The Cure: Disintegration (Deluxe Edition) (Rhino) | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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The Cure

Disintegration (Deluxe Edition)


Jun 09, 2010 The Cure Bookmark and Share

In 1989, The Cure turned mope up to 11 for their eighth studio album, Disintegration, creating a landmark, melancholy, synth-filled haze. Now, 21 years later Rhino is reissuing the goth-lite primer. The Robert Smith curated three-disc set includes the original 12-track album, live versions, and raritiesall demonstrating that the West Sussex quartet can still teach the kids a thing or two.

“We could have gone anywhere in the world. But we wanted to make something autumnal and English” Smith notes in the accompanying booklet, explaining the album’s downcast tone. The post-summer state suits The Cure; bringing with it the slow building dramatics of “Lullaby,” the dreamlike haze of “Fascination Street,” and the wistful “Pictures of You.” However, definitive ode to longing, “Lovesong,” beats them all by a margin as thin as the eyeliner on Smith’s face. (Just ask The Brunettes, Death Cab For Cute, 311, and Tori Amosall who have tried their hand at the track with varying degrees of success.)

If the original disc paints The Cure as the kings of darkness, Entreat Plus (perhaps the most “necessary” of the two bonus discs) destroys the image. Live, The Cure are dynamic and (dare I say it?) downright joyful performers. No mere studio creations, the material (presented in the same order as the original album) sizzles under musicians who at this point had been working together for 13 years. (Bonus points for not loosing their edge in the years since.)

The obligatory “rarities” disc is perhaps the only place where the collection falters. A disc where only completists fear to tread, the 20-track collection features Smith’s solo demos, band rehearsals, and studio rough cuts. While it’s interesting to note that most songs seem to have been near fully formed early on, (and that all band members brought compositions to the table for consideration), this seems, at best, a passing fancy. Fanatics will enjoy hearing muffled mid-track studio chatter during “Homesick,” and instrumental fetishists rejoice, the majority of cuts are instrumental. For those not quite ready to quit their jobs and follow The Cure around in a van, the real interest comes courtesy of “Pirate Ships,” a Robert Smith solo Judy Collins cover recorded (and later scrapped) for an Elektra 40th anniversary compilation. (

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