The Cure: The Head On The Door GER CD 
- In Between Days
- Kyoto Song
- The Blood
- Six Different Ways
- The Baby Screams
- Close To Me
- A Night Like This
I cannot believe that in nearly 2000 posts I have never written about The Cure! It’s not that I dislike them. Or even discount them due to their popularity. No, I’m thrilled that they have survived to become a venerable and beloved band that went straight from Post-Punk to the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame®. All without a hint of crassness [as far as I know]. It’s probably down to the band having moved in a direction that was less than thrilling to me about 25 years ago that I tend to not think of them too often these days, but when they dropped their seventh studio album in only six years, I was at the right place at the right time to really appreciate them.
I’d first heard The Cure back in 1980 when they were on the soundtrack to the stillborn, New Wave exploitation film “Times Square.” The 2xLP OST album had enough vital tracks by artists I liked [XTC, Lou Reed] among the filler tracks that the characters performed in the film [which I’ve never seen] that I picked up one of the widely available cutouts as the thing was deleted almost immediately. The Cure had one song on there; “Grinding Halt” from their debut album, “Three Imaginary Boys.” Which I still have yet to hear 40 years later. “Grinding Halt” was pretty good, but I heard nothing between that point and 1982 when “Let’s Go To Bed” made initial inroads on MTV when we got cable TV in 1982. I next saw clips for “The Walk” and “Lovecats” and when the monthly MTV program London Calling showed an interview with video director Tim Pope and played the clip for “Inbetween Days,” I was primed to buy! In the heady days of 1985, that meant waiting for the import CD [at least $15.00 @ Peaches!] to shop up in the bins. I recall waiting several months as was the custom at that time.
“Inbetween Days” was really a lost opportunity. I think of everything that I like as being “pop” even though most of the music I treasured was not “popular.” I guess I find “pop music” to be a qualitative notion rather than a literal one, but this song was clearly written to blast out of radios with its surplus of positive energy in direct defiance to the rather miserable lyrics. Of course, little is so beguiling than bands that juxtapose happy music against somber lyrics! The sound here was made to go top 10 if there was any justice in the world [hint: there isn’t]. The expert drumming by Boris Williams propelled this album capably through its entirety with perfectly executed fills in just the right places.
The acoustic rhythm guitar in this song was the closest thing to a leitmotif for the entire, eclectic album. The song leaned heavily on it for the expansive intro that took up nearly a third of the song’s brief, 3:00 running time. The simple string synths that played the melancholic melody were perfectly balanced between the other elements of the song. The production by Robert Smith and Martin Rushent’s right-hand mad Dave Allen [not the gent in Gang of Four/Shriekback, by the way…] was perfect to capture the complexity of what the band was putting down with clarity and focus.
The whole thing ended up sounding like the best song that New Order had never recorded. I swear that it would have charted better had the intro not been a third the length of the song, but the buildup was so delightful, I completely understand the decision to let it play out to its strengths; the time taken be damned. Thsi was simply a single of the highest order of accomplishment. And buyers of the UK 12″ single were gifted with the two best songs The Cure have ever recorded, for what it’s worth to my ears.
Next: …Building A Classic, Track By Track