Themes From Great Cities

It might have come to your attention that I'm not a regular poster of love and understanding, which you will just have to get used to. I will however, have bursts of creativity where I move completely randomly from post to post with no rhyme or reason. I have recently posted a few singles (7 & 12”) and the odd bootleg which have been received very well by all who visit. More of the same will continue as you, dear readers, seem to be enjoying them.

Some of the rips are my own, but many more are from other blogs and I’m just sharing the wealth. If other bloggers out there wish to share the rips from my posts, please as I do, host them yourself. To combat this, the FLAC files that are over 6 months old will be replaced with MP3 files.

Finally I am happy to re-up old posts where the link has expired. Please comment in the relevant posts comments box.

Wednesday

Jumping Someone Else's Train

Standing On A Beach With A Gun In My Hand…


Falling somewhere between official release and compilation, Boys Don't Cry was released in February 1980 in hopes of increasing the band's exposure outside of the U.K. It captures the first phase of the band well, showcasing the angular new wave that had garnered them acclaim in England. The major difference separating this from the debut full-length (and thus qualifying it as an "official" release) is that unlike Three Imaginary Boys, the first three singles ("Killing an Arab," "Boys Don't Cry," and "Jumping Someone Else's Train") are included. A good starting point for getting up to speed on this era of the band, it works best when paired up with Three Imaginary Boys; then you'll get the complete picture.







By Debra Rae Cohen  

In the spectrum of self-conscious post punk British bands, the Cure fall squarely between Wire's sophisticated, jagged architectonics and the Undertones' concise, wide-eyed pop music. They incorporate a little of each. I guess this means that these guys average out at the college-sophomore level, which is appropriate, since their first British single (the desert-spare "Killing an Arab") was based on an Albert Camus novel, The Stranger. It's hard to pull off such a feat without being called pretentious, but Boys Don't Cry, the Cure's American debut, proves they can transcend their Comp. Lit. 201 (Elementary Angst) scenarios.

The Cure's bass-heavy, three man sound works like a telescopic lens, focusing and magnifying a hook around a central line or image that makes each vignette ring true, like the one piece of back ground bric-a-brac that makes a movie set seem real. Songwriter Robert Smith has a gift for close-ups: the apt, arty phrase or stinging, succinct guitar overdub. In "Fire in Cairo," he turns a simile into a mantra (his girlfriend's hair burns like "f-i-r-e i-n c-a-i-r-o") and reiterates it over a bumpy dance beat. Smith's sound-effects guitar in "Killing an Arab" (either crackling through the mix like reverberating gunfire or stringing snake-charmer melodies) transforms the terse lyrics into a you are there slide show: "Standing on a beach with a gun in my hand/Staring at the sea Staring at the sand Staring down the barrel at the Arab on the ground."

Chris Parry's crystal-clear production separates Michael Dempsey's bass and Lol Tolhurst's drums, as if to fence off a large patch of silence in the centre. Along with neat production touches like the clattering trash-can percussion that echoes into the distance on the fade of "Jumping Someone Else's Train," the empty spaces highlight the group's dynamic variations. Compositions like "10:15 Saturday Night" and "Subway Song" (about a girl or boy trailed in the shadows) have the edgy quietude of reality. Every drawn breath, each finger snapped in the darkness, falls distinctly and significantly.

Amid the Cure's nerve-edge numbers (hushed and haunting or insistent enough to make you dance to your own jitters) the title track is the odd tune out. "Boys Don't Cry" is a sweetly anguished pure-pop single, carried by an aching, infectious guitar hook and the singer's taffy pull croon. Though it doesn't have the film-clip explicitness of Smith's other songs, the words offer a nice twist on the standard lovelorn script: boy meets girl, mistreats girl, loses girl, yearns for girl but won't appear vulnerable, even to get her back. Hell, if Robert Smith ever decides to quit rock & roll, he's got a great career ahead of him writing for the movies.


 

Taken from the 1988 US release to MP3 @ 320 kbps

The Cure; Boys Don't Cry

1.      Boys Don’t Cry
2.      Plastic Passion
3.      10:15 Saturday Night
4.      Accuracy
5.      So What
6.      Jumping Someone Else’s Train
7.      Subway Song
8.      Killing An Arab
9.      Fire In Cairo
10.  Another Day
11.  Grinding Halt
12.  Three Imaginary Boys


 



5 comments:

  1. I always thought this U.S. compilation was more effective than the original Three Imaginary Boys album but unfortunately, the CD version has only 12 tracks compared to the original LP which had "Object" instead of "So What".... and more importantly, it lacks the unique "World War" that was part of the vinyl track list !!!

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  2. Waiting in anticipation!!!

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  3. Could I please request a pleasant festive re-up of this? Just lost my library and while I have most Cure albums on CD to re-rip, alas I don't have this one...

    Happy Christmas!

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