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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 2010 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Sélection Les Inrocks
Expanding the latent arena rock sensibilities that peppered Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me by slowing them down and stretching them to the breaking point, the Cure reached the peak of their popularity with the crawling, darkly seductive Disintegration. It's a hypnotic, mesmerizing record, comprised almost entirely of epics like the soaring, icy "Pictures of You." The handful of pop songs, like the concise and utterly charming "Love Song," don't alleviate the doom-laden atmosphere. The Cure's gloomy soundscapes have rarely sounded so alluring, however, and the songs -- from the pulsating, ominous "Fascination Street" to the eerie, string-laced "Lullaby" -- have rarely been so well-constructed and memorable. It's fitting that Disintegration was their commercial breakthrough, since, in many ways, the album is the culmination of all the musical directions the Cure were pursuing over the course of the '80s. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released May 1, 1980 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
It's hard to believe that the Cure could release an album even more sparse than Three Imaginary Boys, but here's the proof. The lineup change that saw funkstery bassist Michael Dempsey squeezed out in favor of the more specific playing of (eventually the longest serving member outside Robert Smith) Simon Gallup, and the addition of keyboardist Mathieu Hartley resulted in the band becoming more rigid in sound, and more disciplined in attitude. While it is not the study in loss that Faith would become, or the descent into madness of Pornography, it is a perfect precursor to those collections. In a sense, Seventeen Seconds is the beginning of a trilogy of sorts, the emptiness that leads to the questioning and eventual madness of the subsequent work. Mostly forgotten outside of the unforgettable single "A Forest," Seventeen Seconds is an even, subtle work that grows on the listener over time. Sure, the Cure did better work, but for a new lineup and a newfound sense of independence, Robert Smith already shows that he knows what he's doing. From short instrumental pieces to robotic pop, Seventeen Seconds is where the Cure shed all the outside input and became their own band. © Chris True /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 2010 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Expanding the latent arena rock sensibilities that peppered Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me by slowing them down and stretching them to the breaking point, the Cure reached the peak of their popularity with the crawling, darkly seductive Disintegration. It's a hypnotic, mesmerizing record, comprised almost entirely of epics like the soaring, icy "Pictures of You." The handful of pop songs, like the concise and utterly charming "Love Song," don't alleviate the doom-laden atmosphere. The Cure's gloomy soundscapes have rarely sounded so alluring, however, and the songs -- from the pulsating, ominous "Fascination Street" to the eerie, string-laced "Lullaby" -- have rarely been so well-constructed and memorable. It's fitting that Disintegration was their commercial breakthrough, since, in many ways, the album is the culmination of all the musical directions the Cure were pursuing over the course of the '80s. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Punk / New Wave - Released January 1, 2004 | Fiction

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Minimalist and cold on the surface, the music from the Cure sounds like Alice’s attic from Lewis Carroll in its imagery and in the construction of its melodies. But this first stripped-down attempt veering toward post-punk doesn’t yet prefigure the upcoming highly anthracite trilogy (the essential Seventeen Seconds, Faith and Pornography). In the blend of metallic, saturated and nervous sounds of Three Imaginary Boys released in May 1979, Robert Smith evokes his phobias and his fears in an atypical way. Atypical like 10:15 Saturday Night, a genial pop song both disjointed and sharp, leaning on the crutch of improbable saturated guitars. Atypical again is the oddball cover of Foxy Lady from Hendrix, of whom Smith is an absolute fan. These are weird and strange beginnings, far from the huge success that this flagship band of the British New Wave will enjoy throughout the 80s and 90s… © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Punk / New Wave - Released January 1, 1982 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Later hailed as one of the key goth rock albums of the '80s and considered by many hardcore Cure fans to be the band's best album, Pornography was largely dismissed upon its 1982 release, witheringly reviewed as a leaden slab of whining and moping. The truth, as usual, is somewhere in between: Pornography is much better than most mainstream critics of the time thought, but in retrospect, it's not the masterpiece some fans have claimed it to be. The overall sound is thick and murky, but too muddy to be effectively atmospheric in the way that the more dynamic Disintegration managed a few years later. For every powerful track like the doomy opener "One Hundred Years" and the clattering, desolate single "The Hanging Garden," there's a sound-over-substance piece of filler like "The Figurehead," which sounds suitably bleak but doesn't have the musical or emotional heft this sort of music requires. Pornography is an often intriguing listen, but it's just a bit too uneven to be considered a classic. © Stewart Mason /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released May 1, 1980 | Polydor Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
It's hard to believe that the Cure could release an album even more sparse than Three Imaginary Boys, but here's the proof. The lineup change that saw funkstery bassist Michael Dempsey squeezed out in favor of the more specific playing of (eventually the longest serving member outside Robert Smith) Simon Gallup, and the addition of keyboardist Mathieu Hartley resulted in the band becoming more rigid in sound, and more disciplined in attitude. While it is not the study in loss that Faith would become, or the descent into madness of Pornography, it is a perfect precursor to those collections. In a sense, Seventeen Seconds is the beginning of a trilogy of sorts, the emptiness that leads to the questioning and eventual madness of the subsequent work. Mostly forgotten outside of the unforgettable single "A Forest," Seventeen Seconds is an even, subtle work that grows on the listener over time. Sure, the Cure did better work, but for a new lineup and a newfound sense of independence, Robert Smith already shows that he knows what he's doing. From short instrumental pieces to robotic pop, Seventeen Seconds is where the Cure shed all the outside input and became their own band. © Chris True /TiVo
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Punk / New Wave - Released June 1, 1979 | Fiction

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Minimalist and cold on the surface, the music from the Cure sounds like Alice’s attic from Lewis Carroll in its imagery and in the construction of its melodies. But this first stripped-down attempt veering toward post-punk doesn’t yet prefigure the upcoming highly anthracite trilogy (the essential Seventeen Seconds, Faith and Pornography). In the blend of metallic, saturated and nervous sounds of Three Imaginary Boys released in May 1979, Robert Smith evokes his phobias and his fears in an atypical way. Atypical like 10:15 Saturday Night, a genial pop song both disjointed and sharp, leaning on the crutch of improbable saturated guitars. Atypical again is the oddball cover of Foxy Lady from Hendrix, of whom Smith is an absolute fan. These are weird and strange beginnings, far from the huge success that this flagship band of the British New Wave will enjoy throughout the 80s and 90s… © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Punk / New Wave - Released January 1, 1982 | Fiction

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Later hailed as one of the key goth rock albums of the '80s and considered by many hardcore Cure fans to be the band's best album, Pornography was largely dismissed upon its 1982 release, witheringly reviewed as a leaden slab of whining and moping. The truth, as usual, is somewhere in between: Pornography is much better than most mainstream critics of the time thought, but in retrospect, it's not the masterpiece some fans have claimed it to be. The overall sound is thick and murky, but too muddy to be effectively atmospheric in the way that the more dynamic Disintegration managed a few years later. For every powerful track like the doomy opener "One Hundred Years" and the clattering, desolate single "The Hanging Garden," there's a sound-over-substance piece of filler like "The Figurehead," which sounds suitably bleak but doesn't have the musical or emotional heft this sort of music requires. Pornography is an often intriguing listen, but it's just a bit too uneven to be considered a classic. © Stewart Mason /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released November 13, 2001 | Polydor Records

The Cure were never afraid of artistically defining themselves. They had their own sound, an eerie glamour surrounding a dark whimsicality, yet fans flocked to them throughout the '80s and '90s. Commercial or cult favorites, they're impressive as being one of the '80s' seminal bands who culled more than 30 critical singles. Compilations like 1986's Staring at the Sea: The Singles and 1997's Galore showcased the Cure's accessibility; therefore, having a solid greatest-hits collection might be a bit nonessential. Then again, releasing an album like this at the tip of the new millennium calls for a celebration, and that's what the Cure did. They collected 16 amazing cuts which spanned 23 years and recall what once was. From the saucy synth strut of "The Walk" and the cabaret stylings of "The Lovecats" to the lilting swan songs of "Lovesong" and "Just Like Heaven," the Cure's ever-changing moods were switched up for something desirable and blissful. They are selectively classic, leaving this package to be its own storybook of sorts. The Cure did treat the fans with two new songs: "Cut Here" rises with early sounds of Madchester, but the glitzy swirls of "Just Say Yes" mark the Cure's return to form. Republica's Saffron joins Robert Smith for something campy and carefree. Greatest Hits is basically for the fans who have to have everything, but also a decent collection for those who never fully enraptured themselves with the Cure. © MacKenzie Wilson /TiVo
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Rock - Released October 18, 2019 | Mercury Studios

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In celebration of their 40 th anniversary, The Cure didn’t just hire out a little pub in their hometown of Crawley, Sussex – they hired out the whole of Hyde Park instead! What an epic location for an epic group. The recording of this concert on July 7, 2018 in London in front of a crowd of 65,000 people is a reminder that the style, sound, creativity, song- writing and atmosphere that Robert Smith and his gang bring to the table is like no other. With his mascara, lipstick and static hair-do, the lead singer of The Cure has never sung so well despite being only a few months off his 60 th birthday here. The concert journeys through four decades of hits (which are sometimes cold wave but are mostly pop) and you can really appreciate the breadth of their work, along with all those melodies that you recognise subconsciously and Robert Smith’s ability to just get on with it. Joined onstage by his long-time partner in crime Simon Gallup (bass), as well as Reeves Gabrels (guitar), Roger O’Donnell (keyboards) and Jason Cooper (drums), he sings some beautiful versions of Pictures of You, In Between Days, Just Like Heaven, A Forest, Disintegration, Lullaby, The Caterpillar, Friday I’m in Love, Close to Me, Boys Don’t Cry, 10:15 Saturday Night and Killing an Arab. © Max Dembo/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 2006 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

After recording one of their darkest albums, 1984's The Top, the Cure regrouped and shuffled their lineup, which changed their musical direction rather radically. While the band always had a pop element in their sound and even recorded one of the lightest songs of the '80s, "The Lovecats," The Head on the Door is where they become a hitmaking machine. The shiny, sleek production and laser-sharp melodies of "Inbetween Days" and "Close to Me" helped them become modern rock radio staples and the inspired videos had them in heavy rotation on MTV. The rest of the record didn't suffer for hooks and inventive arrangements either, making even the gloomiest songs like "Screw" and "Kyoto Song" sound radio-ready, and the inventive arrangements (the flamenco guitars and castanets of "The Blood," the lengthy and majestic intro to "Push," the swirling vocals on "The Baby Screams") give the album a musical depth previous efforts lacked. All without sacrificing an ounce of the emotion of the past, which songs as quietly desperate as "A Night Like This" and "Sinking" illustrate. With The Head on the Door, Robert Smith figured out how to make gloom and doom danceable and popular to both alternative and mainstream rock audiences. It was a feat the band managed to pull off for many years afterward, but never as concisely or as impressively as they did here. © Tim Sendra /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 1986 | Polydor Records

Staring at the Sea: The Singles collects all of the Cure's biggest U.K. hits and best-known songs from the late '70s and early '80s. Spanning from "Killing an Arab" and "Boys Don't Cry," to "The Lovecats," "In Between Days," and "Close to Me," Staring at the Sea captures some of the finest -- and most influential -- post-punk music. At their best, the Cure were nervy, intellectual, catchy, and foreboding, all at once. No matter how carefully crafted the Cure's individual albums were, their finest moments occurred on singles like these, when they distilled their essence into surprisingly catchy, but decidedly left-of-center, pop singles. Staring at the Sea not only selects highlights from their uneven early albums, it collects many of the group's terrific non-LP singles. It's a definitive retrospective of the Cure and is one of the finest albums of the '80s. [The cassette version of Staring at the Sea was titled Standing on a Beach and included several B-sides.] © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released September 1, 1981 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

Certainly not the "darkest" the Cure would eventually get, Faith is, as represented by the cover art, one of the most "gray" records out there. Melancholy and despondent (the feel of funerals and old churches just oozes from this record) without the anger that would over take Pornography, Faith comes off as not just a collection of songs, but as a full piece. "The Holy Hour," "All Cats Are Grey," and the spectacular "Faith" are slow atmospheric pieces that take the softer elements from Seventeen Seconds, and -- when sidled up next to faster tracks like the single "Primary" and "Doubt" -- paint an overall picture of the ups and downs contained within a greater depressive period. But it's not all gloomy keyboards and minimalist percussion, Faith is also a milestone for Robert Smith lyrically, branching out into questions of faith and spirituality he never quite touched on so well ever again. A depressing record, certainly, but also one of the most underrated and beautiful albums the Cure put together. They would not touch on this sort of lush sadness so well again until 1989's Disintegration. © Chris True /TiVo
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Pop - Released February 5, 1979 | Polydor Records

Falling somewhere between official release and compilation, Boys Don't Cry was released in February 1980 in hopes of increasing the band's exposure outside of the U.K. It captures the first phase of the band well, showcasing the angular new wave that had garnered them acclaim in England. The major difference separating this from the debut full-length (and thus qualifying it as an "official" release) is that unlike Three Imaginary Boys, the first three singles ("Killing an Arab," "Boys Don't Cry," and "Jumping Someone Else's Train") are included. A good starting point for getting up to speed on this era of the band, it works best when paired up with Three Imaginary Boys; then you'll get the complete picture. © Chris True /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 1992 | Polydor Records

On the surface, Wish sounds happier than Disintegration, and the sunny British Invasion hooks of the hit single "Friday I'm in Love" certainly seem to indicate that the record is a brighter affair than its predecessor. Dig a little deeper and the album reveals itself to be just as tortured, and perhaps more despairing. Granted, the sound of the record, with its jangling guitars and simple arrangements, is more immediately accessible than the epic gloom of Disintegration, but nearly every song finds Robert Smith wracked with depression. Unfortunately, the even-handed production makes the record sound very similar, so it is less compelling than it might have been, but there are a handful of gems ("High," "A Letter to Elise," "Wendy Time," "Friday I'm in Love") that make the record worthwhile. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Rock - Released October 18, 2019 | Mercury Studios

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 2005 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

Certainly not the "darkest" the Cure would eventually get, Faith is, as represented by the cover art, one of the most "gray" records out there. Melancholy and despondent (the feel of funerals and old churches just oozes from this record) without the anger that would over take Pornography, Faith comes off as not just a collection of songs, but as a full piece. "The Holy Hour," "All Cats Are Grey," and the spectacular "Faith" are slow atmospheric pieces that take the softer elements from Seventeen Seconds, and -- when sidled up next to faster tracks like the single "Primary" and "Doubt" -- paint an overall picture of the ups and downs contained within a greater depressive period. But it's not all gloomy keyboards and minimalist percussion, Faith is also a milestone for Robert Smith lyrically, branching out into questions of faith and spirituality he never quite touched on so well ever again. A depressing record, certainly, but also one of the most underrated and beautiful albums the Cure put together. They would not touch on this sort of lush sadness so well again until 1989's Disintegration. © Chris True /TiVo
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Punk / New Wave - Released November 5, 1990 | Fiction

In 1990, remix – the core element in dance music’s DNA – was only sparingly used by rock bands. Mindful however in keeping up with the trend, The Cure decided to rework some of their old songs handpicked from their eight studio albums released between 1979 and 1989. Needless to say their fans were a tad bewildered by the result, although it did stand the test of time. Re-edited in a prestigious three-disc Deluxe Edition, Mixed Up is adorned with rare remixes from the 1981/1990 period (CD2) and new Robert Smith remixes (CD3). On the original album re-mastered by The Cure’s leader himself, rather flat remixes (Lullaby was much too similar to the original) rub shoulders with more daring and exciting attempts (Close to Me) and even unreleased titles such as Never Enough, which masterfully stands out with its incredible guitar deluge… The third CD on this Deluxe Edition is the most interesting of this 5-star re-edition. Freshly produced by Robert Smith, his 16 remixes obviously don’t feel like the 90s. It’s easy to imagine how much he enjoyed himself fiddling with his old songs in everyway imaginable, sometimes disrupting them completely. A profoundly dark piece in its original version, A Strange Day (featured on Pornography) almost becomes perky – almost. A moment later, on Lost (from the album The Cure), he slides off into a drum’n’bass reimagining. All in all, the brain behind The Cure appears to be still overflowing with ideas at almost sixty years old… © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 1987 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

Simultaneously more accessible and ambitious than any of the Cure's previous albums, the double album Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me finds Robert Smith expanding his pop vocabulary by tentatively adding bigger guitars, the occasional horn section, lite-funk rhythms, and string sections. It's eclectic, to be sure, but it's also a mess, bouncing from idea to idea and refusing to develop some of the most intriguing detours. Even if Kiss Me doesn't quite gel, its best moments -- including the deceptively bouncy "Why Can't I Be You?" and the stately "Just Like Heaven" -- are remarkable and help make the album one of the group's very best. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 2006 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

Simultaneously more accessible and ambitious than any of the Cure's previous albums, the double album Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me finds Robert Smith expanding his pop vocabulary by tentatively adding bigger guitars, the occasional horn section, lite-funk rhythms, and string sections. It's eclectic, to be sure, but it's also a mess, bouncing from idea to idea and refusing to develop some of the most intriguing detours. Even if Kiss Me doesn't quite gel, its best moments -- including the deceptively bouncy "Why Can't I Be You?" and the stately "Just Like Heaven" -- are remarkable and help make the album one of the group's very best. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo