Rhino recently released a treasure trove of dark delights for Cure fans and Cure-curious folk alike: remastered versions of three Cure albums, The Top, The Head on the Door and Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, each containing a second disc of rarities, studio/home demos, live bootlegs and previously unreleased songs. The real gems of these double-disc albums are the studio/home demo versions of a number of Cure tracks, including songs such as “Push,” “Kyoto Song” and “Just Like Heaven.” Have you ever wanted to get inside Robert Smith's head? Here's your chance. The studio/home demos are a rare glimpse into Smith's creative process — a process that is sometimes twisted, sometimes tortured and, it turns out, sometimes deliciously cheesy.
Hearing the transition of Smith's bedroom-studio version of “The Kiss” blossom into the polished, final version (which thankfully replaced the demo's cheese-laden synth with a molting guitar) is, well, pretty awesome. These demos give you insight into the birth of several Cure hits and how producers re-create that initial demo feeling in the finished product. While The Cure is a hugely successful band, hearing Smith's early growing pains way back in the '80s as he composes the melodies for songs such as “In Between Days” is priceless. And speaking of the '80s, it's hard to ignore Smith's crappy preset, synth-tastic jam sessions. One thing that's crystal clear from these home-demo tracks is that Gothmaster Smith is not a kickass keyboard player, but it's oddly cathartic to hear a weakness from such an important artist. Smith isn't loved for his synth skills, anyway; he is loved for his songwriting, guitar playing, singing, supreme gothnicity and killer cameo in a supersweet episode of South Park.
Also included in each rerelease is a booklet filled with lyrics, rare photos of the band and tour memorabilia from the personal archives of Smith. The packaging on all the discs is gorgeous, making these remastered rereleases excellent additions to any audiophile's collection.