Friday, May 25, 2012

kiss me, kiss me, kiss me

The Cure found mainstream success with this generous sampler of post punk angst and pop confections. 'Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me' was the first album of new material after the band released their retrospective singles collection(s) 'Standing on a Beach' / 'Staring at the Sea', which had exposed their music to a new audience. Front man Robert Smith calls the sessions with co-producer David Allen "the most enjoyable period of time I've had in the past ten years. It was in Provence, in the South of France, in an old country mansion with its own vineyard. We recorded it in complete isolation; we didn't allow anyone to hear anything until we'd finished it - no one at all, not even our families. It was a very incestuous, very secretive kind of thing, because we were having so much fun that we didn't want anyone to come and break the spell. It was a very unreal situation - ten weeks of being completely cut off from the world, with no outside stimulus at all. We had no television, we had no transport to get to the nearest town which was five miles away, and all the food was sent in a van in the morning. About halfway through, all the girls came down to join us. I asked (his girlfriend) Mary to sit in the studio when I was singing some of the songs, and it was very strange actually singing to her, which I'd never done before. The only other time she'd been in the studio was on 'Pornography' - she sat in a chair and stared at me when I was singing 'Siamese Twins,' I think. It's strange, I find it very difficult to sing to people when they're very close. I've always found it much easier to sing in a theater than in a club. So it was very weird to have Mary sitting there watching me. And the rest of the group came in and stared at me when I was singing 'Shiver And Shake,' to make me feel uncomfortable so I could sing with an edge. We tried lots of funny things like that."

The entire band was involved in the composition of the album. Smith says: "They'd been really lazy on 'The Head On The Door', and I told them that on the next record we made, I would expect them to come in with ideas, otherwise I would humiliate them in public or something. I insisted that they bring cassettes of their own stuff, and we sat down and listened to the tapes and gave them marks, and the ones that got the highest marks were the ones we used. Very much like the Eurovision Song Contest, really."

When they had created enough material for a double-album, their label was hesitant. Smith recalls: "Yeah, we heard mutterings of commercial suicide and all the rest of it. They wanted to use an American mix engineer, like Bob Clearmountain, who would have made it sound more acceptable to an American ear, or what they imagine is an American ear. But we've always heard that kind of thing from our American record companies - this is our fourth - and we've never paid attention to any of it. Everything we've ever done has been very selfishly motivated, and obviously it works for enough other people to make it possible for us to continue. We never imagined we'd do a double album until we'd actually come to a logical finish in the studio. We actually finished thirty-five tracks, and we had animated disagreement about choosing eighteen for the album. Cutting it down further would have made it either too pop or too weighted towards the longer, more atmospheric pieces - neither of which would have given the album a real balance. Or we could have released it as two single albums, but I prefer the idea of putting it all out now and moving on to the next thing."

'Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me' is a reflection of all of the music the band had put out up to that point.  Smith explains:  "I reimmersed myself in certain moods and certain styles that we'd been involved with, that I didn't think I'd carried through as far as I could. I sort of made mental notes of those, and we used some of them on the new record. So in some way, the new record is almost a resume of everything we've done over the years. Half of it's looking forward, and half of it's trying to sum up what the group's done in the past."

'Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me' went too thirty-five in the US, thirteen in Sweden, nine in Australia, six in the UK, four in Austria and Germany, three in Sweden, and peaked at number two in France.

The pop classic 'Just Like Heaven' only went to eighty-nine in Australia, forty in the US, thirty-three in France, thirty-one in New Zealand, twenty-nine in the UK, and fifteen in Ireland.

 'Why Can't I Be You?' hit fifty-four in the US, twenty-nine in France and Germany, twenty-one in the UK, sixteen in Australia and New Zealand, and twelve in Ireland.

'Hot Hot Hot!!!'  made it to sixty-eight in the US, forty-five in the UK, and eighteen in Ireland.

 'Catch' only charted in a few countries, going to seventy-seven in Australia, fifty-nine in Germany, twenty-seven in the UK, and sixteen in Ireland.

'Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me'

full album:

All lyrics written by Robert Smith; 
all music composed by The Cure (Smith, Simon Gallup, Porl Thompson, Lol Tolhurst, and Boris Williams).

Side A
1. "The Kiss" 6:17
2. "Catch" 2:42
3. "Torture" 4:13
4. "If Only Tonight We Could Sleep" 4:50

Side B
1. "Why Can't I Be You?" 3:11
2. "How Beautiful You Are" 5:10
3. "The Snakepit" 6:56
4. "Hey You!!!" 2:22

Side C
1. "Just Like Heaven" 3:30
2. "All I Want" 5:18
3. "Hot Hot Hot!!!" 3:32
4. "One More Time" 4:29
5. "Like Cockatoos" 3:38

Side D
1. "Icing Sugar" 3:48
2. "The Perfect Girl" 2:34
3. "A Thousand Hours" 3:21
4. "Shiver and Shake" 3:26
5. "Fight" 4:27


Side one
01."Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me" - 3:41
02."Catch" - 2:40 
03."Torture" - 3:04
04."If Only Tonight We Could Sleep" - 3:12
05."Snow in Summer" - 3:22
06."A Chain of Flowers" - 3:48
Side two
07."Why Can't I Be You?" - 3:11 
08."A Japanese Dream" - 3:10
09."To the Sky" - 3:46 
10."How Beautiful You Are" - 3:12
11."The Snakepit" - 3:43
12."Hey You!!!" - 2:47
Side three
13."Just Like Heaven" - 3:28 
14."All I Want" - 3:17
15."Breathe" - 3:13
16."Hot Hot Hot!!!" - 3:06 
17."One More Time" - 3:34 
18."Like Cockatoos" - 3:10 
Side four
19."Icing Sugar" - 2:50
20."The Perfect Girl" - 3:34 
21."A Thousand Hours" - 3:21 
22."Sugar Girl" - 3:15
23."Shiver and Shake" - 3:08 
24."Fight Fight Fight" - 3:40

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