An influential English Goth Rock band formed in 1976 and one of the earliest successful Alternative Rock bands (alongside R.E.M. 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worth, Lol Tolhurst was the band's original drummer until he was sacked in 1989 (he wasn't drumming by then; he had been replaced by Boris Williams for five years) and is known for his now-funny nicknamenote "Lol" has been a British shorthand for Laurence/Lawrence long before the Memetic Mutation, 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, My Chemical Romance, 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)
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)
Canon Discontinuity: In 1986, to promote Standing on a Beach: The Singles, the band released a new remix for "Boys Don't Cry" subtitled "New Voice New Mix" as a stand-alone single. 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 outside of owning the single 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".
Epic Rocking: "Faith", the soundtrack to "Carnage Visors"note their longest song, barrelling over the 20 minute mark, "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".
Four More Measures: "In Between Days", "Fascination Street" and "Just Like Heaven" are prime examples.
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.
Seventeen Seconds, Faith and Pornography are regarded as their Goth era, but all of their albums from The Top on have at least a few straight-up Goth Rock songs and some more that have many of the musical characteristics of the genre but are somewhat more upbeat melodically (i.e. "In Between Days", "Just Like Heaven", "Friday I'm In Love").
Greatest Hits Album: Three - 1986's Standing on a Beach: The Singles (expanded on compact disc as Staring at the Sea, 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. "All Cats Are Grey" and "The Drowning Man" are both based on Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast novels, the latter even addressing Fuchsia directly.
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 Real Snow White" and "Doing The Unstuck" are less explicit, but also much darker than the average poppy sex songs.
Also, on a happier note, "This. Here And Now. With You.", "The Only One" and "Mint Car". Oh, and "Let's Go To Bed", of course.
The Invisible Band: Played with in the "Boys Don't Cry" video. A bunch of young boys are playing the song, while the real band is behind the curtain, visible only in silhouette.
Mood Dissonance: Most of their more pop oriented albums, such as The Head on the Door or Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me
Mood Whiplash: "The Kiss" and dark and angstey tune, to "Catch", with a poppy, upbeat tune to it on Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me
Wild Mood Swings even lampshades this. "Want" is dark and depressing, while "Club America", the next track, is set to the tune of a typical drinking song. Pretty much the whole album falls under this trope.
New Sound Album: Their albums after Pornography either lower or increase the angst level.
New Wave: especially in latter two-thirds of the 80s.
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: Due to Smith being fed up with their image, the band followed the dark, depressing masterpiece Pornography with a string of three poppy non-album singles: the Synth Poppy "Let's Go to Bed", "The Walk" and the jazz-influenced "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".
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.