The Cure: The 80’s

The origins of The Cure date back to the mid 1970’s. Their music evolved from album to album, echoing the punk and post-punk eras, and adopting the Gothic rock persona.

By the time Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me (1987) came along, which was their seventh album, and the first that caught my ear, The Cure had polished their sound into a style that was getting them broader radio play and chart action.

Songwriter and vocalist Robert Smith’s style was to paint downbeat soundscapes, dissonant and minor chords punctuated their songs.  Even their upbeat songs sounded somewhat sad.

Disintegration (1989) was a game-changer for me. Selling over three million copies and charting at number 12, it produced four popular singles.  The recording sessions for this album provided a slew of tracks released to accompany the four singles.  This album is rich in textures and long instrumental passages that are captivating and works of musical art.  “Lullaby,” “Fascination Street,” “Lovesong” and “Pictures of You.”

Wish (1992) “Friday I’m in Love” “High” were singled from this album that reached number two on the charts.  This was a more “pop” album after the gloomy Disintegration.

Wild Mood Swing (1996) reached only number 16 on the charts and was a downward career swing for the group.  Four singles were released but none of them charted very high.

Bloodflowers (2000) again reached number 16 on the charts and did not produce any big singles, but this album was closer in mood to Disintegration, which seems to be the high water mark for The Cure.

The Cure (2004) continued with the rebirth of the gloom that returned to the group several albums ago.  This album neither furthered or subtracted from the career arc of the group.

4:13 Dream (2008) was the last Cure album of new material to date.  As is often the case, when they hold sessions, the output more than satisfies the space available for CD.

In between albums of new material, Smith released several live albums and sets of remixed tracks, and songs that didn’t make CD releases.

In 2019, The Cure was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

I’m not a follower of Gothic rock, The Cure are an exception.  There is something quite inviting in gloomy, morose themes and depressing textures of their music.  A big dose of The Cure is tough to swallow but measured does are quite intriguing.


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