their performance on stage
at Live 8 France
the Live 8 Paris DVD here
Live 8 DVD set here
(4 Box set)
One Hundred Years 6:54
Boys Don't Cry 3:01
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The Cure at Live 8
The Cure is a British rock band widely seen as one
of the leading pioneers of the British alternative rock and post-punk
scenes of the 1980s. A combination of lead singer Robert Smith's iconic
wild hair, smudged lipstick, and the frequently gloomy and introspective
lyrics have led to The Cure being considered part of the gothic rock genre.
Smith rejects this and other attempts to confine the band to a single
genre, having said this, The Cure are considered by most to be post punk.
They played the Live 8 show in Paris on July 2, 2005.
1976 - The Cure, formation and early years
In 1976 Robert Smith, a 17-year-old student, formed The Easy Cure with
classmates Michael Dempsey (bass), Laurence "Lol" Tolhurst (drums)
and Porl Thompson (guitar) from St. Wilfrid's Catholic Comprehensive School
in Crawley, Sussex. The Cure began writing their own songs almost immediately,
and quickly amassed both an impressive repertoire of original material
and a growing following.
In 1977, The 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 band, newly named The Cure, were
signed as a trio (minus Porl Thompson) on former Polydor records scout
Chris Parry's new Fiction label (distributed by Polydor). The B-Side to
the single "Boys Don't Cry", "Do the Hansa" has been
seen as a humourous slap in the face of Hansa Records by The Cure for
not signing them.
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, The Cure 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 side-project collaboration between Smith and Banshees
member Steven Severin, released under the name The Glove. One particular
tour The Cure and The Banshees embarked upon together saw Smith pulling
double duty each night by performing with The Cure and The Banshees (as
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 Cure, and Simon Gallup (bass) and Matthieu
Hartley (keyboards) joined.
In 1980 the four-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 their 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 as a long-play
cassette called Faith/Carnage Visors). Carnage Visors was used as a "tour
support" film for their "Picture Tour". The music from
Carnage Visors had a very limited print run and has subsequently become
Now twenty-one, 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
Cure's album, Faith, released in 1981.
The Cure 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 rumours that Smith was suicidal. In spite, or perhaps because
of the rumours, 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 and started another one called Fools Dance. Smith says that he "doesn't
even remember making a lot of Pornography" (2).
In 1983 The Cure released two more singles, "The Walk" (UK #12)
and "The Lovecats," which became The Cure's first UK top 10
single at #7. The same year, Smith also recorded and toured with Siouxsie
& the Banshees, contributing his writing and playing skills on their
Hyaena and Nocturne albums, as well as recording the Blue Sunshine album
with Steven Severin as The Glove (see above). Reduced to the duo of Smith
and Tolhurst, The Cure released four studio singles and their B-sides
as the album Japanese Whispers. The singles from this period were uncharacteristically
upbeat and accessible, though Smith would soon return to writing more
melancholy (if not as sombre) material.
In 1984 The Cure released The Top, an album on which Smith played all
the instruments except the drums (played by Andy Anderson) and the saxophone
(played by returnee Porl Thompson). The Cure then embarked on their "Top
Tour" with Thompson, Anderson, and bassist Phil Thornalley on board.
At the end of the tour, however, Anderson was fired and replaced by Boris
Williams, and Thornalley was replaced by returnee Simon Gallup. Robert
Smith later expressed his satisfaction with the reunited Cure, saying
"we're a band again."
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 Cure 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 Psychedelic Furs keyboardist 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."
In 1988 the band history Ten Imaginary Years was released, and Lol Tolhurst,
though he had not yet officially left the band, was replaced by O'Donnell.
In 1989 The Cure 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 Cure embarked on the "Prayer" tour. This tour
featured some of the band's longest ever shows; their final gig at Wembley
Arena (announced By Robert as "probably our last show") lasted
over three and a half hours. Because Tolhurst was still on the payroll
during the recording of Disintegration, he was credited on that album's
liner notes as playing "other instruments," even though he didn't
contribute at all to its recording or engineering.
In 1990 The Cure released a collection of remixes called Mixed Up, a collection
which was roundly panned by both critics and fans (Smith says that he
expected this, but decided to release the collection anyway). "Mixed
Up" was followed in 1992 by the album Wish, which went straight to
#1 in the UK and to #2 in the US. The Cure also embarked on the "Wish
Tour" with Portsmouth's Cranes (one of Smith's favourite bands) and
released the live albums Paris (1992) and Show (1993). As a promotional
exercise with the Our Price music chain in the UK, 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 (formerly
with My Life Story), 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 a cover of Depeche Mode's "World In My Eyes" for
the For the Masses tribute album.
The Cure's Grammy-nominated album Bloodflowers was released in 2000. This
album was widely seen as the third in a trilogy including Pornography
and Disintegration. The band also embarked on the nine-month Dream Tour,
attended by over one million people worldwide. In 2001 The Cure left Fiction
and released their Greatest Hits album and DVD, which featured the music
videos for a number of classic Cure songs.
In 2002 The Cure 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 over shows on back-to-back nights at the Tempodrome
in Berlin. These performances were released as the Trilogy DVD 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-colour
book of photographs, history and quotes, packaged in a hard cover. This
album peaked at #106 on the Billboard 200 album charts.
The Cure 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 album The Cure 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.
The group were awarded MTV Icon for 2004. The ceremony included performances
of Cure songs by the groups AFI (Just Like Heaven), Blink 182 (A Letter
to Elise), Razorlight (Boys don't Cry) and
the Deftones (If Only Tonight We Could Sleep), and was hosted by Marilyn
Manson. Smith subsequently included songs by AFI, Blink 182 and the Deftones
in his setlist whilst presenting a special John Peel evening session on
BBC Radio 1.
Inspired by Rhino Records' series of Elvis Costello reissues, 2004-2005
has seen the reissue of Three Imaginary Boys (December 2, 2004), Faith,
Seventeen Seconds and Pornography (April 26, 2005). Each comes with a
second bonus disc of previously unreleased material, including home and
studio demos, live performances and out-takes.
Together with Join the Dots, the four-disc set of B-sides, the amount
of non-album material the band possesses appears to be rather high.
In May 2005, Smith fired O'Donnell and Bamonte, who reportedly were informed
of such by a Cure fansite. However, in June 2005 it was announced that
Porl Thompson would be returning for the The Cure's 2005 summer shows.
In August 2005, according to Ultimate-Guitar.com, there was a report by
Smith saying that the has planned to record their thirteenth studio album
in the fall and release it in April 2006, the week of his birthday (the
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The Cure music CDs and Live 8 DVDs.
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