Naming a band is not necessarily a topic one thinks too much about when it comes to classic rock history. However, the name of a band, preserves the legacy and can enhance their reputation in some cases. With the band, ‘The Cure’, people may think first of ‘problem solving’ or ‘a solution to a higher degree problem.’ And, maybe that’s the point.
Are The Cure helping people to solve problems through their music? Their name is a big part of their world-wide identity. It conjures up everlasting, refreshing and magical ideals. Fans have rallied around their name, image, and music since the early 80’s.
This Cure formed in 1978 in West Sussex, England. Robert Smith, the chief songwriter for the band, is the only original member to be with the band from the beginning through to its present-day existence of more than 40 years. He has gone on record saying that being in a band is better for him because of the contributions of many versus the contribution of just one.
Smith has been the band’s driving force, the engineer of their music and lyrics, and their image maker. His black uncombed hair, basketball high-tops, dressed in black with red lipstick on a powdery face is notorious around the world. The look has been copied over many times in popular culture. The Crow and Edward Scissorhands come to mind first.
It is the symbolism for how he feels about his artform that has made the band Goth 101.
As one of the most prolific, prodigious bands in the history of rock n’ roll, their catalog includes 13 studio albums and other single releases. They have sold out concerts for decades around the world. This list aims to highlight some deeper-cut songs from albums.
I remember the first time I heard The Cure. I was in college, and a roommate had the album, Disintegration, turned up some on a stereo with high quality speakers. I was asleep and the music was so outstanding, it didn’t really wake me. Rather, when I woke up, I had to ask him what was that music playing? It was unique, and I really hadn’t heard this kind of music. There was a lustrous tone in and out of orchestral-like harmonies, and Robert Smith’s voice was unforgettable to my subconscious.
I soon learned plenty about the most famous ‘goth’ band. It became quickly apparent that Robert Smith’s voice and songwriting skills would be a part of my life for quite some time. The Cure was the first band I traveled out of the area to go and see live. They are a ‘road trip’ band worth seeing.
With this Top 10, I focused on five albums, choosing two songs from each for the list.
# 10 – Open
The song that starts off this list is from the album entitled Wish. It is the opening song on the album, thus appropriately named ‘Open.’ One of the special qualities of The Cure is their ability to reel in their audience. It’s clear The Cure respect their art and what it means to make an album of music. After hearing this first song, the rest of the album automatically becomes that much more important.
# 9 – Disintegration
The title song to their most well-received album by critics and fans would have to be a pretty good one. Disintegration, the album, just like so many of The Cure albums, was tremendous from start to finish. Caught in the middle, almost lost among so many hits, ‘Lullaby’, ‘Lovesong’, ‘Pictures of You’ and ‘Fascination Street’, is this lengthier gem.
# 8 – Push
From the album, The Head On The Door, a two-minute instrumental intro of ‘Push’ grooves hard right from the beginning. When he is finally heard, Robert Smith’s voice perfectly captures the strength and mood of the song. The Cure is constantly impressing us with how it can mix the drums, guitars and keyboard like no others before them. Push is energy.
#7 – The Perfect Girl
Awesome beats combined with the howls of a song writing master, ‘The Perfect Girl’, from the Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me album, sums up falling in love with a strange girl. It is a short and sweet song like the other bigger hits from the album, ‘Why Can’t I be You’, ‘Hot, Hot, Hot’, and ‘Just Like Heaven.’
#6 – The 13th
Wild Mood Swings is one of The Cure albums that often gets overlooked. The band was spreading its wings and experimenting with its sound as the title of the album suggests. The Cure has always been a band looking to expand its sound and horizons. ‘The 13th’ is a good example. There is a tremendous jazz, almost Cuban-like, influence on this song.
#5 – Jupiter Crash
Metaphors, similes, imagery all come together in The Cure’s poetic ‘Jupiter Crash’ from Wild Mood Swings. The Cure takes us on an astronomical trip, and it feels completely appropriate. This songwriting proves how advanced Robert Smith is with originality, and mixing words and music.
# 4 – Plainsong
The opener of all openers. ‘Plainsong’ puts us in the mood for album music and deep cuts. Disintegration has been called the perfect album, and if so, this is the perfect opening song. And, what a name, how ironic, right? This song is anything but plain. It’s like chimes taken to the level of a Beethoven overture. And, then, just when we need it…there’s Robert Smith’s voice to reassure us.
# 3 – Six Different Ways
‘Six Different Ways’ from the album Head On The Door is fun, upbeat, melodic, spirited, simple, and complex. It’s interesting how Smith is able to adjust his voice for these kinds of songs. He knows what level of baritone to do for more involved guitar-laced songs, and he also knows very well how to sound falsetto in songs requiring the right amount of interspersed enthusiasm and zeal.
# 2- Catch
A catchy tune sounds like this. ‘The Catch’ brings out the violin as the background sounds. From Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, it is an underrated mix of ballad, romance, keyboard, and beautiful lyrics, like “I used to sometimes try to catch her, but never even caught her name.” The balancing act of Smith’s voice for different octaves sort of goes unnoticed. He’s that good at projecting what kind of voice is needed. And, because he is the chief songwriter, he just seems to always know when to sing, and when to let the instruments do the talking.
# 1- End
‘End’ is the closer off the Wish album. It is reminiscent of ‘The End’ by The Doors. Its glory is in how it sonically finds a way to feel like a final cut. It is the deepest of deep cuts. It takes the listener on a journey with illuminating noises accompanied by a prescient rhythm of guitars, and apocalyptic lyrics. Robert Smith declares his self-worth perceptions throughout his ‘’doo doo doo doo doo.’’