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Three Imaginary Boys (Dlx) (Dig)
Three Imaginary Boys (Dlx) (Dig)
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (13) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (20) - Disc #2

Originally a postpunk outfit with gothic leanings, The Cure evolved into one of the most visionary, creatively satisfying and influential groups to come of age in the 1980's. From dreamy pop to moody expressionism, their s...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Cure
Title: Three Imaginary Boys (Dlx) (Dig)
Members Wishing: 10
Total Copies: 0
Label: Elektra / Wea
Release Date: 12/7/2004
Album Type: Original recording remastered
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
Styles: Hardcore & Punk, Goth & Industrial, New Wave & Post-Punk
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaCD Credits: 2
UPCs: 081227889524, 602498218280, 0602498218280


Album Description
Originally a postpunk outfit with gothic leanings, The Cure evolved into one of the most visionary, creatively satisfying and influential groups to come of age in the 1980's. From dreamy pop to moody expressionism, their signature sound is adventurous, hypnotic, and rich with texture. Formed in 1976 by Robert Smith and schoolmates Michael Dempsey (bass) and Laurence Tolhurst (drums), The Cure's stunning debut album on U.K.-based Fiction Records launched an extraordinary career and enduring worldwide popularity.

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CD Reviews

Could have been a better reissue
L. Gray | 12/14/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Why can't record labels get it right? We fans have no problem shelling out cash for reissues, but it sure would be nice for them to be worth the money. What's positive? It's great to have all the bonus material, especially to have World War on CD, finally. I no longer have my TIB vinyl, but I believe all the original cover art is reproduced. Now for the bad news:

1. The sound is good, but other than being louder, it's not much of an improvement over my original Three Imaginary Boys or Boys Don't Cry CDs. I'm no golden-eared audiophile, but I've got plenty of other remasters that are noticeably better than the versions they replaced.

2. No Killing an Arab. This is just ridiculous.

3. The cover art colors look horrible. I know it's not a great cover, but heck, they could have at least reproduced the original colors properly.

4. No plastic slipcase like other "Deluxe Edition" reissues. The slipcase is cardboard and will start wearing. Mine came slightly dented because of this.

5. World War is finally on CD... but it's either a different mix from the Boys Don't Cry LP, or there's just absolutely no high end on the tape they used - it's so muddy you can hardly hear the cymbals compared to the vinyl.

6. The faint talking bit from the beginning of "The Weedy Burton" is missing (my player's time seems to skip about 15 seconds between the last two tracks, so this could be a CD indexing problem).

7. The liner notes are a bit skimpy and some are hard to read over the background.

Are these picky issues? You bet they are, but if record companies are constantly going to pump out reissued product, make it worth it for the fans."
Early Cure - Quirky Pop-Rock That's Waaaaay Addictive
Rich Latta | Albuquerque, NM - Land of Entitlement | 07/29/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"There's something about the primitive innocence of early Cure that makes me want to listen to it again and again. I'm a dyed-n-the-wool Cure fan, which means I like or at least appreciate nearly everything they do, but this early stuff is really melodic and could potentially appeal to a much bigger crowd than, say, PORNOGRAPHY ever could. Yes, the American release of THREE IMAGINARY BOYS (renamed BOYS DON'T CRY) is superior, but Disk 1 presents the album in its original form - that's history, baby! Yes, "Killing An Arab" belongs here, but that song's pretty easy to come by anyway. "Plastic Passion" is also missing, but you can get that one on the JOIN THE DOTS B-side collection which is worth getting for the first disk alone (and, of course, there's always downloading). Obviously, this expanded package is aimed at the die-hard fans, but some of the unreleased tracks on Disk 2 are superior to many of the TIB tracks (IMHO). There's a lot of really cool music on Disk 2 that's worth discovering even if you're not a big fan. There's also a few well-known singles and some demos that are mostly of interest to the die-hards.

The following is a song by song commentary of Disk 2 from an old-school Cure fan (since '85). I've never been dedicated or savvy enough to collect a lot of bootlegs, so most of Disk 2 for me was a thrilling discovery. -------------------------------------->

"I Want To Be Old" (studio demo) - this appropriately cynical song totally rips. Very punk. Robert Smith has said his main influences starting out were The Sex Pistols, The Clash and the Buzzcocks, and that influence is very evident on several Disk 2 tracks including this one. Great sound. *****

"I'm Cold" (studio demo) - many Cure fans are familiar with a slowed-down, wiggy version of this song which served as an early B-side. This is a straight-up version, upbeat and rocking. The lyrics are perfectly clear without the wicked reversed echo heard on the B-side and they're so cool - cold, actually. Guitar wizard Porl Thompson appears on several of these early tracks including this cut. After a falling out with Robert Smith, he later rejoined the band. Great sound on this one. *****

"Heroin Face" (live) - a harsh blast of punked-up energy. Decent but not great sound (I believe it's an audience recording). Those fortunate enough to have a copy of the rare CURIOSITY cassette released back in the day have heard this track. ***1/2

"I Just Need Myself" (studio demo) - Robert Smith quite obviously cops Johnny Rotten's attitude (Sex Pistols) on this cut (as he does on the TIB track "So What"). He even sounds a bit like a sneering Rotten. Pretty basic rock n' roll with Porl wailing on guitar. I love it. ****

"10:15 Saturday Night" (home demo) - I am so thrilled to have this version. Just a young Robert Smith, home alone on Hammond organ, guitar and drum machine. This version captures the bare essence of the song. Robert sounds so anguished! *****

"The Cocktail Party" (home demo) - an amusing lark with Hawaiian-sounding guitar, poorly recorded but fun. ***1/2

"Grinding Halt" (home demo) - early document, mostly of interest to those who study the band. Not much different from the final studio version, has bad sound. ***

"Boys Don't Cry" (studio demo) - pretty good, straight-up version. A very good pop song, but far from my personal Cure fav. ****

"It's Not You" (studio demo) - cool song, very good version, some different lyrics. ****

"10:15 Saturday Night" (studio demo) - great version, not too different but way cool. *****

"Fire In Cairo" (studio demo) - cool version, slightly grittier sound on the guitars. *****

"Winter" (studio out-take) - this is a great lost track. So soft and dreamy, I can understand why it wasn't included on the debut. A harbinger of more mellow and emotional songs to come from the Cure. *****

"Faded Smiles" aka "I Don't Know" (studio out-take) - another great lost track, this one rocks. ****1/2

"Play With Me" (studio out-take) - wow! yet another great unreleased song, this one has a prickly old-school guitar groove that just works. ****1/2

"World War" (rare album track) - Robert Smith hates this cut and was appalled when label head Chris Perry added it to the original album line-up. If memory serves, this song was on my old BOYS DON'T CRY tape and I've always found its primitive, almost bone-headed approach strangely appealing. It's got a sort of sinister post-apocalyptic feel to it. ****

"Boys Don't Cry" (extra album track) - the (should've been) hit single. Undeniably catchy, but again, not my favorite Cure song. ****1/2

"Jumping Someone Else's Train" (extra album track) - This frantic, runaway-train track is one of their best singles. A biting commentary on poseurs. *****

"Subway Song" (live) - previously available on the CURIOSITY tape. An otherworldly sounding, very cool bootleg. ****1/2

"Accuracy" (live) - Smith has claimed this is one of his favorite Cure songs. I don't share his opinion. It's too "sing-songy" for my tastes. This early bootleg does nothing to change my opinion of it. **1/2

"10:15 Saturday Night" (live) - a totally punked-out, hyper kinetic blast through "10:15." Quite a vast difference between this one and Robert's home demo, but both of them are absolutely fantastic in their own way. This live version gets into some totally groove-worthy rhythms to ward the end and reaches a head-spinning climax. A must for Cure fans!"
1 Great Disc + 1 Imaginary Disc
F. M. Moses | Blacklick, Ohio United States | 09/11/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I was more than geeked to see the first American release of "Three Imaginary Boys" after merely 25 years in the waiting. Yep, I heard the album before this Rhino reissue 2-disc edition on a import cassette I borrowed from a friend more than a decade ago. It always shocked me how the U.S. Electra label narrowed the U.S. listeners down to the "Boys Don't Cry" album, especially after the disc version came out and eliminated the songs "World War" & "Object"--two of my favorite tunes from the band's 1st U.S. vinyl release. Yep, I realize the Robert Smith didn't quite care for "World War"--but it's among the top ten of my favorite Cure melodies to date--probably because the lyrics sort of ring a true bell to today's recent castrophies in U.S. history.

My question to Rhino Records--why the 2nd disc?!? It's great to hear some of the Cure "uncut/rarities" for the first time, but some of the tunes contained on the 2nd disc are barely listenable, such as the home demos of "10:15 on a Saturday Night", "the Coctail Party", "Boys Don't Cry" and "Grinding Halt." These outtakes are entertaining during the first listen and like dynamite for us Cure fanatics, but are a little too sloppy to pay an extra chunk for a two-disc set! On that note--I was very greatful to hear "Faded Smiles...," "Play With Me," and "Winter" for the first time. It's hard to believe that these tunes were buried and forgotten.

I would have given the original release reissue version of "Three Imaginary Boys" a whole five big stars, but the 2nd disc of the Rhino reissue ruined it for me. The band becomes too over-exposed, and the outtakes are too sloppy.

This reissue could have been narrowed down to one disc with the addition of "World War," "I Want to be Old," "Winter," "Faded Smiles" and "Play With Me." The rest of the 2nd disc becomes a distraction of live versions, home versions, and "too many versions heard" of the same songs all over again. After hearing this 1st bunch of the Rhino reissues of the Cure, I'm a little skeptical of whether or not I will buy any more of the reissues of the Cure on Rhino. Perhaps this opinion will change once the label buys up the rights to the Cure classics "the Top," & "Japanese Whispers." But, until then--I'm only sleeping.