In three decades as a band, the Cure has had enough successes that there’s no need to be superstitious about their 13th album. But with the release of their anticipated new disc, the group isn’t taking any chances.
WHO EVER SAID 13 IS AN UNLUCKY NUMBER forgot to tell the Cure. This month, the revered UK rock band will release its new record, 4:13 Dream, the group’s 13th studio album. The combo has challenged the legend of the ominous double digit even further by, beginning last May, releasing a new single on the 13th of every month leading up to the record’s drop date.
Since forming in 1976 as Easy Cure, the group has sold millions of records, released hugely successful singles, and played to packed houses. Though they’ve changed their lineup as frequently as they have their onstage looks (front man Robert Smith is the lone original member) and rumors of a break up have persisted, the group has managed to soldier on and build a fan base few bands have been able to match. Theirs is hardly a career to consider cursed. We look back at their lucky streak with a complete discography.
Three Imaginary Boys
When Robert Smith, Michael Dempsey, and Lol Tolhurst release their debut, front man Smith is only 20, but he already shows a knack for writing a well-crafted song. His distinct vocals set up the sound of the band for decades to come.
“Fire in Cairo”
“10:15 Saturday Night”
For its sophomore record, the band adds keyboardist Matthieu Hartley and bassist Simon Gallup, who replaces the departing Michael Dempsey. (Gallup still plays with the group today.) The album’s “A Forest” becomes the group’s first music video, a format that would prove an ideal outlet for showcasing the band’s creative side.
“Play for Today”
This incredibly moody and somber set of tracks paves the way for the band’s “essential goth” album. The title track, featured on the group’s video The Cure in Orange (shot during a 1986 concert in France), is especially haunting.
The eight tracks on this disc move even deeper into dark, atmospheric themes. The album is the first in what Smith would later deem the group’s “trilogy” of releases, the three albums he feels define the Cure as a band.
“The Hanging Garden”
“One Hundred Years”
To borrow a page from the band’s book of imagery, on this psychedelic record, the Cure is like a flower just about to bloom. With the next record, it does.
“Shake Dog Shake”
“Piggy in the Mirror”
“Give Me It”
The Head on the Door
Featuring a greater number of true gems than any of the group’s previous efforts do, this album is more accessible -- nudging the Cure into the mainstream -- without losing the band’s prior identity. Here, Smith and his bandmates expand their sound, creating what has become one of the defining albums of the 1980s.
“Close to Me”
“A Night Like This”
“In Between Days”
Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me
Three words: “Just Like Heaven.” This song demands play at every high school dance and shoots the Cure’s star to its highest point so far. “Just Like Heaven” eventually becomes one of the band’s most covered songs, tackled by everyone from Dinosaur Jr. to the Watson Twins.
“The Perfect Girl”
“Just Like Heaven”
“Why Can’t I Be You?”
This, the second album in the Cure’s trilogy, earns major mainstream success as alternative radio stations latch onto singles “Fascination Street” and “Love Song.” Later, in an episode of South Park, Kyle Broflovski puts it best, declaring, “Disintegration is the best album ever!”
“Pictures of You”
Smith pens one of his more jovial tunes, “Friday I’m in Love,” as the band heads in more of a pop direction than ever before. This record remains the band’s highest-charting album release (No. 1 in the United Kingdom and No. 2 in the United States).
“Doing the Unstuck”
“Friday I’m in Love”
“A Letter to Elise”
Wild Mood Swings
As the title suggests, the songs on this record cover a lot of ground, creating, in turn, a very uneven record. Fortunately, the band gets back on the right track with its next album.
The final release in the trilogy spawns a music video, filmed in Berlin, of the band performing live cuts from the three albums. Bloodflowers is the only Cure release to receive a Grammy nomination.
“The Last Day of Summer”
The group’s self-titled 12th record debuts in the top 10 in both the United Kingdom and the United States. Coproduced by Ross Robinson, whose work is predominately heavy metal, the well-received album is big on guitars and light on the keyboard, which had been a common trademark of past Cure tracks.
“The End of the World”