Album #23: “Standing on a Beach” — The Cure (1986) and
Album #22: “Oh No, Not Them Again!” Surf Punks (1987)
It’s been Indian Summer the last week, and the heat put me in mind of the shore. The best time to go to the beach is the off season, and the best time I ever had in Ocean City was the two weeks I stayed beyond Labor Day in 1987, after my job drawing caricatures on the boardwalk was over. The soundtrack for that summer was comprised of the odd one-hit wonder of T’Pau (the only top 40 band ever named after a Star Trek character), Camper Van Beethoven, Hoodoo Gurus and The Cure. Someone in the dockside apartment (there was at least nine of us there, sleeping in shifts) had the cassette of “Standing on a Beach,” a collection of all The Cure’s singles, and it always seemed to be on. At least that’s how I remember it…
The Surf Punks are best remembered — at least outside of LA — for a fun remake of Sweet‘s “Ballroom Blitz.” At least that’s how I found them. But the rest of “Oh No! Not Them Again” was even better, a flippant idiosyncratic collection of surf music by a band that cared more about actual surfing. Yet somehow, by not giving a shit, it freed them up to make a great record.