Growing up it takes just one album to make you fall apart. In one album, you know that you will be a music junkie for the rest of your life. In the summer of 1996 I found the album that changed how I look at music. The Cure’s Disintegration broke me apart. With the opening swell of “Plainsong” I was shocked to find that people could make music that gorgeous. Naturally I became obsessed with The Cure. I own almost all of their albums (hey, some of them are extremely hard to find). I own all of their music videos and I now own the most important piece of The Cure: Join The Dots: B-Sides and Rarities 1978-2001 (The Fiction Years).This is a masterpiece of music history and anyone who loves The Cure needs this. Robert Smith always said that he loved the b-sides of his favorite bands because they would show “another version of the artist.” I learned this firsthand when I discovered a used “Friday I’m In Love” cassette single at Goodwill many years ago. The B-side was “Halo,” and it has become one of my top five Cure songs of all time. Another perfect B-side “2 Late” backs “Lovesong.” “2 Late” is by far my favorite cure song of all time it is so happy and sad and has the greatest poppy melody of all time. So with my affection for Cure B-sides, I naturally had to shell out the money for this four-disc box set.
From the start you know the box set is a killer example of amazing music. With “10:15 Saturday Night” and “Do the Hansa” we see The Cure in their early punk stages. But by the end of disc one, they have established themselves as the leaders of the Goth pop movement with such amazing tracks as “A Man Inside My Mouth” and wall of keyboards on “A Few Hours After This…”
With disc two, we see Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me and Disintegration era Cure. The songs become darker and more experimental. Just look at the depressing “A Chain of Flowers” and “To the Sky.” This is the time period when The Cure stopped making okay albums and started turning out masterpieces.
After the Goth classic Disintegration, The Cure released the happier (although still pretty depressing) bass-driven Wish. Another B-Side to “Friday I’m In Love” is the tear-filled “Scared As You” which Smith says, “I was actually crying while I sang it.”
The final disc contains such gems as “Home,” “Maybe Someday (acoustic mix)” and another one of their best songs ever: “Signal to Noise.”
I constantly lose track of The Cure. I take them for granted and forget how lovely they are. With this box set, I don’t think I will ever forget how great they really were. They are by far the greatest thing to ever happen to music. Guided By Voices don’t even come anywhere near (and that is saying a lot).