Mixed Up's genesis came from The Cure's Disintegration album and its accompanying global Prayer Tour. Released in 1989, Disintegration had delivered a triumphant end to the '80s, but the first year of the '90s found The Cure unexpectedly unsettled. Determined to keep up the momentum of the band's ongoing success, but knowing there were internal tensions to address before heading back into the studio, Robert Smith decided on a different course of action; curating an album of the band's rarer 12" mixes. As work on Mixed Up progressed, Smith realized that some of The Cure's earlier remixes didn't stand up to the newer ones.
Smith singles out Brian ‘Chuck' New's dub style remix of "Pictures Of You" as the one that inspired him to take a more adventurous path. "That mix turned the music on its head, but at the same time left the essential heart of the song intact," he says. "As soon as I heard it, I updated the entire Mixed Up plan. My revised ambition was to compile an album that was contemporary without being dated, immediate without being obvious, musically inspiring, rhythmically exciting and sonically great!" Two tracks on the album, "A Forest" and "The Walk," were not just remixed but entirely re-recorded, as the multi-track tapes for both songs had long been lost. Both songs were reconstructed in the studio with producer Mark Saunders, using original instruments and gear.
In fact, the whole affair felt a bit like a greatest-hits collection from an alternate universe, right down to the inclusion of the obligatory new track "Never Enough," which topped Billboard's Modern Rock chart for three weeks. Mixed Up has been half speed mastered by Robert Smith and Tim Young at Metropolis Studios, London and is pressed on 180-gram double vinyl.