60477-1 Standing On A Beach: The Singles
previously released material
Released on May 1986
UK CHART POSITION #4 . . . US CHART POSITION #48 . . . GOLD RECORD (2/5/87), 2x PLATINUM (12/12/97)
Find it at GEMM
60477-1 cover
[high resolution photo]

T he greatest hits from a band not known for them. Standing On A Beach might be an attractive entrée into The Cure’s discography, but those drawn in by select singles (“Boys Don’t Cry,” “Close To Me,” “The Lovecats”) may be disappointed that more wonderful surprises aren’t in store. The band’s early recordings were murky and more than a little affected, suggesting Echo & The Bunnymen with an eye toward giddy bubblegum pop. Of course, popular music being what it was in the ‘80s (i.e., crap), disenfranchised youths flocked to The Cure, hearing in Robert Smith’s alternately fey and desperate phrasings a kindred, tortured spirit. (The same could be said for The Smiths some years later.) Initially, The Cure were after style more than melody, so tracks like “The Hanging Garden” and “The Hanging Gadren” feel more like album cuts than singles. In cultivating that style, the band hit upon different sounds: sometimes taut and scratchy (“Primary”), elsewhere more baroque (“Let’s Go To Bed”). Smith’s voice remains one of the constants, gaining in expressiveness as he gained experience, always at the center of these songs. Honestly, The Cure were rarely regarded as musicians’ musicians; individually the instrumental parts were simple, but their confluence provided a richer tapestry of sounds intermingling (similar to Siouxsie and The Banshees). Note that the double-cassette version features a dozen B sides. In this case, less is more: the elpee version is all you really need. It contains all of the singles, in chronological order, up to The Head On The Door. Of course, some would say that’s when The Cure really hit their stride, and many good singles did follow. Now something more of a history lesson, Standing On A Beach is still the best way to test these waters.

60477-1 inner gatefold 60477-1 back cover
60477-1 inner gatefold 60477-1 back cover


  1. KILLING AN ARAB    (Smith/Tolhurst/Dempsey)
  2. BOYS DON'T CRY    (Smith/Tolhurst/Dempsey)
  3. JUMPING SOMEONE ELSE'S TRAIN    (Smith/Tolhurst/Dempsey)
  4. A FOREST    (Smith/Tolhurst/Gallup/Hartley)
  5. PRIMARY    (Smith/Tolhurst/Gallup)
  6. CHARLOTTE SOMETIMES    (Smith/Tolhurst/Gallup)
  7. THE HANGING GARDEN    (Smith/Tolhurst/Gallup)
  8. LET'S GO TO BED    (Smith/Tolhurst)
  9. THE WALK    (Smith/Tolhurst)
  10. THE LOVECATS    (Smith)
  11. THE CATERPILLAR    (Smith/Tolhurst)
  12. IN BETWEEN DAYS    (Smith)
  13. CLOSE TO ME    (Smith)


return to THE CURE discography

UK May 1986 Fiction LP/2CS FIXH/FIXHC12 gatefold cover, picture sleeve
US/CAN May 1986 Elektra LP/CD/2CS 60477 gatefold cover, picture sleeve
AUS'L 1986 Fiction LP 600141  
WW 1986 Polydor LP 829 239 gatefold cover, picture sleeve
MEX   Polydor LP LPR16684  


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