All That Glitters is Gold - Fascination Street: The Cure


This is All That Glitters is Gold, a recurring piece about some of my favorite artists, albums, tracks, and live shows. Here I will write about the music I love, most of which inspired me to start Alt Revue in the first place. I'm excited to highlight this music and talk about how it has impacted me. I hope you enjoy getting a glimpse into some of my favorites!

I'm going to be honest, I didn't want to tackle this one. It felt so big to me, so monumental...I mean what can you really say about The Cure? They are one of the founding fathers of alt music as we know it. They're adored and followed by legions of fans and had have tons of success, but for the most part they don't seem to give a fuck about that. This was further evidenced by Robert Smith's Recent reaction to being enshrined in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which he was obviously thrilled about. But what can I say, I'm a glutton for punishment.

All kidding aside, for Smith and company, it's always been more about the music and being themselves than it is about sales. What's great is, it still works! Though the band has been around since the late 70's, they are still very much with it. They just headlined Glastonbury and they are headlining Austin City Limits this year. They are not a nostalgia ploy, they are bona fide superstars with drawing power. They have four RIAA Platinum certified studio albums, with some of their live albums being certified Platinum as well.

I have had the pleasure of seeing The Cure live, once in Chicago in 2016 and they were absolutely incredible. I'm scheduled to see them again on Weekend Two of Austin City Limits (ACL)! With news coming that they'll be releasing a new album in the near future and their impending headlining shows at ACL. I thought it would be cool to take a look back at the 13 albums the band has released between 1979 and 2008.

Three Imaginary Boys (1979) - It was in 1979 that The Cure made their debut with Three Imaginary Boys. To kick things off they went with "10:15 Saturday Night", an alt song that sounds little like their eventual sound. This was due to the band's inexperience and working with more experienced producers at the time. Robert Smith would later go on to be critical of this album, because of how different and how tied the band was with creative control. Anyway, on despite Smith's opinions on "Accuracy" you can start to see the first inklings of The Cure's signature sounds, especially on the leads.

That said, musically "Grinding Halt" sounds like something The Smiths would make, especially in the guitars. Maybe they're a bit too distorted but still the formula is there. Thought it should be pointed out that The Smiths didn't form until 1982. It just goes to show how different the sound is here. "Meathook" also has some semblances of later work from The Cure with it's deep bass lines, quirky verses, and signature Smith vocals. It feels somewhat out of place on this album because of what surrounds it. That said all in all, The Cure and Smith's signature goth aesthetic is really not here.

Tracks to Start with - "Accuracy, "Another Day" and "Meathook"

Seventeen Seconds (1980) - With Seventeen Seconds, Smith got co-producer