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Three Imaginary Boys (Deluxe Edition)

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In their initial incarnation, the Cure were a spunky pop group with a punk snarl and an art school predilection for concept. From the opening futile self-pity of “10:15 Saturday Night” (presented in this expanded edition in both home and early band demo form) through the moody and haunting “Subway Song,” an absurd cover of Jimi Hendrix’s “Foxy Lady” (that leader Robert Smith never wanted on the album) and the goofy album instrumental coda of “The Weedy Burton,” Three Imaginary Boys hardly prepares the world for the artistic jump in sound and concept to come. But it remains a highly melodic and captivating album jammed with energetic highlights (“Fire in Cairo,” “Object”). Robert Smith would eventually drape his songs in Technicolor, but the high contrast black and white on display here shows off his sometimes obscured penchant for writing the clever and catchy quip. This British release was issued in the U.S as Boys Don’t Cry with several important track replacements, the addition of the U.S. title track and “Jumping Someone Else’s Train” (both included among the bonus tracks of poor-sounding live cuts and intriguing band demos).

Customer Reviews

Yay! another cure album!

I like this album- but don't download the whole lot because although 10:15 Saturday night is a song worth having, you don't need 4 versions of it. Just the one. Some great songs on here, Boys don't cry is a favourite of mine, with Grinding Halt, Fire in Cario. Some emotionally blunt songs like Object and It's Not You are quite funny to listen to as well.

Another excellent reissue from Rhino....

The Cure's first album was always a bit of a curate's egg. But what it lacked in consistency and subtlety, it made up for in exuberance. The 'extras' disc is inevitably hit and miss, but overall makes for enjoyable listening. The weakest links are the live tracks, the sound quality of which suggests not particularly good bootlegs. On the whole I would suggest that it is not worth selecting tracks to purchase as the whole package is just over a fiver, which wouldn't buy you many individual tracks....

A Remarkable Debut

Although most of the critical focus is on their groundbreaking trio following this and work such as 1989's Disintegration, The Cure's debut album should definitely not be overlooked. Ranking in as one of the defining post punk records, here The Cure show a great amount of potential with catchy numbers such as Grinding Halt and Object, and quiet alternatives (10:15 Saturday Night and Subway Song, which could be compared to The Jam's Down in the tube station at midnight for creepy brutality). Robert Smith was unhappy with this album, and admittedly it is easy to tell that songs like Foxy Lady (Simon Gallup on vocals!?) and So What wern't really a good choice by the label. Nevertheless, it is an essential album, although maybe not an accurate introduction to the Cure.


Formed: 1976 in Crawley, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Out of all the bands that emerged in the immediate aftermath of punk rock in the late '70s, few were as enduring and popular as the Cure. Led through numerous incarnations by guitarist/vocalist Robert Smith (born April 21, 1959), the band became well-known for its slow, gloomy dirges and Smith's ghoulish appearance, a public image that often hid the diversity of the Cure's music. At the outset, the Cure played jagged, edgy pop songs before slowly evolving into a more textured outfit. As one of the...
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