There’s really not a whole lot I can say about The Cure that hasn’t already been said. You either love these longtime vets of the alternative goth scene, or you’re just not that into them.
I love The Cure. Always have, ever since “The Head on the Door,” which I perceived as a welcome blast of otherworldly WTF is this. This was the gateway album that revealed a future path, one bridging the divide between the darker alternative and the lighter mainstream. It created a world of musical possibilities. And I might add, it kick-started my interest in music journalism. That was a long-time ago, and I have a different career now. But this blog honors that past spirit.
So yeah, that album holds a special place in my heart. It’s only upstaged by “Disintegration,” released 4 years later, which is still my favorite they’ve done. But tonight, I’m focusing on “The Head on the Door,” because lately, I’ve been hearing the extended mix of “Close to Me” a lot.
“Close to Me” is the second single from that seminal album, and it’s been popping up on all my playlists recently, whether I’m in my car, at work, or at home. It almost conspiratorial … or maybe just coincidental, depending on your slant. But it’s only the extended mix, which was reissued this year on the Deluxe Edition of the remix LP “Mixed Up,” originally released in 1990.
“Close to Me” is a fascinating little number. It’s quirky, strangely more minimal than I recall, has some barely-there somber keys, a fun rhythmic clap-along beat, and holds a wonderful bassline. And Robert Smith’s unique vocals are upfront and center, propelling the whole affair forward in, I dare say, a festive motif.
Now, this extended mix has a play with a horn section, making it an essential ingredient to this mix. The brass is adapted from a New Orleans funeral march, so there’s the goth, if you’re looking for it. But this isn’t dour or depressing. It’s uplifting and celebratory … and almost a little sexy – never thought I’d use that word with The Cure. This is definitely my favorite rendition of this song.
Reintroduce yourself to The Cure with “Close to Me – Extended Mix 1985.” It’s a flashback worth taking. Enjoy!
“Close to Me – Extended Mix 1985” from the 2018 release “Mixed Up (Deluxe Edition).“
And check out director Tim Pope’s original music video for “Close to Me,” depicting the band trapped in a wardrobe, falling off a cliff. Who says The Cure doesn’t have a sense of humor?