Back in the day I was a huge fan of The Cure, Depeche Mode, Joy Division, The Smiths and other depressing bands. I wasn’t a goth, as the term is known now, but I did like to dress in black and write depressing poetry. I had memorized the date of Ian Curtis’ death (Joy Division’s lead singer), which any good Joy Division fan would do, and in my spare time I liked to get really depressed, cranking up the stereo as I listened to phonograph after phonograph, immersing myself in a depressing wall of sound.
For me, there is a hierarchy of the ultimate depressing albums, with Joy Division’s masterpiece Closer at the top, and The Cure’s Pornography at number two.
Pornography is in-your-face depressing, slamming into the listener at full force with the opening track, “One Hundred Years,” which opens with the lyrics, “It doesn’t matter if we all die…” Yes, you know what sort of ride you’re in for with Robert Smith as your pilot.
The album has been digitally remastered and sounds fantastic. Previous versions sounded a little dull, but now the full force of the music is evident and all the more powerful. Just listen to Lol Tolhurst’s drumming in “One Hundred Years,” which sounds like a heart beat, or Smith’s guitar playing, creating a unique wall of sound, bolstered by Simon Gallup’s bass, with keyboard sounds swirling in and out of existence. The remaining songs all sound brand-new. Listen to “Siamese Twins,” it’s like being in the room with the band as they perform. Tolhurst’s drumming takes center stage again in “Cold,” along with Robert Smith on the cello. It’s mesmerizing.
Pornography is a short album, eight songs clocking in at under 44 minutes. I’d recommend the album even if it was just the remastered version of Pornography, but the deluxe version includes a second disc of rarities, demos, and live tracks. If you’re a Cure fan, you need this album, if only for the chance to listen to tracks in their early stages of development. The live tracks don’t sound very good, but still, to hear the band perform “Cold” and other tracks live is worth the extra cost of the deluxe edition of Pornography.
A liner-sheet booklet accompanies the two-CD set, with some interesting background info on the recording of Pornography, as well as all the lyrics to the songs and photographs.
If you’re still listening to that old cassette version of Pornography, it’s time to chuck it and buy this CD. Highly recommended.Powered by Sidelines