'Disintegration' Week, Lists — June 10, 2010 at 7:56 am

Readers poll: The Cure’s Top 10 B-sides

The Cure, circa 1992

For Day 3 of our Disintegration Week — in which we toast this past Tuesday’s North American release of The Cure’s eagerly anticipated Disintegration: Deluxe Edition — we flip those singles over, running down the band’s Top 10 B-sides, as chosen by Slicing Up Eyeballs’ readers.

Just like yesterday’s countdown of The Cure’s Top 10 singles, we’ve compiled this list, somewhat unscientifically, by adding up the results from our recently completed contest, which asked readers to name their favorite Cure songs. With more than 380 votes, a good number of people picked B-sides, so we broke those out and tallied up the Top 10.

Unlike the singles list, this one — presented below — skews a bit more into the early ’90s, which is fitting, since that was a fertile era for choice B-sides (the list also features one selection that’s not technically a B-side, but is a rare non-album track). As always, feel free to leave a comment at the end with your own picks. We’ll wrap things up Friday with the full, ranked list of our readers’ 90-some favorite Cure songs.

TUESDAY: The Cure’s Disintegration tracks ranked
WEDNESDAY: Readers poll: The Cure’s Top 10 singles
TODAY: Readers poll: The Cure’s Top 10 B-sides
FRIDAY: Readers poll: The Cure’s Top 98 songs of all time

See the Cure’s Top 10 B-sides after the jump…

The Cure, 'Inbetween Days'1. “The Exploding Boy”

A side: “Inbetween Days”
Release date: July 15, 1985
Available on: Join the Dots: B-Sides & Rarities, 1978-2001
Sample comment: “It’s probably the quintessential track from the Head on the Door era, and the perfect stepping stone between The Top and Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, yet was somehow relegated to B-side status. Nutty, fun, catchy.” (RJL)

The Cure, 'Lovesong'2. “2 Late”

A side: “Lovesong”
Release date: Aug. 21, 1989
Available on: Join the Dots: B-Sides & Rarities, 1978-2001
Sample comment: “I have always loved this song, and the demo on the Cure’s Disintegration website is great. I love the lyrics and the tempo of the song. And I always think one day that once spent out on me and up til late…” (Scott)

The Cure, 'Killing an Arab'3. “10.15 Saturday Night”

A side: “Killing an Arab”
Release date: Feb. 6, 1979
Available on: Join the Dots: B-Sides & Rarities, 1978-2001
Sample comment: “It always brings back great memories for me because one of my old bands used to cover it live. The drummer from that band took his own life a short time after we broke up, and we all miss him very much.” (Steve)

The Cure, 'A Letter to Elise'4. “The Big Hand”

A side: “A Letter to Elise”
Release date: Oct. 5, 1992
Available on: Join the Dots: B-Sides & Rarities, 1978-2001
Sample comment: “Musically it lures you in, and when the words hit, they hit close to home. I feel as though the big hand is God or some force that we can’t perceive but that he is in charge of everything.” (AndyTheCureFan)

'Stranger Than Fiction'5. “To the Sky”

Appears on: Stranger Than Fiction compilation
Release date: 1989
Available on: Join the Dots: B-Sides & Rarities, 1978-2001
Sample comment: “I loved all the dense moodiness then, but 20 years out, I’ve come to prefer the somehow lighter songs. ‘To the Sky’s’ ‘Just Like Heaven’-ness does it for me, without actually being the ever-overplayed ‘Just Like Heaven.'” (Rich)

The Cure, 'Catch'6. “A Chain of Flowers”

A side: “Catch” and “Just Like Heaven”
Release date: June 22, 1987 and Oct. 5, 1987
Available on: Join the Dots: B-Sides & Rarities, 1978-2001
Sample comments: “It’s a very effective and emotional portrayal of the terrible fear of losing someone.” (Erin), and “Last song on the best cassette maxi single I ever bought.” (Charles Sawyers)

The Cure, 'Never Enough'7. “Harold and Joe”

A side: “Never Enough”
Release date: Sept. 17, 1990
Available on: Join the Dots: B-Sides & Rarities, 1978-2001
Sample comment: “There is something about the tune, and particularly those single, individual organ notes (so clear and shining, like a star on a clear winter night), that strike an emotional chord more so than any words.” (Place Logo Here)

The Cure, 'High'8. “This Twilight Garden”

A side: “High”
Release date: March 16, 1992
Available on: Join the Dots: B-Sides & Rarities, 1978-2001
Sample comment: “I think this song says a lot for The Cure; it shows how serious they take their B-sides, and it shows how beautiful their work can be. Mainstream media likes to label them as goth or dark — we know better!” (Kent Butabi)

The Cure, 'Inbetween Days'9. “A Few Hours After This”

A side: “Inbetween Days”
Release date: July 15, 1985
Available on: Join the Dots: B-Sides & Rarities, 1978-2001
Sample comment: “Why it wasn’t included on Head on the Door is beyond me… I loved it for the line, ‘Just put your hands around my heart/And squeeze me until I’m dry,’ and the odd production…” (Chad)

The Cure, 'A Forest'10. “Another Journey By Train”

A side: “A Forest”
Release date: March 28, 1980
Available on: Join the Dots: B-Sides & Rarities, 1978-2001
Sample comment: “The song is completely tight, solid bass work, tip-top drumming, decent synth work and guitar that doesn’t need Robert’s voice behind it. I listen to it on the way to and from work, on the subway…” (John)



  1. 2 Late is brilliant, a true classic that should have been a single (though it wouldn’t have fit stylistically on Disintegration), but its companion off Lovesong, Fear of Ghosts is great too.

  2. I’d add the excellent “Stop Dead”, off the Close To Me 12″ – another one that should have been on the Head On The Door. Great bassline! And Lament off The Walk 12″ – unlike anything else they’ve done

  3. Can’t argue with the top 3 though!

  4. Good choices but my favorite Bsides are Sugar Girl and the Upstairs Room.

  5. Rich here, from #5. I almost picked “This Twilight Garden,” actually. Of course, all of them are excellent…

  6. I met Robert after a show outside his hotel during the WMS tour, I asked him to play The Big Hand at their next show which I was driving across the state to see. He looked at me like a was daft. Good times.

  7. The B-sides for the singles from “Wish” are really strong. It´s strange that nobody´s mentioned “Halo”.

  8. Mr. Pink Eye or A Man Inside My Mouth easily beat out This Twilight Garden.

  9. Is there a reason that they didn’t include The Exploding Boy on the album?

  10. I agree with Rickard
    I think Halo is a beautiful song for some reason completely ignored by the band and most fans too

  11. I thought for sure that “Breathe” would make the list

  12. A Chain of Flowers is simply brilliant. This Twilight Garden and Happy the man come to mind too. I don’t understand Harold and Joe at all. That song was just blah to me. I really like Adonais, the Big Hand, a few Hours after this and many more. Honestly I think the bsides after Wish were better than what actually ended up on the albums.

  13. Susan Stone

    I am not sure why Grinding Halt from Three Imaginary Boys is never chosen? That is one of my all-time favorite Cure songs…Mr. Pinkeye is great too! I agree totally with 10.15 On A Saturday Night!

  14. Absolutely love “Halo”…should be on this list. “Out of Mind” is another one missing here, always struck me as a precursor of “Open” from Wish.

  15. Surprised “Fear of Ghosts” didn’t make it. Nice to see “To the Sky” on there.

  16. I remember planting myself next to the radio, ready and waiting with my cassette tape, whenever Live105 announced they were about to play “To The Sky” (circa 1990)! I still have that tape somewhere, but just a few years ago I found that Stranger Than Fiction comp in a dollar bin somewhere! at last!

    The Exploding Boy is my absolute favorite B-Side, and all of the ones from Japanese Whispers….

  17. Bullshit! No “I Dig You”????????

    Jeeze louise they’ll give anyone a pen these days.

  18. We don’t get singles here…Was Grinding Halt an A or a B?

  19. If I was to pick up a song which is not actually a side B but has a sort of B side effect, that would be “Cut here”, I just can’t stop listening to it.

    (Just in the case you consider this comment acceptable). Take care

  20. A Foolish Arrangement?

    Let’s Go to Bed (Milk Mix)?

    The Upstairs Room?

    A Pink Dream?


  21. A CHAIN OF FLOWERS tops them all…everything in the song is perfect…the voice, the swirling guitars, the dreamy keyboards…so perfect! plus the emotions and lyrics invested in the song!

  22. Happy The Man, Snow in Summer, A Japanese Dream, Mr Pink Eyes, The Upstairs Room, Harold & Joe, This Twilight Garden, Halo, Stop Dead, Throw Your Foot

  23. Enrique Soto

    Greatly missed: Fear Of Ghosts (Favourite along Chain Of Flowers & To The Sky), Play & A Foolish Arrangement.

  24. Illegitimate list without “Throw Your Foot” & “Fear of Ghosts”

  25. Are you kidding me? How has no one mentioned Lament. That is literally one of my favorite b sides of theirs. It deserves so much more love than it gets. It’s a brilliant song and it’s so unique with great lyrics. I suggest everyone give this song a couple plays over and you will surely love this masterpiece of a song that honestly could’ve even been a single. Sorry for ranting, I’m just a bit pissed that an instrumental and Harold and Joe hit the list but this didnt.

  26. Also, why the hell isnt this twilight garden atleast in the top three? This is beyond me.

  27. If I had it my way, it would’ve looked like this:
    1: This Twilight Garden
    2: Lament
    3: 2 Late
    4: The Exploding Boy
    5. A Chain Of Flowers
    6: 10:15 Saturday Night
    7: Fake
    8: Just One Kiss
    9: The Big Hand
    10: Babble
    Honourable Mentions:
    11: A Few Hours After This
    12: Splintered In Her Head
    13. I’m Cold

    • Good list, but you have to include Lament (might be my single favorite Cure song), The Upstairs Room, and Just One Kiss. That Japanese Whispers era stuff is just brilliant.
      1. Lament
      2. The Big Hand
      3. This Twilight Garden
      4. 2 late
      5. The Upstairs Room
      6. A Chain Of Flowers
      7. The Exploding Boy
      8. Just One Kiss
      9. A Few Hours After This
      10. Play

  28. Enjoy all of those listed and posted. I’d also mention ‘Ocean’ from ‘the 13th’ single.

  29. Hmm I must not have been paying attention when this posted originally, or I would have instantly complained about “To the Sky” not being a b-side and wanting to know what #11 was.

    Lament is their best b-side, hands down, as others mentioned this isn’t a list at all without it. Also, I’d bump up Chain of Flowers to #2.

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