May 1986: The Cure Release Singles Collection STANDING ON A BEACH
By 1986, the Cure had formerly been a band for 10 full years, with six studio albums and more than a dozen singles to its credit. That pivotal sixth LP, The Head on the Door, marked the group shifting towards a more pop-oriented sound, as evidenced by the success of lead single, "In Between Days." It was the first song by the Cure to crack the Hot 100 in America, peaking at #99.
While Robert Smith and company revved up for the massive 1987 double-album, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, they took the time to re-introduce new fans to their already-rich history with a singles collection: Standing on a Beach. The compilation showcased the Cure's already-rich discography and stunning evolution in sound over the years.
For hardcore Cure fans, the cassette tape version of Standing on a Beach was a treasured purchase, as it was the only format that arrived with essentially a whole separate album on the flip-side. Side B of the tape featured the B-sides to each of the singles found on Side A. As radical and revolutionary as the Cure has ever sounded on the band's biggest hits is multiplied exponentially on those B-side tracks. Songs like "A Few Hours After This" are among the finest the outfit has ever committed to tape. All of the Cure's classic B-sides and more were collected on the essential 2004 Rhino release, Join the Dots: B-Sides & Rarities 1978-2001 (The Fiction Years).
Released on May 6, 1986, Standing on a Beach found an eager audience to catch up on the new alternative rock heroes; the compilation peaked at #48 on the Billboard 200 over the week of August 23, 1986. The #1 album in America that week: Madonna's True Blue.