The Cure

The Cure are an English art-pop/goth band from Crawley, West Sussex, that released eight proper albums and numerous singles on Fiction Records between 1979 and 1989, followed by five further studio discs during the subsequent two decades. The band was formed in 1976 as Easy Cure by musician/vocalist Robert Smith and originally featured bassist Michael Dempsey, who left after the first album to join The Associates.

Members: Robert Smith (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Michael Dempsey (bass, vocals, 1976-79), Marc Ceccagno (guitar, 1976), Lol Tolhurst (drums, keyboards, 1976-89), Martin Creasy (vocals, 1976), Gary X (vocals, 1977), Peter O’Toole (vocals, 1977), Porl Thompson (guitar, keyboards, saxophone, 1977-78, 1983-93, 2005-10), Simon Gallup (bass, 1980-82, 1985-present), Matthieu Hartley (keyboards, 1979-80), Andy Anderson (drums, 1983-84), Phil Thornalley (bass, 1983-84), Boris Williams (drums, 1984-94), Roger O’Donnell (keyboards, 1987-90, 1995-2005)


The Cure trace to an unrecorded Crawley five-piece called Obelisk, formed by Notre Dame Middle School classmates Robert Smith (guitar), Michael Dempsey (bass), and Laurence “Lol” Tolhurst (drums). In April 1973, the band did one performance to mark the end of the 1972–73 school year. In 1976, the three reconvened in Malice with guitarist Porl Thompson. After a series of short-term vocalists, Smith became their singer. Malice played three shows that December with a set comprised largely of covers by David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, and Alex Harvey.

In early 1977, the band changed its name to Easy Cure after a song written by Tolhurst. That May, they were one of two young bands (along with Japan) to win a contract with the German label Ariola-Hansa. In October, the newly punk-inspired Easy Cure entered London’s SAV Studios and cut five demos: “I Just Need Myself,” “See The Children,” “I Want to Be Old,” “Pillbox Tales,” and “Meathook.” Displeased with the band’s direction, Ariola insisted they record a cover song. The band refused and their contract was annulled.

They toured though the first quarter of 1978, sharing stages on select dates with Horley punks Lockjaw, which included bassist Simon Gallup. That April, Thompson was dismissed from the lineup because his riff-laden style clashed with Smith’s growing preference for lean, minimal guitar sounds. To mark the change, “Easy” was dropped from the nameplate.

In May 1978, The Cure entered Chestnut Studios for a demo session financed by Gallup’s brother, Ric. The trio cut four tracks: “Fire In Cairo,” “Boys Don’t Cry,” “10:15 Saturday Night,” and “It’s Not You.” The tape found its way to Polydor A&R Chris Parry, who’d recently secured deals for The Jam and Siouxsie and the Banshees. He signed The Cure to his newly formed Fiction Records label and became their manager and producer.

“Killing An Arab”

On December 21, 1978, The Cure released their debut single, “Killing An Arab.” The song was inspired by the 1942 Albert Camus novel The Stranger in which a character known as “Arab” is shot by the book’s protagonist, Meursault. The single was initially released on Small Wonder in a run of 15,000 copies. In February 1979, it was re-released on Fiction. Both pressings feature “10:15 Saturday Night” on the b-side.


Three Imaginary Boys

The Cure released their debut album, Three Imaginary Boys, on May 11, 1979, on Fiction.

“Boys Don’t Cry”

On June 15, 1979, The Cure released “Boys Don’t Cry,” backed with “Plastic Passion.”

“Jumping Someone Else’s Train”

On November 2, 1979, The Cure released “Jumping Someone Else’s Train,” backed with “I’m Cold.”


In February 1980, the compilation Boys Don’t Cry appeared on the stateside PVC label.

Seventeen Seconds

The Cure released their second album, Seventeen Seconds, on April 18, 1980, on Fiction.

“A Forest” appeared three weeks before the album as the sole single, backed with “Another Journey by Train.”



The Cure released their third album, Faith, on April 17, 1981, on Fiction.

The album’s UK Fiction cassette version places Faith entirely on one side and devotes the other side to “Carnage Visors,” a lengthy instrumental soundscape (27:51) recorded as the soundtrack to a namesake film by Ric Gallup.

“Primary” appeared four weeks earlier (March 20) as the album’s one single, backed with “Descent.”

“Charlotte Sometimes”

On October 9, 1981, The Cure released the standalone single “Charlotte Sometimes,” backed with “Splintered in Her Head.”



The Cure released their fourth album, Pornography, on May 3, 1982, on Fiction.

Two months after Pornography hit the shelves, a remixed version of “The Hanging Garden” became the album’s only single, backed with a live rendition of “Killing an Arab.” A four-song 10″ version, titled A Single, includes “One Hundred Years” and a live version of “A Forest.” Both live numbers come from their April 27, 1982, show at the Manchester Apollo.

“Let’s Go to Bed”

On November 23, 1982, The Cure released “Let’s Go to Bed,” backed with “Just One Kiss.”


“The Walk”

On July 1, 1983, The Cure released “The Walk,” backed with “The Dream.” The 12″ includes two additional songs, “The Upstairs Room” and “Lament.”

“The Lovecats”

On October 21, 1983, The Cure released “The Lovecats,” backed with “Speak My Language” and “Mr. Pink Eyes.”

Japanese Whispers

In December 1983, eight songs from the preceding three non-album singles (everything barring “Mr. Pink Eyes”) appeared on Japanese Whispers, The Cure’s second compilation.


The Top

The Cure released their fifth proper album, The Top, on May 4, 1984, on Fiction and Sire.

Five weeks ahead of The Top, “The Caterpillar” appeared as the album’s only single, backed with “Happy the Man” and “Throw Your Foot.”


The Head on the Door

The Cure released their sixth album, The Head on the Door, on August 30, 1985, on Fiction and Elektra.

Six weeks ahead of Head on the Door, “In Between Days” appeared as the album’s first single, backed with “The Exploding Boy” and “A Few Hours After This….”

On September 13, “Close to Me” became the album’s second single, backed with “A Man Inside My Mouth” and (on the 12″ version) “Stop Dead.” The 10″ version contains a fourth song, “New Day.”


Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me

The Cure released their seventh album, Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me, on May 26, 1987, on Fiction.



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