The Cure have been around for over 30 years now, and it is a little disheartening that the only major biography of them, Never Enough by Jeff Apted, is out of print. Sure, there is a Kindle version of it, and you can buy a used copy for big bucks, but it sure seems like there should be something more readily available for fans of this great band. The books one finds when browsing are usually fan books. I do not think author David Fargier would disagree with me in describing his After The Rain as a fan book, because he himself states as much in the Preface.
By the way, there is nothing inherently wrong with a book written from a fan’s perspective at all. It’s just that these types of books generally contain little, if any criticism of the group, which I sometimes miss. Having said that, however, I quite enjoyed After The Rain. The history of this book is unusual. It was first published in Fargier’s native French language as Nach dem Regen in 2006. This edition has been translated into English by Stephen Martin, and is published by Cleopatra. The 138-page hardback book also comes with a very cool extra, a seven-inch single featuring a remix of “Burn,” the theme from The Crow (1994).
As mentioned, Fargier is a long-time Cure fan, and as such has his own opinions about their recordings over the years. Contrary to what I previously mentioned about fan books not questioning any artistic decisions of the group in question, Fargier actually does. In fact he is not a big fan of the band’s first album, Three Imaginary Boys (titled Boys Don’t Cry in the U.S.), at all. A couple of songs, yes, but the album as a whole, no.
For Fargier, the story really kicks off with their second album, Seventeen Seconds, and especially their third, Faith. In a bid to introduce the group to the American market, A&M Records packaged both Seventeen Seconds and Faith together as a double album set, for about the price of a single LP. That was back in 1981, and it worked for me; I have been a fan ever since.
The story of The Cure is the story of Robert Smith. Various musicians have come and gone, but the group is obviously his project. Fargier takes us down the various roads the band has traveled over the decades, including their mid- to late-’80s heyday of The Head On The Door, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, and Disintegration.
Fargier especially touts the Trilogy (2002) DVD set, which features three very influential albums, Pornography, Disintegration, and Bloodflowers, played live in their entirety. To be honest, I have not paid much attention to the band since Disintegration, but I am definitely going to check out the Trilogy DVD.
Fans of The Cure should enjoy After The Rain, and the inclusion of the single is a nice touch. Here in the U.S., the book is a bit of an obscurity, at least at the book and records stores I have shopped. One place to easily get it is at the Cleopatra site, and the label carries a lot of other interesting items as well.