Author Topic: The Top: underrated album  (Read 10144 times)

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Offline Whiskers

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The Top: underrated album
« on: February 14, 2009, 22:46:53 »
Am I alone in thinking that The Top is one of the best albums that The Cure has made? I used to dislike it greatly, but about a month ago I listened to it for maybe the third time and it finally clicked with me; I love all of the experimentation and weird sounds throughout the album (ie. the spinning tops in The Top, the funky intro of Bananafishbones, etc.), and I find it disappointing that not only was it poorly received by, well, pretty much everyone, but also that only Shake Dog Shake is still performed live.
What's everybody else's opinion of The Top?


Offline fiction

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Re: The Top: underrated album
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2009, 20:25:42 »
Am I alone in thinking that The Top is one of the best albums that The Cure has made? What's everybody else's opinion of The Top?

I like it very much and I have never understand the malicious nicname "The Flop" among both fans and critics.

I think it has a venom anger that really energizes the songs on it.

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Offline DroidAKov

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Re: The Top: underrated album
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2009, 21:25:17 »
I think this album is fantastic, its actually amongst my top (haha see what did, see, ha) Cure albums.  If this album was released today it would surely get something approaching the recognition it deserves.

I remember hearing up until the last few years Robert himself had a fairly poor opinion of the record but has since come to his senses.  Certainly the amount of times in their career they've actually played more than one track from this album suggests it isn't a favourite of his.

To me its a tragedy tracks like Piggy In The Mirror, Dressing Up & The Top are never performed

Offline Birdmad Girl

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Re: The Top: underrated album
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2009, 14:10:36 »
I agree that it probably is under rated, and I am guilty of under rating it on many occassions.

It's not an album that I seem to listen to very often.  If I want to play a Cure album it very rarely grabs my attention.  Although when I do listen to it I usually enjoy it.  I don't like 'The Caterpillar' or 'The Empty World' at all, but everything else on it is alright.  I think that the best track on it is 'Wailing Wall', followed closely by 'Shale Dog Shake', a track which I always like more when I hear live versions.

Perhaps the lack of enthusiasm amongst Cure fans comes from the fact that the line up was very different at that time, and it doesn't feature our most favoured members (eg, Gallup/Williams etc)?  I often wonder just how much input the other people in the band at the time had on the writing of the tracks, and suspect that it was mostly all down to Smith.

Offline fiction

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Re: The Top: underrated album
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2009, 16:05:03 »
I often wonder just how much input the other people in the band at the time had on the writing of the tracks, and suspect that it was mostly all down to Smith.

It´s often reffered to as a solo album of Mr Smith.
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Offline lostflower4

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Re: The Top: underrated album
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2009, 19:00:23 »
I often wonder just how much input the other people in the band at the time had on the writing of the tracks, and suspect that it was mostly all down to Smith.

It´s often reffered to as a solo album of Mr Smith.

It was basically just Robert on all instruments and Andy Anderson on drums. Perhaps Lol contributed a few parts, but it was probably limited to spinning the top or something like that.  :lol:

I don't know why people dislike this album. I think it's brilliant, and really the last totally strange one they did before they became more of a "pop" group.

I've always liked it from the first time I heard it — might even say it's one of my favorites. Lots of good songs, including the B-sides. The tour was excellent too.

And let me just say that I'd be all for Andy re-joining the band (assuming he's sane enough these days ;)).

I mean, come on... Having the same drummer (or pretty much any member) for 15 years straight it NOT normal for The Cure.  :!:

Offline cureterra

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Re: The Top: underrated album
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2009, 00:35:06 »
The Top is one of my favourite Cure Albums!!
I used to dislike it too, but one day I listened to it and also clicked with me.
I think this happens to several people and a lot of them haven't had this click yet... what a pitty!
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Offline Rickenbacker4003

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Re: The Top: underrated album
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2009, 09:25:19 »
I find it underrated in the sense that the songs sound great in concert.  Songs like Shake Dog Shake, Piggy In The Mirror, Birdmad Girl, Give Me It, Empty World, Dressing Up, Bananafishbones all sounded better live than on the album.  Which tells me that that The Top was a badly produced and mixed album.  If the same songs sound great live and not so great on the album itself it tells me that a different production or mix would have done wonders for The Top.  In fact, the only song I truly like on The Top for what it is is The Caterpillar.  Outside of that song everything else is better live.  So yeah, I feel it's underrated.  Even the b-sides are great.
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Offline Rickenbacker4003

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Re: The Top: underrated album
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2009, 09:34:10 »
I often wonder just how much input the other people in the band at the time had on the writing of the tracks, and suspect that it was mostly all down to Smith.

It´s often reffered to as a solo album of Mr Smith.

It was basically just Robert on all instruments and Andy Anderson on drums. Perhaps Lol contributed a few parts, but it was probably limited to spinning the top or something like that.  :lol:

I don't know why people dislike this album. I think it's brilliant, and really the last totally strange one they did before they became more of a "pop" group.

I've always liked it from the first time I heard it — might even say it's one of my favorites. Lots of good songs, including the B-sides. The tour was excellent too.

And let me just say that I'd be all for Andy re-joining the band (assuming he's sane enough these days ;)).

I mean, come on... Having the same drummer (or pretty much any member) for 15 years straight it NOT normal for The Cure.  :!:

I agree on this.  Actually Andy had a very powerful drum sound, on bootlegs from 1984 he really had a strong presence behind the kit.  He coudl make those drums sound like claps of thunder, no drummer has matched his power behind the kit since.  But my fave is always Lol because he was so unique, so simplistic that it really stood out for me.  His drumming on Faith and Pornography was truly memorable and I wish the band could go back to that primitive, rather tribal sound again.  Lol's style was what made Pornography sound the way it did, he was the man of the show in my opinion.  If Boris or Jason had drummed on Pornography it would sound completely different and not as demented.  I was always in favor of unconventional, non-textbook drumming.  Like in the movie 24 Hour Party People when Joy Division producer Martin Hannett told the drummer during recording to cut that technically sound and flashy drumming out, he heard it "a million times before and frankly it bores the living shit out of me. Next time, slower and more simple."  I totally agreed with his idea of the ideal drum sound.  For all the praise Boris and Jason got I always loved Lol's sound the best, even Andy's.
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Offline japanesebaby

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Re: The Top: underrated album
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2009, 09:59:27 »
If the same songs sound great live and not so great on the album itself it tells me that a different production or mix would have done wonders for The Top.

it reminds you of what's happening with 4:13 too (although i'm not saying it's underrated in any way, not at all).

i agree about the b-sides and about the top tour too.

If Boris or Jason had drummed on Pornography it would sound completely different and not as demented.  I was always in favor of unconventional, non-textbook drumming.  Like in the movie 24 Hour Party People when Joy Division producer Martin Hannett told the drummer during recording to cut that technically sound and flashy drumming out, he heard it "a million times before and frankly it bores the living shit out of me. Next time, slower and more simple."  I totally agreed with his idea of the ideal drum sound. 

well put.

  (sorry if it's a bit off-topic - but it's a great scene).
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Offline nausearockpig

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Re: The Top: underrated album
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2009, 09:48:44 »
The Top is up there as one of the best The Cure albums ever released IMHO. It's a really schizophrenic example of Robert's great song writing ability. It runs the gamut of hard, nasty music [Shake Dog Shake, Give Me It] to beautiful sounds and vocal sounds [Dressing Up] and then the strangeness of Piggy In The Mirror and The Empty World. Have a listen to Piggy In The Mirrro and try to ignore the vocals, the music is amazing. In fact, do it with the whole record, throw the B-sides in the mix too and you have one of the greatest records of all time. Compare this album to any other 1984 album and this blows it out of the water.


Offline 1/2anOctopuss

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Re: The Top: underrated album
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2009, 05:15:47 »
It's a great album.  The Wailing Wall can still raise the hair on the back of my neck.

Offline KingOfSomeIsland

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Re: The Top: underrated album
« Reply #12 on: June 30, 2009, 21:44:14 »
Well I'm gonna come out on a limb here and say that its mediocre at best. Shake Dog Shake, Piggy In The Mirror, and Bananafishbones are the only songs that really stood out to me. In fact besides those, The Caterpillar, and The Top I couldn't even name any other song off the album without actually looking at it. And those songs are pretty lame.

Offline nausearockpig

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Re: The Top: underrated album
« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2009, 13:42:24 »
Well I'm gonna come out on a limb here and say that its mediocre at best. Shake Dog Shake, Piggy In The Mirror, and Bananafishbones are the only songs that really stood out to me. In fact besides those, The Caterpillar, and The Top I couldn't even name any other song off the album without actually looking at it. And those songs are pretty lame.

Bravo for sharing what will no doubt be an unpopular opinion!

It took me a long while to really appreciate all of the songs on there. Maybe time will change your taste, mabye not.

Offline mothtoaflame

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Re: The Top: underrated album
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2009, 01:19:24 »
I absolutely love The Top!
It's energized and fun and experimental and, while it may not be their best album, it's got some of my favorite songs on it:
Birdmad Girl...
Bananafishbones...
Dressing Up...
Great stuff.
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