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Join the Dots: B-Sides and Rarities, 1978-2001

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iTunes Review

Join the Dots is a four-CD collection of B-sides and rarities that lives up to Cure leader Robert Smith’s wish: “I expected great B-sides from the artists I loved." A few early missteps notwithstanding, Smith gave collectors astounding value for their obsession. Tracks such as “Sugar Girl,” “This Twilight Garden” and “Halo” are as satisfying as their commonly known A-sides. Unlike many groups who have used their B-sides and bonus tracks to feed their unfocused, experimental and self-indulgent desires, the Cure painstakingly sculpted their outtakes with the same care and focus of the group’s official releases. Most remarkable are the covers of other people’s material. Whether it be David Bowie’s “Young Americans,” the Doors’ “Hello I Love You” or Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze” (featured here in both the five-minute tribute album version and a previously unreleased three-minute radio version), the Cure stuck to their own musical values without sabotaging or surrendering the spirit of the originals, a nearly impossible feat. It’s an anthology that appropriately enough reports an alternate history for a group always looking to provide an alternative in the first place.

Customer Reviews

Replace your 20 year-old scratched B-side vinyls!

Usually when a B-sides and rarities box sets comes out in the declining years of a band's success, it ends up being just another contractual-obligation release of remixes and demo tapes that should have remained just that. But this is The Cure. Those of us who were of college age while The Cure were putting out their best material have had all these songs at one point or another on vinyl. Even though we can use our computers to capture the audio from the records, those of us who were into this band perhaps a little too much have records in far-from-mint condition. But we keep them because of their collectibility and the nifty album art, much easier to see from a 12" sleeve than a CD booklet. Even though some of the more rabid fans were disappointed when The Cure started having commercial success, it was during this period when some of their best B-side material was released, particularly songs from the "Love Cats" through the "Disintegration" years. The 4 songs that appeared on the domestic and import versions of "Just Like Heaven" are particularly great. ("Breath", "A Chain of Flowers", "Snow in Summer" and "Sugar Girl"). Those of us who lost touch with the band after those years may find the later material midly interesting, but by no means will it awaken in us the desire to brush off all the black clothing and hair spray collecting dust at the back of the closet with the college yearbook.

Thank you, thank you!

All I can say is that I would have paid the asking price of this entire collection for CD 1 alone. I had Staring at a Sea in the cassette version way back when. The B-side of the cassette got just as much play time as the A-side. Through the years, and like so many of my other cassettes, I ended up with just an empty cassette case with the tape being who knows where. I was excited and then deflated when I found the CD version and then saw that it had NO B-sides! So, I thank Mr. Smith, et. al. for releasing those awesome B-sides from Staring at a Sea. For compiling all those other kick butt B-sides (Harold and Joe was another I know I lost) and Soundtrack tunes into one central location, welp, that is just a whole mound of icing on the cake. It saves me a lot of time, not to mention money, to ensure that I have my Cure collection in order. : )

And Some Could Be A-Sides

This is fantastic. Thank you Robert and Company for once again giving something brilliant to your fans.This IS a MUST HAVE! Many of the tracks could very well be singles and not b-sides. This just shows the music world how versatile The Cure and their music is. Even if you are just a casual fan, consider adding this collection to your library. It will give you a great feel from The Cure from their humble begginings to their greatness today. The sound of The Cure has evolved from a three piece band to a wonderful, almost orchestral sound over the years, and you can follow that evolution with your purchase of this release. Looking for a few songs to try? Well, try songs number 1, 17, 23, 29, 42, 43, 67. They are ALL great, but this may help wet your appetite.


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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