The Cure in concert tonight. Live at NEC, Birmingham and recorded live in September 20,1985 by BBC Radio 1. With all the sad news of so many passings this early in the year, it was a case of adding another name to an already growing list of artists who came and enriched our lives – made a dent and have moved on. In this case, the name was drummer Andy Anderson, who was with the band from 1983 until 1984. Only with the band a short period of time before going off to a successful session career and collaborations with other artists, including Iggy Pop and Peter Gabriel.
In 1984, the Cure released The Top, a generally psychedelic album on which Smith played all the instruments except the drums—played by Andy Anderson—and the saxophone—played by returnee Porl Thompson. The album was a Top 10 hit in the UK, and was their first studio album to break the Billboard 200 in the US, reaching number 180. Melody Maker praised the album as “psychedelia that can’t be dated”, while pondering, “I’ve yet to meet anyone who can tell me why the Cure are having hits now of all times.” The Cure then embarked on their worldwide Top Tour with Thompson, Anderson and producer-turned-bassist Phil Thornalley on board. Released in late 1984, the Cure’s first live album, Concert consisted of performances from this tour. Near the tour’s end, Anderson was fired for destroying a hotel room and was replaced by Boris Williams. Thornalley also left because of the stress of touring. However, the bassist slot was not vacant long, for a Cure roadie named Gary Biddles had brokered a reunion between Smith and former bassist Simon Gallup, who had been playing in the band Fools Dance. Soon after reconciling, Smith asked Gallup to rejoin the band. Smith was ecstatic about Gallup’s return and declared to Melody Maker, “It’s a group again.”
In 1985, the new line-up of Smith, Tolhurst, Gallup, Thompson and Williams released The Head on the Door, an album that managed to bind together the optimistic and pessimistic aspects of the band’s music between which they had previously shifted. The Head on the Door reached number seven in the UK and was the band’s first entry into American Top 75 at number 59, a success partly due to the international impact of the LP’s two singles, “In Between Days” and “Close to Me”. Following the album and world tour, the band released the singles compilation Standing on a Beach in three formats (each with a different track listing and a specific name) in 1986. This compilation made the US Top 50, and saw the re-issue of three previous singles: “Boys Don’t Cry” (in a new form), “Let’s Go to Bed” and, later, “Charlotte Sometimes”. This release was accompanied by a VHS and LaserDisc called Staring at the Sea, which featured videos for each track on the compilation. The Cure toured to support the compilation and released a live concert VHS of the show, filmed in the south of France called The Cure in Orange. During this time, the Cure became a very popular band in Europe (particularly in France, Germany and the Benelux countries) and increasingly popular in the US.
Looking at the date of this concert broadcast (September 20,1985) and the date of the release of The Head On The Door (August 26, 1985), it’s almost dead certain Andy was not in the band at the time of this concert broadcast. But rather than chuck it and start all over again with an earlier concert, I thought I would run this one and dig one out with Andy definitely on it.
In the meantime – hit the play button and enjoy.