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The Head on the Door (Deluxe Edition)

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Albumrecensie

After recording one of their darkest albums, 1983's The Top, the Cure regrouped and shuffled their lineup in 1984 and ended up changing their musical direction rather radically. While the band always had a pop element in their sound and even recorded one of the lightest songs of the '80s, "The Lovecats," The Head on the Door is where they become a hitmaking machine. The shiny, sleek production and laser-sharp melodies of "Inbetween Days" and "Close to Me" helped them become modern rock radio staples and the inspired videos had them in heavy rotation on MTV. The rest of the record didn't suffer for hooks and inventive arrangements either, making even the gloomiest songs like "Screw" and "Kyoto Song" sound radio-ready, and the inventive arrangements (the flamenco guitars and castanets of "The Blood," the lengthy and majestic intro to "Push," the swirling vocals on "The Baby Screams") give the album a musical depth previous efforts lacked. All without sacrificing an ounce of the emotion of the past, which songs as quietly desperate as "A Night Like This" and "Sinking" illustrate. With The Head on the Door, Robert Smith figured out how to make gloom and doom danceable and popular to both alternative and mainstream rock audiences. It was a feat the band managed to pull off for many years afterward, but never as concisely or as impressively as they did here. [The bonus disc that comes with the 2006 deluxe reissue of The Head on the Door is geared toward Cure obsessives but still may be of limited interest to others. The first four tracks are home-demo instrumentals, and while it's interesting to hear the humble origins of "Inbetween Days" and "Push," they don't really inspire repeated airings. The murky-sounding live bootleg recordings are inessential as well. What does makes the disc worth hearing is the brace of studio demos recorded in February of 1985. They include a couple of half-finished-sounding previously unreleased tracks (the strangely jazzy "Mansoildgone" and the ultra-poppy "Lime Time"), different takes of unreleased songs that showed up on Join the Dots: B-Sides & Rarities, 1978-2001, and versions of songs that made the album. These versions don't differ radically from the final versions, but they do show how the band refined their sound and came up with the crystal-clear and uncluttered sound of Head. The extra disc doesn't add huge amounts of value to the original album, but neither does it detract from the essential nature of The Head on the Door.]

Biografie

Gevormd: 1976 op Crawley, England

Genre: Alternatief

Jaren actief: '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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