Our top 10 Cure albums list takes a look at the catalog of a legendary rock band from Crawley England. For many people, The Cure define Gothic Rock. Coming out of the late 70’s post-punk movement, the band led by front man Robert Smith not only pioneered the sound but also the look. A band who have been going steady for four decades, their body of work is a unique one indeed. After forming in Crawley, West Sussex in 1978, they soon released their debut album Three Imaginary Boys the following year. Their earlier work was not as commercially accessible. After the release of the album Pornography in 1982, they added more pop sensibilities to their sound which led to much commercial success throughout the 80’s.
In total they have released 13 albums and 30 singles. They have had many line-up changes throughout their career with Smith being the only constant member. This list looks at ten of their best albums.
# 10 – The Top
Kicking off this Cure Albums list is The Top. It was band’s fifth album released in 1984. In order to support this album, they embarked on a massive tour which included three nights at the Hammersmith Odeon. As the first record after the band’s pure gothic era, the album contains an eclectic range of styles. Smith makes use of several different instruments such as the violin and flute. Only one song was released as a single, “The Caterpillar.” It peaked at number 10 on the UK album charts.
# 9 – The Cure
The band’s self-titled album from 2004 was produced by Ross Robinson who was primarily known for working with nu metal bands such as Korn and Slipknot. As a result, this album is heavier than the band’s usual sound. It was successful upon its release, charting at number seven in the U.S. and number eight in the U.K. It was also generally well received critically, with many critics praising the fact that the band dared to take a risk with their sound in the new millennium.
# 8 – Three Imaginary Boys
Next up on this Top 10 Cure Albums list is the band’s debut released in 1979. It is the sound of a band who still finding their sound, however it is a solid debut which has a good selection of songs. The opener “10.15 Saturday Night” is a very haunting track and typical of the band’s moody sound of the time. This album does not have the kind of big pop sounds that would make up much of their later and more celebrated work. Several of the album’s tracks were later released on the compilation album Boys Don’t Cry.
# 7 – The Head on the Door
At number seven on our Cure albums list is another album from the band’s most commercially successful period released in 1985. The Head On The Door album has a wider variety of Cure songs in terms of musical style, which led it to reaching a wider audience, selling well in both Europe and America. In the UK, it charted at number seven. It was their first album that saw them start to really break big. Included on it is the single “In Between Days” which is classic slice of 80’s alternative pop. As well as this it also contains “Close To Me” which is melodic whilst at the same time melancholy. It was also the first album that was composed entirely by Smith himself.
# 6 – Bloodflowers
Next on this Cure Albums list is the band’s first post millennial output from 2000. This album was rather like the Disintegration in the sense that it saw the band embrace their core gothic sound once again after the different sounding previous album Wild Mood Swings. Some critics felt that this record was crowd-pleasing fair and that they were merely going in this direction due to the poor sales of the previous record. However, the album does have its moments of greatness with “Watching Me Fall” being a highlight
# 5 – Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me
The band’s seventh album from 1987 which was one of the record’s that saw the band’s mainstream success continue to grow. It was the album that really got the band going the United States, being the first to chart in the Billboard 200’s top 40. It also charted high in several other countries. This is most probably because the material contained here is among their most radio friendly with “Just Like Heaven” being of The Cure’s most famous singles. However, this album also marked a point where Smith started to get disillusioned with the mainstream status the the band had acquired, leading them to take a u-turn with the next album Disintegration.
# 4 – Pornography
Up next is the Cure’s darkest sounding record from 1982. People who are generally more familiar with the band’s more poppy material will likely be surprised by the experimentation of this LP. The album is quite genuinely scary sounding in parts, with the title track being a particularly haunting number. It is an album that should be listened to in its entirety to be truly appreciated. Unlike a lot of the group’s work it does not really have individual tracks that really stand out. Instead, it all flows together as a collective work.
# 3 – Disintegration
When Smith was about to turn 30 in 1989, he felt the need to follow up the mainstream success that The Cure had been having with a record that was more akin to their gloomy earlier work. In order to achieve this, he took many hallucinogenic drugs during the time that this album was recorded. The album is very morose in its tone, with many of the songs being long and depressive in nature. Among its most famous cuts are the melancholy love song “Pictures of You” and “Fascination Street.” Despite its very non commercial intentions, the album became the bands highest selling record, reaching number 3 in the UK albums chart and selling over three million copies worldwide.
# 2 – Seventeen Seconds
At the number 2 spot is the band’s second album from 1980 and one which firmly falls into their dark period. This album is often cited as one where The Cure truly pioneered the Goth Rock movement which would soon take off within the next couple of years. Lyrically, like much of The Cure’s earlier work, Smith’s depression has a dominant influence. Among the standout tracks is the sublime “A Forest” which has a brilliant cold atmosphere. This track also ended up being their first Uk Top 40 hit. It reached number 20 in the British album charts.
# 1 – Faith
Topping off the list is the band’s third album that along with its predecessor Seventeen Seconds and follow-up Pornography makes up what is often considered the classic early Cure trilogy. This album has a very despairing sound, with the title track being very bleak. At this point in their career, The Cure were a band whose music was often depressive in its outlook. However, despite the general lack of accessible output contained here, this album charted high, peaking at number 14 in the UK Album chart where it remained for four weeks