Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me (Remastered Version)

The Cure

Rhino, 2006

REVIEW BY: Sean McCarthy


The last few weeks on the Billboard charts have been the stuff of Advil and Maalox for record executives. Dreamgirls was able to bag the top album slot by selling 66,000 copies. File sharing and free customized Internet radio stations certainly haven’t helped push overall album sales. In order to get people to buy CDs again, you can either go after older audiences, who are statistically more likely to buy a CD rather than download it, or go after the music geeks by repackaging already-purchased albums and filling it to the gills with goodies.

You have Pavement’s Slanted And Enchanted, right? Well, that’s all well and good, but do you have the deluxe, definitive, double-CD version of Slanted And Enchanted? Hell, at least Slanted And Enchanted took almost 15 years to get a double-disc treatment. Cat Power’s The Greatest took mere months before a newer version was released.

This brings us to 2006’s remastered version of the Cure’s Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me. If you don’t have this album, by all means, the remastered version is the way to go. It’s handsomely packaged; the second disc isn’t your typical B-sides release, as it comprises early studio demos of 12 of the 18 songs on my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me and live performances of the remaining six. In addition to its packaging and bonus material, the liner notes are truly revealing.

Writer Johnny Black’s account of recording Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me details the ups and downs of recording of the 1987 hit album. You get the downs (the friction between the band and soon-to-be-departing keyboardist Lol Tolhurst, the rock star dilemma of trying to find solitude while recording an album but having the press camped outside your hotel), the ups (finding a perfect recording studio, owned by French jazz pianist Jacques Loussier, that had its own vineyard) to the downs again (having to leave the recording studio before the album was finished since someone else was set to use the studio, Smith’s writer’s block, partly stemming from being separated from the band toward the end of the recording).

As for the album itself, if you haven’t already purchased Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me, it’s one of those “must purchase” college albums. Already superstars in their native land, the Cure’s mix of pop, goth and rock helped shape college rock and alternative music in the U.S. However, the Cure always seemed to be a bit more ambitious than many of their alternative rock peers. While groups like the Pixies and the Replacements were releasing albums that were eking in at 40 minutes, Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me was a massive double-album that topped 70 minutes with virtually no filler.

As the liner notes state, Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me was a collaborative effort. Bassist Simon Gallup’s ear for pop made the 70 minutes pass with little effort. Their biggest hit from the album, “Just Like Heaven,” was voted the Best Alternative Video of All Time from MTV’s 120 Minutes. Guitarist Porl Thompson and drummer Boris Williams supplied the spooky atmospherics that retained the Cure’s goth cred, specifically in songs like “Torture” and “Fight.”

Robert Smith’s lyrics and high-pitched mope leaves bands like My Chemical Romance and Fall Out Boy owing more than a few royalties. “My skin so tight it screams / and screams and screams / and screams for more” and “‘I hate these people staring at me / make them go away from me!’” are your typical fare for Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me.

For those who initially dismissed The Cure as “sad bastard music” but are curious as to the band’s lasting impact, Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me is a great starter album. Disintegration may have been their masterpiece, but Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me wins out on scale and ambition. The same thing could be said for the remastered version, as the extras only enhance the listening experience.

Rating: A

User Rating: A-


Definitively a masterpiece for the 2nd chapter in Cure's career."Kiss me, Kiss me, Kiss me" is the perfect example of band's change of mood from dark and depressing (which by the way was magnificent in musical terms) to hopeful and kind of celebrator about that falling into a deep hole feeling.Now they don't take it so hard and it just seems they're falling with pride.

That refreshing attitude give the songs a certain colorful atmosphere as the band still has that sordid and low sound in some of the tracks like the opening "The kiss", "Fight" or "Torture".And in the other hand creates some of the greatest pop songs of their time like "Catch", "Strange girl" and the irresistible hit singles "Just like heaven" and "Why can't I be you?" among others.

"Kiss me, Kiss me, Kiss me" showed, like "The head on the door" did 2 years before, than The Cure was much more than emblematic figures of any musical, artistic movement or fashion style, like "dark" and "gothic were, but a time-less talented group of always borderline musicians commanded by the will and vision of Robert Smith.
Moody as fuck. I love this album. It makes me want to rip peoples heads off. I like to put this on a stew over all the dumb shit that goes on in the world. After that I somehow feel cleansed.

© 2007 Sean McCarthy and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Rhino, and is used for informational purposes only.