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Trivia / The Cure

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  • Absentee Actor:
    • There's a question on how much and whether or not Lol Tolhurst actually performed on the band's post-Pornography recordings, as he wasn't exactly the most skilled keyboardist (even while he was sober and had to put colored stickers on his keys for live performances, during which he was assisted by Porl Thompson, and later Roger O'Donnell anyway) and the instrument is always credited to other members as well. He effectively ceased to be the band's drummer during the recording of "Let's Go to Bed," as he was unable to get the drum beat for that song correctly. Even though he kept assuring Robert Smith, that he would get it right next time, Smith reminded him, that he would have to play it correctly for live performances as well, which is when Tolhurst gave up. After briefly considering to record the drums himself, Smith called Steve Goulding to play them, while Smith performed everything else, thus Tolhurst did not play on the record.
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    • The Top credits Smith for vocals and multiple instruments, Andy Anderson for drums, and Tolhurst for other instruments. The liner notes for the deluxe version mention, that due to Tolhurst increasing substantial abuse (describing him as "no longer a reliably functioning band member") and then bassist Phil Thornalley's physical absence (he went to Australia to produce a Duran Duran album), Smith played everything except drums (and in the case of one song, saxophone).
    • Then there was also his non-contribution to Disintegration (where he is credited with "other instruments", but he mostly just drank and watched television during the sessions). The band also claimed that he played nothing on the previous album, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, and Tolhurst admits that he didn't contribute much to that album in his autobiography.
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  • Black Sheep Hit: "Friday I'm In Love" is more upbeat (at least musically) compared to the rest of the band's catalog.
  • 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 Don't Cry, but it's 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. Robert Smith once said in an interview that people who liked it "weren't Cure fans."
    • The band also feels rather unimpressed about their earlier music videos prior to the ones they started making with Tim Pope (he first worked with them on "Let's Go to Bed"), particulary "Charlotte Sometimes".
    • Roger O'Donnell wasn't a fan of Ross Robinson's production on the self-titled album. Some fans suspected this led to the rift between him and Robert for several years.
    • Robert has also occasionally criticised The Top, calling it "patchy" and the result of him spreading himself too thin, due to his work with Siouxsie and the Banshees and side project The Glove at the time. He also feels he gave too many good Cure songs to the Banshees or the Glove that he wanted on this album which he regrets.
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    • Robert dislikes Three Imaginary Boys and the US compilation version Boys Don't Cry, due to Executive Meddling dictating everything about it without his consent, including tracklist, song choices, production and artwork.
    • He also regrets doing a year long tour in support of Faith, saying it put a strain on the band's relationships with one another, their mental health and also worsened Robert's Creator Breakdown mentioned below. This has also left him with mixed feelings towards the album itself.
    • While he doesn't regret or dislike the album itself, describing it as "one of the best things we've ever done", he certainly regrets the circumstances making Pornography, and the toll it took on the band, saying "I don't think you can make too many albums like that because you wouldn't be alive" and wondering if it was worth it.
    • He's not best pleased about "The Lovecats" either, calling it "a joke" and saying that it was "far from my favourite song". He also stated that the song was composed and the video filmed while he was drunk, which may explain his dislike for it.
    • While Robert is a lot more positive about Wild Mood Swings than most people, he readily admits that the album isn't perfect, describing it as being "too long. And it's disjointed".
  • Creator Breakdown: For a period of a few years in the early '80s, starting (not coincidentally, given how dark that album was) just after Faith, and steadily escalating as a result of the year long tour for that album, which Robert Smith has since considered a "big mistake." However, things really came to a head during the production of their next album, Pornography, during which Robert Smith was seriously considering "signing off" (in his own words), and was abusing alcohol and drugs on top of that. He apparently alienated "every friend I had, everyone, without exception, because I was incredibly obnoxious, appalling, self centered" during this period, and all this shows on the album. Simon Gallup left shortly thereafter and didn't speak to Smith for 18 months. Robert Smith joined Siouxsie and the Banshees for an album. It looked like the band was finished until "Let's Go to Bed" and "The Lovecats" came out, and after the success of those songs, the band gradually came back together, albeit in a different form than before.
  • Dear Negative Reader: The band's Peel Sessions variant of "Grinding Halt," called "Desperate Journalist in Ongoing Meaningful Review Situation," is a vicious satire of an infamously negative review of Three Imaginary Boys by rock critic Paul Morley.
  • Follow the Leader: "Jumping Someone Else's Train" is a song about this trope.
  • Genre Adultery: Releasing the Latin/lounge "The 13th" as the first single from Wild Mood Swings proved to be a very controversial decision that led to some fan backlash. The song is believed to be what stopped the band's pop success in the US and UK dead in its tracks, and the more conventionally Cure-sounding single "Mint Car" is now the best remembered song from the album.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: At the time of the release of Wish, the band also released an EP on cassette of four instrumental demos from the Wish sessions, called "Lost Wishes". This cassette hasn't been reissued or released on any other format since, and is pretty rare and hard to find. Fortunately, fans have uploaded the contents of the cassette on the internet.
  • Name's the Same: No, their song "Lullaby", which is about a spider man, is not about Peter Parker.
  • Magnum Opus Dissonance: Disintegration is widely regarded by fans and critics to be the band's masterpiece, however Robert Smith has listed Bloodflowers and Wish as his favourite Cure albums.
    • A lesser example is Wild Mood Swings. While fans and critics hated the album and it is widely regarded as the band's worst, Robert is a lot nicer about the album (while still admitting that it has its flaws as mentioned above), believing that it needs a reappraisal and has some good songs on it, as well as considering it as the album where he started having fun making music again and being in The Cure for the first time in almost a decade.
    • He's also much more positive about their 2004 self-titled album, which is usually dismissed by fans and critics, to the point that he has described it as "the album I had been waiting to make for about fifteen years" and saying that "more passion went into making this record than all the others combined".
  • Revolving Door Band: A more literal case than some other groups: Pearl Thompson recently left the band for the third time. Even apart from her, the number of members who've come and gone (and in some cases come again) is impressive.
  • Troubled Production: The aforementioned Pornography, as well as Disintegration, which saw not only Lol Tolhurst's final exit from the band, Robert Smith deciding not to talk to any of the other band members for a prolonged period, but also a house fire almost stopping the record from ever being completed.
    • To a lesser extent, Wild Mood Swings. Before the recording of the album, the entirety of the band's previous lineup save for guitarist Perry Bamonte left during the hiatus between it and its predecessor Wish. Robert recalls an incident where Perry and himself were demoing songs for the new album before suddenly bursting out laughing as they realised they had no band. They also went through a Revolving Door Band of drummers while recording this album before settling on Jason Cooper, to the point that Robert couldn't remember any of their names and kept getting them mixed up.
  • What Could Have Been: The band is prone to this trope a lot:
    • Wild Mood Swings is often reviled as the band's worst album along with their self titled album, however, many fans agree that a lot of the B-sides from the WMS era are excellent, and the band made the worst choices with what songs to put on the album and what to leave off. It's agreed that WMS could have been a much better album if they'd put some of the B-sides on it instead of many album tracks.
    • There's also the possibility that, instead of The Top, the band could have turned their Japanese Whispers era output such as "Let's Go To Bed", "The Walk" and "The Lovecats" into a fully-fledged album.
    • "Doing The Unstuck" was intended to be a single from Wish, to the point that even a 12" remix was made, however it didn't come to pass for unknown reasons. The 12" remix remained unreleased until 2004, when it appeared on the Join The Dots B-side and rarity compilation boxset.
    • The track "The Big Hand" was intended to not only be on Wish, but was also intended as a single, however it was demoted to the B-side of "A Letter To Elise" due to drummer Boris Williams' dislike of the song.
    • 4:13 Dream was originally intended to be a double album before these plans were scrapped, resulting in 26 songs being cut from the album. In 2014 Robert announced a followup album featuring 14 of these songs titled 4:14 Scream, which would have featured darker songs from the 4:13 Dream sessions as opposed to the lighter, poppier material that ended up on the album. He also announced a deluxe double album version of 4:14 Scream called 4:26 Dream, which would have featured the remaining 12 unreleased tracks on a bonus disc, however both of these have yet to be released, and the 2018 announcement that The Cure are working on a new album with a planned October 2019 release implies that the 4:14 Scream and 4:26 Dream plans have been scrapped, at least for the time being, and the songs remain unreleased.
      • It seems that Robert soured somewhat on the material which is likely what caused it to remain unreleased, stating in 2014 that he wasn't sure about "releasing an album by a version of the band that no longer exists", and saying that he was “trying to be convinced that I should release what is the second half of an album that effectively came out in 2008.”, which implies that it is very unlikely the 4:14 Scream and 4:26 Dream tracks are likely to see release any time soon unfortunately.
    • Torn Down was initially announced as Mixed Up 2 and was supposed to be released around Christmas 2012 and would have been in a very different form to what we eventually got. Whereas 2018's Torn Down featured remixes of Cure songs by Robert Smith himself, 2012's Mixed Up 2 was to feature Cure songs remixed by the band's favourite artists. The only known artist to be confirmed to be involved with this project was Mogwai, who were apparently remixing "Faith". However, it appeared to fall through for unknown reasons sometime in 2012, before becoming Torn Down at some point afterwards.
    • The Cure announced the supposed release of several projects in the early 2010's, and while some have seen release including the above mentioned Mixed Up 2 (which eventually saw a release of some kind in 2018 as Torn Down) and a deluxe edition of Wish (which was initially announced for release in 2010/2011 and has yet to be released, although Smith has said in 2018 that he has finished work on the deluxe edition and that it will see release soon); other projects such as DVD releases of the concert films Show and The Cure In Orange, a DVD of their 2014 Albert Hall performances, DVD releases of the 2014 "Trilogy" shows of The Top, The Head On The Door and Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me and the 2011 "Reflection" shows of Three Imaginary Boys, Seventeen Seconds and Faith, a DVD of their 2013 Latin America tour directed by Tim Pope, the above mentioned 4:14 Scream album and 4:26 Dream deluxe version and a box set of all their BBC performances similar to boxsets released by Siouxsie and the Banshees and The Mission all remain sadly unreleased.
    • There was a brief period in 1982-1983 where Robert Smith was seriously considering working as guitarist for Siouxsie and the Banshees to be his main career and just using The Cure as a side project to release pop singles and other experimental projects.


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