Pornography (album)


Pornography (album)
Pornography
Studio album by The Cure
Released 3 May 1982
Recorded January to February 1982 at RAK Studio One, London
Genre Gothic rock
Length 43:29
Label Fiction (UK)
A&M (U.S. original release)
Elektra (1986 reissue)
Rhino (2006 reissue)
Producer Phil Thornalley, The Cure
The Cure chronology
Faith
(1981)
Pornography
(1982)
The Top
(1984)
Singles from Pornography
  1. "The Hanging Garden"
    Released: 12 July 1982

Pornography is the fourth studio album by British band The Cure, originally released in 1982 and re-mastered and re-released in 2005. Recorded with the group on the brink of collapse, it represents the conclusion of the musical phase which began with Seventeen Seconds and Faith. Robert Smith has stated that Pornography is the first of his "trilogy" of albums that best define The Cure, the second being Disintegration and the third being Bloodflowers.

Contents

Overview

Often cited as The Cure's darkest album, its opening lyrical line is "It doesn't matter if we all die", ending with "I must fight that sickness, find a cure". [1]

Despite the fact that very few critics in the British press gave the album a favourable review, Pornography charted well in the UK and has gained much more respect over the years, to the point that it is now considered one of the key gothic rock albums of all time.[2]

Pornography is also the last Cure album to feature founding band member Lol Tolhurst as the band's drummer; he became the band's keyboardist, and this also marks the first time he played keyboards on a release by The Cure.

The album's artwork is the first in The Cure's output not to feature the logo for the group's name which was used on their previous releases.

When performed live in this period the band started wearing their trademark big hair, smudged makeup and black clothes.

In 2002, The Cure performed Pornography live in its entirety, along with Disintegration and Bloodflowers, as part of the Trilogy concerts.

Reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars [2]
Blender 5/5 stars [3]
Pitchfork Media (8.4/10) [4]
Robert Christgau (C) [5]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars [6]
Uncut 5/5 stars [7]

NME reviewer Dave Hill wrote, "This record portrays and parades its currency of exposed futility and naked fear with so few distractions or adornments, and so little sense of shame. It really piles it on." Regarding the music, Hill wrote, "The drums, guitars, voice and production style are pressed scrupulously together in a murderous unity of surging, textured mood." Hill felt that Pornography was not meant to be analysed deeply; instead it should be listened to "en bloc as a dense wash of emotional colour [. . .] And, as such, it really works".[8] Rolling Stone gave the album one and a half stars, out of five. Reviewer J. D. Considine that The Cure's lyrics "[seem] stuck in the terminal malaise of adolescent existentialism". Considine concluded, "Backed by music that relies less on melody than thick slabs of heavily treated sound, Pornography comes off as the aural equivalent of a bad toothache".[1] Blender.com reviewer Douglas Wolk stated: "It’s one long stare into the abyss, and horrifically intense: a slow whirlpool of bloodsucking guitars, with feel-bad hooks like “I will never be clean again.” The brilliant, winking final line: “I must fight this sickness/ Find a cure.”[3]

2005 re-release

Pornography was remastered by Chris Blair at Abbey Road Studios and reissued in the UK on 25 April 2005 (26th in the US) as part of Universal's Deluxe Edition series. The new edition featured a remastered version of the album on CD One, fixing the glitch on "Siamese Twins", while CD Two contained demo and live tracks. The bonus disc contains never-before-heard songs (in demo format, all instrumental) and an alternative version (demo or live) of each song on the album. It also contains the song "All Mine" from the Curiosity cassette and the soundtrack from the movie Airlock that aired prior to the Cure concerts in 1982.

There also exists a one-CD reissue. It was released on 5 September 2005 in the UK and 4 April 2006 in the US. The CD features the original album, but does not contain the bonus disc. It is also released in the standard jewel case, and not a box. In some countries, the "Deluxe Edition" has become a collector's item due to the phasing out of production, being replaced by the more economic one-CD version.

The Cure's logo featured on their previous releases before the 1982 release of the album, was included on a sticker on the deluxe edition.

Track listing

All songs by Robert Smith, Simon Gallup and Laurence Tolhurst.

Side one
  1. "One Hundred Years" – 6:40
  2. "A Short Term Effect" – 4:22
  3. "The Hanging Garden" – 4:33
  4. "Siamese Twins" – 5:29
Side two
  1. "The Figurehead" – 6:15
  2. "A Strange Day" – 5:04
  3. "Cold" – 4:26
  4. "Pornography" – 6:27

2005 "Deluxe Edition" Disc two: Rarities 1981-1982

  1. "Break" (group home instrumental demo) – 2:11
  2. "Demise" (studio instrumental demo) – 2:09
  3. "Temptation" (studio instrumental demo) – 4:00
  4. "The Figurehead" (studio demo) – 6:12
  5. "The Hanging Garden" (studio demo) – 5:29
  6. "One Hundred Years" (studio demo) – 7:00
  7. "Airlock: The Soundtrack" – 13:07
  8. "Cold" (live at Hammersmith Odeon 5/82) – 3:54
  9. "A Strange Day" (live at Hammersmith Odeon 5/82) – 4:05
  10. "Pornography" (live at Hammersmith Odeon 5/82) – 5:55
  11. "All Mine" (live at Hammersmith Odeon 5/82) – 2:54
  12. "A Short Term Effect" (live in Brussels 6/82) – 4:05
  13. "Siamese Twins" (live in Brussels 6/82) – 6:03
  14. "Temptation Two" (AKA LGTB)(RS Studio Demo) – 3:57

Personnel

Charts

Country Date Peak position
UK May 1982 8[9]

References


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