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Pornography


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Audio CD, October 25, 1990
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Pornography
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Pornography The Cure Label: Elektra / WEA Release Date: 10/25/1990 1 One Hundred Years - 6:40 2 A Short Term Effect - 4:22 3 The Hanging Garden - 4:33 4 Siamese Twins - 5:29 5 The Figurehead - 6:15 6 A Strange Day - 5:04 7 Cold - 4:26 8 Pornography - 6:27

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Singer Robert Smith was determined to make the Cure one of the most distinctive groups of any age. After jaunty power pop was in vogue, Smith shifted to tone poems and ethereal freakouts. However, with Pornography, he entered the downward spiral that prompted the greatest music of his career. The title track is sheer hell as Smith abandons music altogether. But the remaining tracks are among the finest the '80s had to offer. "One Hundred Years," with its grinding riff, "Siamese Twins," with its stuttering beat, and "The Figurehead" ("I laughed in the mirror for the first time in a year") are gothic studies in terror par excellence. Nothing sounded like Pornography, not even other Cure records. It has since been decided that Pornography is the first volume of a trilogy that's completed by Disintegration and Bloodflowers. Both are worthy, but nothing beats the first installment. --Rob O'Connor

1. One Hunderd Years
2. A Short Term Effect
3. The Hanging Garden
4. Siamese Twins
5. The Figurehead
6. A Strange Day
7. Cold
8. Pornography

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Original Release Date: 1982
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Elektra / Wea
  • ASIN: B000002H5T
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (180 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #147,159 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Biography

Biography by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Out of all the bands that emerged in the immediate aftermath of punk rock in the late '70s, few were as enduring and popular as the Cure. Led through numerous incarnations by guitarist/vocalist Robert Smith (born April 21, 1959), the band became notorious for its slow, gloomy dirges and Smith's ghoulish appearance, a public image that often ... Read more in Amazon's The Cure Store

Visit Amazon's The Cure Store
for 149 albums, 28 photos, discussions, and more.

Customer Reviews

This, along with Disintegration, are my favorite Cure albums.
Grigory's Girl
Robert Smith is the fore father of surrealistic aching painful spiraling instrumental beautiful poetic music. my favorite album of the "3".
Charlotte Sometimes
I honestly feel like I'm hearing the album for the first time.
A. Johnston

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

92 of 93 people found the following review helpful By A. Johnston on April 26, 2005
Format: Audio CD
For fifteen years consumers have had to live with muddy-sounding, flat, low-rent mastering of this classic album. Now, finally, we've got something akin to actual hi-fi. The remastering is amazing. I'm listening to it right now on my wife's cheap Panasonic shelf system and can hear at least four new levels of nuance in just about every instrument in the mix. I honestly feel like I'm hearing the album for the first time.

Robert's voice in particular now actually sounds like it's coming through the flames at you, bounding down from his implosive pulpit like a hail of nails. This album has always been billed as the group's most depressing work -- a love letter to self hate and cryptic defeatism. It is. And beautifully so. Much of the current generation of corporate goth rockers (Manson et al) sound positively silly compared to this album.

As for the extras, well, they're a mixed bag. The studio demos often sound like completely different tracks (particularly the Hanging Garden demo which sounds more like something off "Faith.") These are worth the price alone. The live material is certainly inspired but most of it comes from audience recordings. Nonetheless, with live material from this era being so rare, anything is better than nothing.

Overall, I'd call this an automatic purchase for any Cure fan and certainly the preferred format for new fans to discover one of their best albums. Short of the work of groups such as Current 93, absolutely nothing else comes close to depicting the inherent inner-violence of depression. Pornography indeed.
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Michael Stack VINE VOICE on May 3, 2005
Format: Audio CD
As each album had been getting progressively darker, there seemed little room for the Cure to go after "Faith", but "Pornography" found something new-- Robert Smith (guitar, vocals, keys), Simon Gallup (bass, keys), and Lol Tolhurst (drums, keys) constructed something dark, edgy, and frightening, taking the haunted mood of the last album and adding aggression and noise. The guitars have become more distorted and louder, and the drums have been moving into a somewhat more tribal pattern. The result is something much more in your face than anything the Cure had done.

Nowhere is this more obvious than the opener, probably best summed by the line "waiting for the death blow", "One Hundred Years" is full of edgy guitars and despondant passion. This sort of passionate delivery is a thread throughout the album-- take the powerful invocation of "I will never be clean again" on "The Figurehead" (over a great tribal drum pattern from Tolhurst) or the plodding but effective "Siamese Twins", rescued by a great Smith vocal.

While the album is pretty dark, it does get fairly varied-- "A Strange Day" seems almost optimistic (if you don't listen too closely to what Smith is singing) and the album does cover a number of moods, from rock ("One Hundred Years") to pseudo-ambient ("A Short Term Effect") to a sort of gothic progressive rock ("Cold"). Start to finish, its a fantastic album, and unlike many albums with a somewhat unvaried mood, this one is quite listenable.

As the rest of the Cure remasters, the sound is fantastic, crisp, clean, showing every nuance of the music and allowing its expressiveness to breathe. Again, the liner notes include a candid and honest essay about the creation of the album and the tour that followed, and a disc of bonus material is included.
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42 of 47 people found the following review helpful By SandmanVI on February 17, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Unquestionably this was Robert Smith's darkest hour. This 8-track release is oppressive in its bleak attack. It deserves 5 stars due to its sheer brilliance and originally; nothing ever sounded like this before or since. But for newcomers reading these great reviews be forewarned - I did not use the word oppressive by accident. Every moment of 'Pornography' is black, despeairing and tortured. If you are on the verge of suicide this could be a rope thrown to save you or it could be a mack truck with a plow on the front driving you further over the edge. If you can get past that then what you will find is a stunningly creative album that creates some of the most sepulchral music ever heard.
The band at this time was stripped down to 3 members: Smith on vocals and guitar and keyboards, Simon Gallup on bass, and Lawrnece Tolhurst on drums. Strangely it may have been Tolhurst's lack of musical talent (an issue that would later get him fired) that created much of the atmosphere. The drumming is very flat and mechanical sounding creating an absolutely dead feel throughout; even sound dies as the stick hits the skins. Smith's voacl sound desperate and often deranged filled with lurid, bizzare imagery. Gallup's bass is potent and overwhelming in a style that only he could pull off.
My favorites are "One Hundred Years" with its sense of desperation and unrequited longing. "A Short Term Effect" is saturated with doom as the characters of the song try to laugh in the face of what may come, "Something small falls out of your mouth and we all laugh". "A Strange Day" is angst-ridden but with soemthing bordering on beauty buried deep within. Finally the title track is an complete descent into madness, as the closer on an album like this should be.
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