The Cure: Classic or Dud?

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Classic. Part of my yoof, you see. I've whiled away many an unhappy evening in the company of 'Faith' and 'Seventeen Seconds'!

Seriously.. though it seems the norm to slag 'em off these days, it's amazing just how much good stuff they have done. 'Boy's Don't Cry'/'3 Imaginary Boys' is a great debut, whichever version you have. Scratchy wired glum-pop. In fact it's all classic up to 'The Top', their first major clunker.

'Head on the Door' is great pop. 'Kiss Me X3' is also great pop ('Just Like Heaven'), except where they try too hard to make great pop and fail ('Hot, Hot, Hot'). 'Disintegration' is their last great album. But not pop. No problem.

My last encounter with The Cure was 'Wild Mood Swings'. I swung my copy back from whence it came - Record and Tape Exchange. Still, 'Galore' sums up the later years nicely.

Anyway I like old Bob, a pop man at heart even in his gloomiest moments.

Dr. C, Tuesday, 27 March 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I think I've been asked for at least twice in this thread already. ;-)

Classic. And if you disagree with me I'll shove all twenty or so CDRs of rare and odd stuff I have of theirs down your throat and kill you. *proceeds to light candles to huge _Disintegration_ poster in room*

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 27 March 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Classique. They have enough great tunes and came up with some pretty original sounds. I like how they continually evolve, even if some of their evolution has produced some crap music. I could still listen to "Jumping Someone Else's Train" repeatedly after all these years. I heard some of their last record and it was really bad though. And kill that "Friday I'm in Love" dung, boys! But for the most part, great stuff.

Tim Baier, Tuesday, 27 March 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Classic, though their most recent stuff sucks.

The Cure are a band who, like Depeche Mode and a number of others of that ilk, should have just hung it up on December 31, 1989. Their glory days were in the 1980s, Disintegration should have been their last album. It would have been a perfect ending. Instead, they chose to put out three subpar releases in the 1990s. While Bloodflowers was a definite improvement over Wild Mood Swings (did *anyone* like that album?) and Wish (which came out at the peak of my Cure fandom and still disappointed me), it still wasn't close to the material they released during the 1980s.

Yeah, some of their stuff is whiny and pretentious. But I think they manage to pull it off reasonably well, and I think the whininess and the pretentiousness will make them staples of every sad-sack high school kid for the next thirty years, whether they continue to release new albums or not. (And hopefully they won't, judging from the poor quality of their most recent albums--I think that the more bad stuff they release, the less "legendary" they'll become.)

By the way, I *was* a teenage goth girl. I was also an early-20s goth girl. I own a velvet and lace cape and little pointy boots and black lipstick. Heh.

Nanette, Wednesday, 28 March 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Nanette, I'd argue that _Wish_ is a very underrated album. Its mood is radically different from _Disintegration_, which is one thing that I think threw people off when it came out. I, for one, really dig the snarlier tone of "Open", "Cut", "FTEOTDGS", and "End" and their juxtaposition with more contemplative "Apart", "Trust", and "To Wish Impossible Things". _Wish_ also has "High", which I consider to be the last truly great pop song that the Cure did.

_Wild Mood Swings_ is more problematic. It's a very erratic album and contains a couple of songs that never should have seen the light of day ("Mint Car", "Return"). However, it also contains the absolutely marvelous "The 13th", "Want", "Gone!" and "Jupiter Crash". Some judicious editing (and swapping some album tracks for b-sides) would make this a much better album.

For me, _Bloodflowers_ compares very well to their 80's output. It seems that the group got back into a good songwriting groove for this album, which is particularly evident on "Out Of This World", "The Loudest Sound", "The Last Day Of Summer", "Bloodflowers", and "Watching Me Fall" (Cure cliches and all). The album has a strong sense of flow and there are no embarrassing attempts to rewrite "Friday I'm In Love". It was a good ending for them, assuming that Robert's latest pronouncements about the band's demise are actually true this time.

There are individual songs I don't like, and _Wild Mood Swings_ is easily my least- favorite of their albums, but I'd be hard-pressed to say that I actively dislike any of the Cure's albums.

Dan Perry, Wednesday, 28 March 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

one month passes...
I'm in sympathy with the way that the 'classic' brigade have articulated that they love the band even though they can see their sillinesses, repetitions and limitations. Possibly a lot of pop love is of this kind.

the pinefox, Saturday, 28 April 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

one year passes...
The Cure are damned by having so many annoying fans.

They have many good tunes. However, they have many bad ones, viz "Friday I'm In Love".

Still, at their best they show an impressive ability to make both poppy goth jumpathons and total doomfests.

DV, Friday, 26 July 2002 00:00 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Dud. Possibly something worthwhile beyond Smith's vocals, but I can't get past them.

DeRayMi, Friday, 26 July 2002 00:00 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I've had a love/hate relationship with The Cure that had long since given way to indifference. but recently I've listened again to Robert Smith's 1983 collaboration album with Steve Severin - The Glove is great! (probably like how I'd rather listen to the Andy Partridge solo album Take Away/Lure Of Salvage than most XTC.)

as with many Cure detractors, Bob's voice and self-pity usually get to me. still have fond memories of Seventeen Seconds and Faith but I also enjoy some later stuff where twisted humour, all of Pornography, or tenderness, "The Upstairs Room" and "Birdmadgirl", balance out the self-loathing and sappiness.

the Laurence Tolhurst abuse didn't help Robert Smith's case (and John McGeoch was a better Banshee).

Paul, Friday, 26 July 2002 00:00 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

stop

Paul, Friday, 26 July 2002 00:00 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

The Cure are fucking appalling. As someone else already keenly observed - a classic case of having a fucking awful voice. I mean I don't mind some of the musicianship but fatboy Smith is such a twat. Really.

I had a girlfriend once who was into these boys hard and she used to play is it 'Pictures of You' (?) over and over and over (a sort of pining for a lost love I think; not me, incidentally). Anyway, it used to bore the hell out of me, not to mention what felt like a large hole in my brain.

The thing is, with the Cure, it's like the Manic Street FUCKING Preachers syndrome - people who like 'em don't just like 'em, they fucking LOVE 'em, and think they're prophets or something. No, they are miserable, half-goths with absolutely nothing to say and even less charisma.

That said, I am admit that I am hardly familiar know their canon, since I can't bear exposure to it for protracated periods.

Still; DUDUDUDUDUDUDUDUDUDUDUDUDUDUDUDUDUD

Roger Fascist, Monday, 29 July 2002 00:00 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Actually, I think it's that the boring protestations of those who don't 'get' the music always have to be matched by those who emphatically do. One defines the other ..

Dare, Monday, 29 July 2002 00:00 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Not at all, Paul. There's something about The Cure and The Preachers that triggers fervour of a disturbing religiosity in people's heads, well, in my experience anyway. And if you wanna put that to the test, gently question a more avid fan and watch them twist like they was shackled to the cross.

Hmm, having said that, I do get riled when someone fails to 'get' my favourite bands and indulges in the kind of mindless attack I have already posted against The Cure. Yet, I feel that certain bands are wont to attract a more dependent following, who hang the band's music like metaphorical rosaries. And I'm not sure that even among my most beloved artists, there are those which I could hold in such equally mindless esteem.

What say you?

Roger fascist, Tuesday, 30 July 2002 00:00 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

two months pass...
If i brooded around and had a aweful voice, would i be as good as the cure, which coincidently, isnt even good to begin with

DUD

Hayward, Thursday, 3 October 2002 02:11 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Oddly enough, I've never really sought out their albums; I'm sure I'll get around to it, but I'm pretty sure they'll always be available... Pretty much all of their singles, though, are flat-out amazing - how could they not be classic?

Clarke B., Thursday, 3 October 2002 04:37 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

The albums are SO WORTH IT, Clarke.

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Thursday, 3 October 2002 11:13 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Quite.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 3 October 2002 23:38 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

hmmmmmmm .............
dud

donna (donna), Friday, 4 October 2002 01:02 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I'm exactly like Clarke. Always loved what I heard, but only own 'Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me'... Last year I told a friend of mine that the reason for this is because I pretty much know that I'll like them and am just 'saving it'. Is this like some weird Cure phenomena?

Kim (Kim), Friday, 4 October 2002 01:39 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I LOVE THE CURE. They fill a niche that no other band does. From the acutely depresso Pornography stuff to the silly dance stuff to the haunting gothy Faith stuff to the blatant sunshine pop... they've done all this convincingly and well. Did they invent the drugged up goofy romantic miserable goth ecstatic giddy thing?

Yet I do wonder how much my own nosatlgia plays a role. I still think Wish is great, despite every. review. ever. written. Maybe if I hadn't listened to it for the 1st time as a teenager travelling thru Europe with schoomates I'd think differently.

Aaron A., Friday, 4 October 2002 03:43 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Where to start, Ned and Dan? I'm thinking _Pornography_, but some of their _Disintegration_-era stuff kills me (esp. "Lovesong").

Also, I really really like the Wolfgang Press song on _Lonely is an Eyesore_, but I've heard their recordings are pretty patchy. Any recommendations there?

Clarke B., Friday, 4 October 2002 05:30 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

In your place I'd start with 17 Seconds, Clarke. It has their greatest song on it, "A Forest" and I find it the darkest and most powerful of their records. A lot of their stuff didn't age too well (even Disintegration), but this record definitely stood the test of time.

alex in mainhattan (alex63), Friday, 4 October 2002 07:03 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I wouldn't go for _Pornography_ first; I think I'd get _Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me_ and the cassette version of _Standing On A Beach_ in order to get the b-sides.

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Friday, 4 October 2002 11:04 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Classic until "Stranding on a Beach" came out, after which they descended into the depths of self-parody.

TMFTML (TMFTML), Friday, 4 October 2002 17:37 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I kinda saved them also, Kim - owned the two singles compilations for years before actually buying my first proper album (Disintegration) just this year. Though I do like it, it hasn't swayed me into snatching up the others yet. Maybe in another four years I'll get another one.

Vinnie (vprabhu), Friday, 4 October 2002 17:51 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

They fill(ed?) a niche no one else did (which I usually characterize as "Harlequin romance rock") and they did a perfectly accomplished and unique job of it most of the time but it's not one I care to listen to much at all. I can play Pornography maybe a couple times per year and it's sometimes nice to hear the singles on the radio but overall there's not a big connection. And I couldn't imagine sitting through a whole album of stuff like "In Between Days" or "Let's Go to Bed". The singles comp (Staring At the Sea?) is probably as much as I'd need of that. I'd buy Disintegration if I thought I'd ever listen to it. Wish and Wild Mood Swings were awful.

sundar subramanian, Friday, 4 October 2002 18:32 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I honestly cannot comprehend how _Wish_ is AWFUL.

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Friday, 4 October 2002 18:34 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

the cure were/are one of the best bands for dancing to whilst only wearing underwear...hopefully not by yourself...

g (graysonlane), Friday, 4 October 2002 18:47 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Ok, I'm a liar. I totally forgot that I also had 'Standing on a Beach' on cassette - played it to death. I don't have it anymore though. I think my brother "borrowed" it and never gave it back! Ooooh...that little...

Kim (Kim), Friday, 4 October 2002 20:39 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I like just like heaven, I'm going to get Kiss me times 3.

jel -- (jel), Friday, 4 October 2002 20:43 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

classic classic classic and why should you not dance to the cure in underwear by yourself! unless you are wearing the underwear out to the goth dance club, of course.

teeny (teeny), Friday, 4 October 2002 20:44 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Have you ever been to a goth dance club? Underwear as outerwear is pretty much de rigeur.

Kim (Kim), Friday, 4 October 2002 20:48 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Clarke, start with Disintegration first, and then try Seventeen Seconds and then Pornography. I've argued elsethread about this already so I won't go into the details here...just click the link, cause there's a lot of other good talk there anyhow.

Sean Carruthers (SeanC), Friday, 4 October 2002 20:55 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Pretend that there's a smiley at the end of my last post. I sound like a meanie otherwise.

Kim (Kim), Friday, 4 October 2002 20:57 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

ten months pass...
"And yet Robert Smith - the Chatterton of Crawley - had created if not a wall of sound then a very high hedge of sound, over which he seemed to peer at the world like a boy who couldn't be bothered to ask for his ball back."

the "cure=suburbia" part of Michael Bracewell's England Is Mine is one of the best things ever!

etc, Wednesday, 20 August 2003 08:54 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

"Join the Dots" (B Sides and rarities) is out on October 21st. I presume it'll have the much talked about Cassette b sides from Standing on a Beach on it, but does anyone know that actual tracklisting is?

flowersdie (flowersdie), Wednesday, 20 August 2003 09:05 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Hopefully it'll have the stuff off "curiosity", too. And that soundtrack they did.

Classic, BTW. Again, my mid-teens coincided with Disintegration and I was full-on obsessed for a couple of years. I bought a shedload of albums at Oxfam last year, and a friend and I drove our GF/wives insane by listening, back to back, to 17 Seconds, Faith, Pornography and the Top. Divorce was on the horizon by the end of that evening.

Jim Eaton-Terry (Jim E-T), Wednesday, 20 August 2003 13:04 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Hopefully it'll have the stuff off "curiosity", too. And that soundtrack they did.

Thing is, there are SO many B-sides and rarities which have officially surfaced that they'd have to put out a box set. As it is, if the remasters that are surfacing next year are going to include bonus discs for each with room for other oddities, then that will partially settle the problem.

Thy Lethal Zen Ned (Ned), Wednesday, 20 August 2003 13:42 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

This news makes me very, very happy.

Jay Vee (Manon_70), Wednesday, 20 August 2003 13:53 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

won't come out on Oct. 21st though. That info was wrong

Fabrice (Fabfunk), Wednesday, 20 August 2003 13:55 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

When is it out then?

flowersdie (flowersdie), Wednesday, 20 August 2003 13:56 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

No official release date..

Fabrice (Fabfunk), Wednesday, 20 August 2003 14:01 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I kind of like the guitars in "Pictures of You".

sundar subramanian (sundar), Wednesday, 20 August 2003 14:04 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Recently listened to Dark Side of the Moon and then Disintegration back to back. Confirmed what I already knew.
Fuck the Canon and the Keepers it rode in on. The Cure > Pink Floyd.

Lord Custos Epsilon (Lord Custos Epsilon), Wednesday, 20 August 2003 14:18 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Just adding to the calls of "Classic" (up to, and including, Wish, that is).

David A. (Davant), Wednesday, 20 August 2003 19:47 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

six months pass...
Shall I expound at great length here about The Cure's gig at the Barfly last night? Or does it warrant its own thread?

CharlieNo4 (Charlie), Saturday, 6 March 2004 12:31 (twelve years ago) Permalink

either way, spill!

teeny (teeny), Saturday, 6 March 2004 16:25 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Yes. Now please. Or else.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Saturday, 6 March 2004 16:30 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Giz it.

Lynskey (Lynskey), Saturday, 6 March 2004 16:34 (twelve years ago) Permalink

You don't want to make The Raggett angry.

El Diablo Robotico (Nicole), Saturday, 6 March 2004 16:34 (twelve years ago) Permalink

thanks for this Ned, some great stuff.

Bee OK, Wednesday, 14 September 2016 02:03 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Would read. Thanks Ned.

Sigue Sigue Kaputnik (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 14 September 2016 02:05 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Paul/Porl/Pearl was married to Robert's sister, making them brothers-in-law for many years. That changed a few years back when Porl became Pearl, got divorced and sold all of his music gear to pursue painting.

Austin, Wednesday, 14 September 2016 06:00 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Yeah thats it. Not sure if divorce was ever announched but it seemed kind of implied that was the reason why Porl/Pearl left the band in 2008.

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Wednesday, 14 September 2016 07:53 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Hmm. Maybe he is transitioning, then!

the hair - it's lost its energy (Turrican), Wednesday, 14 September 2016 15:42 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Boris's old house (the one in the pictures on Roger O'Donnell's page) is up for sale if anyone's got £1.5m to spare.

Robert must've paid him really well.

nate woolls, Wednesday, 14 September 2016 15:51 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Well the split songwriting credits he shared during the band's biggest commercial moments that have also resulted in regular royalties didn't hurt. Tolhurst mentions a couple of times in the book that Smith's very practical with band finances -- he specifically credits him with setting it up so band advances were banked and turned into weekly wage money that would give them something to live on in the early days. Meanwhile, when the whole nineties court case was discussed -- Tolhurst pretty much confesses it was all down to his bad judgment to stretch it out into what it became, and that the resetting of the band contract in 1986 that removed him from full partnership was something he 1) did fully agree to and 2) was done because he was rapidly turning into a liability -- he tells a story, presumably one he got from Robert himself, that Robert's dad asked him, "Well have you been paying Laurence all this time?" and Smith went "Of course I have!" (Which is exactly what the court agreed.)

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 14 September 2016 16:00 (two weeks ago) Permalink

I wonder what Boris has been up to all this time - apart from that small band with his wife in the 90's it seems he's quit music altogether.

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Wednesday, 14 September 2016 16:03 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Man I don't blame the guy for relaxing. Nice work if you can get it.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 14 September 2016 16:03 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Looks like he played with Shelleyan Orphan again a few years back:

http://curefans.com/curenews/boris-williams-update/

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 14 September 2016 16:07 (two weeks ago) Permalink

got to read about 3/4 of lol's book at work today. it's really good, a lot more put together, coherent and thoughtful than i was expecting for some reason. he really does seem to hold robert in v high regard artistically and personally and professionally. the 17 secs/pornography stuff is really good.

pandemic, Wednesday, 21 September 2016 19:21 (one week ago) Permalink

I'm curious how much he goes into their musical influences, something which has always seemed a bit obscured or hard to pin down

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 21 September 2016 20:13 (one week ago) Permalink

He definitely brings up a few points of early inspiration -- Bowie on TOTP, etc. He also specifically credits them seeing Wire around 1978 or so as a big influence on how to do one's own thing.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 21 September 2016 20:27 (one week ago) Permalink

robert always talks about loving jimi hendrix lol

kurt schwitterz, Wednesday, 21 September 2016 20:42 (one week ago) Permalink

Yeah, they were definitely into Jimi Hendrix very early on (pre-first LP, although they later did 'Foxy Lady') although I remember hearing they liked stuff like Thin Lizzy too.

the hair - it's lost its energy (Turrican), Wednesday, 21 September 2016 21:17 (one week ago) Permalink

Oh yeah, Robert's on record as saying Piledriver by Status Quo was an early influence on him.

the hair - it's lost its energy (Turrican), Wednesday, 21 September 2016 21:18 (one week ago) Permalink

robert recently picked his top 30 of the 80s and he had some good commentary about why he picked what he did

http://www.slicingupeyeballs.com/2009/05/30/the-cure-robert-smith-top-30-songs-80s-sirius-xm-1st-wave-countdown/

kurt schwitterz, Wednesday, 21 September 2016 21:29 (one week ago) Permalink

oh guess that was a long time ago but they just replayed it

kurt schwitterz, Wednesday, 21 September 2016 21:32 (one week ago) Permalink

this is great stuff, going to have to look into this book. Lol in Los Angeles is pretty cool, i knew he DJ's every once in awhile but didn't know he lived here.

Bee OK, Wednesday, 21 September 2016 23:43 (one week ago) Permalink

I would prefer getting this on kindle but i'm curious about the photos - worth getting the print version?

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Monday, 26 September 2016 14:00 (five days ago) Permalink

Only about 7 or8 pages of photos iirc some of which you've probably seen before ie Robert's wedding photo. There is a picture of lol with John hurt where lol looks "soul zapped" and one of lol+ his son + Robert. Kindle version is the way to go I think.

pandemic, Monday, 26 September 2016 14:08 (five days ago) Permalink

You mean this photo?

Berberian Begins at Home (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 26 September 2016 14:38 (five days ago) Permalink

No, it's outside the chapel. Robert in a suit Mary in a wedding dress + 3 or 4 band members incl Lol.

pandemic, Monday, 26 September 2016 14:48 (five days ago) Permalink

[Malware link removed]

how's life, Monday, 26 September 2016 14:54 (five days ago) Permalink

thanks for the link Ned.

Bee OK, Wednesday, 28 September 2016 02:01 (three days ago) Permalink

Totally going to have to read this book.

Berberian Begins at Home (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 28 September 2016 02:23 (three days ago) Permalink

Lol seems like a genuinely good guy these days.

Austin, Wednesday, 28 September 2016 04:28 (three days ago) Permalink

the cure tickets for the concert in berlin on october 18th sell for 169 €. is that a normal price to see them live these days?

it's the distortion, stupid! (alex in mainhattan), Thursday, 29 September 2016 13:28 (two days ago) Permalink

Not really. Vienna is €66.

heaven parker (anagram), Thursday, 29 September 2016 13:39 (two days ago) Permalink

Whatever I do its never enough..
Pfft tm tm tm tmmm

(Gt hits in the car right now. Alice insisted)

Mark G, Thursday, 29 September 2016 20:23 (two days ago) Permalink

didn't know "Killing an Arab" had been pulled from streaming services

flappy bird, Friday, 30 September 2016 01:45 (yesterday) Permalink

R.I.P. Arab

how's life, Friday, 30 September 2016 10:00 (yesterday) Permalink

It might be called "I'm a stranger" now

Mark G, Friday, 30 September 2016 10:10 (yesterday) Permalink

L'Arab

flappy bird, Friday, 30 September 2016 11:35 (yesterday) Permalink

The single "Killing an Arab" is on Deezer.

it's the distortion, stupid! (alex in mainhattan), Friday, 30 September 2016 21:39 (yesterday) Permalink

l'et's cut the conversation, and g'et out for a bit

reggie (qualmsley), Friday, 30 September 2016 21:57 (yesterday) Permalink


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