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Staring at the Sea

4.4 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Aug. 7 1986)
  • Original Release Date: 1986
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Elektra Entertain.
  • ASIN: B000002H3O
  • In-Print Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #6,539 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Killing An Arab
2. 10:15 Saturday Night
3. Boys Don't Cry
4. Jumping Someone Else's Train
5. A Forest
6. Play For Today
7. Primary
8. Other Voices
9. Charlotte Sometimes
10. The Hanging Garden
11. Let's Go To Bed
12. The Walk
13. The Lovecats
14. The Caterpillar
15. In Between Days
16. Close To Me
17. A Night Like This

Product Description

Product Description

Out of print in the U.S. Import pressing of this collection, the first and still most popular Cure compilation on the market. Staring At The Sea contains 17 absolute gems spanning their first eight years (1978-85) ranging from the dark, minimalist "Killing An Arab" to the almost symphonic "A Night Like This". This set traces the Cure's evolution from Post-Punk trio through the early years of the band's reinvention as gloomy and mildly psychedelic romantics. Staring At The Sea (AKA Standing On A Beach) includes the catchy "Boys Don't Cry" and "The Walk", the Cure's response to New Order's early attempts at electronic dance music. Also present here are the hauntingly beautiful "Charlotte Sometimes", not available on any of the band's studio albums, and "The Lovecats", one of the Cure's more unique and most commercially successful singles. This excellent compilation effectively summarizes the growth of one of new wave's most formidable forces. It also serves as an ideal introduction to the Cure.

Big and moody, Staring at the Sea compiles some hits and near misses of these excavators of the dark soul. Beginning with their earliest hits--the sparse "Killing an Arab," the aptly tedious "10:15 Saturday Night," and the charming "Boys Don't Cry"--this collection stops before the comparative giddiness of Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me.

Musicians first, brooding art types second, The Cure's unique instrumentation doesn't get the credit it rightfully deserves. The thrashy, trash-can break in "Jumping Someone Else's Train," the sprightly synthesized recorder of "Close to Me," and the techno-pop disco lines in "Let's Go to Bed" and "The Walk" are downright brilliant in their effectiveness and simplicity. A string of money shots if ever there was one. --Steve Gdula

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
What else can be said about this that hasn't already? We shall see. If there is just one album by the Cure that you could get (excluding Disintegration) by all means make this the one! This album includes a very nice array of earlier Cure material ranging from their brilliant ode to Camus (that alone makes this cd worth it) in Killing an Arab, the ironically cheerful Boys Don't Cry (oh, but they do) and the brooding atmosphere created in the Hanging Garden to the wonderful meandering of A Forest and playfully upbeat tempo created by Close to Me, brass and all, the Lovecats and of course the beutifully simplistic The Caterpillar.
There are just so many great songs on this album it is hard to describe mention them all; every track is truly a jewel, and, perhaps, most impressive is the range of emotion and subject matter that the Cure covers here, all with brilliance, wit and a graceful passion unmatched in most music that is being made today. In this collection, as with all of the Cure's material, Robert Smith's lyrics ring true and the accompanying music never fails to intensify the the mood that they evoke. The Cure are without a doubt one of the best bands to come out of the 70's and 80's and this album illustrates why. Go on go on your choice is made...
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Format: Audio CD
Thanks to the recent TV commercial for HP Digital cameras, I found myself really wanting to have some Cure in my life again and went looking for "Pictures Of You." Yes, at one time I had almost all the Cure CD's in my collection, but time and economics had weeded them away. "Staring At The Sea" offered me an opportunity to get a batch of other songs I remembered with fondness.
As dark and morose as The Cure's image had always been, their albums up to "The Head On The Door" frequently found them making dazzlingly brilliant singles. Hard to believe it, but Robert Smith was just as pop song smart as any New Romantic period hit maker, and in songs like "The Walk" or "Love Cats" he showed the kind of playfulness that many of his fans didn't always "get." Nonetheless, early efforts like "Killing An Arab" or "Hanging Garden" reinforced that dark depressive atmosphere that early Cure fans embraced so completely. Smith himself never had any problem with playing against preconceived notions of what a Cure song should be; I doubt a jazzy Robert ("Let's Go To Bed") was in any goth fan's must hear list.
I also found it ironic that the "Staring at the Sea" image of an old man was mirrored by the baby with the ice cream on "Galore." If you wanted to read more into it, you'd almost suspect Robert Smith was gently trying to remind listeners that he didn't mind playing to his more childlike nature when making music. While there has yet to be a comprehensive single disc collection of the Cure's best, a purchase of "Galore" and "Standing" will at least put all the singles at your fingertips.
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Format: Audio CD
Please ignore what the detractors here have said. Obviously, if it's only tuneless 11-minute goth epics you're looking for, a Cure best-of CD is not going to be your thing. Turn on "The Same Deep Water As You," inject some controlled substances, and wallow in your tears.
But for the rest of us who actually appreciate melodies as long as they aren't too commercialized, STARING AT THE SEA is an amazingly good record, and probably the best single Cure album you can buy, especially if you haven't heard much from them before ("Friday I'm in Love," although it's good, doesn't really count).
This is absolutely not an album of light and mindless pop. Songs like "The Walk," "Let's Go to Bed," and even, god forbid, "The Love Cats" all utilize drum machines and synthesizers, but they still have that dark, introspective, wintry mood that marks them as distinctly Cure. And you can't call "Close to Me" a sellout, in fact I'm amazed it was a hit at all, with such a lo-fi production style and jazz instruments rather than guitars. "Boys Don't Cry," with its punky chords, is the most mainstream song on the compilation, but the lyrics are as mopey as anything Smith ever wrote. The only annoying silly pop tune on the CD is "The Caterpillar," but even that hardly sounds like typical top 40 material.
Everything else fits perfectly into Robert Smith's beautifully bleak landscape of romantic/Romantic yearning. Listen to classics like "A Forest" and "A Night Like This." You can just imagine the wide snowy expanses, the moonless nights and depressing city lights, people just looking for someone, anyone to share their pain. This music is as evocative and cinematic as any ever made.
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By Peter Uys HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on March 9 2003
Format: Audio CD
The Cure, especially early Cure, is an acquired taste. This collection of singles presents their most accessible hits in chronological sequence for a tasty listening experience. Their sound is brooding, sometimes claustrophobic, as on Boys Don't Cry and A Forest, often melancholic as on Charlotte Sometimes. But The Walk and The Love Cats have dancefloor appeal in their great rhythmic textures. My favorites are the sublime Inbetween Days with its soaring melody and the soulful, funky Close To Me. I regret the omission of another wonderful song, Pictures Of You, but I suppose it wasn't ever released as a single. This might be considered heresy, but I enjoy their Mixed Up album of extended remixes even more with its spacious and elegant versions of these songs, plus Pictures Of You. In fact, when I compare those magnificent long versions of Inbetween Days and Close To Me to these originals, they sound almost flat and one-dimensional. I'm sure most Cure fans would disagree, but for me the Mixed Up extended mixes have an added charm and flow. The dance rhythms provide a hypnotic twist and do not in any way detract from the profundity of The Cure's music. But for the alternative rock fan, Staring At The Sea is a brilliant and rewarding collection of early Cure.
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