Brain Wilson doing a blog series about HIS story about the world of bootleg recordings and records. Part three is about the bootlegs of the 1980s. The bootleg music blog futures bootlegs with The Cure by The Swingin’ Pig.

The Swingin Pig bootlegs logo

THE CURE – Play For Today

Now on to the eighties. Home recording technology continues to become better, smaller and more affordable. Which in turn means lots of future bootleg material. The Cure are on stage in Arnheim Holland, after having been arrested prior to arriving (or was it after?). Although I love most everything the Cure released between Seventeen Seconds (1980) and Wish (1992), it is on bootleg that I enjoy them the most.

The Swingin’ Pig was a European bootleg label active in the 80s and 90s, releasing both vinyl and cd editions complete with deluxe packaging and professional mastering. And Swingin’ Pig always gave us the greatest Cure bootlegs, among them “Play For Today”, where a drunk Cure run through songs from their first couple of albums at breakneck intensity, “L’Olympia 1982” (an amazing soundboard recording from Paris), and “Cold”, a 1984 live recording from Ontario (not Washington as stated on the cover) that could rival any official release in terms of sound quality.

The Cure on stage were always more heavy, intense and lively than on their studio-recorded counterparts (80’s studio production values probably did not help either). Because of this, it is my opinion that no Cure collection is complete without at least one bootleg title from each tour. Even the officially released live albums (of which there are several) cannot match the Cures’ Swingin’ Pig output of the 80’s in terms of overall quality.

- Read part 1 - 1960s
- Part 2 - 1970s

Brain Wilson also have a record label; Fedi Forma, check it out.