Contact Us

24 Years Ago: The Cure’s ‘Disintegration’ Album Released

The Cure Disintegration
Elektra Records

The Cure had been building toward ‘Disintegration’ ever since their debut album was released in 1979. It took a decade to get there, but the slow climb was marked by good records (‘Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me’) and not-so-good records (‘Pornography’). By the time their eighth LP was released on May 1, 1989, the Cure had cataloged enough gloom, pop and wild mood swings to make an album that was worthy of their growing reputation.

Three years earlier, the ‘Standing on a Beach’ compilation assembled and surveyed the band’s earliest records via its singles – the best way to hear the Cure at that point. On 1987’s two-disc ‘Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me,’ they effectively began their second chapter; ‘Disintegration’ is the highlight of the era. A sprawling, epic piece that’s part desolation-row reflection and part Top 40 hug-fest, the album, in 70-plus minutes, sums up the Cure better than anything that came before or after it – even ‘Standing on a Beach.’ It’s dark, despairing and filled with misery beats; it’s also loose, playful and romantic.

With eight of its 12 songs clocking in at more than five minutes each (the last four songs make up the album’s last half hour), ‘Disintegration’ isn’t a breezy listen. But it isn’t meant to be. Frontman Robert Smith, wary and suspicious of the creeping mainstream success that pop-leaning songs like ‘Just Like Heaven’ were bringing, turned back to the long, moody set pieces that marked some of the Cure’s earlier albums. Supplied with a sense of purpose and a stash of drugs, Smith made the band’s masterpiece, balancing spooky ballads (‘Lovesong,’ ‘Lullaby’) with noisy freakouts (‘Fascination Street’).

The album – which celebrates its 24th anniversary today – was a hit, despite Smith’s turn back to less-accessible music. It reached No. 12, the band’s highest chart position at the time, and eventually went double platinum. Four singles (the aforementioned three songs plus ‘Pictures of You’) landed on the charts, with ‘Lovesong’ peaking at No. 2 and becoming the Cure’s all-time biggest hit. ‘Disintegration’ set the stage for the Cure’s modern-rock dominance: They returned three years later with the super-pop of ‘Wish,’ which debuted at No. 2. Since then, Smith has swung back and forth between his two moods. ‘Disintegration’ connects them like nothing else in his long career.

Listen to the Cure’s ‘Disintegration’

Next: The Dave Matthews Band's 'Crash' Released

Best of the Web

More From Around the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://diffuser.fm using your Facebook account.

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on Diffuser.fm quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here

Please solve this simple math problem to prove that you are a real person.

Register on Diffuser.fm quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!