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2/3/2000  Excite News Online
The Cure Calls It Quits -- Possibly

HOLLYWOOD (Reuters) - It seems like a great way to boost publicity and record sales. A beloved band whose previous album was not a great seller, announces that its new release will be its last.

This is the promotional spin for English modern rock band the Cure's 13th studio album, "Bloodflowers," which hit stores late last month. The album is the final part of a gloomy trilogy dealing with death and despair, two subjects dear to the hearts of Cure fans.

The Cure, specifically singer-guitarist-songwriter and sole original member Robert Smith, has gone along with the strategy. Every one of the nine tracks on "Bloodflowers" deals with finality, though Smith says only one, the first single "Maybe Someday," is a specific farewell.

"I just feel that it would be good to stop while we're still good," Smith, 40, told Reuters in a recent backstage interview. "I don't really want to taint the legacy of what I've done with the first 20 years of my adult life by continuing on because that's what I do. And also I think if I don't try something else now I never will."

Dressed in customary black with electrified hairdo concealing a high forehead, Smith talks of his current efforts to write a film treatment and a solo album. On the other hand, he says, making "Bloodflowers" rekindled his enthusiasm for the group, and his bandmates think he's mad to break up the Cure now.

His U.S. label, Elektra, is promoting the album as the Cure's last but has also pushed Smith to renew his contract, "which is pretty bizarre," he said. "In five years' time, if I think it will be a really good idea to do another Cure album, then I will, so I suppose that's the proviso. I can burn all my bridges but then I just build another one."

The impending death of the Cure is not unexpected. Smith has been threatening as much since 1987, and the group has hardly been prolific recently. Its last album was 1996's "Wild Mood Swings," which underwhelmed many fans.

- Dean Goodman


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