The Head on the Door

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The Head on the Door
The Cure - The Head on the Door.jpg
Studio album by The Cure
Released 26 August 1985
Recorded 1985 at Angel Studios in London, England
Genre Alternative rock, new wave, gothic rock, post-punk
Length 37:46
Label Fiction (UK)
Elektra (U.S. original release)
Rhino (2006 reissue)
Producer Robert Smith and David M. Allen
The Cure chronology
The Top
The Head on the Door
Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me
Singles from The Head on the Door
  1. "In Between Days"
    Released: 15 July 1985
  2. "Close to Me"
    Released: 9 September 1985
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars [1]
Blender 4/5 stars [2]
Pitchfork Media (8.7/10) [3]
Robert Christgau B [4]
RockMeAmadeus 4/5 stars [5]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 4/5 stars [6]

The Head on the Door is the sixth studio album by British band The Cure, released in 1985.

The album is the first to feature drummer Boris Williams; it also features the return of Simon Gallup and is Porl Thompson's first album as an official member.

Overview, release and legacy[edit]

This album follows the return of Simon Gallup and the official re-induction of Porl Thompson as a band member (he made a small contribution to The Top, but wasn't an official band member until the album's tour). This is also the first Cure album with drummer Boris Williams, who had previously worked with Thompson Twins. Special guest Ron Howe from Fools Dance plays a saxophone solo on the track "A Night Like This." The piano tune of "Six Different Ways" was initially composed by Smith one year before in 1984, for Siouxsie and the Banshees' single "Swimming Horses".

The Head on the Door was the real first big international success for the band, entering notably the Top 75 in the US and reaching the Top 20 in numerous other countries.[7] This album is certified Gold in US, UK and France.

Singer and composer Billy Corgan was marked by the record as "A Night Like This" was covered by The Smashing Pumpkins and released on their 1995 "Bullet with Butterfly Wings" single.

2006 reissue[edit]

In 2006, the album was re-released by Universal on their Fiction Records/Polydor Records labels, digitally remastered with various demos and live tracks from the era. Included are demos of the four b-sides from the era ("The Exploding Boy," "A Few Hours After This," "A Man Inside My Mouth," and "Stop Dead") and four songs that were never released. The remaining tracks are demos or live versions of all 10 songs from the first disc. It was released 8 August in the U.S. (where the album was instead released by Rhino Entertainment/Elektra Records) and 14 August in the UK.

One of the four new songs, "Mansolidgone," is similar both musically and lyrically to another demo, "A Hand Inside My Mouth," (not to be confused with "A Man Inside My Mouth") which appeared on The Top Deluxe Edition. The lyrics to both songs, and the uncovered demo "Lime Time," have lyrics which would be later used in the songs "In Between Days" and "Six Different Ways."

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.[8]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Robert Smith.

Original 1985 release[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "In Between Days"   2:57
2. "Kyoto Song"   4:16
3. "The Blood"   3:43
4. "Six Different Ways"   3:18
5. "Push"   4:31
6. "The Baby Screams"   3:44
7. "Close to Me"   3:23
8. "A Night Like This"   4:16
9. "Screw"   2:38
10. "Sinking"   4:57

2006 "Deluxe Edition"[edit]

Disc one[edit]

Original album, as above

Disc two[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "In Between Days" (RS instrumental home demo 12/84) 1:25
2. "Inwood" (RS instrumental home demo 12/84) 2:18
3. "Push" (RS instrumental home demo 12/84) 2:31
4. "Innsbruck" (RS instrumental home demo 12/84) 2:37
5. "Stop Dead" (Fitz/F2 Studios Demo 2/85) 3:21
6. "Mansolidgone" (Fitz/F2 Studios Demo 2/85) 4:06
7. "Screw" (Fitz/F2 Studios Demo 2/85) 3:09
8. "Lime Time" (Fitz/F2 Studios Demo 2/85) 2:56
9. "Kyoto Song" (Fitz/F2 Studios Demo 2/85) 4:28
10. "A Few Hours After This..." (Fitz/F2 Studios Demo 2/85) 4:36
11. "Six Different Ways" (Fitz/F2 Studios Demo 2/85) 3:00
12. "A Man Inside My Mouth" (Fitz/F2 Studios Demo 2/85) 3:00
13. "A Night Like This" (Fitz/F2 Studios Demo 2/85) 4:08
14. "The Exploding Boy" (Fitz/F2 Studios Demo 2/85) 3:06
15. "Close to Me" (Fitz/F2 Studios Demo 2/85) 4:03
16. "The Baby Screams" (live bootleg Bercy Paris 12/85) 3:46
17. "The Blood" (live bootleg Bercy Paris 12/85) 3:34
18. "Sinking" (live bootleg Bercy Paris 12/85) 5:06


  • Kyoto Song - produced by Robert Smith, David M. Allen and Howard Gray



Year Chart Position
1985 The Billboard 200 (U.S.) 59
UK Albums Chart 7
Germany Top 40 15
Netherlands Top 40 3
New Zealand Top 40 11
Switzerland Top 40 14
Sweden Top 40 24
1986 France Top 50 6


Year Single Chart Position
1985 "In Between Days" Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play (U.S.) 39
The Billboard Hot 100 (U.S.) 99
UK Top 40 15
"Close to Me" UK Top 40 24
1986 "In Between Days" France Top 50 23
"Close to Me" France Top 50 17
Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play (U.S.) 32


Organization Level Date
BPI – UK Gold 9 December 1985
RIAA – U.S. Gold 18 March 1991
SNEP – France 2x Gold 1986