The Cure is an English rock band formed in Crawley, West Sussex in 1976. The band has experienced several line-up changes, with frontman, vocalist, guitarist and principal songwriter Robert Smith being the only constant member. The Cure's original line-up consisted of Smith (vocals, guitars), Laurence “Lol” Tolhurst (drums) and Michael Dempsey (bass guitar). The line-up of the band for their most recent album, 2008’s “4:13 Dream” was Smith, guitarist Porl Thompson, bassist Simon Gallup and drummer Jason Cooper.
In December 1978 The Cure released their debut single “Killing an Arab” on the Small Wonder label.
The Cure released their debut album “Three Imaginary Boys” in May 1979 reaching #44 on the U.K. Albums chart. The band's second single “Boys Don't Cry” was followed by their third single “Jumping Someone Else's Train.”
The Cure's second album “Seventeen Seconds” was released in 1980 and reached #20 on the U.K. Albums chart. “A Forest,” became the band's first U.K. hit single, reaching #31 on the Singles chart. That same year “Three Imaginary Boys” was repackaged for the American market as “Boys Don't Cry,” with new artwork and a modified tracklist.
“Faith” was released in 1981 and featured the hit “Primary.” The album peaked at #14 on the U.K. Albums chart. Included with cassette copies of “Faith” was an instrumental soundtrack for “Carnage Visors,” an animated film shown in place of an opening act for the band's 1981 Picture Tour. In late 1981, The Cure released the non-album single “Charlotte Sometimes.”
In 1982, The Cure recorded and released “Pornography,” that cemented the Cure's stature as purveyors of the emerging gothic rock genre. “Pornography” became the band's first U.K. Top 10 album, peaking at #8.
In 1983 two more successful songs were released, the synthesizer-based “The Walk” peaking at #12 in the U.K., and the jazz-influenced “The Lovecats,” which became the band's first British Top 10 hit, reaching #7.
In 1984, The Cure released “The Top,” a generally psychedelic album on which Smith played all the instruments except the drums and the saxophone. The album was a Top 10 hit in the U.K., and was their first studio album to break the Billboard 200 Albums chart in the U.S., reaching #180.
In 1985, The Cure released “The Head on the Door” which reached #7 in the U.K. and was the band's first entry into American Top 75 at #59, a success partly due to the international impact of the LP's two singles, “In Between Days” and “Close to Me.”
In 1987, The Cure released the double LP “Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me,” which reached #6 in the U.K. and #35 in the U.S. where it was certified platinum, due to the combination of the band's rising popularity and the success of lead single, “Why Can't I Be You?” The album's third single, “Just Like Heaven” was the band's most successful single to date in the U.S., being their first to enter the Billboard Top 40.
In 1989, The Cure released the album “Disintegration,” which became their highest charting album in the U.K. to date, entering at #3 and featuring three Top 30 singles in the U.K. in “Lullaby,” “Lovesong” and “Pictures of You.” “Disintegration” also reached #12 on the Billboard 200. The first single stateside, “Fascination Street,” reached #1 on the Billboard Modern Rock chart, but was quickly overshadowed when its third U.S. single, “Lovesong,” reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart, making it the only Cure single to reach the U.S. Top 10. By 1992, “Disintegration” had sold over three million copies worldwide.
In 1991 The Cure were awarded the BRIT Award for Best British Band.
In 1992 they released “Wish” which became the band's overall highest charting album, given its debut at #1 in the U.K. and #2 in the United States, where it sold more than 1.2 million copies. The album's second single, “Friday I'm in Love,” became one of the band's most popular songs, reaching #6 in the U.K. and #17 in the U.S. The popularity of the album also saw the Cure nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album in 1993.
“Wild Mood Swings,” released in 1996, was poorly received compared with previous albums and marked the end of the band's commercial peak. With only one album left in their record contract and with commercial response to “Wild Mood Swings” lackluster, Smith considered that the end of The Cure might be near and thus wanted to make an album that reflected the more serious side of the band.
The Grammy-nominated album “Bloodflowers” was released in 2000 after being delayed since 1998. The album was, according to Smith, the third of a trilogy along with “Pornography” and “Disintegration.” The album reached #14 on the U.K. Albums chart and #16 on the Billboard 200 while the single, “Maybe Someday,” peaked at #10 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart.
In 2003, The Cure signed with Geffen Records. The band released their twelfth album “The Cure” on Geffen in 2004. It made a Top 10 debut on both sides of the Atlantic in July.
Their album “4:13 Dream,” was released in October 2008. “4:13 Dream” debuted at #16 on the Billboard 200. The group released four singles and an EP, “The Only One,” “Freakshow,” “Sleep When I'm Dead,” “The Perfect Boy“ and “Hypnagogic States” respectively, on or near to the 13th of each month, in the months leading up to the album's release.