Perhaps because it is World Goth Day, the ’80s music site Slicing Up Eyeballs took a reader poll and ranked all 225 songs by the Cure. They tallied more than 100,000 votes. The results are kind of fascinating.
Nos. 2 to 10? Completely understandable: “Just Like Heaven,” Inbetween Days,” “Pictures of You,” “Boys Don’t Cry,” “Charlotte Sometimes,” “Fascination Street,” “Disintegration,” “Close to Me,” “A Night Like This.”
No. 1? “A Forest” (separated by *one vote* from “Just Like Heaven” — don’t let anyone tell you democracy doesn’t matter).
I like “A Forest.” But it would not necessarily occur to me that it’s The Best or Most Favorite Cure Song of All Time.
But I am clearly in the minority. It is a beloved tune, by both fans (obviously) and the band (it is the song they have played the most times) and remains one of the earlier examples of the Cure in one of its final forms: propulsive, yet atmospheric; driving, yet moody.
And what with ONE VOTE separating the top two songs, it is a virtual tie between goth Cure and pop Cure.
So here’s my list of 15 favorite Cure jams. No surprises here (and, honestly, just something of a rearrangement of stuff on the Slicing list), mostly because they weren’t shy about making the sharpest songs singles. (My list is likely heavily influenced by the cassette version of “Standing on a Beach,” their first and best singles collection and one of the best singles sets of the decade.)
1. “Just Like Heaven” (One of the perfect songs of the 1980s, period)
2. “Pictures of You” (Peak romantic Cure, absolutely amazing for pining over someone)
3. “Inbetween Days” (Throw some sequencers on there and it’s a perfect New Order song)
4. “Plainsong” (Sublime in the purest sense – just overwhelming stuff and one of the all-time great album/show openers)
5. “Charlotte Sometimes” (Peak Goth Cure)
6. “Fascination Street” (Both single version and album version; total rocker, also kinda obscene; forever the sickest bass line)
7. “The Hanging Garden” (Peak Goth Cure, pt. 2)
8. “The Lovecats” (Stunning pop song; terrific stand-up bass)
9. “Jumping Someone Else’s Train” (Peak bitchy Cure)
10. “Boys Don’t Cry” (I’m not made of stone)
11. “Primary” (Total live jam)
12. “A Forest” (Look, I said I liked it)
13. “10:15 Saturday Night” (All-time great ode to FOMO; perfect if you are a bored, friendless teen just waiting for SNL to start)
14. “Friday I’m in Love” (Past the point where I was paying attention as a fan, but their best structured song since “Just Like Heaven,” perhaps?)
15. “Close to Me” (The song that reminded everyone, Oh yeah, these guys can make almost any set of sounds into something that becomes the Cure.)
So what are YOUR favorites?