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The Head On the Door

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Editors’ Notes

The Cure’s Robert Smith lucked out with perfect timing. Just as “alternative rock” was establishing itself as a market, due in part to a growing college radio network that could handle the quirks that terrified commercial, mainstream radio, Robert Smith was writing the most accessible material of his career. Here was a man who had been growing darker by the day, when he suddenly found his lighter side with a series of singles (“The Love Cats,” “Let’s Go to Bed”). But Smith had yet to find a way to bring it to the album format until 1985’s The Head on the Door solved that by subduing Smith’s excesses towards ornate instrumentation and over-emotive vocals with quick, concise pop tunes that still managed a terrifying clamour. “In Between Days,” “A Night Like This” and “Close to Me” virtually define the sweet and sour romance of Smith’s synth-laden, guitar-propelled Goth-pop and the teen angst he mirrored. “Kyoto Song” and “Sinking” serve as epics in miniature, employing the lessons of previous Cure albums but in more economical terms. Pure pop for Goth people.

Customer Reviews

Absolutely the best Cure album ever

Where do we start? In Between Days, perfect, classic, eternal. Kyoto Song, brings you back down. The Blood, a little spanish spice. Six Different Ways, a whimsical dervish. This is my favorite Cure album. So many great songs. They all flow together so well. If you are new to the Cure, makes sure the first time you listen to it, that you hear it in sequence.

The Beginning of my Cure journey...

This classic album came to me as a giveaway from a friend who worked in a record store. He called it garbage. I listened and saw genius... especially at a time when Rock and Roll seemed more dead than Aerosmith. Thankfully people like Perry Farrell and Kurt Cobain were listening also, and the Cure helped transform a new era of Rock and influence every generation since. The Cure copied no one in their music. It was pure art from a place few musicians ever reach. Dark as this album may be, it helped me understand my darkness and help me not to feel alone in a world where I very much did. The followup "Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me" followed the same path and i've never lost faith since.

Words cannot describe the brilliance heard here...

Every song is brilliant. My first album was Disintegration, this was my second... it cemented my love for this band. 'Push' is probably one of the most underrated Cure song... it's beautiful, melodic and poignant. Six Different Ways, A Night Like This, In Between Days, Sinking, Close To Me... stop reading this and buy the album. NOW.


Formed: 1976 in Crawley, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Out of all the bands that emerged in the immediate aftermath of punk rock in the late '70s, few were as enduring and popular as the Cure. Led through numerous incarnations by guitarist/vocalist Robert Smith (born April 21, 1959), the band became well-known for its slow, gloomy dirges and Smith's ghoulish appearance, a public image that often hid the diversity of the Cure's music. At the outset, the Cure played jagged, edgy pop songs before slowly evolving into a more textured outfit. As one of the...
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