Graham Reid | | 1 min read
Many of us preferred The Cure when they were gloomy and gothic, carving out odd little masterpieces on albums like Seventeen Seconds (1980) and Pornography ('82). Basically when frontman Robert Smith was more than a little glum.
Disintegration (telling title, Bob) comes from '89 when something snapped in his psyche and plummeted him to another depth . . . only to emerge with dramatically austere music which recalled aspects of that dark trilogy of Seventeen Seconds/Faith/Pornography rather than the more poppy sounds which had crept in.
This handsomely expanded edition of Disintegration -- a three CD set which include two songs from the intended album which couldn't make it onto the original vinyl, demos and rehearsals, rough mixes, and a remixed disc of the Entreat album of the same period which was Disintegration live -- beautifully showcases the dark, cinematic sound which Smith was after and managed to realise.
Oddly enough the rehearsals are far from intense and gloomy affairs and there seems to have been a lot of jolliness in the air, despite the sonic atmospherics being created.
Lyrically Smith doesn't (much) come from his happy place, but his mind seems fevered, trapped by circumstance, claustrophobic and struggling -- and the glacial music is the perfect accompaniment.
Except for the most enthusiastic Cure fan -- and there are a few of those -- this might seem a disc or two too far. But Disintegration was one of those rare album (which won't make it onto a Classic Albums doco) which made you want to know how it was conceived and from whence it came.
Here are the answers -- and they come with exceptional sound quality. And studio laughter.
In the extensive notes there is the instruction, "This music has been mixed to be played loud. So turn it up".
No second telling required.