30 Day Song Challenge - Day 20 - A song that you listen to when you’re angry
Right, let’s get this straight from the start - I bloody LOVE The Cure.
It’s always been very easy to just slag them off as “gloom, goth rock”, but Big Fat Bob and his beautiful chums have been in my life for longer than I care to remember.
I remember the first time I heard “A Forest” when I was a mere youngster and I thought it was amazing. Naturally, as is my wont, and remains a defining personality characteristic to this day, I became obsessed with them and slavishly began collecting their back catalogue and beyond.
Back in the early 90s, whilst I was working at Yates’ Wine Lodge in Nottingham, I smiled when they had a “breakthrough hit”, again, with “Friday I’m in Love” - even Smiley Miley (the manager) liked it - and he initially HATED me, cos I was a bloody student and liked “weird things”! Haha.
Along with The Smiths’ “Sheila Take a Bow”, on the Saturday evening that I left Yates’ for good, after nearly 7 years working, it was the last song Neil, the DJ played, whilst Steve took the piss out of my “style” of dancing….. A moment I will always remember, as I leaned over the balcony, gin and tonic in hand saluting the gorgeously permed and permatanned throngs below, who looked somewhat confused at the DJ’s choice of music. It’s the little things.
So many memories are associated with The Cure, good ones and bad ones. I recall throwing myself around “The Kirk” to “A Forest”, “In Between Days” and “Close to me” back in the Eighties, but to me, their more interesting work was happening on the gaps between the singles.
I remember playing the title track of “Disintegration” to death when I had my heart broken for the first time. Listening to it now still makes me seize up a little inside.
BUT, it was their 1982 album, “Pornography”, that sealed the deal. Robert’s writing has never been better. Well, that’s what I think anyway.
Following up 1981’s imperious “Faith” album, “Pornography” remains my favourite Cure album (are they “The Cure”, or merely just “Cure” - sometimes it changes).
"Pornography", as a cohesive body of work, is an ugly, aggressive sideswipe at moral hypocrisy.
It’s sometimes too close to the bone to listen to however, at the time, I’d no idea that those themes would come back during “Disintegration” and “Blood Flowers” - thus forming “Trilogy” - the basis for those infamous 17 hour long gigs that Bob likes to put on.
It is a glorious “pop thing” that 18 years after the release of “Pornography”, this cycle was concluded, via 1989’s almost perfect “Disintegration”, with “Blood Flowers” in 2000. Most artists don’t get longer than the second album to prove their validity and cash making potential.
I love “One Hundred Years” - and when I’m feeling a bit pissed off, I put it on. Loudly.
I recall reading an interview with Beautiful Fat Bob many years ago, talking about “affectation” in music. The long and short of it was, when the likes of Simon Le Bon croak when they’re singing, you know it’s affectation. It’s not real.
Fat Bob specifically transposes songs in to keys that he genuinely struggles and finds painful to sing in.
Because it sounds better.
Key changing for aural pain.
That’s called commitment.
Many years after this, I remember having a cassette of “Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me” playing in my Dad’s car one evening, when I picked him up from the pub. The track “Torture” was playing. My Dad’s response was a classic: “I bloody know what he means…. Ow Iain, what’s this? He sounds like he needs putting down?”.