Christmas Posts 2019 part 5

Yes, you may well hang your head in shame, sir!

OK, so we were supposed to get a new Cure album this year.

Unless they do a My Bloody Valentine in the next two weeks, I think we are going to have to assume that isn’t going to happen.

Back in 1987, on the Kissing tour, The Cure finished their gig with a take on Slade’s perennial Christmas fave ‘Merry Xmas Everybody.’ I don’t believe this was ever commercially released but for fun, here it is.

A few years later, The Mission recorded a version under the name the Metal Gurus, which was commercially released, so for more fun, here you go!

Andy Anderson remembered

Andy Anderson

Andy Anderson, with his father Cliff Anderson, a well-known boxer in the East End of London.

Jeez, not a good week, is it?

Andy Anderson drummer for The Cure between 1983-84 and frequent collaborator with other acts, including Iggy Pop, Isaac Hayes and Peter Gabriel,  died on Tuesday aged 68. He had been battling cancer.

His death was announced by former Cure member Lol Tolhurst. Tolhurst wrote:

‘It’s with a heavy heart, I have to report the passing of a Cure brother.

Andy Anderson was A (sic) true gentleman and a great musician with a wicked sense of humor which he kept until the end, a testament to his beautiful spirit on the last journey. We are blessed to have known him.’

The Cure in 1984

The Cure in 1984: (l-r) Phil Thornally, Porl Thompson, Robert Smith, Andy Anderson and Lol Tolhurst.

So as a tribute, some of the tracks Anderson played on.

He first played with Robert Smith, in the side project The Glove, who released one album, Blue Sunshine, in 1983:

He first played on The Cure’s top ten hit ‘The Love Cats’ seen here on Top of the Pops in late 1983. The track was first compiled on the Japanese Whispers album later that year.

Andy also played on The Top studio album and the live Concert, bothreleased in 1984. ‘The Caterpillar’ was another top twenty hit.

The Cure vs. Ride

Robert Smith - the cure

It’s now 25 years since Ride released their debut album, Nowhere. To these ears, the shoegazing legends were at their finest on their debut album, and their first four EPs.

November 6 will see the album re-issued, and Robert Smith of The Cure has remixed the album’s closing track ‘Vapour Trail.’ Although it’s not on the forthcoming re-issue, it can be downloaded as a two-track single via iTunes. There are two versions – a longer version that comes in at nearly seven and a half minutes…

…and a shorter one at five minutes.

Robert Smith and The Cure have been busy of late. Whilst rumours of a sequel to 4:13 Dream continue to circulate, the band have announced they will tour the US in 2016 (see their website for details). Support comes from 17 Seconds favourites The Twilight Sad, who earlier this year featured Robert Smith’s cover of their song ‘There’s A Girl In The Corner’ as the b-side to their single ‘It Never Was The Same.’ You can hear that here.

And if anyone doubted The Cure’s legacy, it’s telling that in recent months, both Natalie Imbruglia (on her album Male) and Yo La Tengo (on their album Stuff Like That There) have covered ‘Friday I’m In Love.’ You can hear them by clicking on the links. Maybe I should do a post dedicated to cover versions of The Cure…

* note: the original release of the album on cassette and LP had ‘Vapour Trail’ as the closing track. The CD added three tracks from the Fall EP, the lead track on the EP being ‘Dreams Burn Down’ which was on the album. Just to add to the confusion, some versions of the album on CD also add all four tracks of the subsequent Today Forever EP. However, as far as I am concerned, the original album is eight tracks long, and closes with ‘Vapour Trail.’

The Cure vs. Twilight Sad

Robert Smith - the cure

Given that this blog takes its’ name from The Cure’s second album, it should come as no surprise that the opportunity to post Cure-related news is something I seize with delight. And when it involves another act that I have long championed on here, so much the better!

Last year, the Twilight Sad released their fourth album Nobody Wants To Be Here, And Nobody Wants To Leave. Now, for their next single from the album, ‘It Never Was The Same’ The Cure’s Robert Smith has recorded his version of the album’s ‘There’s A Girl In The Corner’ track to be the b-side. It’s utterly fabulous. and it’s out on June 15.

…and just in case you haven’t heard the original version, here it is:

You can pre-order the 7″ single here

The return of The Cure!

At some point this year, The Cure (my all-time favourite band, and whose second album gives this blog its name) will release their fourteenth album 4:14 Scream.

In the meantime, this video is doing the rounds of them covering The Beatles ‘Hello Goodbye’ for a forthcoming tribute album to Paul McCartney entitled The Art of McCartney (and the tracklisting for that can be found here). It’s a faithful cover, featuring James McCartney on keyboards and yet it is unmistakeably The Cure.

The bonus disc features Robert Smith covering ‘C Moon’ though I’ve yet to find any evidence of that on the web, apart from a listing…

Bizarre Music Show Performances #3


Top Of The Pops (but of course), 1980.

The Cure will go on to be one of the defining bands of the decade and will appear on the show on many more occasions. ‘A Forest’ was their first Top 40 UK hit, taken from their second album Seventeen Seconds (yes, well done, etc..)

However, given the fact that the performance lasts less than three minutes, and that a young Robert Smith (slim, with very short hair and no make-up) looks less than enamoured to be there (and isn’t remotely even pretending to mime), it’s amazing either side wanted to repeat it after this:

Does there have to be a reason?

Feeling a little more human today. However, the wee man has been very fractious of late, so the blog has been on the backburner a bit. There are interviews from Dweezil Zappa and We Were Promised Jetpacks to be published very shortly.

But it’s my birthday tomorrow so some gothic pleasures for now…

Patricia Morrison really had a je ne sais quoi when I was eleven years old.

Born in the Seventies…


Driving into work this morning, there was a discussion on the local radio about which decade would you most have liked to have lived through.

The fifties were winning -but more to do with people’s perception of fifties America which has been shaped by Grease and Back To The Future, apparently; and absolutely sod all to do with living in a Britain where rationing was still in place, and austerity was the name of the game (don’t laugh folks, cos all cliches turn full circle).

I on the other hand, rang in -and got to hear my dulcet tones on air (apparently I sound much more scottish on air than in real life, according to my friend Keith who heard me) -and said the seventies.

Now, I’m well aware that the seventies had their downsides – and I don’t mean fashion either – but for music it would have been awesome.

Well, not Tony Orlando and Dawn or Peters and Lee or Demis Roussos (like duh) but this would have been awesome to see.

Sex Pistols -‘Anarchy In The UK.’ mp3

Althea and Donna -‘Uptown Top Ranking.’ mp3

Dead Kennedys -‘California Uber Alles.’ mp3

Bob Marley -‘Waiting In Vain.’ mp3

Chic -‘Good Times.’ mp3

Slits -‘Typical Girls.’ mp3

Cure -’10:15 Saturday Night.’ mp3

Clash -‘Complete Control.’ mp3

Cramps -‘Human Fly.’ mp3

Television -‘Marquee Moon.’ mp3

Mind you, there’s younger folk who are envious of me seeing Radiohead and Pulp at Glastonbury in the nineties, and Jeff Buckley…

Album Review – The Cure


The Cure – ‘Disintegration (re-issue)’ (Fiction)

How do you write objectively about an album by your favourite band ever, that’s your second favourite album ever, that you feel is pretty bloody amazing? Well, yes, this is going to be a rave review, so if you don’t care for the band and/or the album, this is not going to change your mind. But given that this week the no.1 album in the UK is the re-issued Exile On Main Street from the Rolling Stones, re-issues seem to be making the news.

But dammit, this is how a re-issue ought to be put together. Having fallen from favour in the nineties, The Cure reached a new stage in the last decade where acts as diverse as Mogwai, Razorlight and The Rapture declared them an influence, where they were seen as godfathers of post-punk and continued to record new albums. Granted, these tend to be about four years apart (and I would love to see them play Scotland again!), but given that Robert Smith is now fifty-one, slack should be cut.

This was the Cure’s eighth album back in 1989 (it’s ironic that at around £12 for a triple CD that’s quite possibly what many people would have paid for a copy of the album on CD then, and conceivably more) and many have considered it to be The Cure’s finest. In time Smith has considered it to be part of a trilogy with 1982’s Pornography and 2000’s Bloodflowers. (When I heard the latter on its’ release ten years ago, I really assumed that was their grand finale, and I’m delighted that’s not proved to be the case). It was a commercial and critical success and provided the band with their highest charting singles so far -‘Lullaby’ reaching no.5 in the UK, and ‘Lovesong’ reaching no.2 in the US.

Yes, it’s dark in many places, but it’s epic and sublime. Bizarrely, given that the original version omitted two tracks on the vinyl ‘Last Dance’ and ‘Homesick’ it’s one of the very few albums I would prefer to have on CD than vinyl (though I own both, surprise, surprise). What the re-issue has is not only the original album remastered, but a CD of genuine rarities (not b-sides but never before released versions of tracks and demos of the b-sides) and a third CD, entitled Entreat Plus. Entreat was originally an eight track album of live performances at Wembley Arena in the summer of 1989 on the Prayer tour which accompanied the release of the album. This has now been expanded to feature all twelve album tracks from the album in order.

Is this obssessive? Well, maybe, but the fact is that the deluxe editions are genuinely produced for those who consider themselves fans rather than someone who’s just buying the album because they like one or two tracks from it (and in this age of iTunes etc.. that’s got to be becoming a progressively rarer occurence). The sleeve notes are well put together and provide insights into the album that I wasn’t aware of; including that Lol Tolhurst did make more of a contribution to the album than often given credit for (though he left after hearing the playback), how a fire nearly destroyed all of Smith’s lyrics on the first night at the studio and how the record company thought it was commercial suicide.

The original album still thrills from the wind-chime like opening of ‘Plainsong’ to the dying harmonium coda on ‘Untitled.’ This is a band firing on all cylinders, producing their masterpiece. And the minisite they have put together for this re-issue is truly phenomenal. And some of the greatest lyrics Smith has ever written.

21 years on, this still packs a truly emotional punch.


The re-issue of Disintegration is out now on Fiction.

Does there have to be a reason?



Well, in this case, yes.

Have recently been re-reading Rip It Up And Start Again, and for the first time, Totally Wired, which are the interviews that Simon Reynolds conducted to write the former book.

Utterly awesome and both are well worth it if you have any interest in the music that came from Europe and America after punk between 1978-1984. The years where the music was ‘post-punk’ and then evolved into ‘new pop.’ In fact my only gripe would be that the Cure and Kate Bush aren’t considered important in this period by Reynolds. And Gary Numan doesn’t seem to get much of a look in either. Other than that, great stuff, covering an era that shows Reynolds is right in saying that it vies with the sixties for quality and creativity.

So a few songs from the era concerned…

Propaganda -‘Dr. Mabuse.’ mp3 (This band bridge the gap perfectly between post-punk and ‘new pop.’ )

Human League -‘Being Boiled.’ mp3 (both ‘post-punk’ and ‘new pop.’)

Gary Numan -‘Cars.’ mp3

The Cure -‘A Forest.’ mp3

Kate Bush -‘Wuthering Heights.’ mp3

Gang Of Four -‘Damaged Goods.’ mp3

Delta 5 -‘Mind Your Own Business.’ mp3

Depeche Mode -‘Master and Servant.’ mp3 (in which the subversive ideas of wreckers of civilisation like Throbbing Gristle enter the top ten and Top Of the Pops)

Finally, one of the true pioneers, Green Gartside of Scritti Politti, deserves two entries, one for his none more post-punk and DIY and the second for being one of the best songs ever, bridging the gap between post-punk and new pop:

Scritti Politti -‘Skank Bloc Bologna.’ mp3

Scritti Politti -‘The ‘Sweetest Girl’.’mp3