#tbt The Cure / Seventeen Seconds (1980)
Label: Fiction Records
The second release from goth pioneers The Cure, Seventeen Seconds strayed from their punk roots and began to explore darker and more Avant-garde territory. The experimental moments seem to float in space, punctuated with sharp drums beats and single sustained notes that somehow seem to drive the emptiness in a real direction. ‘Play for Today’ starts off with a quick drumbeat, immediately followed by a playful bass line, that after 30 seconds erupts into its full on dark beauty. Robert Smiths lyrics are sardonic and poignant, with lines like “It’s not a case of doing what’s right, it’s just the way I feel that matters, tell me I’m wrong, I don’t really care.” He is angier and more despondent on this Cure record than on Boys Don’t Cry. Another big hit off the album, ‘A Forest’, went on to become the cover song many goth and indie bands cut their teeth on in the 80’s ad 90’s. Robert Smith recruited new bass and keyboard players for this record, and the result was a minimalistic album that began to form The Cure’s trademark gothic sound. Keyboard player Matthieu Hartley wanted the keys to be more complex, but Smith opted for simpler “single note” progressions. Possibly considered too ambient by some, Seventeen Seconds still remains a favorite among many Cure fans and houses some of their best material. If you haven’t listened to this record yet, don’t be the last one on your block and check out the video for ‘Play for Today’ below.