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Seventeen Seconds information

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Seventeen Seconds is the second studio album by The Cure, released in April, 1980 by Fiction Records. It is the only Cure album to feature keyboardist Matthieu Hartley.
Released: April, 1980
Recorded: Morgan Studio One
Genre: Gothic Rock
Length: 35:34
Label: Fiction Records
Producer(s): Mike Hedges and Robert Smith
Seventeen Seconds was lauded by some critics, and panned as a "collection of soundtracks" by others. One reviewer described the album as a "sad Cure, sitting in cold rooms, watching clocks". Despite the mixed reception, the band was featured in several lengthy articles with numerous photos of a slender Smith, without makeup, who one critic called "alarmingly handsome". There was controversy concerning the band's "anti-image", established by the cover of Three Imaginary Boys, which this album contributed to by blurring the photos of the band's members and the cover art. This is the first Cure album Smith was able to choose the art for.

Bassist Simon Gallup and keyboardist Matthieu Hartley were added to the band's lineup. Gallup replaced Michael Dempsey, which relieved Smith as he felt Dempsey's basslines were too ornate and that they weren't gelling socially. Hartley's synth work added a new dimension to the band's newly ethereal sound, although Smith and he clashed over complexity (Hartley enjoyed complex chords; Smith wanted single notes). Like Dempsey, Hartley made a departure from the group, the latter after Seventeen Seconds.

This record was repackaged in the UK (on the A&M label) with Faith as Happily Ever After --- available as a double album or a single CD.

In 2000 Q magazine placed Seventeen Seconds at number 65 in its list of the 100 Greatest British Albums Ever.


Seventeen Seconds was reissued in the UK 25 April 2005 (April 26 in the U.S.) as part of Universal's Deluxe Edition series. The new edition featured a remastered version of the album on the first disc, while the second contained demo and live tracks. Four of these rarities are recorded by the one-off Cult Hero, a group that featured Smith's postman Frank Bell as lead singer and which performed 70's style rock along the lines of Easy Cure. Disc 2 contains versions, either in demo or live form, of all 10 songs on the first disc. There are no never-before-heard tracks on the disc.

There also exists a one-CD reissue. It was released on September 5, 2005 in the UK and April 4, 2006 in the US. The CD features the original album, but does not contain the bonus disc. It is also released in the standard jewel case, and not a digipak. In some countries, the "Deluxe Edition" has become a collector's item and the production has phased out, being replaced by the more economic one-CD version.


All songs written by Smith / Gallup / Hartley / Tolhurst.

Original 1980 release

  1. "A Reflection" (Instrumental) - 2:09
  2. "Play for Today" - 3:39
  3. "Secrets" - 3:19
  4. "In Your House" - 4:06
  5. "Three" - 2:36
  6. "The Final Sound" (Instrumental) - 0:52
  7. "A Forest" - 5:55
  8. "M" - 3:03
  9. "At Night" - 5:54
  10. "Seventeen Seconds" - 4:01

2005 Deluxe Edition

Disc one

Original album, as above

Disc two

  1. "I'm a Cult Hero" (vinyl single by Cult Hero)
  2. "I Dig You" (vinyl single by Cult Hero)
  3. "Another Journey by Train" (instrumental home demo)
  4. "Secrets" (instrumental home demo)
  5. "Seventeen Seconds" (live)
  6. "In Your House" (live)
  7. "Three" (alt studio mix)
  8. "I Dig You" (Cult Hero live)
  9. "I'm a Cult Hero" (Cult Hero live)
  10. "M" (live)
  11. "The Final Sound" (live)
  12. "A Reflection" (live)
  13. "Play for Today" (live)
  14. "At Night" (live)
  15. "A Forest" (live)



  • Producers: Robert Smith, Mike Hedges
  • Co-producers: Chris Parry, Simon Gallup, Laurence Tolhurst and Matthieu Hartley
  • Engineers: Mike Hedges, David Kemp
  • Assistant engineer: Martyn Webster


  • The song Seventeen Seconds was used as the title song of Episode 25 of season two of Grey's Anatomy.

                 The Cure chronology
Three Imaginary        Seventeen      Boys Don't Cry
     Boys               Seconds
    (1978)              (1980)            (1980)