Join the Dots: B-Sides & Rarities, 1978-2001

Join the Dots: B-Sides & Rarities, 1978-2001

4.5 2
by The Cure

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Retracted farewells aside, this seminal British group have proven the most enduring of Britain's Class of '76, tweaking their goth-punk image with alternate doses of drama and humor, and exerting an influence on several waves of descendants. And while their hits have been repackaged on both best-of and live discs, their trove of lesser-known material is just as


Retracted farewells aside, this seminal British group have proven the most enduring of Britain's Class of '76, tweaking their goth-punk image with alternate doses of drama and humor, and exerting an influence on several waves of descendants. And while their hits have been repackaged on both best-of and live discs, their trove of lesser-known material is just as intriguing -- as borne out by this four-disc box set. Join the Dots goes back as far as the band itself, kicking off with "10: 15 Saturday Night," the B-side to the Cure's first single, "Killing an Arab." The darkness of Robert Smith's earliest days as a writer is well documented in songs like "Splintered in Her Head" and "I'm Cold," and the band's pulsing insistency captured perfectly on the instrumental "Another Journey by Train." As the years progressed, the band changed tenor -- and members -- in dramatic fashion, leaping into surprisingly upbeat pop via songs like "Hey You!!!" and "How Beautiful You Are," the latter of which was tucked onto the back of "Hot Hot Hot." A smattering of covers -- including three versions of the Doors' "Hello I Love You" and a pair of takes on Jimi Hendrix's "Purple Haze" -- aren't as compelling as the goodly number of self-revisions. Of those, a radical, previously unreleased remix of the Wish album track "Doing the Unstuck" and an acoustic rendition of the more recent "Signal to Noise" stand out the most. The set is packaged with an 80-page book, featuring song-by-song notes by Smith and longtime compatriot Simon Gallup, as well as a slew of rare photos. It's a truly exhaustive chronicle of a band that has stood the test of time.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Chris True
Wisely, the Cure decided to start fresh upon signing with their new label in 2004 by cleaning house, remastering the old albums, and bringing their fans Join the Dots: B-Sides & Rarities, 1978-2001. Not only is it the ultimate companion to the official releases, but it is, in a way, the new-super-deluxe-updated version of that cassette release of Staring at the Sea. Every B-side is included, in order, with cleaned-up sound, liner notes, and explanations by the man who made it all happen. All tracks, from "10.15 Saturday Night" (the B-side to the debut single "Killing an Arab") to covers of "Hello, I Love You," "Purple Haze," and "World in My Eyes," to entries from the Bloodflowers singles, are an indication that while the Cure made both strong albums and singles, they were not afraid to experiment along the way, and more importantly, they didn't let pride keep them from not making them available to those who were willing to look for them. Their growth as a band can be fully tracked in the songs here. The wild development on disc one (which includes the B-sides from the Staring at the Sea cassette, the B-sides from the Boys Don't Cry re-release from 1986, and the Japanese Whispers B-sides, as well as the extremely rare "Lament" [flexi-disc version]) is easily their strongest and most diverse era, with Smith growing artistically and musically in leaps and bounds from track to track. The rampant growth eventually gives way to the dark and heavy pop of the B-sides of Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Disintegration, and Mixed Up on disc two. While the songs are strong on this second disc, they manage to have less of the wild, experimental abandon that disc one has. The Cure began to find a real niche by this point, and by disc three, the dream pop of the late '80s had developed into the stadium-sized gloom and doom that characterized 1992's Wish, their critical and commercial peak. Eventually the band's output would become more sporadic, and the level of consistency would be more of a trademark of the band than the experimentalism of old. Disc four, which covers the time from Wild Mood Swings to Bloodflowers, is the "weakest" of the collection, but there are still great moments to be found, with many remixes that give the original tracks a new interpretation. There are those who would argue that the band grew, and others would argue that it fell apart, yet there is no denying that the majority of work on Join the Dots is extraordinarily strong. It admittedly may be a bit too much for someone who isn't quite a big devotee of the band, but it's a veritable godsend for those who've been waiting for this for years. No jumbled, out-of-order track listings, no glaring omissions (it's safe to say that the reissues of the albums will take care of any extra tracks, mixes, and miscellanea lying around) -- it's exactly what a rarities/B-sides collection should be. Join the Dots: B-Sides & Rarities, 1978-2001 is proof that, while the band may falter from time to time -- as most do -- the Cure have, unlike most, really been paying attention to their fans' needs over the years.
Tracks - Andy Greenwald
An aptly decadent box of obscurities.

Product Details

Release Date:
Universal Uk

Related Subjects


Disc 1

  1. 10:15 Saturday Night
  2. Plastic Passion
  3. Pillbox Tales
  4. Do the Hansa
  5. I'm Cold
  6. Another Journey by Train
  7. DeScent
  8. Splintered in Her Head
  9. Lament (Flexipop Version)
  10. Just One Kiss
  11. The Dream
  12. The Upstairs Room
  13. Lament
  14. Speak My Language
  15. Mr. Pink Eyes
  16. Happy the Man
  17. Throw Your Foot
  18. New Day
  19. The Exploding Boy
  20. A Few Hours After This...
  21. A Man Inside My Mouth
  22. Stop Dead

Disc 2

  1. A Japanese Dream
  2. Breathe
  3. A Chain of Flowers
  4. Snow in Summer
  5. Sugar Girl
  6. Icing Sugar
  7. Hey You!!!
  8. How Beautiful You Are
  9. To the Sky
  10. Babble
  11. Out of Mind
  12. 2 Late
  13. Fear of Ghosts
  14. Hello, I Love You
  15. Hello, I Love You
  16. Hello, I Love You
  17. Harold and Joe
  18. Just Like Heaven

Disc 3

  1. This Twilight Garden
  2. Play
  3. Halo
  4. Scared as You
  5. The Big Hand
  6. A Foolish Arrangement
  7. Doing the Unstuck
  8. Purple Haze
  9. Purple Haze
  10. Burn
  11. Young Americans
  12. Dredd Song
  13. It Used to Be ME
  14. Ocean
  15. Adonais

Disc 4

  1. Home
  2. Waiting
  3. A Pink Dream
  4. This Is a Lie
  5. Wrong Number
  6. More Than This
  7. World in My Eyes
  8. Possession
  9. Out of This World
  10. Maybe Someday
  11. Coming Up
  12. Signal to Noise
  13. Signal to Noise
  14. Just Say Yes
  15. A Forest

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Cure   Primary Artist

Technical Credits

David Bowie   Composer
Cure   Producer
Bob Dylan   Composer
Bryan Ferry   Composer
Lou Reed   Composer
Jim Morrison   Composer
Ray Manzarek   Composer
John Densmore   Composer
Phil Thornalley   Producer
Steve Lyon   Producer
Perry Bamonte   Composer
Paul Corkett   Producer
Michael Dempsey   Composer
Simon Gallup   Composer
Martin Gore   Composer
Alan Gregorie   Remixing
Mathieu Hartley   Composer
Jimi Hendrix   Composer
François Kevorkian   Remixing
Mark Leviton   Contributor
Bryan New   Producer
Steve Nye   Producer
Chris Parry   Producer
Steven Severin   Producer
Robert Smith   Composer,Producer,Liner Notes
Porl Thompson   Composer
Laurence Tolhurst   Composer
Steve Whitfield   Producer
Boris Williams   Composer
Mike Hedges   Producer
Mark Plati   Producer
Mark Saunders   Producer,Remixing
Roger O'Donnell   Composer
Lol Tolhurst   Composer
Johnny Black   Liner Notes,Sleeve Notes
Andy Vella   Cover Image
Jason Cooper   Composer
Emily Cagan   Contributor
Howlett Peter Smith   Composer
Dave Allen   Producer
Keith Uddin   Producer
Hartley   Composer
Anna Pills   Producer
Robby Krieger   Composer

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Join the Dots: B-Sides & Rarities, 1978-2001 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This set is worth the price, if only for the track To the Sky. However, all of the songs are classic Cure.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago