Anniversary, Video — April 21, 2012 at 12:53 am

Video: The Cure, ‘Play Out’ — out-of-print ‘Wish’-era collection of live performances

For fans of The Cure, today — April 21 — is significant for two different reasons: It’s Robert Smith’s 53rd birthday and it’s the 20th anniversary of the release of Wish. So, as we patiently wait for the alleged deluxe reissue of that 1992 album, here’s a little something to bide your time: the long-out-of-print VHS release “Play Out.”

The two-hour film, presented in the playlist embedded above, collects various live and rehearsal performances by Smith and Co. from early 1991, including some of the band’s “MTV Unplugged” appearance and pre-release airings of a few cuts that would make Wish cuts and one very notable track that wouldn’t: “The Big Hand,” a fan favorite that would inexplicably wind up a B-side.


Tracklist: The Cure, “Play Out”

Day One
T&C II Club – London – 17th January 1991
1. “Wendy Time”
2. “The Big Hand”
3. “Away”
4. “Let’s Go to Bed”
5. “A Strange Day”
Day Two
Wembley Arena – London – The Great British Music Weekend – 19th January 1991
6. “Pictures of You”
7. “Fascination Street”
8. “Lullaby”
9. “A Forest”
Day Three
The Jonathan Ross Show 23rd January 1991 Various snips including
Hello I love you – Just like heaven – The walk – Bland with an edge
10. “Harold and Joe”
Day Four
E-zee Hire rehearsal studio – London – 22nd January 1991
11. “The Blood”
12. “The Walk”
Day Five
MTV “Unplugged” – 24th January 1991
13. “Just Like Heaven”
14. “A Letter to Elise”
15. “If Only Tonight We Could Sleep”
16. “Boys Don’t Cry”
Day Six
Dominion Theatre – London – Rehearsals for “The Brit Awards” – 9th February 1991
Day Seven
Dominion Theatre – London – “The Brit Awards” – 10th February 1991
17. “Never Enough”






  1. The 2rd track is actually “Cut” from Wish

  2. Wow is Forest un-freaking believable. Thanks for this!! So unreal. I had this on VHS. Wow…..

  3. “The Big Hand” should have been included on ‘Wish’, with something like “Wendy Time” being cut. “The Big Hand” is not a B-side.

    • “The Big Hand” IS a b-side – it’s on the 12″ of “Letter to Elise” (along with “A Foolish Arrangement”). I should know because I have it.

  4. I think that “Wendy Time” should have been on Wish, but that version, just like that version of “The Big Hand” should have been on there, not the B-side version.

    Early 1991 was quite an apex for the group…

  5. James Fogel

    I have Play Out. Haven’t watched it in years and years.

  6. The Live demo type versions of the songs were way better than what ended up on the album. Big Hand should have been on the record, as should a Foolish Arrangement imo. They really “popped” up these great songs and it just sucks.

  7. I’ve never understood why so many fans think The Big Hand should have ended up on Wish, its a good song but it simply doesnt work in the context of that album, which by the way, was the Cure’s last truly great album.
    The Big Hand was a b-side because it sounded like a b-side!

  8. For some odd reason, I have Play Out on Laserdisc.

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