The Cure | Artist

The Cure | Artist

Tags: Era_1970s, Gender_Male, Genre_Goth, Genre_Post_Punk, Origin_UK, Type_Artist

The Cure are an English rock band formed 1976 in Crawley, West Sussex by Robert Smith (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Michael Dempsey (bass, vocals) and Lol Tollhurst (drums, keyboards). The trio were school friends at Notre Dame Middle School in Crawley who first performed in public in April 1973 in a one-off band called Obelisk. The next band incarnation was called Malice, with Marc Ceccagno on lead guitar, who played Bowie, Hendrix and Alex Harvey covers. In January 1977, after further lineup changes, and increasingly influenced by the emergence of punk rock, Malice's remaining members became known as Easy Cure after a song written by Tolhurst. The new four-piece of Dempsey, Smith, Tolhurst and Porl Thompson on guitar recorded their first studio demo as Easy Cure for Hansa at SAV Studios London between October and November 1977. None of that material was ever released. Thompson was dropped from the lineup because his lead-guitar style was at odds with Smith's growing preference for minimalist songwriting, and the remaining trio renamed themselves the Cure. A demo tape found its way to Polydor Records scout Chris Perry, who signed them to his newly-formed Fiction label in September 1978. The Cure released their debut single "Killing an Arab" in December 1978. The song garnered both acclaim and controversy for its provocative title, and led to accusations of racism, however it is actually based on French existentialist Albert Camus's novel The Stranger. The band released their debut album Three Imaginary Boys in May 1979 and their second single "Boys Don't Cry" in June. They then embarked as the support band for Siouxsie and the Banshees' UK tour which saw Smith pull double-duty each night by performing with the Cure and as the guitarist with the Banshees. That musical experience had a strong impact on him: "On stage that first night with the Banshees, I was blown away by how powerful I felt playing that kind of music. It was so different to what we were doing with the Cure. Before that, I'd wanted us to be like the Buzzcocks or Elvis Costello, like a punk version of the Beatles, but being a Banshee really changed my attitude." Which was a more morose, atmospheric or "goth" musical style. The Cure's third single, "Jumping Someone Else's Train" was released in October 1979 and soon afterwards, Dempsey was dropped and replaced by Simon Gallup (bass) and Matthieu Hartley (keyboards). Smith exerted a greater influence on the recording of the Cure's second album Seventeen Seconds which was released in 1980 reaching number 20 on the UK Charts. A single from the album, "A Forest" became the band's first UK hit. The new, increasingly dark and tormented style, together with Smith's stage look, had a strong influence on the emerging genres of post-punk and gothic rock as well as the subcultures that eventually formed around the genre. After the release of their fourth album, Pornography, Smith introduced a greater pop sensibility into the band's music, and they subsequently garnered worldwide mainstream success. The singles compilation Standing on a Beach sold four million copies worldwide by 1989, and they reached their commercial peak with the albums Disintegration and Wish. Essential Cure albums include Seventeen Seconds (1980), Faith (1981), Pornography (1982), The Head on the Door (1985) Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me (1987), Disintegration (1989), Wish (1992) and the singles compilation Standing on a Beach (1986). The Cure were one of the first alternative bands to have commercial success in an era before alternative rock had broken into the mainstream. In 1992, NME declared the Cure had become "a goth hit machine, an international phenomenon and, yet, the most successful alternative band that ever shuffled disconsolately about the earth."

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Featured Albums: The Cure

Related Artists: Siouxsie & The Banshees, The Associates

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