There’s already been a lot that I’ve said about The Cure, most recently that they were the best band of the ’80s. And I stand by that. It’s hard to find a catalog in that decade that beats this band’s, unless you’re making the argument that the E Street Band and The Revolution count, though that’s even debatable, considering The Cure essentially released a string of flawless albums during that decade. (Exception: The Top, though it’s not without its charms.)
Early in 2014, when I started this interesting experiment—which is still going!—I participated in a kind of social media game: #JanuaryVinylChallenge (or whatever month it was) in which each day you’re supposed to post a new picture of a record falling under a different theme. One of them was the biggest collection of a single artist you have, and that one fell entirely to The Cure, and the reason they were the biggest in our collection was because of my wife. When I met her, they were her favorite band in the world. And arguably still are, at least in terms of the overall catalog. I had zero Cure albums when we combined our collections, and now we have pretty much all the essentials except Wish. (Which I’m not even sure is easy to find on vinyl.)
However, I made it my mission to fill in all the gaps. And that required purchasing a lot of items from fairly far back in the catalog. Happily Ever After was a fun find. And the Record Store Day version of Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me added a bit more value to the collection. But it wouldn’t be complete without Pornography. No collection is.
Pornography isn’t the number one most essential greatest Cure album of all time, which is obviously Disintegration. (One of the best albums released by any band in any genre.) But it’s sometimes my favorite, because it’s so dark, bleak and heavy. It’s angry and weird and psychedelic. It’s less a lament than a primal scream. The most abrasive and intense thing the band ever released, which they followed with “Let’s Go To Bed” and “Love Cats,” so clearly Robert Smith wasn’t about doing the same thing twice.
I never tire of hearing Pornography, simply because it’s an album that hasn’t been worn out through time and pop culture. It has no hits, just some weird and heavy dirges. And in 2015, a year after finally getting this on vinyl, my band spent some time learning “The Figurehead,” maybe the best song on the album, to play live for a cover set. That took some time to sort out to play it between two people, as the original arrangement is three (though arguably with more layers than that). But even though we played it countless times, I’m not sick of it. Maybe because the original isn’t the one that was played over and over again.
When I reached the conclusion that The Cure was the band whose records we had the most of, it was an educated guess based mostly on singles and EPs. But after my mad hunt to fill in all the gaps, I know it’s true. If we only had Pornography, though, that’d be a damn good start.
Sound Quality: Great