The Cure
The Walk
(Fiction/Sire 23928)

I don't pretend to understand why, but The Cure's discography began to get rather chaotic around '82, a floaty period for the band as it moved through Robert Smith's biggest drug phase and a number of lineup changes. At one point, the band didn't even exist.

So the stuff recorded between Pornography and The Top seems to be available in any number or permutations – singles, EPs, extended versions, compilation albums collecting here-and-there tracks – the "album" Japanese Whispers probably makes the most sense of it all.

But lingering there, unloved and confused, is The Walk, a "6 cut mini-LP" from '83 that features many of the best tracks from these inbetweendays. The EP itself is even available in various forms, some with certain tracks remixed and others omitted, but this one (the US version) is as coherent as any.

If you like "The Walk," you'll like the EP, because most of the songs sound like they were built upon the same basic tracks.

Curiously, "The Walk" and "Let's Go to Bed" are on Side B, along with the fan-fave b-side "La Ment" … a counter-intuitive way of presenting the material, but otherwise the stuff on Side A would sound even more secondary.

That stuff is "The Upstairs Room" (inbred cousin of "The Walk"), "Just One Kiss," and "The Dream" (the latter two being fine but typical Cure songs). The flow is fine, the songs are fine, but there is something notably half-baked about the release. Like the songs deserved better, but no one cared enough to make it so.

Somewhere in '82 and '83 there was a good Cure album that never got assembled, so the songs suffer from an apparent afterthoughtedness. Plus, I never did believe in the "mini-LP" idea – hear me, Beaster, you bastard?

Review by Jan Dancer