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Hear The Cure perform their greatest acoustic hits

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Back in the days when MTV was a viable medium to be exposed to new music, one of the station’s flagship programs actually functioned as a retro nostalgia for an artist’s proven greatest hits. MTV unplugged giving a twist to the traditional live format in that the artists took their typically electric songs and reduced them to a more intimate and stripped-down arrangement.

Every now and then you had bands and singers that went against the traditional setup. Nirvana refused to play many of their most beloved tracks during their recording, while Bruce Springsteen skipped the format altogether due to his dissatisfaction with the acoustic arrangements of his backing band (this band was notably not The E Street Band). But the flagship performance of the “Biggest Unplugged Hits” was too popular for most bands to ignore, and that’s why slightly incongruous artists like LL Cool J and Kiss were able to put on successful unplugged gigs.

One of the groups that agreed to the trend was The Cure. Robert Smith’s whimsical, effects-laden material was probably not best suited to the acoustic format, but he and the To wish the era members, which included Pearl Thompson, Simon Gallup, Boris Williams and Perry Bamonte, dutifully gathered on their supremely padded stage to perform gracious and relaxing versions of some of their most beloved songs. As it turned out, pop songs like “Lovesong” and “Just Like Heaven” were ideal for an acoustic performance, while even more traditional post-punk tracks like “Boys Don’t Cry” and “A Letter to Elise”. Behaved well.

Which should come as no surprise, Smith was not very captivated by the format and rarely returned to the acoustic setup. He continued to use acoustic guitars in concert, but standard electronic instruments would be the primary means by which Cure’s songs would be, and probably should, be enjoyed.

And yet, by compiling The Cure Greatest Hits in 2001, Smith made the decision to include a bonus disc with all of the songs from the international version of the CD re-recorded in acoustic format (why they decided not to include “Pictures of You”, possibly their greatest song , is beyond me). The performances are a fascinating throwback to an idiom that Smith took little joy in over the previous decade, and yet he seems delighted with the acoustic format here.

Maybe it’s because the production was of a higher quality than the original MTV unplugged performances. Whether by design or simply because of its live format, the Disconnected the performances feature rinky-dink keyboard sounds and are poorly mixed. For these songs, The Cure is in a professional studio, with professional mixes and levels, taking some of the band’s best songs into exciting new sonic territories.

The most interesting song here is ‘A Forest’, a landmark recording in the transition from punk to post-punk and, especially for The Cure, a more gothic style. Synthetic and airtight, the original version of ‘A Forest’ is the complete antithesis of what an acoustic performance is. But when the band pulls apart, it sounds completely natural. This helps keyboardist Roger O’Donnell stay plugged in, adding the necessary atmosphere to the song’s eerie aura.

Otherwise, the video contains three songs which lend themselves well to the acoustic format. “The Lovecats” is loose and awkward with Smith adding wacky slide guitar sounds, “Close to Me” layers his various instruments into a fine stew of melody and rhythm, and “Lullaby” retains its sinister side while sounding closer. of his eponymous song soothing than ever. All in all, it’s a side of The Cure that’s very rarely shown, and it’s fascinating to see what the band changes and what they keep the same in a more exposed format.

Check out the acoustic performance below.

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