I bought these thinking they were the original CD masters. I'm a massive fan and I had given the original CD away when The re-mastered series started to unfold. Unfortunately, the re-mastered version of The Top didn't feel right for two reasons: Shake Dog Shake's start was slightly cut and Bananafishbones sped up. I was therefore hoping that these would be the original CD releases the way Rhino releases cheaply packaged albums of the old masters (thin sleeves, no booklets) after re-mastered work is released (original album series). These are in fact the 2004 - 2006 re-masters including 8 pages booklets with lyrics and pictures packed in very attractive gatefold LP-like sleeves and as such I was pleasantly surprised.
As for The Top, well, Bananafishbones is still OTT whilst Shake Dog Shake has been "fixed" with the sound of the drums starting naturally without the odd "cut". Amazing value.
In response to the review by PM Clark/RE Clark (21 April 2012) "Killing an Arab" never was on the first album, "Three Imaginary Boys". The first four albums IMHO are classics ( I'm not much into anything later by The Cure). Five stars.
This set of the first 5 proper albums (plus the Japanese Whispers compilation not included here) covers my favourite era of The Cure before the more upbeat Head on the Door album and ensuing commercial succes. A good price for such a great body of work that in the main was written and recorded at a time when Robert Smith was dealing with personal grief and demons.
Why (oh why) has "Killing an Arab" been excised from the first album? PC gone mad - clearly based on the Camus novel, which, of course, is still (rightly) freely available - neither song nor literary work are racist .. loses a star for this alone