2/28/2000 San Diego On San Diego
Yep, the Cure is a-breakin' up. Big news, blah, blah, the end of a legacy, blah, blah, a tragedy in the music world, blah, blah, blah. But to the Cure's true fans and devotees, news of the group disbanding has become quite the inside joke. The fact is, upon completion of each Cure album, frontman Robert Smith has told the media that yes, this time the band is in fact gonna call it quits. What usually results is nothing more than the subsequent firing (and often rehiring) of a few members of the band -- lineup changes, nothing more, nothing less. But this time they mean it (wink, wink). Yes sir, this time it's serious (nudge, nudge). The new record "Bloodflowers" is finished and set to be released, and Smith has issued a press release ... quitsville. Whatever. We shall see.
But the fact remains, if the Cure actually were to break up, it would be a loss. Their legacy is, in itself, a legacy in the truest sense of the word.
Originally called the Easy Cure, the band formed in 1976 with Smith handling vocal and guitar duties, Michael Dempsey playing bass and Lol Tolhurst on drums. The trio signed to Fiction records three years later and released arguably one of their finest records to date, the jagged, edgy masterpiece, "Three Imaginary Boys."
Over the years a slew of albums have been released to varying levels of success -- the upside of those being 1980's "Seventeen Seconds," '81's "Faith," and '85's "Head on the Door." With the constant recording has come an almost unending succession of new members, old returning members and a whole host of hiring and firing -- all done by Smith. The band's sound has also changed over the years, going from punky, dissonant rock to gloomy goth dirges to textured, radio-friendly -- albeit dark -- alterna-pop. But the fact remains that the band, throughout its various lineup and stylistic changes, has maintained a high level of integrity and proved itself to be one of the great bands of the last two decades.
For a good beginner's level look at the Cure, check out 1986's "Staring at the Sea: The Singles." It, along with 1997's "Galore," has just about every hit and sub-hit the band has ever scored.