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The Cure
The Head On The Door (reviewed), The Top, Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me, The Glove - Blue Sunshine
Fiction Records/ Rhino

Following the first three re-releases of early Cure records by Rhino and Fiction earlier this year (Faith, Pornography, Seventeen Seconds), the next batch of four records has arrived on your favorite CD shop's shelves. They are as cool as the first run of releases, featuring the same sorts of previously unreleased tracks and cool studio outtakes that all but the most Cure-hating of folks will enjoy. The original albums are re-remastered and sound better on Cd than they ever have, and the remastering engineers have worked out any kinks there might have been in the original CD releases.

I got the re-release of 1985's The Head On The Door to review, and I'll focus once more on the second disc of rarities and outtakes. The first few tracks are demos taken from Robert Smith's home recordings of a few songs from the era that feature great melodies and cool drum machine parts. A few of the unknown songs have hints of future tracks in them, obviously being the seeds of ideas. They are instrumental tracks, featuring highly effected guitar parts and Smith's trademark riffing. The impetus of "Inbetween Days" is especially cool, as it is definitely the same song, but in Smith's demo there are a few little pieces that were left out of the final album version, plus it's fun to karaoke along with as there are no words recorded.

By the time we get to the studio demos, it is fun to hear Robert's unprocessed voice kicking out the jams. The studio demo of "Kyoto Song" is interesting, as it is a track that made the final album, and there is a decidedly different version on the album. The demo track for "Close To Me" is also very cool, as it featured many more keyboard parts in addition to the well-known bopping melody line and just as many whining Smith vocal overdubs.

Closing up the extras CD are three live bootlegs of songs from the album. The sound quality is very good for a live recording of this vintage, each part able to be heard and distinguished amidst the crowd and stage noise. The version of "The Baby Screams" is a bit faster than the album track, and Boris William's drums sound so huge that it almost sounds like a drum machine is being used instead. Simon Gallup's bass lines are awesome, creating the perfect rhythm machine for the meandering guitars and keyboards to follow on the lengthy intro to "Sinking".

With this latest batch of re-issues, fans of The Cure are once more given the chance to spend their hard earned cash on not only one of the Cure's finest records, but a boatload of cool demos and live tracks that make the package well worth the price. There are some clinkers in the bunch hidden amongst the gems, but overall this is a well put together collection of tracks that any fan will be happy to have in the collection. The liner notes for the re-issues are also informative and fun to read, and the booklet is filled with photos that remind us when this music was made… the fashion disaster that was the early 80's.

-Embo Blake

The Head On The Door Track Listing:
Disc 1
1. In Between Days
2. Kyoto Song
3. Blood
4. Six Different Ways
5. Push
6. Baby Screams
7. Close to Me
8. Night Like This
9. Screw
10. Sinking

Disc 2
1. Inbetween Days (RS Home demo)
2. Inwood (RS Home demo)
3. Push (RS Home demo)
4. Innsbruck (RS Home demo)
5. Stop Dead (Studio demo)
6. Mansolidgone (Studio demo)
7. Screw (Studio demo)
8. Lime Time (Studio demo)
9. Kyoto Song (Studio demo)
10. A Few Hours After This... (Studio demo)
11. Six Different Ways (Studio demo)
12. A Man Inside My Mouth (Studio demo)
13. A Night Like This (Studio demo)
14. The Exploding Boy (Studio demo)
15. Close To Me (Studio demo)
16. The Baby Screams (live bootleg)
17. The Blood (live bootleg)
18. Sinking (live bootleg)

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