It has to be one of the most unremarkable Cure clips out there. It’s almost surprising to learn that Tim Pope directed this one too, since his videos seem to find the band in odd situations and costumes. Though nothing much goes on, it’s still an enjoyable video for the beautiful outdoor shots.

“Lovesong” (1989)

This video is kind of awkward since the band are surrounded by phallic cave formations and yes, they look phallic on purpose (thanks Tim Pope). The opening shot is clearly a dick. It’s just hard to watch at times. No wonder the guys look uncomfortable sitting there. Smith looks like he wants to disappear as he curls up in a ball while Simon looks at the scene very disapprovingly. Smith originally wrote the song for his wife as her wedding present, but it must be hard to sing it when surrounded by a cave full of dicks. No joke, the director said he wanted to show the raw sexual power of the band. Is that really something you think of when you think of The Cure? I didn’t think so either.

“Hot Hot Hot!!!” (1988)

If this video is notable for anything it’s Robert Smith’s lack of hair. This is around the time where he decided to practically cut it all off and needless to say Cureheads were shocked by Smith’s new look. Weird ass puppets, awkward dancing, and “dwarf” versions of the band are all found in this chaotic and confusing clip. It’s not a boring video, but it’s not that memorable. The same can be said about the song. The clip is just weird and Smith’s embellished singing is hard to stomach. If you ever wondered what The Cure would sound like as a weird funk, Jazz band then check out this video; yes the results are as disjointed and awkward as you think. Why did they think the video, let alone the song, was a good idea? Probably drugs. Believe it or not there’s a 12” version that features more head scratching footage.

“Fascination Street” (1989)

The video for the US only single originally had a cool concept involving time travel and Doctor Who references. But due to time constraints and not being sure if American audiences would understand the concept, they settled for the band playing their instruments with some hazy effects over them. A part of the original idea is seen during the beginning; there is a police box shown much like the one used for the Tardis in Doctor Who. It’s a shame that such a great song got a mediocre video.

“Pictures of You” (1990)

This is another video I’ve always found disappointing. This is one of the songs that made me fall in love with the band, so it’s sad that the video is kind of boring. The set up is actually pretty cute: the band performs in a winter snowstorm in Scotland surrounded by palm trees and beach toys. There’s nothing else to it. Sure, it looks like they’re having a great time and Smith looks amazing in it, but there’s nothing about it to hold your attention til the end. It’s one I’d rather skip.

“Killing an Arab” (1986)

This seems to be the band’s artsy video. It doesn’t feature them at all, rather just an elderly man walking around a village until he reaches the sea. It actually looks like the same guy on their greatest hits album cover. The video seems to take inspiration from The Stranger by Albert Camus, which is what the song is based on (not the actual killing of Arabs). Beside from that, nothing else happens. It’s kind of bland and boring, especially when compared to their later videos. But it is appropriate for the song. This clip can only be found on their 1986 video collection Staring at the Sea: the Images. The Cure have since re-named the song “Killing Another,” because they were tired of the constant racist accusations.

“Jumping Someone Else’s Train” (1986)

This is a great song from their debut album, but the video is nothing but train tracks sped up from the point of view of the train. I guess it’s an interesting idea, but that’s all that happens. The band isn’t in it and it’s not like the train crashes at the end or anything like that. It basically goes from one stop to the next. The video wasn’t even released along with the single in 1979. Rather, it was specifically made for their first video collection, Staring At the Sea: the Images. It’s interesting to see at least, but it’s not something that you would watch again and it’s definitely not memorable.

Muddy Boots, Sore Feet, Endless People, and The Cure: My First Riot Fest

20140914_202758_LLSThe Cure at Riot Fest Chicago 2014

I have never been the biggest fan of festivals. The sheer amount of people and the thought of using a port-a-potty was enough to keep me away. This year I finally got over my fear and said “Fuck it” because I wanted to see The Cure. I missed them at Lolla last year and every time they announced a show in the past it was always overseas. This might’ve been one of my only chances to see them in the States and I wasn’t about to miss it. In the end, I made the right choice.

The day started with lots of walking. It took me about 30 minutes to get from my friend’s car to the entrance. From there we had to weave our way through the little shops and food vendors that were set up. I was actually surprised by the sheer amount of shops you could visit. You could get anything from t-shirts and leather jackets to jewelry and flasks. There was also a wide selection of food from places I didn’t even know existed. The smell of pizza, tacos, rice, funnel cake, hot dogs etc was almost too much to handle. I wanted it all! So many people walked around chowing down on delicious food you would’ve thought you were at The Taste of Chicago.

We finally made it to the Rebel stage to catch PUP. I talked about these guys earlier in the year and they are a great live act. They ran through most of their album with so much energy and vigor. They’re pure animals running and jumping on such a small stage. They also sounded great and showed themselves to be impressive musicians. There is clearly no studio magic with them. The best best was during the closer “Reservoir” where everyone went nuts and frontman Stefan Babcock joined the action by crowdsurfing without missing a note. They were also humble; they kept thanking the crowd for stopping by their stage. Their affect on people was clear as many of them walked away saying how good they were and were now fans of theirs.

While walking to the Rise stage, we caught some of Billy Bragg’s set. I didn’t know who he was, but it was amazing to just see him on that big stage with only a guitar. There was no back up band or singers. Just him rocking out with his fans. It was a cool sight to see. Next on our list was Andrew W.K. For someone who I don’t listen to a lot, I thought his set was a lot of fun. He was really hyper and energetic throughout, making his party party party persona come to life. Wearing his uniform of a white shirt and white pants, he wildly played the keyboard before head banging to songs like “Party Hard.” There was non stop moshing and a massive circle pit at the end. It was clear he wanted everyone to have fun and from the looks of it fans did. The only questionable moment was when burlesque dancers came out and began twerking and shaking around. I’m sure some people liked it, but it wasn’t exactly what I wanted to see.

There was a lot of time to kill until the big event, so we wandered around aimlessly. We got the chance to play a bit of Sunset Overdrive (and sit down, thank goodness) courtesy of the Xbox One tent. My thoughts? It looks like fun and seems like it will satisfy my need for destruction in video games. After that, we watched some Luchadors wrestle it out. It was weird, but really entertaining to say the least. While some in the crowd thought it was stupid, it was obviously a show they were putting on for the crowd and they delivered. Though it was clear they were tired, they still did their best to get a big reaction from people watching.

Since it rained a few days before, the park was good and muddy. There were moments when my boots got so stuck I thought I would lose it. Some people had mud all the way to their knees. It wasn’t that big of a deal, but there were times I was convinced I was walking in something else, which brings me to the smell. There were certain moments where it smelled like a zoo. The worse part was we weren’t near the toilets. You would be walking and the smell of farts, cigarettes, and shit would hit you. I’m not sure what it was, but it never lasted long enough for me to run out of the festival. It was just something I wasn’t prepared for.

After some people watching, we headed towards the Riot stage, meaning we got to see the last half of Patti Smith’s set. She is a passionate performer who put out several cries for peace in the world. There were times she became very adamant and jumped around while telling the audience they have the power for chance. It was really moving and she said it with such vigor you were ready to follow her into battle. Even though I’m not a huge fan I enjoyed seeing her because she’s an iconic and influential artist. From there we waited an hour and a half for The Cure. Social Distortion played on a nearby stage, so we had them to listen to, but the crowd mostly kept to themselves as they counted the minutes.

Fans muttered aloud as to what songs they would play or reminisced about the first time they ever saw the band. Some people played with their phones while others kept an eye on the screens on the side of the stage. Every time something popped up on them people would cheer hoping the wait was over; it was only a message about Twitter. The sky grew darker and people more impatient. Once when the screen flashed The Cure’s logo on the drumset everyone grew quiet waiting for the man of the hour to come out – false alarm. People groaned and resumed looking at their phones.

7:45 came and still no Cure. Turns out Social Distortion decided to say “fuck the set times” and play one last song. Fans grumbled about them playing and wished for them to shut up. Finally, five minutes late the band strolled out. I saw Robert Smith with my own eyes and it was glorious. Others around felt the same as they jumped up and down or held their faces refusing to believe Smith and co. were right in front of them. No matter how old they were, everyone turned into 16 year old girls when they saw his nest of hair. Instantly, I was flooded with feelings of adoration, love, overwhelming, excitement, and disbelief. I was actually there watching one of my favorite bands playing before my eyes. Robert fucking Smith was right there with Simon fucking Gallup on the right of him. The man whose been in the band for a good period of time. The man behind epic bass riffs. He was there strutting his stuff like I’d seen him do so many times in concert videos.

The band started things off with the aptly named “Open,” which drew a great response from the crowd. They followed this with “Fascination Street,” sending the exciting mood over the top. As soon as that heavy bass riff rang out the cheers were so loud it almost drowned out the band. Surprisingly, they followed this with “Sleep When I’m Dead” from their 2008 LP. It was so unexpected because the record received mixed reviews and wasn’t their biggest success. I didn’t mind because it’s actually one of my favorites from the album. I was happy to hear that the band sounded even more wonderful than they do on the records. Robert sounded excellent both in terms of his singing and his guitar playing. And yes he was every bit as charming as he appears to be.

While some Cureheads may disagree, I thoroughly enjoyed the setlist. It was good mix of fan favorites, such as “Just Like Heaven” and “In Between Days,” along with deep cuts you would never dream of hearing, like “Play for Today,” “Want,” “alt.end,” and “Push.” They did a good job of pleasing younger and older fans in the crowd with some exclaiming “YES!” after each track. They performed at least one song from their albums, with the exception of Bloodflowers, Faith, and their debut. Still, I was able to hear some of my favorites live like “The Walk,” “Pictures of You,” and “Lullaby,” which I will never forget.

For the most part Smith was very reserved, just singing the songs and quietly saying “Thank you.” (Yes, my heart did swell when he said it). He finally loosened up around “Close to Me” when he started doing his little dance moves, which caused a lot of screams from fans. This prompted him to keep dancing into “Hot! Hot! Hot!” I cooed as he wiggled and shook on stage. He smiled from the reaction as if to say “I knew that’s what you wanted.” Something I had seen on so many concert films was finally happening in front of me! The best and most unexpected part came when Smith pulled out a harmonica launched into “Bananafishbones.” I was beside myself even though the rest of the crowd seemed to be confused as to what was going on. It’s something they don’t perform that often and one I would never guess to hear live.

Well known songs like “Friday I’m in Love” and “Lovesong” prompted huge sing-a-longs. It was so loud you couldn’t even hear the band anymore. It was one of those moments where it didn’t matter if you were young or old; you bonded with everyone. Another crowd favorite was “A Forest.” As soon as that gloomy riff started people were beside themselves. I heard cries of “What?!” and “Oh my god!” and they hadn’t fully launched into the song. “Wrong Number” also got a huge response, particularly when Smith began to say “Hello? Hello?” It seemed like he had a lot of fun as the crowd screamed and shouted “Hello!” Of course a Cure show wouldn’t be complete without “One Hundred Years.” It was massive, epic, and amazing to hear thousands of people shout “It’s doesn’t matter if we all die.” This was a song I’ve heard thousands of times, but hearing it live made it even sweeter.

Sadly, the band ended early with “End.” I believe they were supposed to do an encore, but due to Social Distortion going over their time, we got jipped. Robert didn’t even say good night, but I think he was expecting to come back out to say it then, but was told they had to end due to curfew. But fans still waited, hoping he would come back out. They even began to chant “Boys don’t cry! Boys don’t cry!” to lure him back out – no luck. Of course I didn’t want it to end, but I was immensely happy. I waited a long time to see The Cure and it was worth it. The setlist was long and expansive and Smith was every bit as charming full of quirks and all.

For my very first festival I really enjoyed it. There was some great music and cool little events to check out. There were a ton of people there, but somehow I dealt with it. A lot of them were pretty chill even when it came to show time. It was great to hear everyone’s excitement to see and heart one of their favorite bands. Hearing their cheers made me smile because sometimes fans get hung up on the songs that aren’t played, rather than enjoying the fact they’re seeing someone they admire. It was also cool to see a whole bunch of alternative people come together and listen to some awesome music. Would I go again? I would have to say yes. But for now I’ll lie and think about how I finally saw The Cure and it was majestic.

Rank the Videos: The Cure 1986-1990

I know I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The Cure are one of the best bands from the 80’s. Not only is the proof in their amazing songs, but it can also be found in their crazy, cool videos. It’s a shame that they are not given more credit for these clips because if anything they are creative and times innovative. During a time when CG wasn’t even really thought of, The Cure manage to make things look trippy or take the audience to different worlds just by scenery and costumes. But of course, all of their videos can’t be golden. Here’s their videos from 1986-1990 ranked from best to worst. And in case you missed the first part, make sure to check out The Cure videos from 1979-1985.

Lullaby

This is one of The Cure’s best videos and the best part is it still holds up 24 years later. The creepy song has an equally creepy video, which finds Robert Smith being eaten by a giant spider. For added effect, he also shown covered in webs as this “spider man” who comes to eat people. And even though it looks kind of cheesy, when they show Smith on the ceiling like a spider it still creeps me out; maybe because they linger on it longer than they should. Definitely don’t watch if you’re deathly afraid of spiders. Great make up, cool costumes, and one weird looking spider prop all make for an amazing video. Fun fact: originally a spider was supposed to be crawling all over Smith, but he refused since he is afraid of spiders.

Why Can’t I Be You

This is probably the only time you’ll see The Cure attempting to dance and yes, it’s just as awful as you imagined, but at least they tried. This wonderfully weird video was of course directed by Tim Pope and finds the guys in several different costumes ranging from vampire, bee, and Robert Smith donning most of a bear costume. It has to be one of the silliest things they’ve ever done, but it’s great because it looks like they’re having fun. Also, it shows that it wasn’t all death and depression for the infamous dark band. They knew how to have a good time in the most 80’s way possible.

Close to Me (Remix)

In 1990, the band released Mixed Up their only remix album and it included a new version of their hit “Close to Me.” For some reason they decided to film a new video to go along with it, but it has to be one of best things they’ve done. What makes the clip so ingenious is that it continues where the original video leaves off. We see the wardrobe falling into the sea, then we are taken underwater where Smith and Co. swim out and explore the underwater world. More awesome costumes and weird props, including a trumpet playing octopus out to get Smith make the video odd, but fun. I love the part where they make it look like bubbles are coming out of Smith’s mouth while he’s singing. What makes the video even more charming is that they did this all on a set; no CGI found here.

Never Enough

This is another quirky and odd video from the band that has each member performing in a freak show of sorts. Robert Smith does double duty as an overweight woman who keeps flashing her grotesque thighs and a Siamese twin with bassist Simon, while Porl plays the bearded lady etc. Some of the visuals are really cool, such as The Cure looking gigantic while playing on a small stage or when they look like they’re caught in the ocean. There are even some gruesome close ups of Smith in black make up that are kind of creepy when you look at them long enough. It’s videos like this that make you realize that The Cure should get more credit for having some of the most creative and innovative music videos of the 80’s.

A Night Like This

Even though this song got the video treatment, it was never officially released as a single, which is a shame because it’s one of their best songs. Unlike the previous videos, there’s nothing whimsical about this video. It’s mainly the band standing there playing the song, but what makes it stand out is how it seems to be running backwards. The band’s movement is very slow and spastic; Smith looks like he has no control over his arms at times. Also, rather than the camera zooming in on the group, it’s constantly moving away from them, something you don’t see very often. It’s a video that’s easy to miss, but it’s still one of their better clips.

Just Like Heaven

If you don’t know The Cure, you’ve at least heard this song. It’s still their most popular and most accessible song. The video is pretty memorable too with the band back at the cliff where they “fell off” in their previous video “Close to Me.” The video marks the only appearance of Smith’s long term wife Mary Poole; she’s the one who comes out and dances with him during the dreamy sequence (isn’t that sweet!). This is probably what The Cure will always be known for, but you can’t complain; it is a great song.

Boys Don’t Cry

http://www.vevo.com/watch/the-cure/boys-dont-cry/GBF060200282

The whole idea for this video is actually really cute. Even though the video was released in 1986, the song was first recorded in 1979 for their first album when the band was a trio, which is how they’re depicted here. They even went so far as to get their original bassist Michael Dempsy for the shoot. What makes the clip so adorable is that there are three young lads representing members of the band, while the members dance around as silhouettes. It gets kind of creepy at the end when the silhouettes of the members suddenly sport glowing red eyes. It doesn’t sound like it should be that scary, but it’s actually quite disturbing. With such a cute video, why would you then make it terrifying with something like that?

Catch

This is probably one of my favorite Cure songs, even though it doesn’t seem to get that much attention. Something about it is so relaxing and pretty. That might’ve been the vibe they were after with the video. Nothing much happens; it’s just the band at the beach enjoying the beautiful scenery. It has to be one of the most unremarkable Cure clips out there. It’s almost surprising to learn that Tim Pope directed this one too, since his videos seem to find the band in odd situations and costumes. Though nothing much goes on, it’s still an enjoyable video.

Hot Hot Hot!!!

If this video is notable for anything it’s Robert Smith’s lack of hair. This is around the time where he decided to practically cut it all off and needless to say Cureheads were shocked by Smith’s new look. Weird ass puppets, awkward dancing, and mini versions of the band are all found in this chaotic and confusing clip. It’s not a boring video, it’s just not that memorable, which seems to describe the song pretty well too. If you ever wondered what The Cure would sound like as a weird funk, Jazz band then check out this video; yes the results are as confusing as you think they are.

Lovesong

If you ask me this video is kind of awkward because the band are surrounded by phallic cave formations and yes, they look phallic on purpose (thanks Tim Pope). No wonder the guys look uncomfortable sitting there. Smith looks like he wants to disappear as he curls up in a ball while Simon looks at the scene very disapprovingly. But I’m sure it’s hard to sing a song you wrote for your wife while surrounded by dicks. No joke, the director said he wanted to show the raw sexual power of the band. Is that really something you think of when you think of The Cure? I didn’t think so either.

Fascination Street

The video for the US only single originally had a cool concept involving time travel and Doctor Who. But due to time constraints and not sure if American audiences would understand the references, they settled for the band playing their instruments with some hazy effects over them. A part of the original concept is seen during the beginning; there is a police box shown much like the one used for the Tardis in Doctor Who. It’s a shame that such a great song got a mediocre video.

Pictures of You

This is another video I’ve always found disappointing. This is one of the songs that made me fall in love with the band, so it’s sad that the video is kind of boring. I guess it’s a cute idea with the home movies motif, but it’s basically them performing the song in winter outfits on a beach like set. There’s nothing else to it. Sure, it looks like they’re having a great time and Smith looks amazing in it, but there’s really nothing about it to keep you watching til the end.

Killing an Arab

This seems to be the band’s artsy video. It doesn’t feature them at all, rather just an elderly man walking around a village until he reaches the sea. I think the video takes inspiration from The Stranger by Albert Camus, which is what the song is based on (not the actual killing of Arabs). Beside from that, nothing else happens. This video can only be found on their 1986 video collection Staring at the Sea: the Videos. Fun fact: The Cure have since re-named the song “Killing Another,” they were tired of the constant racist accusations.

Jumping Someone Else’s Train

This is a great song from their debut album, but the video is nothing but train tracks sped up from the point of view of the train. I guess it’s an interesting idea, but that’s all that happens. The band isn’t in it and it’s not like the train crashes at the end or anything like that. It basically goes from one stop to the next. The video wasn’t even released along with the single in 1979. Rather, it was specifically made for their first video collection, which had all their videos from 1979-1986. It’s interesting to see at least, but it’s not something that you would watch again and it’s definitely not memorable.

Where did your favorite Cure video land on the list? Make sure you keep checking back for part three, which will look at Cure videos 1991 onward.

Three Imaginary Boys Deluxe Edition- The Cure

220px-TheCureThreeImaginaryBoysalbumcoverRelease Year: 2004

Rating: 8/10

During the mid-2000’s The Cure decided to remaster and re-release their back catalog, which they’re still doing now. These new releases come with a bonus disc of unreleased material, demos, and live performances. This review will only focus on the bonus disc. I already reviewed this album before and while it wasn’t my favorite, I must say I enjoyed the unreleased material a lot more. Granted, it’s not the best quality, it’s interesting to hear the band during their early years.

What’s great about this release is that it has a lot of previously unreleased songs that weren’t even included on their b-sides collection, so it’s actually worth listening to. Also, the songs are pretty good. I’d say most of them are better than what was released on their debut. Surprisingly, a lot of them have a punk rock sound. “I Want to Be Old” and “Heroin Face” both sound like The Cure goes punk. It’s kind of shocking to hear the fast guitar riffs, the speedy vocals, and all the energy since they’re regarded the Godfather’s of Goth music. Either way, the songs are pretty good, especially the latter one. It has this super heavy bass line that feels fit for a metal song. Definitely worth listening to at least once.

Two of the best songs from the release are “Faded Smiles” and “Play With Me.” The first song has a really upbeat guitar and bass riff that gets you moving, but it has this weird echo effect on the vocals that’s pretty annoying. Though it’s not as bad as the multi-layer echo effect they use on “I’m Cold.” The second song starts with a playful guitar riff that actually sounds similar to the riff from “Fire in Cairo.” It’s a really catchy song that seems to be about a boyfriend who is more like a pet for this girl and how he tells her everything she wants to hear.

Along with these songs there are a lot of demos of both unreleased and released songs. There’s not much to the demos, but again they’re interesting to hear. The best one is the demo for “10:15 Saturday Night.” What makes it so interesting is that there’s this keyboard that Smith plays around with and it gives the song a really creepy vibe. It actually sounds like an organ is playing on the track. Also, the song is much slower than we’re used to and I actually wish there was a more polished version of this track. You can also find early versions of “Fire in Cairo,” “It’s Not You,” and “Grinding Halt.” For the most part the songs sound similar to the final versions only with slightly different lyrics.

You can also find tracks, such as “Boys Don’t Cry” and “Jumping Someone Else’s Train” that were only available on the American compilation release Boys Don’t Cry. There are also a few live tracks from their show in Nottingham 1979. The live performances aren’t that great and you care barely hear Smith singing due to all the talking in the background and the quality of the recording. Still, it’s nice to hear these songs live, especially since they are so rarely played on stage by the band anymore. The tracks that are featured live are “Accuracy,” “10:15 Saturday Night,” and “Subway Song.” Out of the three, “10:15 Saturday Night” is the best because there’s this cool and extended bass solo that pulls you into the song. I just wish they were in better quality.

Overall, the bonus disc gets 8/10. I would deemed this release worthy to get. Not only do you get songs that are not available on any other discs, the songs are actually worth hearing and something that you would listen to regularly. There are also demos and live tracks for Cureheads interested in the development of their early material. It would be nice if the quality of these recordings was better, but considering how old they are, you really can’t complain.