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The Top - Deluxe Edition Box set

4.3 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

Price: £13.04 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders dispatched by Amazon over £20. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Product details

  • Audio CD (14 Aug. 2006)
  • Deluxe Edition edition
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Commercial Marketing
  • ASIN: B000FZDGTC
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 75,029 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Universal UK pressing features the same content as the Rhino/US version, though packaged in the standard Universal 'Deluxe Edition' slipcase. Two CD set compiled by Robert Smith and digitally remastered from the original master tapes. This album was originally released in 1984.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Perhaps one of my favourite Cure albums this, though essentially a solo effort from Robert Smith who at the time was teetering on the edge of thoroughly exhausted madness. It's kind of echoed in the music too, which at times displays Smith's more memorable and quirky song writing sensibilities, but at the same time is rather dark, twisted and schizophrenic. I guess this is the case with most Cure music, but above all this album pushes Smith's musical influences to the forefront considerably and personally I believe this to be a good thing!

So the overall feel is highly psychedelic, notably Shake Dog Shake, Piggy in the Mirror and Bananafishbones, the latter displaying most signs with its garagey drums and descending bass motif. And lets face it, with a title like that, which though has its origins in literature I believe, could be the name of a Captain Beefheart track. Piggy in the mirror also should be noted for its apparent use of Hammond Organ which to my knowledge you don't get much of in Cure music. This also lends it a 60's retro touch, which is most welcome.

The album also contains some of The Cure's most lovely and melodious moments such as Birdmad Girl and The Caterpillar. The former is so bright and breezy and perfectly poppy you smile, tap your foot and nod your head unfailingly with every listen. The Caterpillar meanwhile is probably the most 'acoustic sounding' track the band has produced - it skips along prettily like a butterfly (a deliberate move obviously), with fluttering acoustic strings and multi - layered percussion and again the melody is quite delicious! Also its one track in the Cure canon that wears a Nick Drake influence firmly on its sleeve, a great Smith influence that is rarely evident in the majority of the band's history.
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Format: Audio CD
Extending on the territory of The Glove's 'Blue Sunshine' & 1983's 'The Lovecats' & 'Mr Pink Eyes', Robert Smith created 'The Top.' This was from a rather extreme period in his life when he found himself guitarist in The Banshees (who were also recording 'Hyaena') as well as frontman of the reborn-Cure from 'Let's Go to Bed'-onwards. He recorded this under the influence of psychedelics with a band that included long-time associate Porl Thompson, former drummer Lol Tolhurst, producer & later Johnny Hates Jazz/Natalie Imbruglia-associate Phil Thornally & drummer Andy Anderson (who would later play with the Gun Club's Jeffrey Lee Pierce). 'The Top' was rumoured to have been accidently recorded at the wrong speed - but I think these effects were deliberate, Smith manipulating his vocals and created a record that is one of the great acid-soundtracks (see 'Trout Mask Replica', 'The Piper at the Gates of Dawn','Tago Mago', 'The Faust Tapes' & 'Easter Everywhere').

The 10-orignal tracks showcase the beginnings of that eclectic Cure-sound that would be expanded on over the following albums 'The Head on the Door' & 'Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me.' Live-favourite 'Shake Dog Shake' always sounds wonderful, like 'Pornography' on a Beefheart-trip it has the oddest lyrics and shows where Brett Anderson got his animal-fixation from! 'Birdmad Girl' is a gorgeous Latin-inflected acoustic joy - 1985's 'The Blood' would stem from here; 'Wailing Wall' advances on the territory of the Banshees' 'A Kiss in the Dreamhouse' & Smith's work with Steve Severin in The Glove. Compare this to 1987's 'The Snakepit' to see the difference between psychedelic Smith and the wine-inflected version a few years later!!

'Give Me It!!
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Format: Audio CD
I can never understand why this album gets such negative reviews. People often refer to it as one of the weaker Cure albums but i consider it to be better than a lot of their other eighties output and considerably better than anything they produce in the 90's. There are some really strong tracks on The Top: Shake dog shake is powerful and brooding, Bananafishbones is deranged and surreal and The Caterpillar is one of their best singles by far. This album was the Cure's last piece of work that had that hard edge that characterised their early albums. Although later albums worked better as a whole, none of them matched the intensity and weirdness of The Top. While some people may consider the lyrics to be too off the wall and the music to be unfocused and "wonky", i think it is these qualities that make it such a compelling listen.
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Format: Audio CD
I started slowly collecting Cure albums back in 1996 but I held off when I heard these remastered reissues would be coming out. The Top was the only Cure album I didn't previously own, mainly because I have seen some very negative reviews for it.

Maybe it helps that I've embraced the rest of The Cure's work before coming to this because the variety and psuedo-psychedelic nature of this album does not come as any kind of shock having heard all their other albums.

Let me say that this album is a joy from beginning to end showcasing the very best of Robert Smith's songwriting skills. It takes the sound of previous single The Lovecats and makes it even crazier. That's no bad thing though. There are some true classic Cure moments on here, particularly the stunning Birdmad Girl and Dressing up.

Having listened to this CD a few times, I can say there isn't one weak track on it. In fact I would say that I prefer this to the follow-up albums of The Head on The Door & Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me; both excellent albums in their own right.

Eclectic, Vibrant and refreshing, especially compared to so much of the dross that is around today, I'd recommend this to anyone, especially Cure fans who were previously wary of buying it.
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