The Top (album)

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The Top
Studio album by The Cure
Released 30 April 1984
Recorded 1983–1984 at Genetic, Garden Studios and Trident
Genre Gothic rock, post-punk, new wave, psychedelic rock, hard rock
Length 40:55
Label Fiction
Producer David M. Allen, Chris Parry, Robert Smith
The Cure chronology
The Top
The Head on the Door
Singles from The Top
  1. "The Caterpillar"
    Released: 26 March 1984
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 2/5 stars[1]
Pitchfork 6.9/10[2]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 2.5/5 stars[3]

The Top is the fifth studio album by English band The Cure, released on 30 April 1984 by Fiction Records.


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 Love Cats". These three singles and their b-sides were compiled and became Japanese Whispers (1983). The Top is the first conventional studio album to follow this new side of The Cure. It marks a change from the upbeat synthpop of Japanese Whispers to a psychedelic, experimental sound.

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.

2006 re-release[edit]

The album was re-released August 8, 2006 in the U.S. and August 14 in the UK.

The second disc has four previously unreleased tracks ("You Stayed", "Ariel", "A Hand Inside My Mouth" – lyrics from which were eventually used in "Inbetween Days" and "Six Different Ways" – and "Sadicic", which was repurposed as "New Day"), three live performances, and studio outtakes/demos of nine of the ten songs on the original album (and of "Happy the Man" and "Throw Your Foot", final versions of which were released as B-sides on the single "The Caterpillar"). A mastering error which resulted in "Bananafishbones" playing a semitone lower than intended was corrected on this 2006 re-release, with the correct pitch of the song restored.

Live performances[edit]

In April 2014, the Cure announced that in late 2014 they would be performing The Top, The Head on the Door and Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me in their entirety as part of their 3rd Trilogy tour.[4]

Track listing[edit]

All songs by Robert Smith, except where noted.

Original 1984 release[edit]

Side A

  1. "Shake Dog Shake" – 4:55
  2. "Bird Mad Girl" (Smith, Tolhurst) – 4:05[5]
  3. "Wailing Wall" – 5:17
  4. "Give Me It" – 3:42
  5. "Dressing Up" – 2:51

Side B

  1. "The Caterpillar" (Smith, Tolhurst) – 3:40
  2. "Piggy in the Mirror" (Smith, Tolhurst) – 3:40
  3. "The Empty World" – 2:36
  4. "Bananafishbones" – 3:12
  5. "The Top" – 6:50

2006 "Deluxe Edition"[edit]

Disc one[edit]

  1. "Shake Dog Shake"
  2. "Birdmad Girl"[5]
  3. "Wailing Wall"
  4. "Give Me It"
  5. "Dressing Up"
  6. "The Caterpillar"
  7. "Piggy In The Mirror"
  8. "The Empty World"
  9. "Bananafishbones"
  10. "The Top"


Disc two[edit]

  1. "You Stayed..." (Robert Smith home demo) – 2:21
  2. "Ariel" (Robert Smith home demo) – 2:58
  3. "A Hand Inside My Mouth" (Studio demo) – 3:40
  4. "Sadacic" (Robert Smith Studio demo) – 4:17
  5. "Shake Dog Shake" (Studio demo) – 4:56
  6. "Piggy in the Mirror" (Studio demo) – 3:40
  7. "Birdmad Girl" (Studio demo) – 3:36
  8. "Give Me It" (Studio demo) – 3:43
  9. "Throw Your Foot" (Studio demo) – 3:31
  10. "Happy the Man" (Studio demo) – 2:46
  11. "The Caterpillar" (Studio demo) – 4:17
  12. "Dressing Up" (Studio alt mix) – 2:14
  13. "Wailing Wall" (Studio alt mix) – 4:59
  14. "The Empty World" (live bootleg Hammersmith Odeon 5/84) – 2:47
  15. "Bananafishbones" (live bootleg Hammersmith Odeon 5/84) – 2:57
  16. "The Top" (live bootleg Hammersmith Odeon 5/84) – 7:13
  17. "Forever (version)" (live bootleg Zenith Paris 5/84) – 4:58


The Cure
Additional musicians



Album - Billboard (North America)

Year Chart Position
1984 The Billboard 200 180