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Three Imaginary Boys is the debut album release by British post punk heroes The Cure and as much as it snatched its template from The Stranglers, Wire, Buzzcocks, Joy Division... so it swiftly became the template for a thousand others; so much leaner and catchier than its progenitors.
This is a record that from the very beginning charms and isolates the listener at the same time: An empty, catchy masterpiece. With everything from perfect pop songs to ethereal indie classics. This deluxe edition of the album features all the original tracks of the album along with 20 extra live tracks and demo versions of songs on the album, including the classic Cure singles 'Jumping Someone Else's Train' and 'Boys Don't Cry'.
The opener, '10.15 Saturday Night' paints a lonely picture, sat in your bare room listening to the tap dripping - but in this case you enjoy being lonely, the ultimate bedsit song. 'Accuracy' is a bracing pop classic, it swirls and turns in a staccato fashion that disorientates and thrills like the dippers at a funfair - all painted black.
Atmosphere builds and builds with the bare and barren 'Fire In Cairo'. Again the lyrical content is obscure but uplifting in the same breath - the bass chugging consummately behind, all the while you try to figure out the enigma of it all. The punk influence is starker on 'Object', the echoing vocals utterly sneering, wholly derisive but oh so uplifting.
Due to their inexperience in the studio, Fiction scout Chris Parry and engineer Mike Hedges took complete control of the recording, producing a lightweight album but one which now sounds fresh and bursting with pop- punk charm. The rhythm of each track pounds in such a snappy off-kilter fashion it never sounds repetitive or boring, instead making for a grainy maverick gem.
Three Imaginary Boys is a fantastic record, snatching up the sound of punk and reconfiguring it for the bedsits of the nation, it actually sounds even better now.