I used to be quite the “music junkie” back in the 1980s. I had to be pried away from watching MTV, I tried to watch every MTV news tidbit, and would even listen to the radio for announcements of concert tours of bands I liked. Up until the early 1990s, I subscribed to both Spin and Rolling Stone magazines. If a band I liked was releasing a new album, I would know about it! And if I wanted concert tickets, I would have to line up at a Ticketmaster outlet to get the tickets (local Hudson’s department store).
Mixed Up, a remix album by The Cure (more about this in a bit).
Ticket stub from a 1992 Cure concert at the Palace of Auburn Hills. This one of a couple of concert venues I visited in my “salad days” that is undergoing demolition (the other one being Joe Louis Arena).
Then “adulting” happened. Beginning in the mid 1990s, I just kind of started losing touch with the “current” music scene. And it’s pretty much continued in this fashion, until just the other day – when I randomly learned that The Cure was recording a new album, was inducted into the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame and plans to release their new album in October. Also…something about a concert tour? Why, they’re the Rolling Stones of alternative music! I remember referring to them in this fashion when I was in college and made a “mix tape” of their songs:
Black Sabbath for College Students
What brought on this recent re-obsession with The Cure? A Mitsubishi commercial… I saw a commercial recently on TV which had a tune playing in it that I thought sounded kind of like a Cure song. I don’t think it’s exactly a “rip off,” but my finely trained ears could definitely hear the similarities. You can listen to that here.
No big, right? Lots of artists sell their rights to their songs and allow them to be used in commercials, case in point nine inch nails’ Head Like A Hole is being used in promos for some video game that I will never, ever play. Was the tune’s composer influenced by The Cure? Perhaps…as Bono so eloquently sung in the 1991 song The Fly:
Every artist is a cannibal – every poet is a thief – all kill their inspiration and sing about the grief
So I had to figure out what Cure song it sounded like to me, so I looked at the track listing for Mixed Up, which was a 1990 compilation CD made up of mostly remixes. And that song I thought sounded uncannily like the Mitsubishi jingle was The Forest which you can listen to here.
And since I was also working on writing some music trivia quizzes in the past few days, I’ve been looking at lots and lots of discographies on Wikipedia. And when I read the discography and Wiki article about The Cure, I could see that they’ve been very, very busy! And not just making appearances on South Park:
Disintegration, released in 1989 – spawned the single Lovesong, which is The Cure’s highest-charting U.S. single to date (hitting #2 on both the Hot 100 and alternative charts).
Looks like I might have some catching up to do! Though I’m not gonna lie…it’s been very, very enjoyable getting back in touch with this old CD. Lullaby remains one of my favorite Cure songs out of all of them (and its lyrics are simply terrifying if you want to take a look at them).
Listening to Mixed Up has been helping me sort through some of the grief I’ve been dealing with as of late – I can’t quite explain how – but back in my college days, listening to The Cure always seemed to cheer me up – and it seems I’m not that much different from my 19 year old self (using music as therapy)! Maybe I’ll actually download their new album when it’s released (their 14th studio album) – it’s much easier than making a cassette copy to play in the car like us Gen X “cool kids” did back in the day (though I still really, really miss making mix tapes)!