It’s a curious fact that the first two VHS products the Cure put out were both Japan-only releases, and both are rather difficult to find today. They’re so obscure that even full-length biographies about the Cure often include no information about them.
In 1985 the band put out Live in Japan, which was a full concert recorded at the Nakano Sun Plaza in Tokyo on October 17, 1984. The show was the third and final gig on the Cure’s brief visit to Japan, and the second in as many nights at that venue. The tour was in support for The Top, an album that was put out by Fiction Records in the U.K. and Sire in the U.S.
Today if you want to purchase a copy of the VHS itself, only one Discogs user has ever sold a copy of it using the website, and that transaction cost the purchaser $499. (There are no copies available on Discogs right now.)
Later the same year the Cure put out a video compilation called Tea Party—kind of a first take on what would end up being the Staring at the Sea: The Images video compilation that was later commonly available elsewhere. You can buy a Betamax copy of Tea Party for a whopping $799.99 on Discogs.
Given that Live in Japan was the first video product the Cure ever sold, that perforce makes it the first official live video ever put out by the band too. The Cure in Orange, recorded in France in 1986, wouldn’t come out until a couple of years later.
Live in Japan has surfaced on YouTube here and there over the years, but it’s never managed to stay online for very long. For a year now, there has been a high-quality version on YouTube, and it’s likely to stay up there because the uploader was apparently the Cure’s drummer on that tour, Andy Anderson. The lineup for that tour was as follows: Robert Smith, vocals, guitar, violin; Lol Tolhurst, keyboards; Porl Thompson, guitar, keyboards, sax; Phil Thornalley: bass; Andy Anderson, drums.
The video includes some desultory backstage stuff, mainly some quickie interviews and footage of the band enjoying the spread after a gig. Not too exciting unless watching Robert Smith take a steak knife to a pair of chopsticks he has inexpertly separated floats your boat.
Shake Dog Shake
Play For Today
The Empty World
The Hanging Garden
One Hundred Years
Give Me It
Let’s Go To Bed
Boys Don’t Cry
10:15 Saturday Night
Killing An Arab
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
‘I’m alive. I’m dead’: The Cure in Concert, 1984