The Cure
(Elektra 66856)

I always love stumbling across a copy of Quadpus at a used vinyl shop – it evokes a "lost world" feeling, like an artifact from a ruined civilization, which you come to know you helped ruin.

Basically a 12" single for the majestic "A Night Like This" off The Head on the Door, this 4-song EP is precisely the kind of release that has been all but obliterated in the CD era. Sure, CD-singles have straggled along for years trying to preserve the art of the EP, but the excitement is gone. You can't go into a record store anymore for the private little thrill of buying a 12" single by your favorite band … it's become all "bonus disc with rarities and b-sides" and whatnot. Very few bands put any thought into an EP anymore.

Which isn't so bad … certainly a 2-disc Head on the Door compiling Quadpus onto the "bonus disc" makes sense economically … but you lose the cover, you lose the containment of four songs selected to stand together … it becomes history.

How does Quadpus hold together, then? Eh. "A Night Like This" is always nice to hear, and the 12" extended remix of "Close to Me" might be one of the most purely satisfying Cure tracks ever. The b-sides "New Day" and "A Man Inside My Mouth," however, are far from essential.

"New Day" sounds exactly like what happens when someone who doesn't like the Cure very much tries to make fun of them … it's all whiny growling and unpleasant guitar lines. Pretty tedious. "Man Inside My Mouth" is alright, but it's an inferior variation on familiar Cure terrain ("Why Can't I Be You," for example) … actually makes "Screw" seem like a decent song by comparison.

Yet there's a soft spot in my heart for Quadpus, as it becomes increasingly obsolete. Maybe it's the octopus image (tweaked for the Close to Me remix sinngle in '91), or maybe it's just the sense of a world passed by.

Review by Mandy Capp