I think for a lot of people that didn’t follow The Cure as closely as some of us did this singles compilation titled ‘Standing on a Beach’ that was released on May the 6th 1986 was their first taste of the band, and what a perfect introduction it was.
The album was released in three formats, vinyl record, compact disc and audio cassette (I’m fairly sure I had all three), all three had different track listings, the vinyl version had all thirteen of The Cure’s singles released up to that point in sequential order, the CD version had four extra tracks added “10:15 Saturday Night”, “Play for Today”, “Other Voices” and “A Night Like This”, and the cassette tape version had the same track listing as the vinyl but also included all of the band’s b-sides that had not been released on LP yet. They also released a VHS version of it called “Staring at the Sea: The Images”.
The name of old man featured on the album cover was John Button, and was at the time a retired fisherman. He also appeared in the music video for “Killing an Arab.” According to the band’s 2005 biography by Jeff Apter, when asked why he agreed to lend his face to the band’s media, Button’s answer was “If I can help these youngsters break through, after all, why not?”