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The Cure - Pornography (Cover Artwork)

The Cure

The Cure: PornographyPornography (1982)
Elektra/Fiction

Reviewer Rating: 5
User Rating:


Contributed by: union_tumbleweeduniontumbleweed
(others by this writer | submit your own)

I thought this an appropriate time to rediscover this record, in light of the recent release of the "Trilogy" DVD. For those of you who aren't familiar with the Cure, they are one of the most influential pop/rock/new wave bands to come out of the early 1980's. The Cure are an ever-changing entity, w.
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I thought this an appropriate time to rediscover this record, in light of the recent release of the "Trilogy" DVD. For those of you who aren't familiar with the Cure, they are one of the most influential pop/rock/new wave bands to come out of the early 1980's. The Cure are an ever-changing entity, who began as a three piece outfit playing straight ahead pop rock songs with a bitter, sarcastic, and self destructive twist. In their later years, they would be credited as the genesis of the Goth movement, a label they absolutely detest. They have experimented with all types of sounds, ranging from an early punk influence to massive, orchestrated opuses, to a shelved album of dance music, of which only two songs ever saw the light of day.

Pornography is one of the darker and more experimental albums in the Cure catalog, being the first in a "trilogy" of dark albums released over 18 years. (Disintegration followed in 1989, followed by Bloodflowers in 2000.) While written with the original, three piece lineup, Pornography delivers rich, dissonant guitar textures; the most forceful, violent drumming ever delivered by drummer Lol Tolhurst; and Simon Gallup's unique bass style and tone, which bring the two together in a beautiful, mesmerizing-yet-simple way that has been the trademark distinguishable bass sound of the Cure since their humble beginnings in the late 1970's.

The album leads off with "A Hundred Years," a song rooted in the reckless debauchery and budding paranoia of a group beginning to discover their fame and immortality. The first verse addresses strange new life on the road: "It doesn't matter if we all die/ambition in the back of a black car/in a high building there's so much to do/a story on the radio/it's going home time." The song is a fierce, frantic and dissonant wall of sound from the time the first chord attack until the song cuts off as if running into a wall in all its own anger and confusion. This is one of the best elements of Cure songs; Robert Smith has an unsurpassed way of breathing life and emotion into a song, creating a feeling without lyrics, and then using the lyrics to push that feeling to its outer limits.

Another personal favorite on this record is the fourth song, "Siamese Twins." This song is the quintessential expression of falling into the void that's left behind when love walks out on you:

"Leave me to die/You won't remember my voice/I walked away and grew old/You never talk/We never smile/I scream/You're nothing/I don't need you any more"
Smith's lyrics on "Pornography" are as brutal as they are elegant; he speaks only what is true, and real, and what others dare not speak. He leaves the listener feeling justified and understood, and his subjects ashamed and horrified to continue being the rotten picture of themselves that he paints.

Echoes of The Cure ring throughout the punk and emo world still, opening the door for the sincerity and emotion behind such now renowned songwriters and self proclaimed fans as the Alkaline Trio, Face to Face, Jimmy Eat World, Dashboard Confessional, and countless others. If you're in the market for something new, and can wrap your head around something a little bigger than emo/screamo/punk rock sound-alike bands, "Pornography" is an excellent place for the young and disillusioned to begin their journey into the wonderful world that is The Cure.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (August 13, 2005)

greatest album of all time.

Anonymous (September 26, 2004)

This album is brilliant, not my favourite but still amazingly good.

chrisafi (June 29, 2004)

Disintergration is a better record than this one I think.
You obviously think it's the other way round.
I would put this as the 2nd best Cure record followed in joint 3rd by Faith, and the New Release which is surprisingly good.

However, this is the Cure not far from their best, and I think this album has some immense tracks

Anonymous (January 7, 2004)

That guy sucks

-Romeo

|
v

Anonymous (November 18, 2003)

the cure suck, the 80's sucked, sucky sucky= super sucky

Anonymous (November 17, 2003)

Said it before and I'll say it again...Dignin!
-Janelle

the 120-minute mix tape. Yeah.

Anonymous (November 16, 2003)

You gotta have love for the mixtape. I was raised on that shit just like a bunch of other kids. Having two sides to work with is just better than an 80 minute cd. The mixtape is an art form. I have not yet made a mix cd that can compete with the mixtape format. but as soon as double sided cd's come out it will be on!

dignin (November 16, 2003)

hey, I thought we were discussing porn?

Anonymous (November 16, 2003)

All my tape players that record have been completely destroyed...so I have been making CD-R's lately. I know I have betrayed tradition...but after income tax time I am buying a new stereo, so the fun can begin again!

Best song to start a tape...well I got different tastes then you two obviously, but I always started my tapes off with AFI's "Malleus Malificarum" or Green Days "hitchin a ride" I never get sick of those songs. Heh, I wish i still had my Minor threat/ S.O.A/ Op Ivy/ AAA/ Unwanted Sect tape. That tape was full of freshly bottled awesome sauce.

-GreenVandal!

Anonymous (November 16, 2003)

Ken-
I salute you! I buy those huge-ass blank tape packs too! I credit a lot of it to love of the cassette but also to the fact that my car has a tape deck.

I find it weird that I actually have to ASK people if they have a cassette player anymore. It's funny.
-Janelle
Wow, but that's a tough question...best opening song on an "Awesome Tape Mix"?? It kinda changes with the mood and tone of each tape...can't go wrong with D.O.A., though - "Get Out of My Life", "Thirteen", or "SLUMLORD" perhaps!!!!

kenfuggit (November 15, 2003)

Rock. Glad to know some people are keepin' it real. I've been buying cassettes in 10 packs and going through them in less than a week. I mail a bunch out, but i have somewhere around 40 in a big coffee can in my car.

Lately though, I've been making CDR's because I keep running into kids who have absolutely NO idea of the whole "scene". They are usually just trying to be something different and I don't want to bombard them with 20 years of tradition right up front. So these kids get the CDR's and next time I see them, they are blessed with the mixtape.

-Ken

P.S. Best song to start a mix tape out with? My pick: New Bomb Turks "Point A to Point Blank". That drum intro makes me wanna run my car into things!

Anonymous (November 15, 2003)

"Whenever I meet a young punk I try to throw them a mix tape and they look at me like I just handed them a fucking alien placenta. What gives? Who doesn't love the fuzzy warmth of analog? (especially when going from vinyl to tape..mmmmmmmmmm)"

SO TRUE!!!! That's kinda why I mentioned it was in the old cassette form...When - out of the kindness of my heart (yes, vandal, I DO have a heart) - I offer, I OFFER to make some lucky person a tape, they call me "grandma". I wear it as a badge of pride, however. No, not the grandma references, but...you know what I mean. And taping the LPs...oh yeah I know a thing or two about that...
-Janelle

"staring at the sea; staring at the sand. staring at the barrel of the gun in my hand. i'm alive; i'm dead. i'm the stranger. killing an arab."

Anonymous (November 15, 2003)

Cassettes rule. Im sure many are aware of my unfortunate love of Thrice, and there new album is so overproduced...but 40 minutes later, I have a nice warm fuzzy cassette, and it sounds like our friends with way to much studio money are recording back in 1994 again! huzzah for the beauties of analog. Digital needs to die and quick...

I used to make crazy mix tapes of everything. I had so many that I forgot what bands I was listening to half the time cuz i had so many different ones on every single tape. then I lost them all of course :)

-GreenVandal!

kenfuggit (November 15, 2003)

Janelle's comment gots me thinkin' (which is hazardous to my health)...

How many of you out there rely on Tapes as your format of choice? Anyone?

Whenever I meet a young punk I try to throw them a mix tape and they look at me like I just handed them a fucking alien placenta. What gives? Who doesn't love the fuzzy warmth of analog? (especially when going from vinyl to tape..mmmmmmmmmm)

Lemme know whats up, Ken

Anonymous (November 15, 2003)

this could be the best comment thread ever here. we're talking about the cure and porno. damn. seriously, cherish this thread.

Anonymous (November 14, 2003)

You can't go wrong with anything by Sylvia Saint.

...evildeadalive

dignin (November 13, 2003)

Id start with Sticky Faces 9-12, before that its all amateur bullshit.

Anonymous (November 13, 2003)

What I want to know is, If I was to start my pornography collection, what would be the best way to start?

Anonymous (November 13, 2003)

few comments:

"The first verse addresses strange new life on the road: "It doesn't matter if we all die/ambition in the back of a black car/in a high building there's so much to do/a story on the radio/it's going home time.""

the song isn't about life on the road or coming to grips with fame, it's about dying and the futility of life. the black car is a hearse and 'jumping' is what there is to do in a high building.

"this is truly an amazing album...the sound is muddled, but i think it lends to the overall mood of the songs. kinda like joy division "closure"."

i think you mean 'closer' and i don't know what you're talking about as the production on that album is pretty damn crisp.

anyway, pornography is easily my favorite cure album.

100 years is quite possibly the most depressing song ever written (i mean that in a good way of course).

-waste

Anonymous (November 12, 2003)

>>If I was gonna start my Cure collection, what should be my first purchase?

Disintegration. Best album of all time, hands down

Anonymous (November 12, 2003)

Ah The Cure...I still like Staring At The Sea - The Singles...cassette all the way!!!!
-Janelle

Anonymous (November 12, 2003)

If I was gonna start my Cure collection, what should be my first purchase?

Anonymous (November 12, 2003)

I love all that is The Cure! Awesome band. And the Trilogy is a kick ass DVD.

-ejaculine

Anonymous (November 12, 2003)

Truly an amazing album.
I don't even like most of the Cure's discography, but this album is in my top 3 albums of all time.

This is the ultimate kill yourself album. Interesting note: At the time this was recorded, The Cure was slowly resembling a death rock band. I have a picture of them. Talhurst (sp?) has a devil lock and pyramid belt. If not for Robert Smith's pink sweater in the picture I'd swear it was Samhain.

Ted_The_Bellhop (November 12, 2003)

The Cure is simply awesome.

Anonymous (November 11, 2003)

You have to hear the robert smith song "all of this" on the new blink 182 album http://www.mtv.com/music/the_leak/blink/blink_182/

Anonymous (November 11, 2003)

i actually don't like a lot of the cure's discography, but i LOVE this record. this is the sound of utter despair. though i'm sure there'll be lots of "this isn't punk!" comments, but a great record is a great record.

Anonymous (November 11, 2003)

see also: disintegration, head on the dooor.

Anonymous (November 11, 2003)

great album, great band

cobra

Anonymous (November 11, 2003)

this is truly an amazing album...the sound is muddled, but i think it lends to the overall mood of the songs. kinda like joy division "closure".

ZLNFTOC (November 11, 2003)

I love this band and album. The riff to "100 Years" is simply hypnotic.

Anonymous (November 11, 2003)

Pornography is going to be remastered and rereleased in 2004. This is a good thing, because i think the recording quality of the original is muddy sounding, especially the drums, compared to their later classics like Disintigration

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