Milestones, Video — May 6, 2011 at 8:01 am

Milestones: The Cure’s ‘Standing on a Beach: The Singles’ released 25 years ago today

The Cure, 'Standing on a Beach: The Singles'

Twenty-five years ago today, The Cure released Standing on a Beach: The Singles, a seminal compilation — and yes, we’re talking about the cassette here, not the Staring at the Sea CD — that stands alongside New Order’s Substance and Catching Up With Depeche Mode as one of the signpost compilations of the ’80s college rock era.

Released May 6, 1986, the best-of — a stop-gap release between The Head on the Door and Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me — neatly summarized Robert Smith and Co.’s career up to that point, presenting 13 can’t-miss pop-meets-goth singles, from “Killing an Arab” to “Close to Me,” that defined the Cure’s career up through its mainstream breakthrough.

It was a prefect introduction for the multitude of fans just catching on to The Cure, but the reason the cassette trumps the CD and vinyl releases is because of its B-side, which, appropriately, collected another dozen B-sides. And that’s where the true story of the Cure lies, in the contrast between the pop ambition of its singles and the more freely weird experimentation with what other bands would view as throwaway tracks.

So in honor of this anniversary, we present, below, a delightfully bad local TV news report about “a New Wave music group called The Cure” and their weird, black-encased fans that aired in Baltimore following the band’s July 11, 1986, performance at Merriweather Post Pavilion, just two months after the release of Standing on a Beach.

See the Cure in a 1986 TV news report after the jump…


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  1. childoftheeighties

    that clip takes me back. I saw the Cure on this tour in Dallas (at the Bronco Bowl). Great concert.

    I distinctly remember buying the Standing On The Beach cassette at Sound Warehouse. I played the hell out of that thing. It served as my gateway into all the other Cure albums. Great comp.

  2. Please send Robert the suggestion of releasing ‘Standing On A Beach’ as a 2xCD like the cassette was… regardless that all the b-sides are on ‘Join The Dots’.. it would great to have it the way it was!

  3. Lol! Denise Koch interviewing RS and fans! Too funny…but takes me back. I was there for that one! It was my first concert! Still have my Merriweather ticket stub (was a whopping $14!)

  4. Seminal college rock compilations of the day:

    The Cure Standing On The Beach
    New Order Substance
    Depeche Mode The Singles
    Echo and the Bunnymen Song To Learn and Sing
    Joy Division Substance
    Smiths Louder Than Bombs
    REM Eponymous
    Killing Joke Laugh! I Nearly Bought One
    Siouxsie & The Banshees Once Upon A Time
    Bob Marley & The Wailers Legend

  5. My first ever Cure tape! I (mom) bought it at Camelot records for me in late 1986. From there I started collecting all the Cure albums. Still a fan, but I miss the old days. :(

    childoftheeighties- what’s your name? You are probably just a couple of years older than me. I grew up in the HEB area of the metroplex. We might know each other.

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