The Cure Tickets for Sale

Out of all the bands that emerged in the immediate aftermath of punk rock in the late '70s, the Cure was one of the most enduring and popular. Led through numerous incarnations by guitarist/vocalist Robert Smith (born April 21, 1959), the band became notorious for their slow, gloomy dirges and Smith's ghoulish appearance. But the public image often hid the diversity of the Cure's music. At the outset, they played jagged, edgy pop songs and they slowly evolved into a more textured outfit. As one of the bands that laid the seeds for Goth rock, the group created towering layers of guitars and synthesizers, but by the time Goth caught on in the mid-'80s, the Cure had moved away from the genre. By the end of the '80s, the Cure had crossed over into the mainstream not only in their native England, but also in the United States and in various parts of Europe.

The Cure is a British rock band widely seen as one of the leading pioneers of the Gothic genre, as well as of the British alternative rock and post-punk scenes of the 1980s. Lead singer Robert Smith, however, has declared that the band was never gothic.

In 1976 Robert Smith, a 17-year-old student, formed The Easy Cure with classmates Michael Dempsey (bass), Lol Tolhurst (drums) and Porl Thompson (guitar) from St. Wilfrid's Catholic Comprehensive School in Crawley, Sussex. They began writing their own songs almost immediately, and quickly amassed both an impressive repertoire of original material and a growing following.

In 1977, Easy Cure auditioned for Hansa Records and received a recording contract worth £1000. A year later, following disagreements about the direction the group should take, the newly named The Cure were signed as a trio (minus Porl Thompson) by former Polydor records scout Chris Parry's new Fiction label (distributed by Polydor).

The Cure released their first single "Killing an Arab" to both acclaim and controversy; while the single's provocative title led to accusations of racism, the song is actually based on French existentialist Albert Camus' story The Stranger. The single was packaged with a sticker label that denied the racist connotations.

In 1979, they released the album Three Imaginary Boys and embarked on an extensive period of touring, during which they performed with various other iconic bands such as Joy Division and Siouxsie & the Banshees, leading eventually to a collaboration between Smith and Banshees member Steven Severin, released under the name The Glove.

The next single "Boys Don't Cry" was a minor hit in the US, and Three Imaginary Boys was repackaged for sale there as Boys Don't Cry. Member Michael Dempsey left the band, and Simon Gallup (bass) and Matthieu Hartley (keyboards) joined.

In 1980 the 4-piece Cure released "Seventeen Seconds" which reached #20 on the UK charts. "A Forest" became the band's first UK hit single. The Cure set out on its first world tour, at the end of which Matthieu Hartley left the band. In 1981 came the album Faith, which hit #14 on the UK charts, as well as an instrumental soundtrack for the film Carnage Visors (these were packaged together on a long-play cassette). Carnage Visors was used as a "tour support" film for their "Picture Tour".

Now 21, Smith "didn't see that there was much point in continuing with life. In the next two years, I genuinely felt that I wasn't going to be alive for much longer, and I tried pretty hard to make this feeling come true" (1). Smith's increasing depression was embodied in the album, Faith, released in 1981.

The band members' lives began to be marked by increasing drug use. In 1982 The Cure recorded Pornography, a bleak, nihilist offering that led to more rumors that Smith was suicidal. Perhaps because of the rumors, Pornography became the band's first UK Top 10 album, hitting the charts at #9. The release was followed by the "Fourteen Explicit Moments" tour, and by increasing problems among the members. After an altercation in a club between Smith and Simon Gallup, Gallup left the group. Smith says that he "doesn't even remember making a lot of Pornography" (2).

In 1983 The Cure released 2 more singles, "The Walk" (UK #12) and "The Lovecats" the band's first UK top 10 single at #7. The same year, Smith also recorded and toured with Siouxsie and the Banshees, contributing his writing and playing skills on their Hyaena and Nocturne albums, as well as recording the Blue Sunshine album as The Glove; (see above) and releasing the Cure album Japanese Whispers comprised of three singles and their B-sides.

In 1984 The Cure released The Top, an album on which Smith played all the instruments except the drums, which were played by Andy Anderson. The Cure then embarked on their "Top Tour" with the returning Porl Thompson, plus Andy Anderson, and Phil Thornalley. At the end of the tour, however, Andy Anderson was fired and replaced by Boris Williams, and Phil Thornalley was replaced by returnee Simon Gallup.

In 1985 the new lineup released The Head on the Door which reached #7 in the UK and #59 on the American charts. Following this release and another world tour, the band released Standing on a Beach, a collection featuring all The Cure's singles and B-sides. The album's title was taken from a line in the song "Killing an Arab." This release was accompanied by a video version called Staring at the Sea and by another tour, as well as a live concert film called The Cure In Orange.

Throughout 1986 Lol Tolhurst's alcohol consumption was interfering with his ability to perform, and Roger O'Donnell was frequently called upon to stand in for him.

In 1987 The Cure released the double album Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me, and embarked on the "Kissing Tour."
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In 1988 the band history Ten Imaginary Years was released, and Lol Tolhurst, though he had not yet left the band, was replaced by Roger O'Donnell. In 1989 they released the album Disintegration which became their highest-charting album to date at #3 and featured four Top 20 singles ("Lullaby", "Fascination Street", "Pictures of You", and "Lovesong"). Shortly before the release, Tolhurst left permanently, leaving Smith as the only remaining founding member of The Cure. The magisterial "Prayer" tour followed, which showcased some of the band's longest shows; their final gig at Wembley Arena (announced By Robert as "probably our last show") clocked in at over three and a half hours.

In 1990 The Cure released a collection of remixes called Mixed Up, followed in 1992 by Wish which went straight to #1 in the UK and to #2 in the US. They also embarked on the "Wish Tour" and released the live albums Show and Paris. As a promotional exercise with the Our Price music chain in the U.K., a limited edition EP was released consisting of instrumental outtakes from the Wish sessions. Entitled Lost Wishes, the proceeds from the four track cassette tape went to charity. The EP has since become an extremely sought after item, copies exchanging hands for approaching £100. Porl Thompson (guitar) left the band once more during 1993 to play with Robert Plant and Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin.

During 1994, Lol Tolhurst sued Robert Smith and Fiction Records over royalties payments, also claiming joint ownership of the name "The Cure" with Smith; after a long legal battle Tolhurst eventually lost. Boris Williams (drums) left the band, and was replaced by Jason Cooper, and Roger O'Donnell rejoined.

In 1996 The Cure released the album Wild Mood Swings, and in 1998 Smith appeared as himself on the animated TV show South Park. The Cure also contributed to the soundtrack album for The X-Files: Fight the Future as well as For the Masses, a Depeche Mode tribute album.

In a 1997 Goth music retrospective in Details Magazine, the Cure's Robert Smith insisted that the Cure are not, and NEVER were, Goth. This may seem odd coming from the sour-faced singer with the fright wig of dyed-black hair, deathly pale complexion, and perennially-smeared blood-red lipstick, whose band has recorded such songs as "The Funeral Party," "The Drowning Man," "Torture," "Empty World," "Hanging Garden," and "Killing An Arab." Hell, if anything, the Cure--along with Bauhaus, Siouxsie & the Banshees, and others--invented Goth! But Mr. Smith has a point. The Cure have successfully explored so many sundry styles beyond doom-and-gloom that to label them just "Goth" is to ignore much of their illustrious career. We should never forget that the Cure defined "alternative" long before Seattle's flannel-swathed revolution rendered the term meaningless.

The Grammy-nominated album Bloodflowers was released in 2000, followed by the nine-month Dream Tour, attended by over one million people worldwide. In 2001 they left Fiction and released their Greatest Hits album.

In 2002 they continued recording, and also headlined twelve major music festivals, in addition to playing several three-hour concerts during which they performed the albums Pornography, Disintegration and Bloodflowers in their entirety in Berlin. This was the source of the DVD Trilogy released in 2003.

In the spring of 2003, The Cure signed to Iam Records. In 2004 The Cure released a new four-disc boxed set on Fiction Records titled Join the Dots: B-Sides and Rarities, 1978-2001 (The Fiction Years). The set includes seventy Cure songs, some previously unreleased, and a 76-page full-color book of photographs, history and quotes, packaged in a hard cover. This album peaked at #106 on the Billboard 200 album charts.

They released their first eponymous album on Iam records on June 28, 2004. To promote this album, the band headlined the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on May 2. They also appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. The Cure album made a top ten debut on both sides of the Atlantic in July 2004 and debuted in the top 30 in Australia. The album also received a generally positive reaction with some critics rating it as the group's best since Disintegration.

In the meantime, the Cure continue to sell out arenas whenever they tour, and their legend is so strong (and deserved) that they are guaranteed to go down in musical history as one of the greatest bands of all time. And when/ if Smith's threatened band breakup finally occurs, rumor is he has already recorded an acoustic solo album that is probably brilliant.

Discography
Singles and b-sides
"Killing an Arab" (b-side: "10:15 Saturday Night") (1979)
"Boys Don't Cry" (b-side "Grinding Halt") (1979)
"Jumping Someone Else's Train (b-side "I'm Cold") (1979)
"A Forest" (b-side "Another Journey By Train") (1980)
"Primary" (b-side: "Descent") (1981)
"Charlotte Sometimes" (b-side: "Splintered in Her Head") (1981)
"The Hanging Garden" (1982)
"Let's Go To Bed" (b-side: "Just One Kiss") (1982)
"The Walk" (b-side: "The Dream") (1983)
"The Lovecats" (1983)
"The Caterpillar" (1984)
"Inbetween Days" (1985)
"Close To Me" (1985)
"Why Can't I Be You?" (b-side: "A Japanese Dream") (1987)
"Catch" (b-side: "Breathe") (1987)
"Just Like Heaven" (b-side "Snow In Summer"/"Sugar Girl") (1988)
"Hot Hot Hot" (1988)
"Lullaby" (b-side "Babble"/"Out Of Mind" (1989)
"Lovesong" (1989)
"Pictures Of You" (1990)
"Never Enough" (b-side: "Harold and Joe") (1990)
"Friday I'm In Love" (1992)
"High" (1992)
"A Letter To Elise" (1992)
"The 13th" (1996)
"Mint Car" (1996)
"The End of the World" (scheduled to be released in late May/early June 2004)

Albums
Three Imaginary Boys (1979)
Boys Don't Cry (a renamed version of Three Imaginary Boys with a slightly different song lineup) (1980)
Seventeen Seconds (1980)
Faith (1981)
Pornography (1982)
Japanese Whispers (singles/b-sides) (1983)
The Top (1984)
The Head on the Door (1985)
Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me (1987)
Disintegration (1989)
Wish (1992)
Wild Mood Swings (1996)
Bloodflowers (2000)
The Cure (2004)

Compilations, remix albums, and live albums
Faith/Carnage Visors (1981), a special long-play cassette.
Happily Ever After (Seventeen Seconds and Faith together U.S.-only release)
Concert (1984, live)
Concert and Curiosity (1984), The Concert album with unreleased tracks on the b-side. Available only on cassette.
Standing on a Beach (1986, singles compilation)
Entreat (songs from Distintegration live)
Integration (boxed set)
Mixed Up (1990, remixes)
Paris (1993, live)
Show (1993, live)
Galore (1997, compilation of singles 1987-1997)
Greatest Hits (2001, compilation of singles 1978-2001/two new tracks)
Join the Dots: B-Sides and Rarities, 1978-2001 (The Fiction Years) (2004)

Easy Cure song list
"See the children" - demo from '77/'78
"Meathook" - demo from '77/'78
"Listen" - demo from '77/'78
"Need Myself" - demo from '77/'78
"I want to be old" - demo from '77/'78

Video
Standing on a Beach
The Cure in Orange
Picture Show
The Cure Play Out
Galore
Greatest Hits
Trilogy

Members past and present
Robert Smith (vocals, guitar, keyboards; member 1976-present)
Porl Thompson (guitars; member 1977-1978 & 1984-1992)
Lol Tolhurst (percussion, keyboards; member 1976-1989)
Michael Dempsey (bass guitar; member 1976-1979)
Simon Gallup (bass guitar; member 1979-1982 & 1985-present)
Matthieu Hartley (keyboards; member 1979-1980)
Phil Thornalley (bass guitar; member 1984-1985)
Andy Anderson (percussion; member 1983-1984)
Boris Williams (percussion; member 1984-1994)
Roger O'Donnell (keyboards; member 1987-1990 & 1996-present)
Perry Bamonte (keyboards, guitars; member 1990-present)
Jason Cooper (percussion; member 1996-present)
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