In 1979, The Cure released their debut Three Imaginary Boys. Although Bauhaus predates them as the first Goth Rock band, The Cure is probably one of the most well-known. This time around, I’m ranking all of The Cure’s studio albums.
1) Three Imaginary Boys (1979) ***
Single: “Jumping Someone Else’s Train”
(Note: The United States had a different debut, Boys Don’t Cry, which yielded them their first US hit with its title track. The track list for this is mostly the same as their UK debut)
Although Robert Smith would disagree, I find this debut isn’t bad. There a few tracks that miss the mark, but it’s overall a great start.
Best Tracks: “10:15 Saturday Night”, “Foxy Lady”, “Jumping Someone Else’s Train”
2) Seventeen Seconds (1980) ****
Single: “A Forest”
This is The Cure’s first true Goth Rock album, and is still considered one of their strongest. Not bad for an album this early in their run. It totally averts the “Sophomore Slump”, but fame would not be on their side yet.
Best tracks: “Play For Today”, “Secrets”, “A Forest”
3) Faith (1981) **1/2
Single: “The Holy Hour”
This album seems like a few steps down despite Robert Smith still showing his strengths as a vocalist. I wasn’t too impressed.
Best Tracks: “The Holy Hour”
4) Pornography (1982) ****1/2
Single: “The Hanging Garden”
This is a true early success, containing “One Hundred Years”, which would become a live favorite. Simon Gallup’s bass line accents Robert’s vocals well.
Best tracks: “One Hundred Years”, “The Hanging Garden”, “Siamese Twins”
5. The Top (1984) *
Single: “The Caterpillar”
This is the first real dud for the band. It’s mostly forgettable, save for a couple tracks.
Best Tracks: “Wailing Wall”, “The Top”
6. Head on the Door (1985) ***
Singles: “In Between Days”, “Close to Me”
Founding drummer Lol Tolhurst left before this album, becoming the first founder to leave (although he would return for a brief period later on) This album also marks Porl Thompson’s introduction, turning the band into a quintet. The album sold modestly in the US thanks to its singles.
Best Tracks: “In Between Days”, “Six Different Ways”, “Close To Me”
7) Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me (1987) ***1/2
Singles: “Why Can’t I Be You”, “Just Like Heaven”, “Hot Hot Hot”
This was The Cure’s first true breakthrough, with three big hits. It started a big wave that would continue for two more albums.
Best Tracks: “If Only Tonight We Could Sleep”, “Why Can’t I Be You”, “Just Like Heaven”, “Hot Hot Hot”, “Shiver and Shake”