ARTIST: The Cure
YEAR RELEASED: 1981
CHART ACTION: #14 UK
SINGLES: Primary (#43 UK)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Goths, freaks, and depressos know this one.
LINEUP: Robert Smith, Simon Gallup, Lol Tolhurst
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: The Cure move into full on goth mode with an album of dark colours and forms.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Simon Gallup’s bassline mournfully carries the opening cut “The Holy Hour”, while Robert Smith’s melody and singing signal that the Cure have moved on to something bleak.
Bleakness doesn’t make a great album, you need to have songs. This time, Smith and the Cure have the songs, for the most part. “Primary” is somewhat upbeat…well at least it’s uptempo. It’s also got a patented Robert Smith ascending scale guitar line. Gallup’s bass carries most of the songs, grounding them in a deep groan.
The sadness and angst may be overwhelming, and some of the slower tracks get eaten up by the torpor of gloom. For the most part, Cure’s goth-rock coalesces this time.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: To get the sound just right, the Cure tried at least five studios in search of the right mix.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, demos and live tracks for almost all songs, plus a single “Charlotte Sometimes”, which rose to number 44 in the UK.
GRADE: B+: Most of the cuts marry a worthwhile song with the gloomy sound.