The Cure : “You carry your love in a trinket, hanging round your throat.”

5 05 2012

I was very young when I first heard The Cure. I was terrified but I couldn’t tear my eyes away. I still do that now. If something scares me, I am more likely to keep at it. I don’t know why, I guess I just want to know what happens. That video by Shakespears Sister- Stay. It used to scare me shitless when Marcella Detroit appeared looking all creepy and menacing. But I couldn’t tear my eyes from the tv. I was only 5 years old, but I was drawn in to how dark and eerie it all was. This very feeling came over me when I used to watch the video to Lullaby by The Cure.

I love The Cure, that’s as simple as I can put it. But my love for Robert and the boys goes way deeper than this. If someone asked me what my favourite song by The Cure was, I couldn’t answer straight away. They’d have to sit me down for an hour or so with 3 cups of tea so I could gather my thoughts. Make a list, and try to come up with a firm favourite. Right now, I’d easily say  The Perfect Girl is the one I’d choose. Ask me tomorrow and I may say M is my favourite. One thing that has never (and will never) change is my favourite record by The Cure. Always and forever I will declare Seventeen Seconds as being my ultimate favourite record by The Cure.

Giving yourself over to a band is a better feeling than giving yourself completely to a person. I’m probably only saying this because I’ve never given myself to a person before. A band is easier to do so, but I could be wrong. Straight up, The Cure saved my life. Robert’s lyrics summed up every horrific feeling I ever had go through my head during secondary school. Certain songs summed up how shite I’d feel when I’d hurt someone by being careless and an all round wanker. I’ve improved with age. The Cure taught me how to be careful and gentle. That there is no harm in being sensitive and cautious- but I feel it trying to be changed by some people, sometimes.

I always remember being sat on the floor in the living room going through some old CDs. One of them was a record by The Cure. It had a song on it that changed everything for me. It changed how I viewed music, it changed how I listened to it. It drew me in so intensely, I just couldn’t stop playing it. So, I was looking at these old CDs and I remember my Stepdad telling me, “Listen to A Forest.” I was really young, only 10 years old. So I went up to my room and played it. I had it on repeat for hours and hours. The song is just under 6 minutes long. I didn’t want to do anything but listen to it. The echoes of Robert crying out, “The girl was never there.” It’s always stayed with me. I stand-by the bass in this song to be the best I’ve ever ever heard. I listen to A Forest everyday still, and it still leaves me in awe. I can’t move a muscle when I listen to it. The world stops when I listen to it, it just has all my attention. All of Seventeen Seconds has this grip over me. Like a lover that you cannot shake off, that’s how I regard Seventeen Seconds. It is vital to my life, and nothing in this world can rip its meaning away from me.

I’ve always wanted to write down what The Cure meant to me. I would’ve done this years or months ago- but I guess the words weren’t there. I’m not even sure they are there right now to be honest. Trying to explain my love for them is like me trying to tell you how much I love Morrissey or Metric or No Doubt or Garbage or The Jesus And Mary Chain. Each band has played such an important role in my life. Each band has drawn me closer to certain people. Each band has driven me away from one thing and into another. Each band has played a huge part in saving my life when I was a teenager. For instance, take Return Of Saturn by No Doubt and Version 2.0 by Garbage. Both records got me through secondary school. If I didn’t play these records every day when I was there, I probably would’ve been another statistic. Music gets you through. Every part of you wishes that you could thank the band that saved your life. Yet all you can do it play the music loudly and sing equally loud, if not louder. The songs were written for you. Cling onto them as hard as you can.

Sometimes you find a band, sometimes a band finds you. My relationship with The Cure is a combination of the two. At the time, I was too young to be a lost soul. That hit me later in life. As I listen to them now with older ears, I fully get what they mean to me. I’ve got 6 months left of being 25 and I’ve done nothing of worth with my life. I listen to The Cure, and I think..maybe I have. Maybe I’ve done a couple of things right. There’s always that fucking uncertainty niggling in the back of your head, and it sometimes likes to push its way to the front so you don’t forget its there. You learn to control yourself as you get older. The Cure make all these feelings of self-doubt and uncertainty okay. If it wasn’t for Robert Smith’s words I just don’t know what I would’ve done. You get some people who think being miserable is vital to them. That they have to be sad. Let me tell you now, it really isn’t. There is nothing good about being sad. There is however, something good about knowing you are not the only one.

But you cannot be sad forever.

There was a time where I associated The Cure with a really dark part of my life. I hated myself more than a person should, and all I could do was listen to music that summed up all this despair. I guess it threw me into a darker place quicker than I anticipated. Now? Now I listen to The Cure and I just hear how influential they truly are. The bass in their songs is a signature sound that you can hear in so many bands that are around right now. The bass is so hypnotising and causes you to jolt your body in a way that you didn’t think it could. I get this now from listening to Warpaint. It’s still there, it will always be there. The Cure will always be influencing bands. They just have this legacy that goes beyond saving lives.

I’ve been a fan of The Cure for most of my life. They’ve been there through pretty much everything-good and bad. I guess it is why I get super pissed off when someone says, “I love The Cure. My favourite song is Friday I’m In Love.” Then they say the only record they own is their greatest hits. Man. NO! You need to hear EVERY album they have ever done. You need to hear every single record they have ever done in order to see how influential and important they are. Where do you start? From the start, of course. I recommend playing A Forest through headphones in the dark, alone. It becomes like a ritualistic sort of thing.

The Cure always leave you in a euphoric state when you listen to them. I’ve been listening to them properly since I was 10 years old, I doubt I will ever snap out of this trance they have put me in.

Fun fact: When I wake up in the morning I look like Robert Smith. It’s probably a sign that I need a haircut.

The Cure-Three Imaginary Boys.

18 10 2011

I loved listening to Seventeen Seconds and writing about it; so I have now decided to do the same for every album by The Cure. If you’d like to place your bets on how long it takes before I change my mind, then go for it. I’m doing it for many reasons- one being I’d like to see if I can actually do it without being distracted and changing my mind. However, hardly anyone reads the nonsense I write so no one will notice if I stick at this or not. Now, with that out of the way, let’s discuss one of the most phenomenal debut albums of all time.

Three Imaginary Boys is THE essential album by The Cure isn’t it? It has to be. I know every single album is bloody amazing, but this one is stunning from start to finish. When you listen to it, you find it hard to believe that this is their first record. It picks up where Punk left off; it’s a slowed down version of Punk. A lot of Punk tracks were short, aggressive and fast. The Cure are about as aggressive as a goldfish. That’s why I love them so much, they made it okay for you to be delicate and vulnerable. I’m a stupidly shy person, and talking to people sometimes baffles me. The Cure made me (and still do) feel okay with how I am. As did/do Morrissey, which given the history between Robert Smith and Morrissey is a bit odd, but I love them both the same. The Cure’s music is a cure. It is a cure to loneliness, fragility, poor self-worth and longing. You get people who say, “Oh I know how you feel.” They don’t. Robert Smith does, and it is evident on every single bloody song.

Three Imaginary Boys is a masterpiece, deny that and you are a silly billy really. Another Day is so poetic and woeful. I love it so much. “The sun rises slowly on another day.” Robert just sounds so fed up singing this line, as someone who carries a tiny bif of frustration towards daily life; I just love this line so much. The bass in this song is so chilling, it lingers in your ears for a while after you’ve stopped listening. You can just picture a young Robert Smith looking out of the window writing this, singing this to himself. I love how the guitar throughout (especially at the end) has a drunken effect.

Object gives off a more Punk feel than any of the other tracks. By Punk, I mean it feels like a song by the Buzzcocks; so not really Punk. Post-Punk if you will. Unlike albums released after, The Cure didn’t get a say in the tracklisting of their debut album. Ever since, Robert Smith has been given creative control over what tracks goes on each album before it is released. The company also decided on the artwork too. To have your first EVER album released and you find out the songs you hated that you recorded are put on it  must be beyond frustrating. Robert has stated many times that he hates the songs Foxy Lady (Hendrix cover) and Object, and didn’t want them on the album.

Meathook has a slight reggae feel to it, the guitar is just brilliant on this one. But let’s be honest here, although the band didn’t get a say on what was put on this album; every track is wonderful making it one of the most important debut albums of all time. Not only is it such an important record, it is highly influential too. This album started a sound that many tried to copy, but only The Cure could well and truly carry. It is THEIR sound, many just tried to be like all too often. No other band has made such a wonderful debut. No other band has created a sound like this. There is no other band quite like The Cure.