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Cure
'"Disintegration is the best album ever!"

An influential English Goth Rock band formed in 1976 and one of the earliest successful Alternative Rock bands (alongside REM and The Smiths), The Cure was formed as a response to Post Punk and New Wave music coming on the scene. They've had a ton of members over the years, but the one you most likely know is the Face of the Band, mastermind, guitarist and nasal singer Robert Smith. For what it's worth, Lol Tolhurst was the band's original drummer until he was sacked in 1989 and is known for his now-funny nickname, and bassist Simon Gallup is the second longest serving member.

They started out a punk (or post-punk, depending on who you ask) band, quickly moved into a Goth phase, with a purposeful anti-image and a generally somber outlook. After Pornography came out, Smith felt pigeonholed by their miserabilist image and wanted to escape from it. This caused them to go Lighter and Softer, arguably, which was much more commercially successful. Once they'd reached real success they released Disintegration, which won over the UK and gained them fans internationally. Their music ever since is just different degrees of accessibility vs. angst.

Despite their Goth Rock tag, they've also written pop songs and dabbled in so many genres they're arguably close to Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly territory.

Many bands like Janes Addiction and Deftones cite them as an inspiration.

"Just Like Heaven" and "Friday I'm In Love" are their most recognizable songs to the average viewer.


Albums:

  • Three Imaginary Boys (1979)
    • Boys Don't Cry (1980) (the US equivalent of Three)
  • Seventeen Seconds (1980)
  • Faith (1981)
    • Happily Ever After (1981) (the band's second album in the US, which combined Seventeen and Faith onto one 2-LP set. Now long out of print)
  • Pornography (1982)
  • The Top (1984)
  • The Head on the Door (1985)
  • Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me (1987)
  • Disintegration (1989)
  • Wish (1992)
  • Wild Mood Swings (1996)
  • Bloodflowers (2000)
  • The Cure (2004)
  • 4:13 Dream (2008)

Tropes related to the band:

  • Album Title Drop: "Close to Me" for The Head on the Door.
  • The Alcoholic: The reason Lol Tolhurst was fired.
  • Break Up Song: "Boys Don't Cry" and "The End of the World"
  • Canon Dis Continuity: In 1986, to promote Staring at the Sea: The Singles, the band released a new remix for "Boys Don't Cry" subtitled "New Voice New Mix". Upon its release, the band almost immediately decided it was a bad idea. Aside from its original single release, it has never appeared on another Cure release, not even on the band's career spanning (and otherwise complete) rarities box set Join the Dots, which ironically enough uses the iconic cover of the "New Voice New Mix" single as its cover image. The only way to hear it otherwise is on the 1986 music video for "Boys Don't Cry" that appears on a few of the band's video collections.
    • "Killing An Arab", the band's first single, is absent from the reissue of Three Imaginary Boys due to the controversy over its misinterpretation. It remains available on Boys Don't Cry and Standing on a Beach: The Singles, both of which remain in print.
  • Cover Version: A weird version of "Foxy Lady" by Jimi Hendrix shows up on their debut, and they covered "Purple Haze" on the Hendrix Tribute album Stone Free, The Doors' "Hello, I Love You" for the Elektra compilation Rubáiyát, and Depeche Mode's "World in My Eyes" and David Bowie's "Young Americans" for BSides. They've also been covered a few times, 311's "Love Song" and Dinosaur Jr.'s "Just Like Heaven" covers being the most high-profile.
  • Creator Backlash: Smith hated the "Foxy Lady" cover, "Object" and "World War" from Three Imaginary Boys, claiming that they were "diabolical" and were only recorded at producer Chris Parry's insistence. "Foxy Lady" and "World War" are subsequently absent from the US equivalent Boys Don't Cry album. "Object" appeared on the original LP release of Boys but its nowhere to be found on the CD release.
    • "Friday I'm In Love" is not extremely different from most of their mid-period upbeat songs, and yet the band loathes and detests it and Robert Smith once said in an interview that people who liked it "weren't Cure fans".
  • Days of the Week Song: "Friday I'm in Love"
  • Epic Rocking: "Faith", the soundtrack to "Carnage Visors"[1], "One Hundred Years", "Figurehead", "Pornography", "The Top", "The Kiss", "The Snakepit", "Pictures of You", "Prayers for Rain", "The Same Deep Water As You", "Disintegration", "Homesick", "Untitled", "Open", "Apart", "From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea", "End", "Out of This World", "Watching Me Fall", "Bloodflowers", "Fear of Ghosts", "Burn", "Young Americans", "It Used to Be Me", "Coming Up".
  • Garfunkel: Literally. Lol Tolhurst's alcohol abuse reached a peak during the Disintegration sessions, and despite being credited for "other instruments", the band said he played absolutely nothing on the album, preferring to sit around, get drunk and watch MTV while the rest of the band bullied him (except Smith, who said his behaviour was like "some kind of handicapped child being constantly poked with a stick"). He was fired after a shouting match over arriving excessively drunk to the album's mixing.
  • Goth Rock: Probably the band that comes to mind when the general public thinks of "goth rock", even though the band has many popular songs that are decidedly non-goth and indeed only a handful of their albums actually fit in the genre.
  • Greatest Hits Album: Three - 1986's Staring at the Sea: The Singles (expanded on compact disc as Standing on a Beach, which features a couple album tracks), 1998's Galore (containing the singles released after Staring at the Sea) and 2001's career-spanning Greatest Hits.
  • Inspired By: "Charlotte Sometimes" and "The Empty World" are both inspired by Penelope Farmer's book Charlotte Sometimes; "Killing An Arab" derives from Albert Camus's The Stranger and "A Letter to Elise" is about Jean Cocteau's Les Enfants Terribles.
  • Intentionally Awkward Title: Pornography.
  • Intercourse with You: "The Lovecats." "Let's have each other for dinner / Let's have each other with cream."
    • "Siamese Twins" is a Darker and Edgier take on an Intercourse with You song, which is a song about wretched loathing while detailing a loss of virginity in the most poetically horrific terms.
  • The Invisible Band: "Boys Don't Cry" has a bunch of boys playing the song.
  • Last-Note Nightmare: "Subway Song"
  • Literary Allusion Title: "Killing an Arab" is named for part of the existentialist novel The Stranger by Albert Camus. Charlotte Sometimes refers to a book by Penelope Farmer.
  • Looks Like Cesare / Anime Hair: Robert Smith.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: Most of their songs.
  • Milking the Giant Cow: Robert Smith in pretty much any of their music videos. Dude loves waving his arms around.
  • Mood Dissonance: Most of their more pop oriented albums, such as The Head on the Door or Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me
  • New Sound Album: Their albums after Pornography either lower or increase the angst level.
  • Non-Appearing Title: "Lullaby" and "Lovesong" (although you can consider the titles of both describe the content of the song), "Mint Car" and "Cut Here", among many others. "Inbetween Days" could also count, as the complete title doesn't appear.
  • Something Completely Different: The band followed the dark, depressing masterpiece Pornography with a string of three poppy non-album singles: "Let's Go to Bed", "The Walk" and "The Lovecats". At the time of their release, these songs were also the band's biggest chart hits, with "The Lovecats" making the top 10 in the United Kingdom.
  • Step Up to the Microphone: The Three Imaginary Boys cover of "Foxy Lady" was sung by bassist Michael Dempsey, because Robert Smith hated it. Thus, Dempsey's the only person not named Robert Smith to sing lead vocals on a Cure album. Unless you technically count Simon Gallup, who sang on the unreleased demo for "Violin Song".
  • The Something Song: "Lovesong".
  • Unplugged Version: The Cure's Acoustic Hits is an album-length version of this trope; it contained newly recorded acoustic versions of all eighteen songs on the North American version of Greatest Hits.

Notes

  1. their longest song, barrelling over the 20 minute mark
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