Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Cure: Close To Me (1985)

This is a pressing from West Germany. I've now learned that RPM in German is Upm. This 12" single contains Close To Me and A Man Inside my Mouth, a title that seems a bit salacious.

The Cure: Head on the Door (1985)

Sadly, I have a gold stamp promo of this record. I lament the passing of the days of the white label promo for this lazy practice and simply placing a stamp on the record cover or punching a hole in the jacket. They couldn't even be bothered making a different promotional pressing. But, beyond that, Head on the Door is a great record, even if it veered into commercial territory. The two big tracks are Close to Me and In Between Days. I listened to this record over and over again all those years ago. It brings back memories.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Cure: Quadpus (1986)

The 12" Canadian pressing of the UK Half an Octopus 10" was entitled Quadpus. I guess that's a good name. Quadpus is Half an Octopus.

The contents are slightly different. Both versions contain New Day and A Man Inside my Mouth. However, this version replaces Stop Dead for A Night Like This and includes the 12 mix of Close to Me rather than the 7"mix.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Cure: Half An Octopuss (1985)

This is a "very" limited edition 10" UK pressing. I'm not sure what exactly what "very" means, since there are no numbers available, as far as I know.  There are 4 tracks:

Close To Me (7" Version)
A Man Inside My Mouth
New Day
Stop Dead

The 12" version, entitled Quadpuss, is a bit different: It has the 12" mix of Close to Me, A Man Inside my Mouth, New Day, and A Night Like This.

The Cure: The Caterpillar (1985)

This UK 12" single contains The Caterpillar b/w Happy The Man and Throw Your Foot. I don't think this record is valuable, but it's not one that I see very often.

The Cure: The Top (1984)

Many people dismiss this record as weak or perhaps lesser Cure. But, after the band flirted with self-destruction, this foray into more pop-oriented songs probably saved the band, so I am happy that it was recorded and released. In places, it continues what they started on The Walk, with tracks like The Caterpillar. It is definitely marginally more commercial than previous records, but I think that's OK and definitely part of the transition.

Here's a live version of Give Me It from years and years later:

Monday, April 27, 2015

The Cure: Excerpt - The Cure Live (1984)

Excerpt excerpts two tracks from Concert, the live LP. The tracks are A Forest and Primary, two of my favourite Cure tracks. I have a pressing pressing from Holland.

The Cure: Concert - The Cure Live (1984)

I am ambivalent about most live albums. I know, there are lots of seminal live records. I'd rather have a concert record, rather than a collection of live songs, as most live records are. It seems to me that on most live records, the sound is weak. Paul McCartney's Wings Over America is a classic example of a live record that sounds truly awful. Anyway, this is not a fabulous live record, but it's not too bad and it's cool to hear what they sounded like in the mid 80s, because I didn't see them for the first time until 1989 or 1990 or maybe 1991. I'll have to look for my ticket stub.

Friday, April 24, 2015

The Cure: Japanese Whispers (1983)

Japanese Whispers contains all of the tracks from The Walk with two more thrown in. I remember buying my copy of this record at The Vinyl Museum back-in-the-day for an insanely low price, probably under $5. I see it regularly for $25 these days, and probably more if you shop at the Tiny Record Shop, which is the most over-priced record store I have ever been in, but that is probably a story for another day.

Who ever thought you would see The Cure with a standup bass?

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Cure: The Upstairs Room / The Dream / The Walk / Lament (1983)

This is the UK four-track version of this six track EP. I have it, even though I already have all of the other tracks on the longer release.

The Cure: The Walk (1983)

It's difficult to believe that after the gloomy Pornography, the Cure could release songs as jaunty and danceable as The Walk and Let's go to Bed. What happened? This EP (or mini LP) has 6 tracks (though there are 4 track versions and a two track 7" version). All six tracks appear on the later Japanese Whispers collection, meaning that this collection is not necessary, unless you are a Cure completionist. I suppose this record introduced a new direction for the band.

Here's The Cure lip-syncing on The Top of the Pops:

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Cure: Let's Go to Bed (1982)

Let's Go to Bed was released after the dark Pornography. It later appeared on the compilations Japanese Whispers, The Walk, and Standing on a Beach. This Canadian 12" contains an extended and edited mix of the title track along with a tracks called Just One Kiss.

The Cure: Charlotte Sometimes (1981)

Charlotte Sometimes was released after Faith, as a non-album single. It later appeared on the Standing on a Beach compilation, and probably some others. Somewhat oddly, I have a French pressing from 1986. The cover says 45 Tours, rather than the more familiar 45 RPM. The two other tracks are Splintered in Her Head and a live recording of Faith.

The Cure: Faith (1981)

The innocence of sleeping children
Dressed in white
And slowly dreaming
Stops all time
Slow my steps and start to blur
So many years have filled my heart
I never thought I'd say those words

Faith is the Cure's third record and another one from their best period. Allmusic concludes that Faith is a "depressing record, certainly, but also one of the most underrated and beautiful albums the Cure put together." [source] I think it is a brilliant record. By the way, this is a West German pressing.

Friday, April 17, 2015

The Cure: Seventeen Seconds (1980)

Seventeen Seconds opens with a subdued piano-heavy instrumental which sets a languorous tone soon to be overturned by the uplifting Play for Today.

It's not a case of doing what's right
It's just the way I feel that matters
Tell me I'm wrong
I don't really care

My favourite period of the Cure is their first four records. I didn't always feel that way. Back in the 80s, I preferred The Top onwards, and was less interested in the early period. After all of the years, I think that the sound and atmosphere they created early on is much superior to the danceable Close to Me and In Between Days, etc. There's a bit of Joy Division in the sound, perhaps. In any case, this record is amazing.

This fan video takes a too literal interpretation of A Forest, which would feature in my top ten list of Cure songs, if I had a top ten list. If you've never heard it, have a listen. The guitars, drums, bass, and keyboards are all really interesting. By the way, my copy is an import from West Germany.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Cure: Pornography (1982)

I know that Pornography is not the the next Cure record chronologically, but I will post it next just because.

I have an original UK pressing of this record. I prefer the earlier, darker, goth sound of the Cure, and I enjoy this record very much. The later more radio-friendly stuff is great, but the early albums appeal to me more. Some fans regard Pornography as the best Cure record. I have a hard time choosing, but this is right up there. It's hard to top Three Imaginary Boys/Boys Don't Cry or the later Disintegration.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

The Cure: Boys Don't Cry (1980)

I have a 1988 Canadian repressing of this record. For some reason, records by the Cure are rather expensive these days, even later represses. Back in the day, instead of buying records, I would often tape a friend's copy of whatever record I wanted and, in exchange, I loaned a copy of something I owned for them to tape. In other words, I ignored the "home taping is killing music" statements printed on the records. The record biz types really had no idea of what was coming when they launched digital music. Oh, the fools. Later, I bought some of the records I had taped on CD and even some of the LPs.

This record is a re-working of Three Imaginary Boys with a different running order. It's quite good. I'd like to have a copy of the original pressing or a copy of Three Imaginary Boys. Maybe someday.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

The Cult: Love (1985)

This is a record I heard way too many times when it came out, mostly because a friend of mine had it. You can only hear certain music so many times before it loses something, and this was one of those records. It sounds better to my ears now, after some time had past. Although I liked certain Cult songs after this, I think this was the band's peak.

Friday, April 03, 2015

The Cult: Live at the Lyceum - London - 20th May 1984 (1986)

Although recorded in 1984, this record was released after Love. I wonder if its release was in an attempt to cash-in on their new-found success. In any case, this is a good collection of live Cult songs, primary drawn from Dreamtime, with a few tracks from The Death Cult and The Southern Death Cult thrown in. If you like the Cult, you will like this.

At the bottom of the front album jacket, it says "An album for the price of a 7" single." I can't remember how much I paid.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young: Déjà Vu (1970)

Sometimes, it's difficult to determine what version of a release you have. I am fairly certain that this is the original Canadian Pressing, judging by the data on What can be said about this record that has not already been said? It's essential music.

Cottage Industry: Spin (1990)

Here's another record from the end of the vinyl era. Cottage Industry were a Toronto alternative rock band. CFNY played Waiting on the 505, the band's song about the Dundas Street streetcar, frequently. There's not much information on the web about them and I can't find any tracks from this record on Youtube. My copy of Spin has a spring 1990 catalogue from IKON, the record label. I suppose it's too late to get copes of the previous releases and a t-shirt?

Cowboy Junkies: Caution Horses (1990)

Caution Horses was released when vinyl was in its death throes. I had been buying CDs for at least two years by then. I saw this band in concert many times from 1987 or 1988 through to about 1993, but never since. In fact, I didn't follow the band much after this record. I recall thinking that I liked The Trinity Sessions better, and that still may be the case, but no one could argue that this record doesn't sound amazing. The vinyl mastering is fantastic.

The Junkies covered Powderfinger, my favourite Neil Young song on this record. It's OK, but I think I prefer Neil's versions (studio and live) much better.

I could be wrong, but I think that Caution Horses is not a common record. I rarely see it in the bins.

Cowboy Junkies: The Trinity Session (1988)

In Canada, there were two pressings of this piece of vinyl. The first was released on Latent Recordings (Latex 5). After they were signed to RCA, a second pressing came out. I have the first, much rarer pressing. I wish I knew how many were pressed. The cover of Sweet Jane is interesting, and I recall Lou Reed saying that he liked it. I love the feeling and atmosphere on the record.