Photo by Debi Del Grande
B-sides often fall onto the obscure side of a band’s repertoire, the kind of tracks that only the most ardent fans know and love. Such was the case with The Cure’s “A Few Hours After This”, the reverse of the The Head on the Door classic “In Between Days”. Thirty years after it was initially released, the cult favorite song has been revived and re-recorded for the Christmas episode of BBC’s Luther.
“I have been an obsessive fan of The Cure since I was 13,” Neil Cross, creator of the hit crime drama, told The Daily Record. “After we had finished shooting the second episode of this special, I phoned the producer and said there is this really obscure Cure track – an extra track on a 12-inch single called ‘A Few Hours After This’ – which I have always loved and think it would really go.”
Ultimately, the band not only were willing to give Cross permission to use the song, they went ahead and recorded a brand new version specifically for the show. “Long story short,” Cross explained, “we contacted Robert Smith and he re-recorded the song. That was one of those moments where I wanted to hijack the Tardis and go back and see my teenage self and say, ‘One day…’”
The original version of “A Few Hours After This” was an ornate, orchestral beast of a track, full of floating strings and staccato drums and keys. For the update, Smith went quite the opposite route, turning the song into a menacing haze of synths and ghostly reverberating vocals. The old rhythms come in towards the end, with pounding piano replacing those old punctuated moments. The end result leaves the new version with the slightest sense of familiarity while wrapping it in completely new dressings. Take a listen below.
For comparison, here’s the original:
In related news, The Cure will soon embark on an extensive world tour that will see the band playing “as yet unreleased tracks.”