Wednesday, April 25, 2018

The Cure reissue news

The Cure's MIXED UP [DELUXE EDITION] will be available on June 15 as a 3CD set. Also available the same day, are the 2LP vinyl sets of Mixed Up and Torn Down: Mixed Up Extras 2018.

Both albums have been Half Speed Mastered by Robert Smith and Tim Young at Metropolis Studios, London and are pressed on 180-gram vinyl and are housed in Gatefold Sleeves. 

The backstory: With the Disintegration album and its accompanying global Prayer Tour, 1989 had delivered a triumphant end to the 80s, but the first year of the 90s found The Cure unexpectedly unsettled.

Determined to keep up the momentum of the band's ongoing success, but knowing there were internal tensions to address before heading back into the studio, Robert Smith decided on a different course of action; curating an album of the band's rarer 12" mixes. As work on Mixed Up progressed, Smith realized that some of The Cure's earlier remixes didn't stand up to the newer ones.

Robert singles out Brian 'Chuck' New's dub style remix of "Pictures Of You" as the one that inspired him to take a more adventurous path. Smith notes, "That mix turned the music on its head, but at the same time left the essential heart of the song intact. As soon as I heard it, I updated the entire Mixed Up plan. My revised ambition was to compile an album that was contemporary without being dated, immediate without being obvious, musically inspiring, rhythmically exciting and sonically great!"

Two tracks on the album, "A Forest" and "The Walk," were not just remixed but entirely re-recorded, as the multi-track tapes for both songs had long been lost. Both songs were reconstructed in the studio with producer Mark Saunders, using original instruments and gear.

The band convened over five days in June 1990 to record a new track for Mixed Up. After a certain amount of fraught experimenting with beats, loops and sequenced bass lines, Smith decided to change the vibe. A demo entitled "PhaseAGE" that had previously been deemed 'too rock' was committed to tape as "Never Enough" and was released as a single in September 1990. The "Closer Mix" of "Close To Me" soon followed this and both songs were accompanied by customarily deranged Tim Pope videos.

With Mixed Up finally released, Smith felt he could at last move on, confident in a reenergized and reintegrated band. Smith continues, "The whole of 1990 was essentially spent emerging from the shadow of Disintegration, and we managed to do it in a creatively satisfying way; by the end of the year, I couldn't wait to start work on new songs for the next record."

Once the remaining 1981 to 1990 12" / extended mixes were compiled, Robert realized that there were too many for one CD and too few for two CD's. His solution was to deliver an entire disc of brand new mixes.

"I wanted a 3-disc package, but we didn't have enough 'historic' remixes - for a while I thought the 'extra-extras' CD would be Cure songs re-mixed by choice artists, rather than by choice re-mixers... that then got me thinking maybe I should have a go at one... so in early August 2017, I decided to experiment with Three Imaginary Boys. It is a pretty sparse multi-track; I pulled it apart at home and finished the initial re-mix in one session - and I really enjoyed the whole process," says Smith.

By choosing favorite songs rather than the usual singles, one of Smith's objectives was to illustrate the variety of the Cure catalogue, and by October of 2017 working on songs in chronological release order, he had remixed entirely the 16 songs that appear on Torn Down: Mixed Up Extras 2018.

For the Torn Down cover, Robert decided on a self-portrait painted in oils during the summer of 1990 which was originally intended as the sleeve for Mixed Up. He chose Torn Down as the title for the 'extra-extras' album inspired by the way he had 'torn down' Never Enough, stripping the song back to resemble his original 1990 PhaseAGEdemo. "I felt it was a good way to bring the project back full a Mixed Up kind of way," states Smith.

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