Music Monday: The Cure “Disintegration” Turns 32
The Cure’s 8th studio album “Disintegration” released on May 2, 1989
My first experience with a Cure album was “The Head on the Door” from 1985 … BUT, I never owned the album until it was released on CD. If we really want to go back to the first time I heard a Cure song, that would be “Killing An Arab” back in 1980 off the “Boys Don’t Cry” US album. Then in 1986, I saw the Cure in concert for the first time, when they were touring behind the compilation album “Standing On The Beach” I look back at that show and think how great it was that I saw them live back then [I’ve since seen them live another 8 times, the last being in Oct 2019 at Austin City Limits]. That first concert and the early exposure to their music cemented my adoration and fandom. So when “Disintegration” came out, it was dark. Really dark. Although not quite as dark as “Pornography” or “Faith” But modern dark, with a few hit songs thrown in for radio play.
- “Pictures of You”
- “Last Dance”
- “Fascination Street”
- “Prayers for Rain”
- “The Same Deep Water as You”
There is that term I just used above: modern dark. It certainly is how I would describe this album. I mean, we have some radio friendly songs like “Pictures of You” and “Lovesong” that really pushed the band into the mainstream. But the bulk of the tracks delve into the a dark place like “The Same Deep Water As You” and “Prayers for Rain” [which happens to be my favorite track on this album]. With “Lullaby” there is the lyric “Spiderman is having me for dinner tonight” that cracks me up each time I hear it. The first and last songs “Plainsong” and “Untitled” are really great in how they start and end the album. And the title track is one of those that builds into that classic Cure sound.
“Disintegration” was the second of three albums that are a trilogy. Starting with 1982’s “Pornography” with the haunting and power chord heavy “One Hundred Years”, the album was the first of three albums that Robert Smith has considered “linked together” as in they all have a similar style and tone to them. Makes sense. I understand there are interviews with Smith about the deeper meaning, but I’ve not researched any of them. The third album in the trilogy was 2000’s “Bloodflowers”
There was a concert held in Berlin in 2002 where all three of these albums were played in their entirety, back to back. I have the Blu-ray and have watched it a couple of times. It is quite an epic concert, not to mention long. But enjoyable on a Cure fan level.
After 32 years, this album certainly holds up very well. It not only takes me back to when I bought the album on cassette when it first came out, but also when I had it on CD and the many times it has been played since.
One of my favorite albums of all time. Still just as good as it ever was. I played my vinyl copy to death in my bedroom. Still brings back so many memories of late teenage years. This album I hold among those that changed my life.