Ten years ago, the Cure issued their first compilation, "Staring at the Sea: the Singles" (1986) accompanied by a video encompassing their hits. Ten years later, in October 1997, Robert Smith's band released their second collection of hits: "Galore: the Singles 1987-1997" with the eponymous video. Between and even before those ten years from "Let's Go to Bed" (1982), Tim Pope became the band's celebrated video clip director. So, when you discover this video, you can expect to watch little masterpieces. I must admit that in general I have never been a fan of the clip including the artists I admire except for the Cure. Their videos are sophisticated and visually appealing.
Like in its brother "Staring at the Sea: the Images" (1986), some hits are transfered in images through the classic way of the band playing their songs with their instruments. Such is the case here with "Fascination Street" or "a Letter to Elise" but it doesn't stop these songs to enjoy elaborated camera work which put them several notches below ordinary songs often filmed in a banal way at concerts.
And like its predecessor, the band plays their hits with passion in a scenery that suits the best to capture the feelings a song could convey. So, to play "High" high in the sky among the clouds at the top of a tower was the ideal place to recreate its vibe. Ditto for "Catch" which the scenery is a desirable mansion by the sea enhances the languorous melody of the song. And perhaps Smith thought a cave was the most favorable place to sing his love for his wife in "Love Song". Perhaps the apex of this relation song/scenery finds itself in "Friday I'm in Love" which sees the band playing as numerous kitsch scenery and various crazy things happen to them. Maybe, to celebrate love at the outset of the week-end...
As it's often the case when a clip from the Cure is directed by Tim Pope, you have to expect a real party atmosphere emanating from it. The gloomy image the band showcased at the dawn of their career is far away. That said, Robert Smith and his men enjoyed themselves with this image on the video for "Lullaby", arguably the best of this vibrating batch. For the rest, the party atmosphere is in full swing in the videos of "Why Can't I Be You?" and "Mint Car". In the former, the five members dance, sing, pretend to play the sax with Smith dressed up as a polar bear and the former drummer Boris Williams as Dracula. The latter takes us in various cinema sets on a boisterous pace. And sometimes like in "Never Enough", the band isn't afraid to give in to self-derision.
Most of these droll videos brim with inventiveness, madness, colors and "Joie De Vivre" and end up sketching a certain cohesion. Tim Burton's quirky universe might have been among Pope's credentials. Unfortunately, he will be out of luck in cinema because he'll make the insipid sequel to "the Crow" (1994): "the Crow 2: City of Angels" (1997). So, if the Cure is in your straitjacket of favorite bands, I can only advise you to stick to this vibrant collection of colorful hits. Most artists must think that making videos is a chore. Robert Smith and his tribe didn't seem to be among them...
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