1. The Cure are an English rock band formed in Crawley, West Sussex, in 1976.
2. The band has experienced several line-up changes, with vocalist, guitarist and principal songwriter Robert Smith being the only constant member.
3. The Cure first began releasing music in the late 1970s with their debut album Three Imaginary Boys; this, along with several early singles, placed the band as part of the post-punk and new wave movements that had sprung up in the wake of the punk rock revolution in the United Kingdom.
4. During the early 1980s, the band’s increasingly dark and tormented music was a staple of the emerging gothic rock genre.
5. After the release of 1982’s Pornography, the band’s future was uncertain and Smith was keen to move past the gloomy reputation his band had acquired.
6. With the single “Let’s Go to Bed” released the same year, Smith began to place a pop sensibility into the band’s music and their popularity increased as the decade wore on, with songs like “Just Like Heaven”, “Lovesong” and “Friday I’m in Love”.
7. The band is estimated to have sold 27 million albums as of 2004 and have released thirteen studio albums, ten EPs and over thirty singles during their career.
8. The first incarnation of what became the Cure was the Obelisk, a band formed by students at Notre Dame Middle School in Crawley, Sussex.
9. The band made their public debut in a one-off performance in April 1973, and featured Robert Smith on piano, Michael “Mick” Dempsey on guitar, Laurence “Lol” Tolhurst on percussion, Marc Ceccagno on lead guitar and Alan Hill on bass guitar. In January 1976 the band took a more substantial form when Ceccagno formed Malice with Smith and Dempsey along with two other classmates from St Wilfrid’s Catholic Comprehensive School, with Ceccagno on lead, Smith on guitar and Dempsey switching to bass.
10. Ceccagno soon left, however, to form a jazz-rock fusion band called Amulet.
11. Increasingly influenced by the emergence of punk rock, Malice’s remaining members became known as Easy Cure in January 1977. By this time, Smith and Dempsey had been joined by Lol Tolhurst from the Obelisk on drums and new lead guitarist Porl Thompson.
12. Both Malice and Easy Cure auditioned several vocalists before Smith finally assumed the role of Easy Cure’s frontman in September 1977.
13. That year, Easy Cure won a talent competition with German label Hansa Records, and received a recording contract.
14. Although the band recorded tracks for the company, none were ever released. Following disagreements in March 1978 over the direction the band should take, the contract with Hansa was dissolved.
15. They just thought they could turn us into a teen group.
16. “Killing an Arab” garnered both acclaim and controversy: while the single’s provocative title led to accusations of racism, the song is actually based on French existentialist Albert Camus’s novel The Stranger. The band placed a sticker label that denied the racist connotations on the single’s 1979 reissue on Fiction.
17. An early NME article on the band wrote that the Cure “are like a breath of fresh suburban air on the capital’s smog-ridden pub-and-club circuit”, and noted, “With a John Peel session and more extensive London gigging on their immediate agenda, it remains to be seen whether the Cure can retain their refreshing joie de vivre.”
18. The Cure released their debut album Three Imaginary Boys in May 1979.
19. Because of the band’s inexperience in the studio, Parry and engineer Mike Hedges took control of the recording. The band, particularly Smith, were unhappy with the album; in a 1987 interview, he admitted, “a lot of it was very superficial I didn’t even like it at the time.