on 20 September 2009
OK you have to be a Cure fan, but the songs are great, the booklet is interesting and the whole package is really well done. Now the price has come down (I paid £15). Listening to the early stuff brings back memories; my Mum threw away the single cover for 'Boys Don't Cry' when I was out at school because the back of it was a drawing of blow-up doll for 'Plastic Passion' I have still not recovered but this box-set helps.
One of the best buys I have made for a bit.
on 23 January 2004
There’s much misunderstanding over this box-set and a lot of bad comments being made for no reason.
"The B Sides And Rarities" sums up exactly what is contained here, I'm puzzled why so many people are getting confused over this.
The B-Sides part explains itself, every B-Side which was an original song is present here and also a few B-Sides which were remixes of other songs.
The Rarities part is where people seem to be losing the plot. It's important to emphasise that this collection is by The Cure and nobody else, so that is the exact reason why you will not find any recordings made by Cure side-projects such as Cult Hero, The Glove or Fool's Dance, or projects/bands by other people featuring Robert Smith such as Junkie XL, The Banshees, Bowie or Bowie's cohorts Earl Slick and Reeves Gabrels.
The rarities present are Cure recordings that HAVE been available elsewhere before but not in any great quantities. So, you'll find the much heard about but rarely heard version of Lament given away free with Flexipop magazine, three version of Hello I Love You (two are from the rare Elektra record label compilation "Rubyait"), there's the only three Cure songs recorded specifically for films (as used on The Crow, The X Files and Judge Dredd movies) and there's various other remixes and songs, some of which have been available as legal downloads, some have been shall we just say available as "downloads"....
To me a rarity is a song that has been released but not widely available. Anything else is simply a song that has never been released ANYWHERE and that's where a great deal of people are getting confused with this box-set.
If you want music that has never EVER been available before then fear not, because from Spring 2004 The Cure are re-releasing their entire studio-album back catalogue and each will have a bonus disc of previously unreleased songs from the time period in which the album was made.
So chill out people and stop slagging off The Cure for not putting unreleased songs on this box-set, when it doesn't even say it contains any such thing !!!!
As for the songs that are present….
Well, the b-sides are amongst some of the finest music you’ll ever hear by and band on the planet, A-Side, B-Side or album track. They really are that good, even Robert Smith has commented recently that perhaps a few of the songs would have been better off on one of their albums in place of songs that actually did make the cut for the album. Naturally, as with all bands, the earlier stuff (and this set is in strict chronological order) goes from amusing naivety and then on into experimentalism. The middle of Disc 1 is predominantly electronic 1980s sounding, but that was primarily because the band was reduced to a two-piece at the time, the songwriting is still genius though. Towards the end of the disc the songs start getting really really good while still retaining very much a sound of their times. Basically, from Disc 2 onwards the quality of songwriting goes up several notches and songs such as A Chain Of Flowers, This Twilight Garden, The Big Hand, It Used To Be Me and Adonais are some of the finest songs you’ll ever hear, all the while bearing in mind they were just B-Sides.
The rest of the original B-Sides are all head and shoulders above album-track quality of many many other bands out there.
The remixes present are just what you’d expect from remixes of any bands songs. You either like a remix or you don’t, sometimes this depends on whether the mix sounds a lot like the original or nothing like it. I’ve never been such a fan of remixes, but a lot of people are so I guess it’s nice to see some of the bands remixes accounted for here (hey, they can’t be any worse than some of the rubbish on “Mixed Up” !!!).
The remainder of the material is the rarities and tracks from films. It doesn’t matter whether you think the Flexipop version of Lament is better than the original (or not) it’s just the fact that finally it’s been resurrected which counts !! Some people have been waiting over 20 years to hear this version again.
Hello I Love You is an entertainer in both of it’s versions (the 10 second version is actually just a reprise at the end of the Rubyait album, because that album is opened by the full length version of Hello…). The psychedelic version is just that and is a good reworking of the song, as is the normal version which is a bit of a sped up semi-rocker. Two versions of Purple Haze are present. The Virgin Radio version is simply fantastic and actually does add a bit to the original Hendrix version, by again being sped-up slightly (and also sounding a bit like the normal version of Hello…!!!). The other version of Purple Haze is just….terrible. Skip that track please ! Young Americans is again appalling….but nice to see it being released again (say’s through gritted teeth!).
There’s a few other rarities, but what I really want to mention is the three film songs. Burn is from The Crow and is easily in my top 5 Cure songs of all time. Pure genius, dark, heavy, thunderous drums. And our local dance music radio station used to play it at 7.30 every night in 1994 for some reason !!! More Than This from The X Files isn’t a Roxy Music cover version, contrary to popular bad reporting, it is in fact a decent enough electronic mood piece. Dredd Song (Judge Dredd, natch) is bursting with power and very orchestral sounding, with a nice message in the lyrics (nowt to do with Judge Dredd really…).
All in all, an amazing collection beating most bands regular output hands-down, and this is just The Cure’s leftovers!
on 4 July 2008
This amazingly lush offering from the Cure contains a vast amount of rarities and 'B-sides' from their long and successful recording career.
It's not really the kind of collection you stick on and listen to all the way through. This is beacuse it's really a feast for committed fans of the band. The Cure were both fabulously precocious and stunningly gifted and this combination meant that they had the balls to try out all sorts of ideas.
This also means that 'Join The Dots' contains some deleriously successful bits of music and others that don't quite work.
When the first singles collection (Standing On A Beach) was released, the B-side of the cassette edition contained the B-sides to the singles. 'Join the Dots' includes all of these and much, much more on the shiny CD digital format.
The high value of this item is without doubt as it originally sold for much more than the price Amazon is now charging. The packaging resembles a hard bound book which contains four CDs and an integrated 'booklet' which although lush does unfortunately resemble (in design terms) the former 80's teen magazine Smash Hits.
But it's the contents of the CDs themselves that will interest the Cure enthusiast. Moments of excellence such as 'Throw Your Foot', 'Harold and Joe' and 'The Upstairs Room' sit alongside some slightly dodgy material but there's more than enough good stuff to justify the exceptional price tag. There are 70 tracks in this collection!
So you can pick out what you want and disregard the rest. It's never less than fascinating and sometimes simply sublime.
Maybe, one day, Robert Smith will release some of the great low-fi live recordings (some of which appeared on the 'Live Anomalies' B-Side on the 'Concert' cassette) that languish in some Fictional cupboard somewhere.
You could break into Robert Smith's house and rifle through his sock drawer to find those hard to get Cure recordings or just click 'Buy Now'.
Just click 'Buy Now'.
on 12 June 2004
If you were a diehard fan of the Cure and wanted to listen to their b-sides and rare tracks, you had mainly two options: listen to the original vinyl/CD single or grab the "Standing on a Beach" cassette, which had a bonus selection of early b-side cuts. "Join the Dots" now makes things easier for the fan who's got to own every hard-to-find release by the Cure. On 4 CDs, the band covers their 23-year discography of rarities, and all the tracks are digitally remastered under the supervision of Robert Smith. The first disc is a virtual trip down memory lane and it's easily the best, featuring songs that trace back to the Cure's punk roots. Notable gems are "I'm Cold," "Another Journey by Train," the orchestral "A Few Hours After This," and "Throw Your Foot." The second disc covers 1987-92, and by this point, the band found a mainstream audience in America. Its twin peaks are the poppy "2 Late" and the dark and atmospheric "Fear of Ghosts," which stands as good a track as anything off their 1989 album "Disintegration." Another highlight is a respectable cover of the Doors' "Hello, I Love You," and three versions of this song are found. Disc 3 covers 1992-1996, with some good tracks ("Play" and "This Twilight Garden") and some notable misfires, such as a cover of Hendrix's "Purple Haze" and a not-bad-but-pointless cover of Bowie's "Young Americans." The fourth disc, which covers 1996-01 finds the group experimenting with electronica with varying degrees of success. It's not a bad disc, and much of the stuff on here is good, but it's my least favorite among the four. Tracks that make it worth the trip are the Palmer remix of "This is a Lie," the Oakenford remix of the "Bloodflowers" cut "Out of this World," an acoustic version of "Signal to Noise," and the beautiful "More Than This" (which, by the way, is NOT a cover of the Roxy Music classic). All in all, "Join the Dots" is a no-questions-asked must buy for Cure diehards like myself, but first-timers who are green to the band should start with their studio albums first. For those who have been longing to get these tracks on CD, this is more than a box set. It's also an answered prayer.
Even for the most devoted Cure fans there are unheard treats on offer with six previously unreleased tracks. For the casual fan there's even more to discover.
It's not all successful, no-one needs three versions of Hello, I Love You and one Purple Haze is more than enough, but the moments of breathtaking beauty outweigh the unnecessary dirges. Though past their peak by 1992 the b-sides to Wish give a tantalising glimpse at what should have been. Other highlights include The Crow-inspired Burn.
The packaging is luxurious, the sleeve notes illuminating, especially the inspiration for the title of classic b-side Harold and Joe, Bishop and Mangel respectively from Neighbours. Peculiarly some of the songs aren't where the sleeve says they are. Overall the 70 songs here are too much to digest in one listen but with a band as important as The Cure it's easy to forgive a little over indulgence.
on 2 February 2004
An excellent overview of the Cure's career(so far), and proof, if it were needed, that the Cure are one of the best bands this country has ever produced.
I won't comment on the music, if you're reading this, you know. What I like most about it is that it gives excellent value for money. Of the 70 tracks I only owned 14 on CD, and there were about 25 that I didn't own at all. It's superbly packaged as well, you get the impression that they actually enjoyed compiling it. A certain Mancunian band could learn a thing or 6 about how to compile a box-set.
Ignore the music press, it's a B-side collection, it does exactly what it says on the tin. The press forget that the Cure's B-sides are better than most bands' A-sides.
on 22 May 2008
Being a huge Cure fan, I have all the studio albums, all the live albums and a couple of the compilations, but had delayed buying this. I wish I had bought it sooner. It comes the size of a large DVD case and has a 78 page, full colour book in the middle documenting the band from 1978 - 2001 (The Fiction Years) and the 4 CDs are packed with all the B sides during that time along with a few gems ("Just Say" Yes" and "Purple Haze" the Hendrix cover.... (awesome!)). Released in 2004, I could have this fantastic collectors must have a long time ago! BUY IT!
on 10 February 2004
Disks 2 and 3 are made up of B-sides from (in my opinion) The Cure's best period.
"This Twilight Garden" is one of their best ever songs and the fact it only made a B-Side is testament to the quality of song they were producing at the time.
"2 Late" could have been a single.
"Fear of Ghosts" was on the same B-Side as "2 Late" - and is yet another brilliant song made around the time of their best ever album "Disintegration".
"It Used To Be Me" is angry Cure and excellent for it.
"Breathe" on Disk 2 is also one of my favourite Cure songs. The sound is a bit dated these days but Robert Smith's voice shines through with the characteristic vulnerability.
Basically, if you are a Cure fan or are interested in The Cure and you have not heard most of the songs on this box set then get it.
For my money, Robert Smith is one of the best lyricists ever. Even on the B-sides, he doesn't let you down.
on 13 December 2003
It's rare that fans get treated with such respect and consideration by their idols, but Robert Smith is really going to some lengths to provide us with a complete and definitive collection of CD quality Cure music.
Many of these B sides are absolute gems, and together with the planned 2004 re-release of all the Cure albums, each accompanied with a bonus CD each of rare Cure material, AND the new album, us Cure fans are going to be completely spoilt in 2004.
ALL CURE FANS SHOULD BUY THIS!
on 15 February 2010
This lavishly packaged 4-CD box set, with its 76-page colour booklet, is so much more than just an intriguing shelf-filler for Cure fans only - some of these B-sides and rarities, many previously unreleased, are amongst the very best recordings that the band has produced. Sure, there a few numbers which you'll skip over - the covers of the Doors 'Hello, I love you' (three versions!), Bowie's 'Young Americans' and Hendrix's 'Purple Haze', and the interesting but disposable remixes of album tracks which you'll probably already have. These however are just a handful out of a total of 70 tracks.
There are at least two CDs worth of first-rate Cure which never made it on to the studio albums, and if you select your favourite tracks (which will almost certainly include Out of Mind, 2 Late, Big Hand, Possession and the stunning Adonais) to make just one compilation CD, you'll have an album that can hold its head up alongside Disintergration, Wish and Bloodflowers.
This box-set also serves as an alternative history to the Cure, charting their progress from an exuberant three-piece in 1979 through to their departure from Fiction Records in 2001. The accompanying booklet, packed with photos, is thoughtful and well-written, and provides some illuminating background to the songs, the albums and the band's constantly changing line-ups.
Altogether a lovingly put-together collection and, at the current bargain price of under £16, an absolutely essential purchase.