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You no longer have to pay $500 to watch The Cure's 1984 performance in Tokyo, Japan


One lost moment of music, which thrilled so many just a few decades ago, the music VHS. The videos were usually comprised of tour footage and/or a specific gig alongside some (normally cringe) interviews with the band. It was a way for kids in the eighties and nineties to get a little bit extra from their favourite band. The Cure though did things a little differently.

Before social media gave us 24-hour access to our favourite artists the youth of the world wanted as much material as they could get their hands on. Whether it was magazine interviews, trading cards, music videos or videotapes to watch over and over in the comfort of their own home – they wanted it all. The Cure, a band who in 1984 were making their name with their special brand of alt-pop-gaze, wanted to do things a little differently. Instead of filming their biggest and best gig (usually a hometown venture) they took their film crew to Tokyo and recorded the full performance of their show at Nakano Sun Plaza in Tokyo, Japan on October 17th, 1984.

The video was titled Live in Japan and recorded the third and final gig on The Cure’s fleeting visit to the land of the rising sun. The tour was in support of the band’s album via Fiction Records The Top. The tour and the gig were special least of all because of the amazing performance but because of just how rare the VHS of the show was to track down, so much so that the tapes are rarely mentioned in any Cure documentary no matter how extensive.

The rarity of these tapes means that collectors are collectively rubbing their collecting hands together with the thought of all that extra dough. Though the tape is no longer available on Discogs, the most recent purchase saw the final transaction price at $499. There is a similar videotape on the site though. A video compilation called Tea Party which was the first iterations of what would become Staring at the Sea: The Images video. There’s a copy of Tea Party available on Discogs for $799.

Watch this rare footage of The Cure’s 1980 New York City performance of ‘A Forest’

Live in Japan remains the first video product ever put out by the band and it, therefore, remains the first official live video the band put out too. The Cure in Orange, which was recorded in France just a few years later would follow it. If you’re worried about the Live in Japan asking price, and trying to track down a VHS player, then you needn’t worry, as the full footage has now appeared on YouTube.

Though the full recorded performance has been on and off YouTube for a few years now, there has never been an upload that had such good quality. Now it has. The uploader is apparently the recently deceased drummer for the band Andy Anderson, which adds a little extra weight to the performance’s sadder moments. The touring lineup of The Cure in 1984 was: Robert Smith, vocals, guitar, violin; Lol Tolhurst, keyboards; Paul Thompson, guitar, keyboards, sax; Phil Thornalley: bass; Andy Anderson, drums.

As previously promised these videos often come complete with some wincing interviews and The Cure’s Live in Japan is no different. Expect to see some quick interviews, the band enjoying the buffet put on at the end of the evening, and a quick shot of Robert Smith trying to dissect some chopsticks with a steak knife.

So, sit back, enjoy, and be happy you don’t have to pay $499 to watch The Cure Live in Japan.

The amazing rare footage of The Cure playing ‘A Forest’ in a packed Boston club, 1980

The Cure’s 1984 Setlist:

  • Shake Dog Shake
  • Play For Today
  • Primary
  • Wailing Wall
  • The Empty World
  • The Hanging Garden
  • The Walk
  • One Hundred Years
  • Give Me It
  • A Forest
  • The Top
  • Charlotte Sometimes
  • Let’s Go To Bed
  • The Caterpillar
  • Boys Don’t Cry
  • 10:15 Saturday Night
  • Killing An Arab
  • The Lovecats

Source: Dangerous Minds / Post-Punk