The Cure are releasing a deluxe, expanded 3CD edition of their acclaimed 1990 remixes album Mixed Up on 15 June 2018. The new edition includes a newly-remastered edition of Mixed Up; a second disc featuring 11 rare mixes from 1982-1990 and a third CD, Torn Down, which includes 16 brand new remixes from Robert Smith.
Mixed Up’s genesis came from the band’s Disintegration album and its accompanying global Prayer Tour. Released in 1989, Disintegration had delivered a triumphant end to the 80s, but the first year of the 90s found The Cure unexpectedly unsettled.
Determined to keep up the momentum of the band’s ongoing success, but knowing there were internal tensions to address before heading back into the studio, Robert Smith decided on a different course of action; curating an album of the band’s rarer 12” mixes. As work on Mixed Up progressed, Smith realised that some of The Cure’s earlier remixes didn’t stand up to the newer ones.
Smith singles out Brian ‘Chuck’ New’s dub style remix of ‘Pictures Of You’ as the one that inspired him to take a more adventurous path. “That mix turned the music on its head, but at the same time left the essential heart of the song intact,” he says. “As soon as I heard it, I updated the entire Mixed Up plan. My revised ambition was to compile an album that was contemporary without being dated, immediate without being obvious, musically inspiring, rhythmically exciting and sonically great!”
Two tracks on the album, ‘A Forest’ and ‘The Walk’, were not just remixed but entirely re-recorded, as the multi-track tapes for both songs had long been lost. Both songs were reconstructed in the studio with producer Mark Saunders, using original instruments and gear.
The band convened over five days in June 1990 to record a new track for Mixed Up. After a certain amount of fraught experimenting with beats, loops and sequenced bass lines, Smith decided to change the vibe. A demo entitled PhaseAGE that had previously been deemed ‘too rock’ was committed to tape as ‘Never Enough’ and was released as a single in September 1990. The ‘Closer Mix’ of ‘Close To Me’ soon followed this and both songs were accompanied by customarily deranged Tim Pope videos.
With Mixed Up finally released, Smith felt he could at last move on, confident in a re-energised and re-integrated band. Reflecting on the period, he said: “The whole of 1990 was essentially spent emerging from the shadow of Disintegration, and we managed to do it in a creatively satisfying way; by the end of the year, I couldn’t wait to start work on new songs for the next record”.
Once the remaining 1981 to 1990 12” / extended mixes were compiled, Smith realised that there were too many for one CD and too few for two CD’s. His solution was to deliver an entire disc of brand new mixes – hence Torn Down Mixed Up Extras. “I wanted a 3-disc package, but we didn’t have enough ‘historic’ remixes – for a while I thought the ‘extra-extras’ CD would be Cure songs re-mixed by choice artists, rather than by choice re-mixers… that then got me thinking maybe I should have a go at one,” Smith says. “So in early August 2017, I decided to experiment with ‘Three Imaginary Boys’. It is a pretty sparse multi-track; I pulled it apart at home and finished the initial re-mix in one session – and I really enjoyed the whole process”.
By choosing favourite songs rather than the usual singles, one of Smith’s objectives was to illustrate the variety of the Cure catalogue, and by October of 2017 working on songs in chronological release order, he had remixed entirely the 16 songs that appear on Torn Down: Mixed Up Extras 2018.
For the Torn Down cover, Smith decided on a self-portrait painted in oils during the summer of 1990 which was originally intended as the sleeve for Mixed Up. He chose Torn Down as the title for the ‘extra-extras’ album inspired by the way he had “torn down” ‘Never Enough’, stripping the song back to resemble his original 1990 PhaseAGE demo. “I felt it was a good way to bring the project back full circle…in a Mixed Up kind of way” he says.
CD1: Mixed Up: Remastered by Robert Smith 2018
‘Lullaby’ (Extended Mix – 2018 remaster)
‘Close To Me’ (Closer Mix – 2018 remaster)
‘Fascination Street (Extended Mix – 2018 remaster)
‘The Walk’ (Everything Mix – 2018 remaster)
‘Lovesong’ (Extended Mix – 2018 remaster)
‘A Forest’ (Tree Mix – 2018 remaster)
‘Pictures of You’ (Extended Dub Mix – 2018 remaster)
‘Hot Hot Hot!!! (Extended Mix – 2018 remaster)
‘The Caterpillar (Flicker Mix – 2018 remaster)
‘Inbetween Days’ (Shiver Mix – 2018 remaster)
‘Never Enough’ (Big Mix – 2018 remaster)
CD2: Remixes 1982-1990: Mixed Up Extras 2018
‘Let’s Go To Bed’ (Extended Mix 1982 – 208 remaster)
‘Just One Kiss’ (Extended Mix 1982 – 2018 remaster)
‘Close To Me’ (Extended Remix 1985 – 2018 remaster)
‘Boys Don’t Cry’ (New Voice Club Mix 1986 – 2018 remaster)
‘Why Can’t I Be You?’ (Extended Mix 1987 – 2018 remaster)
‘A Japanese Dream’ (12″ Remix 1987 – 2018 remaster)
‘Pictures of You’ (Extended Version 1990 – 2018 remaster)
‘Let’s Go To Bed’ (Milk Mix 1990 – 2018 remaster)
‘Just Like Heaven’ (Dizzy Mix 1990 – 2018 remaster)
‘Primary’ (Red Mix 1990 – 2018 remaster)
‘The Lovecats’ (TC & Benny Mix 1990 – 2018 remaster)
CD3: Torn Down: Mixed Up Extras 2018
‘Three Imaginary Boys’ (Help Me Mix by Robert Smith)
‘M’ (Attack Mix by Robert Smith)
‘The Drowning Man’ (Bright Birds Mix by Robert Smith)
‘A Strange Day’ (Drowning Waves Mix by Robert Smith)
‘Just One Kiss’ (Remember Mix by Robert Smith)
‘Shake Dog Shake’ (New Blood Mix by Robert Smith)
‘A Night Like This’ (Hello Goodbye Mix by Robert Smith)
‘Like Cockatoos’ (Lonely In The Rain Mix by Robert Smith)
‘Plainsong’ (Edge Of The World Mix by Robert Smith)
‘Never Enough’ (Time To Kill Mix by Robert Smith)
‘From The Edge Of The Deep Green Sea’ (Love In Vain Mix by Robert Smith)
‘Want’ (Time Mix by Robert Smith)
‘The Last Day of Summer’ (31st August Mix by Robert Smith)
‘Cut Here’ (If Only Mix by Robert Smith)
‘Lost’ (Found Mix by Robert Smith)
‘It’s Over’ (Whisper Mix by Robert Smith)