This greatest hits collection from The Cure was released in 2001, and my review focuses on the two-disc limited edition of the set.
The first disc contains 18 tracks, with two of the tracks being released for the first time on this set. Unfortunately, since this set only has 16 previously released songs from the band’s catalog up to 2001, the selection is a little on the limited side. “Boys Don’t Cry” comes from the Boys Don’t Cry album, “A Forest” represents the Seventeen Seconds era, three songs come from Japanese Whispers (“Let’s Go to Bed,” “The Walk,” and “The Lovecats”), “In Between Days” and “Close to Me” represent The Head on the Door era, “Why Can’t I Be You?” and “Just Like Heaven” represent the Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me era, “Lullaby” and “Lovesong” represent the Disintegration era, “Never Enough” comes from Mixed Up, “High” and “Friday I’m in Love” represent the Wish era, “Mint Car” represents the Wild Mood Swings era, and “Wrong Number” was the new song released from the Galore greatest hits release. There is no representation for the Faith, Pornography, The Top, and Bloodflowers eras.
The two new songs on Greatest Hits are: “Cut Here” and “Just Say Yes.” The song “Cut Here” is about regret and wishing you had tried to spend more time with someone before they leave your life. Sonically and thematically, this song really fits in with The Cure’s catalog. “Just Say Yes” is an upbeat and fun song that features Saffron from Republica on guest vocals. It’s a good song, and it’s such a stark contrast from “Cut Here”; “Just Say Yes” shows that The Cure isn’t necessarily always about gloom and doom.
This edition of Greatest Hits also includes a bonus disc of acoustic renditions; the bonus disc is titled Acoustic Hits. This disc includes acoustic versions of the 18 songs that appear on the first disc. For the most part, the acoustic arrangements stayed very true to the original arrangements. Hearing these acoustic verisons is a refreshing change of pace; however, “Wrong Number” was a disappointment. I think that this is due, in large part, to the fact that “Wrong Number” is the kind of song that really doesn’t lend itself to being reworked into an acoustic arrangement.
While Greatest Hits may not be the most desirable of a greatest hits release for a die-hard fan of The Cure, it could work as a good introduction for listeners who may not already be terribly familiar with the band’s material. However, the limited edition version of the release with the Acoustic Hits disc is worth it for the fans of the band that want to own every version of every song that The Cure have released.
I wrote this review after listening to a copy of the limited edition pressing of Greatest Hits that my husband and I purchased.
(written by Lesley Aeschliman on November 6, 2002)