Every Record I Own - Day 280: The Cure The Head on the Door
I remember watching 120 Minutes on MTV the night they debuted Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” video. The next day, I went to Hungry Ear Records in my hometown of Kailua, HI and asked if they had a copy of Nevermind, but the album wasn’t set to hit shelves until later that week. Looking back now, I had no idea how much the cultural landscape of popular music was about to change.
Nirvana helped introduce “alternative music” into mainstream vernacular. But they were little more than the tipping point. I had initially been drawn to 120 Minutes to catch videos by R.E.M., The Pixies, Camper Van Beethoven, and, of course, The Cure. Disintegration had come out at the tail end of my 6th grade year, and my best friend at the time had become obsessed with it. Previously, we had been fixated on learning the dance routines to Paula Abdul and Janet Jackson videos, but by the end of 1989 The Cure had knocked us off our Top 40 axis.
1991 may have been “the year punk broke,” but the pressure had been building for years, and The Cure deserve a lot of the credit for getting downer underground rock onto FM radio with earlier upbeat hits like “Just Like Heaven” and “In Between Days”. But then they crossed my saccharine threshold a few months into 1992 with “Friday I’m In Love” and I stopped caring about their band. I wanted angst in my music, not sappy love songs.
Lately I’ve been revisiting The Cure and keeping an eye out for cheap used copies of their ‘80s output. For being a band that helped pique my interest in subterranean rock music, it’s a little strange that the only album of theirs that I’ve ever purchased was this LP I picked up at Porchlight Coffee & Records 7 or 8 years ago. I need to correct that.