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Published on the 6 Aug, 2013 in

All the B-sides played live by The Cure

The Cure have been around for more than thirty years now and they’re surely a band with one of the most extensive discography ever. And with an extensive discography comes a lot of albums and a lot of singles, but also… a lot of b-sides!

Personally, I love b-sides in general, because I think they give you a more intimate approach to an artist’s work, but I especially love Cure’s b-sides, because most of them are so great that they should not be considered at all as sub-quality products of their of their creative mainstream. In fact, they could have been easily integrated into their respective albums, and it’s surely fair to say that some of them could have been actually released as singles.

However, the band have rarely performed them during their live acts, with the exception of some and during certain periods of time. So, what are the B-sides songs that The Cure did actually bring on stage, and when exactly?

Well, this post will list them in chronological release-order, with the exclusion of some rare songs that were never actually officially released as b-sides – or never released at all – like “Forever”, “All Mine”, or “The Boy I Never Knew”. I’ will also omit cover songs from other artists, that the band played during their career.

Here it is, the complete list of Cure’s B-sides that has been played live by the band:

  1. Do The Hansa (B-side of “Boys Don’t Cry”, 1986 Edition, recorded in 1979)
    Played during 1979.
  2. I’m Cold (B-side of “Boys Don’t Cry”, 1979)
    Played during 1980, 1981, and during the Reflections shows in 2011.
  3. Plastic Passion (B-side of “Jumping Someone Else’s Train”, 1979)
    Played during the Reflections shows in 2011.
  4. Another Journey By Train (B-side of “A Forest”, 1979)
    Played during 1979, 1980, 1981, and during the Reflections shows in 2011.
  5. Descent (B-side of “Primary”, 1981)
    Played during the “Reflections” shows in 2011.
  6. Splintered In Her Head (B-side of “Charlotte Sometimes”)
    Played in 1981 and 1982, and during the Reflections shows in 2011.
  7. Just One Kiss (B-side of “Let’s Go to Bed”, 1982)
    Played during 2012.
  8. Lament (B-side of “The Walk”, 1983)
    Played during 1983 and 1990.
  9. Happy The Man (B-side of “The Caterpillar”, 1884″)
    Played during 1984.
  10. The Exploding Boy (B-side of “Inbetween Days”, 1885″)
    Played in 2016.
  11. A Man Inside My Mouth (B-side of “Close To Me”, 1885″)
    Played in 2014.
  12. Stop Dead (B-side of “Close To Me”, 1885″)
    Played in 2013 and 2014.
  13. A Japanese Dream (B-side of “Why Can’t I Be You”, 1987″)
    Played during “The Kissing Tour” in 1987.
  14. 2 Late (B-side of “Lovesong”, 1989″)
    Played in 2014.
  15. Harold & Joe (B-side of “Never Enough”, 1990″)
    Played at the “Jonathan Ross Show”, on the 23 of January 1991, and in 2014.
  16. This Twilight Garden (B-side of “High”, 1992″)
    Played in 2016.
  17. The Big Hand (B-side of “A Letter To Elise”, 1992″)
    Played in 1991, 1992, 2007, 2008.
  18. Burn (From “The Crow” soundtrack, 1994″)
    Played in 2013 and 2016.
  19. Signal To Noise (B-side of “Cut Here”, 2000″)
    Played in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008.

I’ve noticed that in the early years, with no many songs to play, some b-sides were played more regularly, like I’m Cold, Plastic Passion, Another Journey By Train, while later on when the band had already many songs to choose for their performances, the few that were were actually inserted into the main setlist of each show of their official tour at that particular time, have been: “Happy The Man” (The Top Tour), “A Japanese Dream” (The Kissing Tour) and “Signal To Noise” (Festivals Tour 2005). “Lament” was also played a lot during the 11 summer festivals shows in 1990, and “The Big Hand” a few times during the Wish Tour in 1992.

Very much unexpectedly, “Just One Kiss” made it to the main setlist of most of the “SummerCure 2012” festivals tour, but had never been played before than, with the exception of the “David ‘Kid’ Jensen Session” on the 27th of November 1982.

Update November 2013: during their current North / Central America mini-tour, the band played for several times an amazing version of “Stop Dead”, and performed “Burn” on the last concert in New Orleans, which was probably one of the most unexpected song ever to listen at a Cure show, and it’s been a great surprise for all the fans.

Update March 2014: during the two concerts at the Royal Albert Hall for the Teenage Cancer Trust concerts series, “2 Late” (one I truly love!) was played live, on the 28th and 29th of March, together with “Harold And Joe”. That just means that everything from this band is now possible, so keep wishing for your most obscure Cure song to be played live!

Update December 2014: new B-Side introduced in the band’s live act, “A Man Inside My Mouth”. This wave should never stop!

Update May 2016: “Burn” seems to be included in every show of the North America leg of the Cure Tour 2016, which is a phenomenal surprise. New B-Sides brought to the stage are, amazingly, two of my favorites: “This Twilight Garden”, and “The Exploding Boy”. As I said above, now it seems to be the right time to wish for your favorite B-Side to be played live! Let’s see what else the band is reserving for us…

Playlist: here’s a playlist with some live versions of the above songs, taken from different period. Latest additions, like “Stop Dead”, “Burn” and “2 Late” are not included, as it was made before they were played live. Enjoy it!

A Cure Lover since the 80's, Gian shares his passion about the band and their musical universe on this website. This is his personal web page:

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