Published on the 9 Feb, 2014 in
Cure abortions & the infinite frustration
If there is one thing that I totally hate about the band that I totally love, is this perpetual flirting, this never-ending teasing when it comes to possible releases or projects, as most of the time they are just left at an embryonal state, and they eventually never see the daylight. It goes without saying that this just leads you to a permanent state of frustration and of bitterness, because you only get to see the cake without ever eating it.
The Cure are since forever famous for promising or announcing projects that gets everybody highly excited, only to let them abandoned or forgotten somewhere, and let them die in the dust. Most of the fans simply shrug their shoulders in resignation and go: “Yeah, that’s just The Cure, you know?”
But I wonder. I wonder what’s behind this incessant reluctance to get the announced stuff done, what makes it so hard or so difficult to just put it out there, in the real world, how and when it’s supposed to, or at any point somehow?
The Cure is without doubt one of the most popular and epic band in the history of music. So, how is it that when it comes to this band, a band of such big proportions, everything seems so hard to get released? And who’s to blame for this inability to actually release the planned projects? Is it Robert Smith himself who can’t get his mood to properly synch with a given project and just looses interest in it at some point. Does he just forget about it, or does he just not care enough for it?
Maybe it’s simply a lack of proper management from those who are, or should be, in charge of the band’s productions and releases, in other words the people that should make things happen. I keep wondering. I cannot stop wondering. Is there even anybody who’s actually in charge of such a thing in this band? At what point and why exactly does a project get stuck and die, instead of just following its natural production flow in order to be delivered, when there is still excitement around it from both parts, the band itself and the fans?
For me all this undelivered projects are just “Cure abortions”, because that’s how I perceive them, and they cause me an infinite frustration for what could be and what it’s not or will ever be. (And there is probably nothing in this world that could possibly capture better the essence of what The Cure is about, than this feeling, probably.)
Anyway, the list of this Cure abortions is probably longer than what follows, but here are some of the most epic ones, in no particular order.
Cure abortion #1: Paris 2008 DVD
During the european leg of the 4Tour in 2008, the band decided to bring the cameras in, to film the Paris show, on the 12 of March. When I’ve heard of cameras filming this show and the will of putting that particular concert on DVD I was secretly mad, because I attended the show before that one, in Barcelona, and the one after that, in Antwerp, and so I thought that I just missed the one that was going to be on DVD. On the other hand, I was very excited to learn that a concert was filmed for a DVD release, and I just hoped it wouldn’t take forever to be released, but it took more than that, because it actually never got officially released.
However, I remember being able to watch a small trailer of the promised DVD on the internet, and it looked fabulous. After that, an incomplete version of the film (about 1 hour) was showed in Austria at the “Film Festival 2009 auf dem Wiener Rathausplatzon”, and than it was broadcasted by the german TV station “ZDF”, with some additional songs. Another version was also aired by a french TV and featured some other songs, like “Plainsong” and “Prayers For Rain”.
I thought it was strange that they were letting TV stations to air parts of a film that wasn’t released yet, well, until it became clear that it would actually never going to be released as a full, official DVD. Shame is, all the editing and the songs looked and sounded great. So, again, since the editing is obviously done, why a finished (or almost finished) product needs so much struggle to get released, with Robert Smith now and than mentioning it “should” be released, and than drag the thing to the point where himself admits that it would make no sense to release a film of a show performed with a line-up that doesn’t exist anymore?
And since we’re at it, I can understand Robert’s point of view, as from the inside of the band it would maybe feel disrespectful with a new line-up on, to release something that was made with other members, but on the other hand, that’s just part of the history and life of the band, so why not considering releasing it for the fans anyway, at any point, if you were unable to provide it at due time? And always in this regard, if for the above reasons it makes no sense to deliver it, than it should not make sense to play songs written from past line-ups neither, or to play a show with the first four albums of the band with the current line-up. To me, that doesn’t make sense.
Dave Matthews Band constantly releases past concerts in a series called “Live Trax” and they go back and forth in their concerts timeline, regardless of the current line-up, and it doesn’t feel like a sign of disrespect for the current members, but it is simply a great way of letting their fans enjoy the live aspect of their favourite band. So why to hold it, when you can simply give it out?
Cure abortion #2: Reflections DVD
The Trilogy show in 2002, with the albums “Pornography”, “Disintegration” and” Bloodflowers”, was a great idea and it worked amazingly well, making the joy of thousand of fans. Back than, the band decided to play only two nights in Berlin and an additional one in Brussels – which I attended – and decided to film the event. Everything went smoothly as planned, and the DVD of the Berlin shows came out after 6 months or so, of course for our delightful joy. In 2011 The Cure announced that they would perform their three first albums in their entirety, “Three Imaginary Boys”, “Seventeen Seconds” and “Faith” in Sidney, and that the event would be also immortalised on video for a DVD release.
So, again, the cameras were brought for two nights in a row in Sidney. I believe the majority of fans felt like this was probably even a more epic event than the previous Trilogy show, and that it was going to mark a major milestone in the history of the band. So they’ve asked to have the same show, “Reflections”, in their continent, and the band went off and did just that, bringing that particular show in London, New York and Los Angeles. No cameras for those shows were planned, but everyone expected “Reflections” to be out on DVD with the shows recorded in Sidney, but no updates were ever given by the band about this project, ever since.
I guess that among all, this is the most shameful “Cure abortion”, because the shows were fantastic (I attended London), and I don’t even understand why they wouldn’t at least release this milestone event in audio format. Again, such a big waste of greatness, and for what reason? I wonder, in disbelief, how can they just throw this in the same box than all the rest of the “never-mind” stuff. Such a waste. So much frustration…
Cure abortion #3: The Dark Album (now 4:14 Scream)
The recording sessions for “4:13 Dream” had been quiet prolific, according to Robert Smith, and at some point before its release he even expressed the idea of wanting to make a double album of it, one with a pop side and another with a darker one. Eventually, the album was released as a standard, single album. Since its release, Robert always mentioned that the more intense and emotional songs of that sessions were left out, but that they really needed to be released somehow, as a digital download or else. But than time went by, the band fell in its long, lethargic sleep, and the dust kept falling on what has been named by the fans, “The Dark Album”, or more precisely, the other half of “4:13 Dream”. Porl, who probably co-wrote and recorded those songs back than, left the band again, and the line-up changed one more time, with the integration of Reeves Gabrels.
Later on and again, in more than one occasion, Robert admitted that those songs should “really” be released, “but”: it wouldn’t make sense to release something from a previous line-up, now that the line-up has changed. Yes, I wonder. Why all this madness, and above all: will it ever stop? This is a vicious and sickening circle that never seems to break. First of all, why not making it a double album right away? Marketing decisions? Probably. But even if you want to take it on a marketing level, it still gets twisted, at least for me it does. I mean, if you have material for two albums, and for a “financial return” reason somebody (the marketing people behind it, the record company or whoever) don’t want to give away “two for one” (losing money), than just give away “two for two”, like other bands did, such as Radiohead with “Kid A” and “Amnesiac” (one session, two albums released) or like the Guns N’ Roses did with “Use Your Illusion I” and “Use Your Illusion II”, right? The main idea being, just put it out there, one way or another. But again, lifting up your skirt just enough to reveal a portion of what’s under is probably more fun than simply getting undressed. That is, of course, only for the person wearing the skirt, not the others.
Cure abortion #4: The rest of the Deluxe Editions
The release of the Deluxe Editions of the albums from the back catalogue started in 2004, I believe. They were supposed to be released one after the other, and the interval between one release and the other just increased year after year. After ten years, we can now say that this project stopped at the Disintegration Deluxe Edition, released in 2010. There are no news about a possible re-issue of Wish, or any other album that follow that one. I know that everything takes time and work. And I know that some things, you just can’t get. Right?
Cure abortion #5: Latin America 2013 Tour DVD
Last year Tim Pope brought his cameras on the Latin American Tour, supposedly to see “what happens” on tours. We all have been hoping that “something happened”, and that by some sort of miracle, a film would be made out of the 8 shows, and by another miracle (too much asking?), it would one day see the light. But… There is always that big “but…”
Well, with all of the above said, let’s not despair, and let’s hope that the latest official announcement about the live DVD’s and the second half of “4:13 Dream” – tentatively called “4:14 Scream “- will somehow happen for real, and while we’re still alive!
I intended to write this post a while ago, and actually I’ve made up my mind and decided to publish it now that things seem to shake up a little bit in the Cure world, and I honestly hope that I will never have to come here and update this list with other “Cure abortions”. But than, you never know! Remember, “it’s just The Cure, you know?”