Few bands have have made as great an impact on me as The Cure. I spent much of the mid-90s obsessing over Wish and then exploring the band's back catalogue. So it came as a welcome announcement when Rhino started reissuing the band's early albums as remastered double-disc sets.
The most recent batch of discs to be re-released includes two of my absolute favourite albums by the band: The Head on the Door (1985) and Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me (1987). I was lucky enough to score a copy of the latter and it's just as awesome as I remember it. Not only does the album sound fantastic in its polished version, but the extra disc is loaded with previously unreleased demos and live recordings from the tour that followed the album's release.
If you're still not convinced that this is must-have stuff, here are some choice cuts from the set. "Like Cockatoos" is a personal favourite that shows off Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me's prominent tendencies towards psychadelia. The song is built around a single riff that comes at you out of a haze of chirping and tinny washes. The vocals don't enter until fairly late in the song and are delivered in a shadowy whisper that increases in urgency as the instrumentation becomes more chaotic.
The live version of "Why Can't I Be You?" included on the second disc demonstrates how the band can take one of their more sinister pop songs and twist it into something much more substantial and textured than you might think possible. Look out for some surprises dropped into the extended bridge.
[mp3] The Cure - Like Cockatoos
[mp3] The Cure - Why Can't I Be You? (live)
* Buy Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me (Deluxe Edition)