on 22 May 2001
The Cure refocused and ultimately hit their stride with Head On the Door, producing an album which not only more effectively depicted gloom, but also showed enough pop smarts to make it memorable (and even danceable). The band scored a hit with the infectious, New Order-ish "In Between Days" (which managed to beat New Order at their own game) and the highly memorable "Close to Me," but the album's outstanding trait is its diversity -- they managed to combine a wide variety of influences, not only that of contemporary dance-floor peers, but also incorporating rhythms from the Far East and South America to fine effect. The Cure made more accomplished albums later on and had bigger hits, but none combined artistic ambition with really catchy songs as well as Head On the Door.
on 14 April 2013
The Cure have been known for their gloomy tunes at the start of their career with Pornography, Seventeen Seconds and Faith- then along came Kiss Me x3 and Japanese Whispers. The album was a sweet introduction to their newly found quirky Cure sound which is very difficult to compare to most bands and the which is what makes this band special.
However, the lyrics are still quite dark and full of self hatred, which is what to be expected of Robert Smith, however, he managed to tie this in with easy going tunes fit for a summer mood which won't put a downer on your day.
My favourite tracks are Night Like This and Six Different ways which are very catchy and one listen simply isn't enough.
on 20 April 2012
Every song in this album is distinct and creative. Often with eighties albums the production techniques and old synths date quickly, but I think this album still stands up 27 years later. The album is short but I think there's a good balance between their more quirky upbeat songs like Close to me and In between Days and their more dark tortured songs like A Night Like This and Sinking.
on 2 January 2007
OK, I confess: despite my admiration for Robert Smith's undoubted talent, I've not been any more than a fair weather fan of the Cure and have only bought a handful of albums over the years. However, `Seventeen Seconds' is one of my all time favourites so perhaps I'll be forgiven. Nevertheless, I did buy `Head on the Door' on glorious vinyl in 1985 and quite liked it but like so many other vinyl albums, it fell into non-use when CD came along and I have not played it for at least 10 years. So when this newly remastered version hit my CD player, I was astounded to be reminded what a good album it is.
Kicking off with the bubbling `In Between Days', the album bursts into life and unlike some other Cure albums, this energy hardly drops through most of the first half until you reach the truly great stuff starting with the semi-instrumental `Push'. What follows is perhaps one of the best consecutive runs in Bob's cannon and comprises `A Baby Screams', `Close to You' and the monumental `A Night Like This', the latter now being my favourite Cure track ever. Never has Smith created such a melt-in-the-mouth melody and backed it up with a massively passionate vocal. The swaying, insistent beat just adds the icing to the cake and despite the cheesy drum fills and dreaded sax solo, nothing can diminish the sheer bittersweet joy this song elicits - how on earth did I forget about it?
All this and the beautiful closer, `Sinking' - what more do you need from a Cure album? Go buy!
on 30 December 2000
'The Head on the Door' nicely reflects the ever-changing nature of the Cure, from the sickly sweet pop of 'Inbetween Days' through to the fabulous 'Sinking', reminiscent of earlier material. This ranks as one of the Cure's best albums and the first of a series which encompasses 'Disintegration' and ends with the release of 'Wish' in 1992. It demonstrates a fuller sound than earlier output and was written at the time of a new line-up, greater stability, and a fresh outlook for the band as a whole. Much of the album is single material.
The opening track is infectious pop at its best, although not the most accomplished track on the album. 'Push' sees Smith relating his experience of irrational hatred, and has proved a favourite set piece. 'A Night Like This' is classic Cure, a strong bass line and lyric, with Smith in remorseful mood "I want it to be perfect like before, I want to change". The last track forms an intense and beautiful soundscape, particularly when played loud, Smith lamenting the inevitable passing of time, a theme explored in 'Seventeen Seconds'. This album is a must-buy.
on 17 December 2006
For me, this is one of the Cure's best albums. Alongside the cacophany of Pornography and melancholy of Disintegration, I think that this is the one that best highlights the various shades of light and dark that there are in the Smith cannon. Inbetween Days is the one where Robert mastered the classy pop song (he'd perfect it with Just Like Heaven 2 years later), though the fact it's followed by the beautifully instumented Kyoto Song tells you that while he might have learned a few things since Let's Go To Bed's crassy commercialism, he didn't forget how to write something as dreamily hypnotic as Just One Kiss. It's this broad pallett that encapsulates the spirit of the whole album, taking in Spanish guitars (The Blood), twisted funk grooves (Screw), complete desolation (Sinking), adrenaline-rushing positivity (Push) and perhaps the greatest example of Robert Smith's unique somehow-melancholy-yet-somehow-uplifting-at-the-same-time brand of pop (A Night Like This). Although there are many Cure albums more rewarding than this, this is the microcosm of all that made them so special in the 80s.
And to the extra disc... the Inbetween Days demo is divine, just Robert in his flat when the riff came to him and a fascinating insight into the birth of a great popsong. Inwood and Innsbruck are demos that hark to the fact that there were a lot of dark things still going on under the surface, despite the upbeat feeling to most of the album and the relative single b-sides. Indeed, for those who do not own Join The Dots (the b-side retrospective released a few years back) there are also tentative demos of lost classics like Stop Dead, A Few Hours After This, The Exploding Boy and A man Inside My Mouth. There is also a glimpse into the experimentation of the band's sound and how much further it could have been stretched with Lime Green (and the chance to hear Robert do the best Bowie impression ever with the intro!). The live tracks are a nice touch to finish off, especially the live version of Sinking. It's the sound of a band on a threshold, on top form and about to take on the world, and just maybe win...
on 20 November 2003
I went to France with my family in 1984 a Duranie and met a girl who lent me a few cure tapes she had with her and I returned desperate to know more. The Head on the Door is for me their best album, the first they started to use a lusher production, bringing a more layered sound to their songs. Listening to this album today sums up all that the cure do well daft pop 'close to me' songs that get under your skin and stay there ' the blood' 'kyoto song' and the immense 'Sinking'to close. Anyone interested in what the cure do can do no better than using this as a starter and working forwards or backwards as you Wish. A perfect album from a perfect band.
on 22 July 2002
for a band to start their career by introducing themselves as 3 household appliances may seem odd, to continue afterwards until 1987 to have blurred sleeves, with images that the listener would struggle to make out, may seem perverse and to be honest im not sure if anyone else could do this and continue as well as the cure.......... beyond the blurred sleeves, lies some brilliant music, so open that cd case now take out the cd! Ahh the ever changing sound ofthe cure, over the years theyve been changing, and still continue to, this album , according to what i know, was a big hit, it was released in the year i was born (1985), and i think it is a very impressive album and starts the change of where the cure burst into the mainstream on their feet and never lost control over it.
This album crosses hits like close to me, in between days, with more dark and moody songs like the blood, kyoto song and of course the baby screams. Also it includes brooding, beautiful songs like sinking and one of the cures most sincere love songs in my opinion "a night like this". A lot of the songs are fun (six different ways, push, and obviousely the singles), sometimes epic, but the cure still dont forget to put in the more moody songs. Even the pop songs on this album incorporate what the cure are best known for, the certain bitter sweet love and strange , somehow dark lyrics, standing on its own, theres not a bad track, and a lot of stand out tracks, the baby screams is one of my favourites, but as the cure made more albums I have to give this four stars as the rightful claimants to the five stars came later (in my opinion) being the classic albums such as wish, disintegration, and bloodflowers... but thats not to say this isnt also a brilliant album, and is well worth your money. The only other problem with the album is that maybe i prefer my albums a little bit longer, but its still great! So go buy now, now now!
on 25 November 2009
Still the best entry point to appreciating The Cure in my view, The Head on the Door covers all Cure bases, from catchy pop (In Between Days, Close to Me) to doom-laden, phased broodscapes (A Night Like This, Sinking). Many of the songs could act as signposts to their other albums - like Sinking? Try Disintegration. The angular pop of Six Different Ways or Kyoto Song? Next stop The Top and Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me. Close to Me? Japanese Whispers or the Greatest Hits. The perfect poprock of Push and In Between Days? How about Wish?
Not everything is great about the album: A couple of the songs now sound a bit dated and arch (The Blood, Kyoto Song). Others were always a little thin (Baby Screams, Screw). Push and Kyoto Song always sounded better live, minus the now jarringly bright mid-80s drum sounds. And yet the album works well as a whole - Close to Me sounds far more refreshing coming after Baby Screams than after, say, In Between Days on the Greatest Hits. Likewise, Screw giving way to Sinking merely heightens the foreboding and menace of the brilliant album closer.
The remastering tidies up the previously murky sound - although some may question whether murkier is better on, say, Sinking.
Although I have the deluxe version, for me, the extra CD adds little to what I think remains the best balance Robert Smith ever struck between his different ambitions, moods and styles.
on 1 October 2014
The Third Best Cure album after Disintegration and Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me.
Superb singles and stunning album tracks combine to create The Cure's first real masterpiece from 1985.
Make sure you get the Deluxe Edition with a second disc of Rarities, Demos and B-Sides.
Very very good highly recommended a Must Buy just for Inbetween Days alone!