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The Cure - A Site Just Like Heaven

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Biography

OVERVIEW
 
The Cure are an English rock band formed in Crawley, Sussex in 1976, widely seen as one of the leading pioneers of the British alternative rock scene of the 1980s. The band has experienced several lineup changes, with frontman, guitarist, and main songwriter Robert Smith --- known for his iconic wild hair, pale complexion, smudged lipstick, and frequently gloomy and introspective lyrics --- as the only constant member.
 
Barely out of their teens when they first started releasing music in the late 1970s, The Cure's first album Three Imaginary Boys and early singles placed them as part of the post-punk and New Wave movements that had sprung up in the wake of the punk rock revolution in the United Kingdom. During the early 1980s the band's increasingly dark and tormented music helped form the gothic rock genre. After the release of 1982's Pornography, the band's future was uncertain and frontman Robert Smith was keen to move past the gloomy reputation his band had cultivated. With the 1982 single "Let's Go to Bed" Smith began to inject more of a pop sensibility into the band's music. The Cure's popularity increased as the decade wore on, especially in the United States, where the songs "Just Like Heaven", "Lovesong" and "Friday I'm in Love" entered the Billboard Top 40 charts. By the start of the 1990s, The Cure were one of the most popular alternative bands in the world, with an estimated 27 million albums sold as of 2004. As of 2007 The Cure have released twelve studio albums and over thirty singles, with a thirteenth album in the works.
 
HISTORY
 
Formation and early years (1972-1979)
 
The first incarnation of what became The Cure was The Obelisk, a Notre Dame Middle School band from Crawley, Sussex. The band was formed in December of 1972, and featured Robert Smith (piano), Michael Dempsey (guitar), Laurence "Lol" Tolhurst (percussion), Marc Ceccagno (lead guitar) and Alan Hill on bass guitar. Smith later played in another school band known only as "the group", and was a member of his older brother Richard Smith's "The Crawley Goat Band". In January 1976 former Obelisk guitarist Marc Ceccagno formed Malice with Robert Smith --- now also on guitar --- and Michael "Mick" Dempsey --- switching to bass --- along with two other classmates from St. Wilfrid's Catholic Comprehensive School. Ceccagno soon left, however, to form a Jazz-rock fusion band called Amulet. Increasingly influenced by the emergence of punk rock, Malice's remaining members became known as Easy Cure in January 1977. Smith and Dempsey had by this time been joined by Lol Tolhurst from The Obelisk on drums, and new lead guitarist Porl Thompson. Both Malice and Easy Cure also trialed several unsuccessful vocalists before Smith finally assumed the role of Easy Cure's frontman in September/October of 1977.
 
That year, The Easy Cure won a talent competition with the German label Hansa Records, and received a recording contract. Although the band recorded tracks for the company, none were ever released. Following disagreements in March of 1978 over the direction the band should take, the contract with Hansa was dissolved. Smith later recalled "We were very young. They just thought they could turn us into a teen group. They actually wanted us to do cover versions and we always refused." Thompson was dropped from the band that April, and the remaining trio (Smith/Tolhurst/Dempsey) re-emerged as The Cure for their first concert on May 18, 1978. Their first studio recordings as The Cure were recorded nine days later at Chestnut Studios in Sussex and were distributed as a demo tape to a dozen major record labels. On September 13 The Cure signed with former Polydor Records scout Chris Parry's newly formed Fiction label --- distributed by Polydor. However, as a stop-gap while Fiction finalised distribution arrangements with Polydor, on December 22, 1978 The Cure released their debut single "Killing an Arab" on the Small Wonder label. "Killing an Arab" garnered both acclaim and controversy: while the single's provocative title led to accusations of racism, the song is actually based on French existentialist Albert Camus' story The Stranger. The band placed a sticker label that denied the racist connotations on the single's 1979 reissue on Fiction. An early NME article on the band wrote that The Cure "are like a breath of fresh suburban air on the capital's smog-ridden pub and club circuit" and noted "With a John Peel session and more extensive London gigging on their immediate agenda, it remains to be seen whether or not The Cure can retain their refreshing joie de vivre."
 
The Cure released the album Three Imaginary Boys on May 5, 1979. The band ---particularly Smith --- were unhappy with their debut, and in a 1987 interview he admitted that "a lot of it was very superficial --- I didn't even like it at the time. There were criticisms made that it was very lightweight, and I thought they were justified. Even when we'd made it, I wanted to do something that I thought had more substance to it." One particular bone of contention was the inclusion of the Jimi Hendrix cover "Foxy Lady", which Smith said was only recorded as a sound check, but which was released because some representatives of the record label felt that the inclusion of a cover song would help the album's sales. Smith said Chris Parry's production changed the band's sound radically, which alienated Parry from the band.

Between May and July '79, The Cure toured England and Wales to promote the album, followed by a short stint of festival dates in Belgium and the Netherlands before the end of July. Meanwhile, the next single "Boys Don't Cry" had been released in June and was a minor hit in the United States. The Cure then embarked as the support band for Siouxsie & The Banshees' Join Hands promotional tour of England, Northern Ireland, Wales, and the Netherlands between August and October. The tour saw Smith pull double duty each night by performing with The Cure and as the guitarist with The Banshees when John McKay suddenly quit the latter just one night into the tour.

Dempsey was sacked from the band immediately following the tour's completion in October, however he appeared as bassist on the next single "Jumping Someone Else's Train", released later that month. By November, Dempsey had joined the Associates, while Simon Gallup (bass) and Matthieu Hartley (keyboards) from Horley post-punk/new wave band The Magspies had joined The Cure. The Associates toured as support band for The Cure and The Passions on the Future Pastimes Tour of England between November and December --- all three bands were on the Fiction Records roster --- with the new Cure lineup already performing a number of new songs for the projected second album. Meanwhile, a spin-off band comprising Smith, Tolhurst, Dempsey, Gallup, Hartley and Thompson, with backing vocals from assorted family and friends, and lead vocals provided by their local postman Frankie Bell released a 7 inch single in November under the assumed name of Cult Hero. The release featured the songs "I'm a Cult Hero" and "I Dig You".

Gothic phase (1980-1982)

Wary due to the band's lack of creative control on the first album, Smith exerted a greater influence on the recording of second album Seventeen Seconds, which he co-produced with Mike Hedges. Seventeen Seconds was released in 1980 and reached #20 on the UK charts. The album single "A Forest" became the band's first UK hit single, reaching #31 on the singles chart. The album was a departure from The Cure's sound up to that point, with Hedges describing it as "morose, atmospheric, very different to Three Imaginary Boys." In its review of Seventeen Seconds the NME said "For a group as young as The Cure, it seems amazing that they have covered so much territory in such a brief time." At the same time Smith was pressed concerning the concept of an alleged "anti-image". Smith told the press he was fed up with the anti-image association that some considered to be "elaborately disguising their plainness", stating "We had to get away from that anti-image thing, which we didn't even create in the first place. And it seemed like we were trying to be more obscure. We just didn't like the standard rock thing. The whole thing really got out of hand." That same year Three Imaginary Boys was repackaged for the U.S market as Boys Don't Cry, with new artwork and a new tracklist. The Cure set out on their first world tour to promote both releases. At the end of the tour Matthieu Hartley left the band. Hartley said, "I realised that the group was heading towards suicidal, sombre music --- the sort of thing that didn't interest me at all."

The band reconvened with Hedges to produce 1981's Faith, which furthered the mood of misery present on Seventeen Seconds. The album hit #14 on the UK charts. Included with cassette copies of Faith was an instrumental soundtrack for Carnage Visors, an animated film shown in place of an opening act for the band's 1981 Picture Tour. In late 1981, The Cure released the non-album single "Charlotte Sometimes". By this point the somber mood of the music was having a profound affect on the attitude of the band. The Cure would refuse requests for older songs in concert, and sometimes Smith would be so absorbed by the persona he projected onstage he would leave at the end in tears.

In 1982 The Cure recorded and released Pornography, the third and final album of an "oppressively dispirited" trio that cemented the Cure's stature as purveyors of the emerging gothic rock genre. Smith has said during the recording of Pornography he was "undergoing a lot of mental stress. But it had nothing to do with the group, it just had to do with what I was like, my age and things. I think I got to my worst round about Pornography. Looking back and getting other people's opinions of what went on, I was a pretty monstrous sort of person at that time." Gallup described the album by saying "Nihilism took over [. . .] We sang 'It doesn't matter if we all die' and that is exactly what we thought at the time." Parry was concerned that the album did not have a hit song for radio play and instructed Smith and producer Phil Thornalley to polish the track "The Hanging Garden" for release as a single. Despite the concerns about the album's uncommercial sound, Pornography became the band's first UK Top 10 album, entering the charts at #8 (despite the fact that very few favorable reviews appeared in the British press). The release of Pornography was followed by the Fourteen Explicit Moments tour, where the band finally dropped the anti-image angle and first adopted their signature look of big, towering hair and smeared lipstick on their faces. The tour also saw a series of incidents that prompted Simon Gallup to leave The Cure at the tour's conclusion. Gallup and Smith did not talk to each other for eighteen months following his departure.

Increasing commercial success (1983-1988)

With the departure of Gallup and Smith's work with Siouxsie & the Banshees, rumors spread that The Cure had broken up. In December of 1982, Smith remarked to Melody Maker "Do The Cure really exist any more? I've been pondering that question myself [. . .] it has got to a point where I don't fancy working in that format again." He added, "Whatever happens, it won't be me, Laurence, and Simon together any more. I know that."

Parry was concerned at the state of his label's top band, and became convinced that the solution was for The Cure to reinvent its musical style. Parry managed to convince Smith and Tolhurst of the idea; Parry said, "It appealed to Robert because he wanted to destroy The Cure anyway." With Tolhurst now playing keyboards instead of drums, the duo released the single "Let's Go to Bed" in late 1982. While Smith played the single off as a throwaway "stupid" pop song to the press, it became a minor hit in the UK, reaching number 44 on the pop charts; but was a big hit in Australia, reaching #15. It was followed in 1983 by two more successful songs: the synth-based "The Walk" (UK #12), and the jazz-influenced "The Lovecats," which became the band's first UK Top 10 reaching #7. They released these studio singles and their b-sides as the compilation album Japanese Whispers, designed by Smith for the Japanese market only, but released worldwide on the decision of the record company. The same year, Smith also recorded and toured with Siouxsie & the Banshees, contributing his writing and playing skills on their Hyaena and Nocturne albums, as well as recording the Blue Sunshine album with Steven Severin as The Glove.

In 1984 The Cure released The Top, a generally psychedelic album on which Smith played all the instruments except the drums --- played by Andy Anderson --- and the saxophone ---played by returnee Porl Thompson. The album was a Top 10 hit in the UK and was their first studio album to break the Billboard 200 in the U.S. reaching #180. Melody Maker praised the album as "psychedelia that can't be dated," while pondering, "I've yet to meet anyone who can tell me why The Cure are having hits now of all times." The Cure then embarked on their worldwide "Top Tour" with Thompson, Anderson, and producer-turned-bassist Phil Thornalley on board. Released in late 1984, The Cure's first live album, Concert consisted of performances from this tour. Near the tour's end, Anderson was fired for destroying a hotel room and was replaced by Boris Williams. Thornalley also left due to the rigors of the road. However, the bassist slot was not vacant long, for a Cure roadie named Gary Biddles had brokered a reunion between Smith and former bassist Simon Gallup, who in the meantime had been playing in the band Fools Dance. Soon after reconciling, Smith asked Gallup to rejoin the band. Smith was ecstatic about Gallup's return and declared to Melody Maker, "It's a group again."

1985 was an important year for the The Cure, indeed the new lineup --- Smith, Tolhurst, Gallup, Thompson, and Williams --- released successfully The Head on the Door, an album which managed to meld the melodic and pessimistic aspects of the band they had previously shifted between. The Head on the Door reached #7 in the UK, made the Top 20 in several European charts and in Australia, and was the band's first entry into American Top 75 at #59, a success partly due to the international impact of the LP's two singles, "In Between Days" and "Close to Me". Following the album and further world tour, the band released the singles compilation Standing on a Beach in three formats (each with a different track listing and a specific name) in 1986. This compilation made the US Top 50 and the Top 10 in Europe, and saw the re-issue of three previous singles: "Boys Don't Cry" (in a new form), "Let's Go To Bed" and later "Charlotte Sometimes". This release was accompanied by VHS and LaserDisc called Staring at the Sea, which featured videos for each track on the compilation. The Cure toured to support the compilation and released a live concert VHS of the show, filmed in the south of France called The Cure in Orange. During this time, The Cure became a very popular band in Europe (particularly in France, Germany and the Benelux countries) and increasingly popular in the U.S., where the closing date of their tour in Los Angeles resulted in tragedy when a fan committed suicide by stabbing himself to death as the band took the stage.

In 1987, The Cure released the double LP Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me which reached #6 in the UK, the Top 5 in several European countries and #35 in the US (where it was certified platinum), due to the combination of the band's rising popularity and the success of lead single, "Why Can't I Be You?" (#54 in the US and Top 30 hit in UK, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, etc.). The album's third single, "Just Like Heaven" was the band's most successful single to date in the United States, being their first to enter the Billboard Top 40. After the album's release, the band embarked on the successful Kiss Tour. During the European leg of the tour, Lol Tolhurst's alcohol consumption was interfering with his ability to perform so Psychedelic Furs keyboardist Roger O'Donnell was frequently called upon to stand in for him.

Disintegration and worldwide success (1989-2002)

In 1989 The Cure released the album Disintegration, which saw a return to the dark imagery of earlier releases. It became their highest charting album in the UK to date, entering at #3 and featuring three Top 30 singles in the UK and Germany ("Lullaby", "Lovesong" and "Pictures of You"). Disintegration also reached an impressive #12 on the US charts (with four Top 75 singles), where it had a lengthy run, and greatly increased their popularity in America. The first single stateside, "Fascination Street," reached #1 on the American Modern Rock chart, but was quickly overshadowed when its third US single, "Lovesong," reached #2 on the American pop charts (the only Cure single to reach the US Top 10). By 1992 Disintegration had sold over three million copies worldwide.

During the Disintegration sessions, the band gave Smith an ultimatum that either Tolhurst would have to leave the band or they would. In February 1989 Tolhurst's exit was made official and announced to the press; this resulted in Roger O'Donnell becoming a full-fledged member of the band and left Smith as The Cure's only remaining founding member. Smith attributed Tolhurst's dismissal to an inability to exert himself and issues with alcohol, concluding, "He was out of step with everything. It had just become detrimental to everything we'd do." Because Tolhurst was still on the payroll during the recording of Disintegration, he was credited in the album's liner notes as playing "other instrument," however it has since been revealed that he contributed nothing to the album in either performance or songwriting. The Cure then embarked on the Prayer Tour, which featured some of the band's longest ever shows; their final gig at Wembley Arena on July 24 (announced by Smith as "probably our last show") lasted over three and a half hours.

In May 1990, Roger O'Donnell left the band and Thompson suggested long time guitar tech Perry Bamonte as his replacement. In November of that year, The Cure released a collection of remixes called Mixed Up. It was panned by critics. Smith has said that he expected this, but decided to release the collection anyway. Since it was released just after a mass audience had discovered the Cure, Mixed Up still managed to sell well; it also spun off a hit with the one new song on the collection, "Never Enough". In 1991 The Cure were awarded the BRIT Award for Best British Band.

Mixed Up was followed in 1992 by the album Wish, which became their highest-charting LP of all time, reaching #1 in the UK and #2 in the US and yielded the international hits "High" and "Friday I'm in Love". The Cure also embarked on the "Wish Tour" with Portsmouth's Cranes and released the live albums Show (September 1993) and Paris (October 1993). As a promotional exercise with the Our Price music chain in the UK, a limited edition EP was released consisting of instrumental outtakes from the Wish sessions. Entitled Lost Wishes, the proceeds from the four track cassette tape went to charity. Porl Thompson (guitar) left the band once more during 1993 to play with Robert Plant and Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, and Bamonte took over as lead guitar. The band then recorded a cover of Jimi Hendrix's "Purple Haze" for a Hendrix tribute album.

Lol Tolhurst sued Robert Smith and Fiction Records in 1994 over royalties payments, and claimed joint ownership of the name "The Cure" with Smith. After a long legal battle Tolhurst eventually lost. Williams left the band, and was replaced by Jason Cooper (formerly of My Life Story), while Roger O'Donnell rejoined. The Smith-Gallup-Bamonte-Cooper-O'Donnell lineup was one of the longer lasting in the bands history. The first song they wrote was "Dredd Song" for the Judge Dredd movie soundtrack in 1995. There was also a cover of David Bowie's "Young Americans" for a radio compilation.

The Cure released Wild Mood Swings in 1996, however the album was their most poorly received since 1984s The Top, although it sold well throughout the world. The first two singles, "The 13th" and "Mint Car" both fared modestly on the UK singles chart and the US Modern Rock chart, however the next singles, "Gone!" and "Strange Attraction" were not successful. Early in 1996 the Cure played festivals in South America, followed by a World tour in support of the WMS album.

1997 saw the release of Galore, the follow-up to The Cure's multi-platinum singles collection, Standing on a Beach. Galore contained all of the Cure's singles released between 1987 and 1997, as well as the new single "Wrong Number," which featured longtime David Bowie guitarist Reeves Gabrels. Gabrels also accompanied the Cure on a brief American radio festival tour as an onstage guest guitarist for "Wrong Number." In 1998 The Cure contributed to the soundtrack album for The X-Files: Fight the Future as well as the Depeche Mode tribute album For the Masses, with their cover of "World in My Eyes."

With only one album left in their record contract and with commercial response to Wild Mood Swings and the Galore compilation lackluster, Smith once again considered that the end of The Cure might be near and thus wanted to make an album that reflected the more serious side of the band. The Grammy-nominated album Bloodflowers was released in 2000 after being delayed since 1998. The album was, according to Smith, the third of a trilogy along with Pornography and Disintegration. The band also embarked on the nine-month Dream Tour, attended by over one million people worldwide. In 2001 The Cure left Fiction and released their Greatest Hits album and DVD, which featured the music videos for a number of classic Cure songs. The band headlined twelve major music festivals that year, in addition to playing several three-hour concerts during which they performed the albums Pornography, Disintegration and Bloodflowers in their entireties on back-to-back nights at the Tempodrome in Berlin. These performances were released as the Trilogy DVD in 2003.

Recent years (2003-present)

In the spring of 2003, The Cure signed to Geffen Records. In 2004, The Cure released a new four-disc boxed set on Fiction Records titled Join the Dots: B-Sides and Rarities, 1978-2001 (The Fiction Years). The set includes seventy Cure songs, some previously unreleased, and a 76-page full-colour book of photographs, history and quotes, packaged in a hard cover. The album peaked at #106 on the Billboard 200 album charts. The band released their twelfth album The Cure on Geffen Records on June 28, 2004, which was produced by nu metal guru Ross Robinson. It made a top ten debut on both sides of the Atlantic in July 2004 and debuted in the top 30 in Australia. To promote this album, the band headlined the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on May 2. Between July 24 to August 29, The Cure headlined the Curiosa concert tour of North America. The concert had two stages and featured a lineup, including Interpol, The Rapture, and Mogwai on the main stage and the supporting bands such as Muse, Scarling. and Melissa Auf Der Maur on the second stage, hand-picked by Smith himself. While attendences were lower than expected, Curiosa was still one of the more successful American summer festivals of 2004.

The band was awarded the MTV Icon for 2004. The ceremony included performances of Cure songs by the bands AFI ("Just Like Heaven"), blink-182 ("A Letter to Elise"), Razorlight ("Boys Don't Cry") and the Deftones ("If Only Tonight We Could Sleep"), and was hosted by Marilyn Manson. Smith subsequently included songs by AFI, Blink 182 and the Deftones in his set-list whilst presenting a special John Peel evening session on BBC Radio 1, shortly before Peel's death. 2004-2006 saw the reissue of several of The Cure's early albums. Each was presented in a Deluxe Edition format, including a bonus second disc of mostly previously unreleased material; including demos, live performances and album out-takes. All the studio albums up to Bloodflowers were intended for re-released in 2004, however the record label did not want to release them at the same time as The Cure, and the first batch (1979-1982) was delayed until late 2004/early 2005. The release of the second batch (1983-1987) was then scheduled for June/July 2006, but released in August.

In May 2005, (Robert Smith, Simon Gallup and Jason Cooper) split from Roger O' Donnell and Perry Bamonte, in order to continue on with The Cure as a three piece. Bamonte's brother Daryl, who had been The Cure's assistant for a number of years, also left at this time. This Cure recorded a few songs as a trio before it was announced in June that Porl Thompson would be returning for the band's 2005 summer shows, including their set at Live 8 in Paris on July 2. Later that year, the band recorded a cover of John Lennon's "Love" for Amnesty International's charity album Make Some Noise. It is available for download on the Amnesty website, while the album has been scheduled to be released on CD in 2006. In 2006 The Cure appeared at the Royal Albert Hall on April 1 2006, on behalf of the Teenage Cancer Trust. It was their only show through to the end the year. In December a live DVD, entitled The Cure: Festival 2005 including 30 songs of their 2005 Festival tour was released.

The Cure have been writing and recording material for a new album throughout 2006. Smith said that the band were "hoping for a Halloween release", but despite this date being confirmed in a press release concerning the first batch of releases from Suretone Records, it was later announced by Universal Spain that the album would be delayed until sometime in 2007. Robert Smith has since suggested that it would be a double-album stylistically similar to "Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me", that he hoped would be finished by the time of the Ultra Music Festival which the band headlined on March 23rd. At this point it is unknown when the next album by The Cure will be released. It was announced that on October 6, The Cure will be headlining the Download Festival in Mountain View, California.

MUSICAL STYLE

The Cure are often identified with the gothic rock subgenre of alternative rock, and are viewed as one of the form's definitive bands. However, the band has routinely rejected classification, particularly as a gothic rock band. Robert Smith said in 2006, "It's so pitiful when 'goth' is still tagged onto the name The Cure," and added, "We're not categorisable. I suppose we were post-punk when we came out, but in total it's impossible [. . .] I just play Cure music, whatever that is." Smith has also expressed his distaste for gothic rock, describing it as "incredibly dull and monotonous. A dirge really."

While typically viewed as producers of dark and gloomy music, The Cure have also yielded a number of upbeat songs. Spin has said "The Cure have always been an either/or sort of band: either [. . .] Robert Smith is wallowing in gothic sadness or he's licking sticky-sweet cotton-candy pop off his lipstick-stained fingers."

The Cure's primary musical traits have been listed as "dominant, melodic bass lines; whiny, strangulated vocals; and a lyric obsession with existential, almost literary despair." Most Cure songs start with Smith and Gallup writing the drum parts and basslines. Both record demos at home and then bring them into the studio for fine-tuning. Smith said in 1992, "I think when people talk about the 'Cure sound,' they mean songs based on 6-string bass, acoustic guitar, and my voice, plus the string sound from the Solina." On top of this foundation is laid "towering layers of guitars and synthesizers". Keyboards have been a component of the band's sound since Seventeen Seconds, and their importance increased with their extensive use on Disintegration.

LEGACY

The Cure were one of the first alternative bands to have chart and commercial success in an era before alternative rock had broken into the mainstream. In 1992 the NME declared The Cure had during the 1980s become "a goth hit machine (19 to date), an international phenomenon and, yep, the most successful alternative band that ever shuffled disconsolately about the earth."

The Cure has served as a major influence on many artists that have emerged during the the band's thirty year career, including blink-182, Jane's Addiction, The Smashing Pumpkins, and Dinosaur Jr. Smith has noted he looks at Cure-influenced bands Interpol and My Chemical Romance with affection, adding "I also think [Interpol bassist] Carlos D.'s obsession with Simon [Gallup] is sweet." In an interview on TV total Gwen Stefani cited them as an influence for her Love. Angel. Music. Baby. album adding that they were "a backdrop of her life in high school."

MUSIC VIDEOS

The Cure have been making music videos for their singles since their first video for "A Forest" in 1980. The Cure's early videos have been described as "dreadful affairs" and have been maligned for their poor quality, particularly by the band itself. Lol Tolhurst said, "Those videos were unmitigated disasters; we weren't actors and our personalities weren't coming across." It was with the video for "Let's Go to Bed", their first collaboration with director Tim Pope, that The Cure would become noted for their videos. Pope would go on to direct the majority of The Cure's videos, and his videos, which became synonymous with the band, helped expand The Cure's audience during the 1980s. When directing Cure videos, Pope has been given control of selecting whatever concepts he wants, which have ranged from stuffing the band into a wardrobe and throwing them off a cliff into the water below ("Close to Me") to having Smith devoured by a giant spider ("Lullaby"). Pope explained the appeal of working with The Cure by saying, "The Cure is the ultimate band for a filmmaker to work with because [Robert Smith] really understands the camera. His songs are so cinematic. I mean on one level there's this stupidity and humour, right, but beneath that there are all [Smith's] psychological obsessions and claustrophobia."

IN POPULAR CULTURE

Robert Smith voiced himself in the first season of the animated series South Park at the request of series co-creator Trey Parker, who is a fan of The Cure. Smith appeared in the episode "Mecha-Streisand," where he fought a giant mechanical Barbra Streisand. As he walked off triumphantly into the distance at the episode's conclusion, one of the series' main characters Kyle Broflovski shouted "Disintegration is the best album ever!"

A number of films have used the title of a Cure song as the film's title, including Boys Don't Cry (1999) and Just Like Heaven (2005).

In series 2 of 'The Mighty Boosh', The Moon sings the chorus to 'The Lovecats'. At another point in the series, a powerful gothic hairspray, Goth Juice, is said to be "The most powerful hairspray known to man. Made from the tears of Robert Smith." It can hold a satsuma in midair with one spray. 'The Cure' is also mentioned in Noel Fielding and Russel Brand's 'Goth Detectives' gig for the Teenage Cancer Trust. It features on the list of 'Things that are gothy' created by Noel and Russel along with spiders and black.

DISCOGRAPHY

See The Cure discography

Studio albums

1979 - Three Imaginary Boys

1980 - Seventeen Seconds

1981 - Faith

1982 - Pornography

1984 - The Top

1985 - The Head on the Door

1987 - Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me

1989 - Disintegration

1992 - Wish

1996 - Wild Mood Swings

2000 - Bloodflowers

2004 - The Cure

MEMBERS

See "Band members"