124. just like heaven

I’ve never been one to buy many singles – something to do with coming of record buying age in the early 1970s, I guess, when albums were the thing. But every now and then, you’ve got to adjust your strategies. Like hearing Dinosaur Jr‘s planet killing version of the Cure’s Just Like Heaven on the radio one sublime summer day and immediately needing to own the record. But all I could find was a 7-inch. Which if I’d been truly cool would’ve triggered a whole new phase for me, 7-inches being all the rage as the 80s turned over into the 90s, particularly if you were into raw sort of proto-grunge indie-rock. But I’ve never really been into just one sound or attitude. It’s always been everything, if possible. Which to my mind (and heart) is what J Mascis and crew accomplish here, the kind of rapturous, all encompassing escape velocity that redefines reality forever … until it suddenly just has to stop.” (Philip Random)

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216. never enough [big mix]

“If there’s a typical Cure track, the extended (BIG) mix of Never Enough is not it. What it is, is truth in advertising. In other words, big. So much so that I’m going to suggest that its keen sense of pumped up sonics pretty much defined the near future of rock infused pop (yes, champions of U2’s Achtung Baby which came out a good year later – I’m talking to you). As for the song itself (which never showed up on a proper Cure album), it’s just more evidence that when it comes to a certain kind of delirious desire put to pop, Robert Smith has few equals. And you can dance to it.” (Philip Random)

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611. Killing an Arab

“No, this is not The Cure advocating hate crime. It’s an examination of existentialism, as spare and unflinching as the French novel that inspired it. That said, we did play Killing an Arab a lot on radio during that first Gulf War. Late winter, early spring 1991, tens of thousands of Arabs being killed for no particular reason, except maybe keeping prices down at the gas pumps. Doesn’t get much more existential than that. I haven’t owned a car since.” (Philip Random)

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754. Hanging Garden

“Back in the day, I was known to argue loudly that Pornography was the only Cure album the world ever needed, a singular masterpiece of darkness, doom and fecund seaminess. But I was wrong. Because the Cure have certainly conquered other peaks, and sometimes Pornography does get a little murky. But Hanging Garden definitely rises above, all pounding rhythms and bleak forward motion, redolent indeed of 1982. The sleet heavy rains of eternal winter were falling hard, but still we struggled for the light.” (Philip Random)

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1047. lullaby

“I generally rate Cure as more of a pop band than anything else, and a damned good one. Which perhaps explains why I never listened to Disintegration that much. My loss, because it’s a solid album all the way through. Though to this day, the track I keep coming back to is Lullaby which, it turns out, was their biggest ever hit in the UK. Though not so much here in the Americas, thankfully, because I’m not sick of it. Reminds me of spiders for some reason. In a good way.” (Philip Random)

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