"Staring at the Sea" is a collection of singles from the band's albums from "Three Imaginary Boys" (released in America as "Boys Don't Cry," with a few variations) in 1979 up through "Head on the Door" in 1985. This album provides a fine panorama of the Cure's progression from a power (punk) trio (Killing an Arab, Boys Don't Cry), through the heavily synthesized sounds of Faith (Other Voices), the gothic, drum machine of Pornography (The Hanging Garden), to the Cure's most complex (and commercially successful) arrangements in Head on the Door (Inbetween Days, Close to Me). New fans will instantly fall in love with Boys Don't Cry, Love Cats, Caterpillar, Inbetween Days and Close to Me. "Killing an Arab" was the band's first single, and despite its name, is merely an adaptation of Albert Camus' "The Stranger," not a reflection of any racial animosity. "Charlotte Sometimes" is a gem on this album. It was never released on a full-length album, yet it is a favorite of many Cure fans; the studio version is a bit sluggish, though, and fans will find that songs like "Let's Go to Bed," "The Walk," and "Charlotte" (though cleverly appealing as mid-80s antiquities) are literally transformed by the performances of these songs in the live CDs "Show" and "Paris." This compilation is outstanding, though. New fans are encouraged to check out "Galore," which is a collection of more recent singles that most people are more familiar with, but when you are ready to fall in love with the Cure, and you will, this album should immediately become part of your CD collection.