Being a fan of The Cure can involve a lot of heartbreak, and not just in terms of the band’s often-downbeat material. Robert Smith’s not exactly a man of his word when discussing future plans (“How many times does he have to tell you never to believe a word he says?” keyboardist Roger O’Donnell once tweeted). And that’s great when it comes to pronouncements that each tour will be The Cure’s last, but not so much when Smith’s discussing upcoming releases.
Given that track record, we decided to go back and re-examine all of The Cure releases that Smith has announced or hinted at since Slicing Up Eyeballs’ launch in 2009. In that time, the band has not released a whole lot officially. No new albums, no singles, no live DVDs. Just some vinyl reissues, an expanded 3CD re-release of Disintegration and the Bestival Live 2011 double album.
But the list of Cure releases Smith has promised would come out in 2010 and beyond is much longer, and includes a new studio album, a new remix collection, DVD reissues of old concert films, a new series of live DVD releases and a box set of material recorded for the BBC.
Below, we take an item-by-item look back at what might have been in the years since 2010 — and at which many devoted Cure fans would still love to throw their money.
‘The Cure in Orange’ DVD
Filmed in France in August 1986 during the tour in support of Standing on a Beach and released in 1988, this 95-minute concert film — long beloved by fans — has only ever been available on long-dead formats like VHS and laserdisc (and, yes, you can find it on bootleg DVD and occasionally online). Smith, in a since-deleted post to the Cure’s official site in October 2009 announcing plans to reissue Disintegration, promised “a lot more remastered Cure stuff in 2010,” including, at long last, “In Orange” on DVD.
Like “In Orange,” the Cure’s 1993 concert film “Show” — recorded in Detroit in the summer of 1992 during the Wish tour — only has been released officially on VHS and laserdisc, although its companion live album, also named Show, and that album’s companion, Paris, have seen subsequent digital release. Smith promised a DVD release of “Show” in 2010 in that same Disintegration announcement.
Mixed Up 2 compilation album
Also on that list of releases promised for 2010: Mixed Up 2, a sequel to The Cure’s 1990 remix album. The year 2010 came and went without a release of Mixed Up 2, or “The Cure in Orange” or “Show” on DVD, for that matter. But unlike those other releases, Smith would speak again of Mixed Up 2. In a video interview in July 2012, he said Mixed Up 2 was “coming out, probably this side of Christmas.” He explained the album “will be our favorite bands remixing Cure songs,” and said Mogwai would be giving “Faith” a makeover. Mogwai confirmed their involvement, but that remix has yet to see the light of day.
The Cure at the BBC box set
The most intriguing item on Smith’s list of promised 2010 releases, because so little is known about it, was the box set of The Cure’s recordings for the BBC. Both Siouxsie and the Banshees and The Mission have released multi-disc sets collecting years worth of recordings made for and broadcast by the BBC, and it’s easy to imagine The Cure doing something similar. But no further details of that project ever surfaced.
Wish deluxe reissue
The Cure’s CD reissue campaign on Rhino Records began in the mid-2000s with the band’s albums being re-released in two-disc sets in groups of three at a time, culminating with the standalone release of a three-disc expansion of 1989’s Disintegration. Since then, nothing. But in late 2011, word did slip out that a reissue of 1992’s Wish, the next album in sequence, was in the works. The Cure was reissuing “Friday I’m in Love” on 7-inch for charity, and the site announcing a contest to design the 45’s artwork revealed that Wish was “scheduled for the ‘deluxe re-release’ treatment in 2012.” Yet neither Rhino nor the band formally announced it, and none of the band’s post-’80s albums have seen deluxe CD re-releases.
Live DVD series
In February 2014, The Cure issued a press release announcing the band had sold out a pair of charity concerts at the Royal Albert Hall, and laying out plans for the rest of that year. Among several tantalizing revelations was news that The Cure would be launching a series of live concert DVD releases. No further information was offered, and, to date, that series has not come to fruition. (The release also announced plans for “Trilogy”-style concerts in late 2014 that would feature full performances of The Top, The Head on the Door and Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me. Those shows never happened, either.)
4:14 Scream studio album
And, finally, the 2014 press release also announced plans to release, “in the next few months,” The Cure’s 14th studio album, a collection recorded at the same time as 2008’s 4:13 Dream and tentatively titled 4:14 Scream. Smith previously had characterized that material as much darker than what was released on 4:13 Dream. Just over a month later, though, Smith already was backtracking on those plans, saying in a radio interview that he was not terribly keen on putting out an album “made by a band that no longer exists.” He added that he was “trying to be convinced that I should release what is the second half of an album that effectively came out in 2008.” Apparently, he still hasn’t been convinced.
Did we miss any? If you know of other Cure releases that were supposed to come out this decade, but haven’t (and can link to some documentation), please let us know in the comments below.
PREVIOUSLY ON SLICING UP EYEBALLS
- The Cure’s Lol Tolhurst and Pearl Thompson reunite in the recording studio
- The Cure play ‘The Top’ in full, debut ‘A Man Inside My Mouth’ at epic 40-song London gig
- The Cure to perform ‘small clutch of happy hits’ at pair of London benefit shows this week
- Watch: The Cure covers The Beatles’ ‘Hello Goodbye’ for Paul McCartney tribute