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Japanese Whisper:The Singles


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Audio CD, February 28, 1989
$11.62
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Biography

Biography by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Out of all the bands that emerged in the immediate aftermath of punk rock in the late '70s, few were as enduring and popular as the Cure. Led through numerous incarnations by guitarist/vocalist Robert Smith (born April 21, 1959), the band became notorious for its slow, gloomy dirges and Smith's ghoulish appearance, a public image that often ... Read more in Amazon's The Cure Store

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Japanese Whisper:The Singles + Top + Head on the Door
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 28, 1989)
  • Original Release Date: 1984
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Warner Off Roster
  • ASIN: B000008ER8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #481,118 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Let's Go to Bed
2. The Dream
3. Just One Kiss
4. The Upstairs Room
5. The Walk
6. Speak My Language
7. Lament
8. The Lovecats

Customer Reviews

This album should be held in the highest regard.
J. Abarta
Japanese Whispers is a great CD in the Cure's line up, a different sound and path that Robert and Lol took after some dark material before it.
J. Smith
The jewel case, inserts, and cd itself in pristine, beautiful condition.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By SandmanVI on February 19, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Some of the harsh criticism here from the darkling seeds is unwarranted and shows their lack of range, while this release showed the band increasing their musical boundaries. True that it is more pop I suppose, but it was hardly mainstream at the time. "The Walk" is the closest they ever came to synth pop, but it still had a haunting tone and mysterious subject matter. So did "LaMent", the tale of a dead young girl whose body is seen drifting under a bridge; the corpse is poetically described as the "ice cream river body" probably describing the diffuse, blurry way the submerged body would look - this song feels a bit like "Charlotte Sometimes without the bass. Also dark and mysterious is the nervous, paranoid "The Upstairs Room". Hold on, I'm getting a theme here. This album may have been bouncy and had some beat but it was still quite morose and way left of center. In fact, most Cure fans I know loved this collection of 3 singles. For sure, it wasn't there best, more of a short, sweet anomaly... but certainly not bad.
"Let's Go to Bed" was maybe their 1st U.S. hit before "Head on the Door". It's fun and takes a playful approach to sex; it was a refreshing shift from their previous stuff. "Lovecats" is one of the most refreshing hit records ever written with its charming standup bass usage, boppy rhythm and Robert actually doing a bebop scat thing of some sort... a classic by any standard.
Stated shortly, this was a very strong release that just happened to be a departure from previous releases. And here's a note to Rozzy and others who are probably a bunch of 13-year-old Goths (nothing against 13-year-old Goths... I may have been one)... I was alive at the time this came out and actually to listening to it as it was released - not some modern collector looking back 20 years after the fact. This album was enjoyed by Cure fans at the time who loved the blackest moments from before but needed a change just to keep the music alive. Variety is the spice, ain't it?
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Greg Hughes on November 3, 2000
Format: Audio CD
"Japanese Whispers" is an album that marks a departure point for the Cure. This is where the music was starting to become more commercial, after the bleak, tormented, soul-wrenching anguish of "Faith" and "Pornography".
"Let's Go to Bed" was Robert Smith's attempt to write "a silly pop song". Apparently Smith hated the song so much he wanted to release it under a pseudonym. Luckily he was talked out of it.
Every Cure fan will know the hit single "Lovecats" of course. At the same time this album came out the Cure film-clips were starting to look more exciting, thanks to the creativity of Tim Pope. In the clip to "Lovecats" Robert Smith doesn't look the least bit depressed. "The Walk" is one of those songs that sticks in my head. It's very 1983.
"Japanese Whispers" is a neat little package of songs. This is one of the first steps in the evolution of the Cure musically, after being fashionably depressing, then darkly depressing, then morbidly depressing. It takes the Cure out of the murky swamp of despair into the light of wider acclaim. (Although these songs still appealed to alternative listeners.)
This was the first album to prove that the Cure isn't all gloom and doom. They showed a quirky side too.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. Abarta on December 18, 2005
Format: Audio CD
This album should be held in the highest regard. It spotlights some of Robert Smith's best songwriting skills, and some of the bands most truly "wild mood swings". Lament has always been one of my favorite songs. This album should be remastered, re-packaged, and held high up on a pedastal!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Brady on September 24, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Trying to shrug off the unwarranted "Goth" tag that saddled the Cure after the one-two-three punch of 17 Seconds, Faith and Pornography, singer-songwriter-leader Robert Smith recorded this series of ultra-pop singles, most of which work very well as such. And those fans who complain that the Cure "sold out" by recording these songs only need to look to their debut album and the few singles recorded around that time. "Boys Don't Cry" in particular is as undeniably "pop" as anything they have ever recorded. Japanese Whispers should rightly be seen as more than just a stop-gap, or a novelty. It is precisely this, the lighter side of the Cure, that makes the darker, more serious material even more so. These songs are at turns winsome and fluffy, and (lyrically, at least ) a bit more esoteric and quirky. What holds this release back from a five star rating is the atrocious sound quality ( hopefully the re-release next year will tidy that up ) and the fact that the first ten or so seconds of "Just One Kiss" have been taken out ( a discordant drum and piano intro that I distinctly remember from the cassette edition that Sire Records released in 1983 .) As a whole, Japanese Whispers is a nice addition to your Cure collection, a breath of fresh air, and the perfect antidote to the sometimes stifling and claustrophobic work that preceded it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By trainreader on May 15, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Proceeding here as a duet, Robert Smith and Lol Tolhurst utilize sythesizers and sounds of The Orient to make "Japanese Whispers," which contains only eight songs, most of which are less than four minutes long (in fact, the entire album times in at less than 30 minutes). I've never particularly loved the "silly" side of The Cure. Although "Let's Got to Bed," "The Walk," and "Lovecats" are fun, they are not representative of the songs that make them a great band, although I appreciate the sharp departure from the all too bleak "Pornography." I really do like "Just One Kiss" and "La Ment" which could easily have fit well on other albums.

"Japanese Whispers" is not one of "The Cure's best, but it is quite enjoyable.
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