The Cure Top 100 Rarities

Record Collector, Number 106, June 1988
Compiled by Dave Thompson
Additional information by Lorne Murdoch

In the four years since RC last looked at the Cure (issue 61), the band have firmly established themselves as a top line attraction around the world, and this new found success is reflected in the nature of their greatest rarities. It is no great surprise that, as their profile has risen, so their record companies in each territory have devoted more and more energy to devising new "collectibles" for the market. Indeed, many of the rarest releases listed here are promotional devices -- picture discs, coloured vinyls, and so on. At the other end of the scale, however, many of the band's earliest releases are today very hard to come by; even those singles which made the lower reaches of the UK chart are attracting very high prices, while foreign promotional copies of these are equally sought-after. Almost predictably, the scarcest items are either those produced in very limited editions (the King Biscuit Flower Hour albums, various promos and test pressings) or those items never made available to the public, like the acetate of "A Forest". Other items, like the vinyl promos of "Carnage Visors" and "Curiosity", and test pressings of the unreleased "Grinding Halt" -- once scheduled as the Cure's second UK single -- also fall into this category. Foreign releases take a fair share of the action, with two Spanish items ranking amongst the Top 20 price-wise, including an exclusive coupling of two tracks from the "Head on the Door" album. The most important, and most sought-after of all the items are the US radio albums. Whereas most other records featured are simply vinyl variations of conventional releases, the King Biscuit Flower Hour discs near the top of our list comprise otherwise unavailable live versions. no more than four hundred copies of each were pressed (the Dutch radio album, lower in the chart, appears to have been made available in considerably greater numbers), and as with similar releases by the likes of U2, Bruce Springsteen and so on, there is little doubt that these sets will continue to appeal to collectors.

CDs

The CD revolution also makes its mark on the Cure's catalogue, although -- as would be expected -- it is only recent releases which benefit as far as rarities are concerned. The high placing achieved by the seven-track US promo of the band's most recent album is a prime example of the speed with which the collecting market has absorbed compact discs. The last area to take a sizable piece of the market are picture sleeves, LPs and singles alike. Non-collectors often puzzle over why people should be willing to pay vast sums of money for multiple copies of the same record, simply because each bears a different sleeve -- the highly prized Brazilian version of "Standing on a Beach", and the Japanese "Boys Don't Cry" for instance. But covers are now as integral a part of record collecting as the vinyl itself, and the only question which really needs to be answered is about the value of such items in their country of origin. The listing which follows is not exhaustive. The worldwide success of the Cure, coming as it does after years of comparative obscurity, suggests that many other items must exist which, while perhaps changing hands for high sums in their own market, have yet to make their presence felt in the UK; only one Polish 'postcard' single is noted, for instance, but others surely exist. Similarly, someone, somewhere, undoubtedly possesses further acetates, promos and the like, British and foreign, which have yet to find their way onto the marketplace and cannot, therefore, reasonably be valued. Details of these, and any other such items omitted from this listing will be gratefully received.*

  1. Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me (US 12" promo in "First Aid" box, 100 only) 100
  2. A Forest (UK metal acetate) 70
  3. Westwood One (US radio show, live double, b/w Europe) 60
  4. King Biscuit Flower Hour (US radio show, double, 16/02/86) 60
  5. King Biscuit Flower Hour (US radio show, double, 21/09/86) 60
  6. I'm a Cult Hero/I Dig You (UK 7" promo, Fiction) 55
  7. Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me (US 7-track promo sampler CD) 55
  8. King Biscuit Flower Hour (US radio show, "Outfield", double, 12/06/87) 55
  9. Carnage Visors (12" test pressing) 50
  10. Grinding Halt/Meathook (UK 7" test pressing) 50
  11. Curiosity (UK 12" test pressing) 40
  12. The Blood/Six Different Ways (Spanish 7" promo, limited edition of 300) 40
  13. Charlotte Sometimes (New Zealand 12" promo) 35
  14. Killing an Arab (UK one-sided 7" promo, Small Wonder) 30
  15. Grinding Halt/Meathook (UK 12" promo) 30
  16. Boys Don't Cry (Japanese promo LP with Insert) 25
  17. I'm a Cult Hero/I Dig You (by the Cult Heroes) (UK 7" featuring the Cure and Frankie Bell [vocals], Fiction FICS 6, PS) 25
  18. The Singles ("Curiosities", Spanish box set, 6 singles) 22
  19. Standing on a Beach (Brazilian LP in single sleeve with postcard) 22
  20. Play for Today (UK 10-track promo LP, picture label) 20
  21. The Head on the Door (Japanese white label promo LP, with insert) 20
  22. The Walk (Polish postcard single) 16
  23. Head on the Door (UK white label promo, Fiction) 15
  24. Killing an Arab/10.15 Saturday Night (UK 7", Small Wonder SMALL 11, PS) 15
  25. A Forest/Another Journey by Train (Australian 7", green vinyl) 15
  26. Boys Don't Cry (US 7", PVC, PS) 15
  27. Girls Don't Cry (Dutch radio double LP) 15
  28. Boys Don't Cry (US 12" DJ pressing) 15
  29. Faith (Swedish LP, gatefold sleeve) 15
  30. Just Like Heaven/Breathe (withdrawn French 7", PS) 15
  31. Concert (Japanese LP, VAP 35130) 15
  32. The Top (US promo LP, 1-25086) 15
  33. The Top (UK promo LP, with top and snake) 15
  34. Lament (hard vinyl "Flexipop" promo single) 15
  35. The Head on the Door (Argentinean LP, different sleeve) 15
  36. The Walk/Let's Go to Bed (2 UK 12" singles, shrink-wrapped, Fiction) 14
  37. Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me (UK 4-track promo sampler) 12
  38. The Hanging Garden/One Hundred Years (UK 12" promo) 12
  39. Robert Smith Talks About Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me (UK promo interview LP) 12
  40. The Upstairs Room (Australian 12", Sire, PS) 12
  41. Close to Me (Italian white label 12") 12
  42. Jumping Someone Else's Train/I'm Cold (UK 7", Fiction FICS 10, PS) 12
  43. A Forest (UK 12", Fiction FICX 10, PS) 12
  44. Primary/Descent (UK 12", Fiction FICX 12, PS) 11
  45. Charlotte Sometimes/Splintered In Her Head/Faith (UK 12", Fiction FICX 14) 11
  46. Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me (US promo interview disc) 10
  47. Primary (UK one-sided promo, Fiction) 10
  48. The Hanging Garden (UK 7" doublepack, gatefold sleeve and inner bags, Fiction FICG 15) 10
  49. The Caterpillar (Italian 7" promo, PS) 10
  50. Three Imaginary Boys (UK white label promo LP, Fiction) 10
  51. A Forest (German 12", different PS) 10
  52. Robert Smith Interview (4 x 7" picture discs, PVC wallet) 10
  53. A Night Like This (US 12" promo in sleeve, ED 5130) 10
  54. Let's Go to Bed/The Lovecats (US 12" promo) 10
  55. The Top (UK LP with badge and poster, Fiction FIXS 9) 10
  56. The Hanging Garden/One Hundred Years (UK 7" promo, Fiction) 10
  57. Let's Go to Bed (UK 12" test pressing, Fiction) 10
  58. Excerpt (Live) (German 12" promo, PS) 10
  59. Close to Me/A Man Inside My Mouth/New Day/Stop Dead ("Quadpus", UK 10", Fiction FICST 23) 10
  60. A Forest/Primary (Live) (Dutch 7", PS) 10
  61. Boys Don't Cry (US LP, PVC 7916) 10
  62. Pornography (UK LP, lyric Sheet, Fiction FIX 7) 10
  63. Charlotte Sometimes (Australian 7", CURE 7001, PS) 10
  64. Charlotte Sometimes/Faith (Live) (Australian 12", PS) 10
  65. Hot Hot Hot!!! (Remix)/(Extended Remix) (US promo-only CD single) 10
  66. Primary/Descent (Australian 7", MS 480, PS) 10
  67. Killing an Arab/10.15 Saturday Night (UK 7", Fiction FICS 1, PS) 9
  68. Why Can't I Be You? (Extended Version)/A Japanese Dream (West German CD single, Fiction 888 454-2) 9
  69. Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me (UK LP with orange vinyl 12" single 9
  70. Catch (West German CD single) 9
  71. Boys Don't Cry/Plastic Passion (UK 7", Fiction FICS 2, PS) 9
  72. Primary (one-sided 7" promo)
  73. Boys Don't Cry (Remix) (UK 12" white label promo, Fiction) 8
  74. The Caterpillar (UK picture disc, Fiction FICSP 20) 8
  75. Just Like Heaven (UK 12" promo, Fiction FICSX 27DJ) 8
  76. A Night Like This (US 12" promo) 8
  77. The Walk (UK 7", poster cover, Fiction FICS 18) 8
  78. The Lovecats (UK picture disc, Fiction FICSP 19) 8
  79. CD Picture Disc Interview 8
  80. Inbetween Days (US 12" promo with sleeve) 8
  81. Hot Hot Hot!!! (Remix)/(LP Version)/(Extended Remix) (US 12" white label promo) 8
  82. Close to Me (Brazilian 12", 33 rpm) 7
  83. Boys Don't Cry/10.15 Saturday Night (Australian 7", PS) 7
  84. Primary/Descent (UK 7", Fiction FICS 12, PS) 7
  85. A Forest/Another Journey by Train (UK 7", Fiction FICS 10, PS) 7
  86. Let's Go to Bed (UK 12", Fiction FICX 17, PS) 7
  87. The Walk (UK 12", Fiction FICX 18, PS) 7
  88. The Walk (UK picture disc, Fiction FICSP 18) 7
  89. Charlotte Sometimes/Splintered in Her Head (UK 7", Fiction FICS 14, PS) 7
  90. Boys Don't Cry (Remix) (Spanish 7", textured sleeve) 7
  91. Just Like Heaven (Vocal Remix by F. Kervorkian) (US 12") 6
  92. Hot Hot Hot!!! (UK 12" promo, title sleeve 6
  93. Catch/Breathe/Kyoto Song (Live)/A Night Like This (UK 12" EP with booklet, Fiction FICSE 26, PS) 6
  94. The Lovecats (UK 12", Fiction FICSE 26, PS) 6
  95. Close to Me (UK 7", poster sleeve, Fiction FICS 23) 6
  96. Excerpt (Live) (West German 12") 6
  97. Charlotte Sometimes/Faith (Live) (West German 12") 6
  98. Charlotte Sometimes (French 7", PS) 6
  99. The Walk (Dutch mini-LP) 6
  100. The Caterpillar (UK 12", Fiction FICX 20, PS) 6

* Editor's note:
I do not have the address for either Dave Thompson or Lorne Murdoch, but I do have the address for Record Collector, if anyone would like to try to contact them:

Record Collector
43/45 St. Mary's Road
Ealing
London W5 5RQ
United Kingdom

Last Revised: Monday, 15-May-2006 15:00:13 CDT

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