The Top (album)

The Top (album)

Infobox Album |
Name = The Top
Type = Album
Artist = The Cure

Released = May 22, 1984
Recorded = Genetic, Garden studios, Trident, 1983 - 1984
Genre = Alternative rock
Length = 40:55
Label = Fiction
Producer = David M. Allen, Chris Parry, Robert Smith
Reviews =
* Allmusic Rating|2|5 [ link]
* Pitchfork Media (6.9/10) [ link]
Last album = "Pornography" (1982)
This album = "The Top" (1984)
Next album = "The Head on the Door" (1985)
Misc = Singles
Name = The Top
Type = studio
single 1 = The Caterpillar
single 1 date = May 8, 1984

"The Top" is the fifth studio album by British alternative rock band The Cure, released in 1984 (see 1984 in music).


"The Top" was the studio album to follow "Pornography". After "Pornography", Robert Smith found himself without his friend Simon Gallup, who departed the band due to a fight.

Smith then took a radical shift in his music. Just months after the bleak "Pornography", the band released the single "Let's Go to Bed" which just featured Smith, Lol Tolhurst and session drummer Steve Goulding. Following this was "The Walk", and then "The Lovecats". All three were poppy and upbeat and featured little guitar, very different from the things they'd done in the four albums prior. "The Top" is the first album to follow this new side of The Cure.

Due to the conflicts and band lineup troubles, Smith wrote almost all of the music himself, and played almost all the instruments (except the drums). As such, this is closer to a Robert Smith solo album than any other album in the band's history, seen as experimental and transitional. [Chris True. [ All Music Guide review] .]

The Top was The Cure's first studio album to chart in the U.S.

The Top is the least performed album with only "Shake Dog Shake" being played live over the past 10 years, since 1997.

"Piggy in the Mirror" was last performed in 1997 as part of The Cure's U.S. Holiday tour.

"Dressing Up" was performed on the 1996 Swing Tour.

"The Caterpillar" was performed on the MTV Unplugged session.

"Give Me It" was part of the 1986 Beach Tour.

All songs on the album were performed on the 1984 Top Tour at one point or another.

2006 re-release

The album was re-released August 8, 2006 in the U.S. and August 14 in the UK. The first CD had the original album with remastered sound. Due to a mastering problem, "Bananafishbones" appeared on the original album at a slower speed than it was recorded, which lowered its pitch by a semitone. The 2006 remaster has restored the track to its original speed and pitch, making it nearly 15 seconds shorter.

The second disk had four unreleased tracks, live performances and studio outtakes of all ten songs on the original album (and it's two B-sides "Happy the Man" and "Throw Your Foot", from "The Caterpillar").

Track listing

All songs by Robert Smith, except where noted.

Original 1984 release

#"Shake Dog Shake" – 4:55
#"Birdmad Girl" (Smith, Tolhurst) – 4:05
#"Wailing Wall" – 5:17
#"Give Me It" – 3:42
#"Dressing Up" – 2:51
#"The Caterpillar" (Smith, Tolhurst) – 3:40
#"Piggy in the Mirror" (Smith, Tolhurst) – 3:40
#"The Empty World" – 2:36
#"Bananafishbones" – 3:12
#"The Top" – 6:50

2006 "Deluxe Edition"

Disc one

Original album, as above, but with the intro drum roll of "Shake Dog Shake" shortened, and "Bananafishbones" sped up one semi-tone, making it 2:59.

Disc two

#"You Stayed..." (Robert Smith Home demo) - 2:21
#"Ariel" (Robert Smith Home demo) - 2:58
#"A Man Inside My Mouth" (Studio demo) - 3:40
#"Sadacic" (Robert Smith Studio demo) - 4:17
#"Shake Dog Shake" (Studio demo) - 4:56
#"Piggy in the Mirror" (Studio demo) - 3:40
#"Birdmad Girl" (Studio demo) - 3:36
#"Give Me It" (Studio demo) - 3:43
#"Throw Your Foot" (Studio demo) - 3:31
#"Happy the Man" (Studio demo) - 2:46
#"The Caterpillar" (Studio demo) - 4:17
#"Dressing Up" (Studio alt mix) - 2:14
#"Wailing Wall" (Studio alt mix) - 4:59
#"The Empty World" (Live bootleg) - 2:47
#"Bananafishbones" (Live bootleg) - 2:57
#"The Top" (Live bootleg) - 7:13
#"Forever (version)" (Live bootleg) - 4:58


*Robert Smith - vocals, Multi Instruments
*Andy Anderson - percussion, drums
*Lol Tolhurst - Other Instruments
*Porl Thompson - saxophone on Disc 1 and Disc 2, keyboards and guitar on live tracks on Disc 2
*Phil Thornalley - bass guitar on live tracks on Disc 2


*Producers: Dave Allen, Chris Parry, Robert Smith
*Engineers: Dave Allen, Howard Grey
*Instrumentation: Robert Smith, Lol Tolhurst


Album - Billboard (North America)


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