Giant Green Rabbit -> The Cure (4/11/2008 3:54:15 PM)
So i was listening to the new Cure album 4:13 Dream, which, is shockingly their best album since Wish. Anyway, I thought I might use the new album's release as an opportunity to sell you The Cure. I'm a pretty big fan and was lucky enough to see them live earlier in the year when they played a superb 41-song set at Wembley Arena (ably supported by the excellent 65daysofstatic).
The thing about The Cure is that in their back catalogue there should be something for everyone. If you like depressing sparse post-punk then Faith and Seventeen Seconds can satisfy you...maybe you like the very dark despairing sounds of Pornography...or the goth-pop of Head on The Door and Kiss Me...or the prog-like genius of Disintegration...or the fantastic indie-rock of Wish. And then outside of any of the albums they've made you have singles which never made it to an LP: Boys Don't Cry, Killing An Arab, Charlotte Sometimes, Lets Go To Bed, Lovecats...and so on.
Unfortunately, the Greatest Hits album steers well clear of all their darker and best songs, which is why I thought it might be useful to give you an idea of where I peronally think, they are at their best. Here are my favourite Cure albums as they stand this afternoon....
1. Disintegration (1989)
Lovely, lush, atmospheric music; Disintegration for me is the Dark Side Of The Moon of the 80s. Right from the opening of Plainsong to the the final Untitled track, it simply soars...from the singles of Pictures of You and Lovesong to the mammoth-length album tracks of The Same Deep Water As You and the vicious title-track, the whole package just falls effortlessly into place. It does take a few listens to get into, so to speak, but then so does all the best music.
Favourite tracks: Pictures Of You, Last Dance, Facination Street, The Same Deep Water As You, Disintegration, Homesick, Untitled.
2. Pornography (1982)
The darkest Cure album; angry and despairing, it's the last of the darker trilogy of albums made between 1981 and 1983. It's not the easiest listen but it's full of glorious depression. It opens with one of the heaviest tracks the Cure have written in One Hundred Years, the line "It doesn't matter if we all die..." and the mood generally stays the same until the end. It's telling that not a single track on here made it to the Greatest Hits album; these songs are simply too dark to sit alongisde the Lovecats and Friday Im In Loves of their collection.
Favourite tracks: One Hundred Years, Figurehead, Cold
3. Wish (1992)
I'm putting this one a little higher than I might usually, admittedly because it's a lot more accessible than the likes of Faith and Seventeen Seconds. It's full of excellent songs, including what some think is their best ever track in From The Edge Of The Deep Green Sea. It mixes some of the darker tones of Disintegration (Open, Apart, Cut) with poppier songs that went on to be singles (High, Friday Im In Love, Letter To Elise). My unitial criticism of the album was that although it was full of many good songs, the darker and more commercial tracks didn't necessarily sit together too well...however, after having listened to it hundreds of times over times, it no longer seems deficient in that respect. it is a great introduction to the bang as it covers various aspects of their sound since Pornography. And I absolutely love the opening track called...er...Open.
Favourite songs: Open, From The Edge Of The Deep Green Sea, Trust, Letter To Elise, To Wish Impossible Things
4. Faith (1981)
The bleakest Cure album; sombre, depressing and deliberately understated. Again, not a single track on here makes the Greatest Hits collection, but the bass-guitar driven post-punk tunes should provide hours of misery for all those so inclined. Like me.
Favourite tracks: Holy Hour, Primary, Other Voices, Drowning Man, Faith
5. Seventeen Seconds (1980)
More stripped-down post-punk, including the crowd favourites Play For Today and A Forest. Seventeen Seconds is an aquired taste, but rewarding. I can't be bothered to write much more.
Favourite Tracks: Play For Today, A Forest, M
6. 4:13 Dream (2008)
A great pop album in the same vein as Wish. Easily superior to the last three Cure albums, it's great to hear a band still able to write such good tunes, 30 years after they started recording.
Favourite tracks: The Only One, This Here And Now With You, Sleep When I'm Dead, The Scream
7. Head On The Door (1985)
Lots of great goth pop tunes on this record including Inbetween Days, Close To Me, Six Different Ways, Blood and Kyoto Song. Another good introduction to the band.
Favourite tracks: Inbetween Days, Kyoto Song, Push, A Night Like This
8. Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me (1987)
Many people list this album amongs their favourites but I've never been as enamoured with it - I don't like tracks such as Why Can't I Be You, and I'm not sure that the harsh sounds of The Kiss, Torture, Shiver and Shake or Snakepit go together well with the pop-songs like Just Like Heaven and Catch. And it's also too long, in my opinion.
Favourite tracks: Torture, Just Like Heaven, One More Time, The Perfect Girl
So, any other Cure fans out there?