Essential Listening: Intro to The Cure

In case you’ve missed it, The Cure have been serving up some downright sickening set lists on their current world domination tour. We’re talking 28+ songs, 4-5 encores, songs they’ve never played live, songs that haven’t seen the stage in thirty yearsnew songs –  it’s pretty next level.

Coverage of their recent gigs have us shivering in anticipation for what is set to be one hell of an experience at both Splendour in The Grass and their tour dates. Taking a look at the time allotted to Robert Smith and co., we’re in for a treat. Naturally, we’re a bit excited and have put together a list of what we think are some of the top, most essential tracks from The Cure in preparation for their massive, three hour set. It may get emotional.

The Lovecats

Of course this tops the list. Instantly recognisable, it’ll surely draw the crowd all the way in and have us on one helluva high. Pretty much the same deal for Boys Don’t Cry, but with more tears.

All I Want

They played this very recently for the first time in three decades and we would be very, very surprised (and honestly slightly offended) if it doesn’t make another appearance during their set.

10:15 Saturday Night

Once a b-side, this piece of post-punk purity continues to make its way on to their set almost forty years later. Going backwards through their discography, it is probably the best reflections of how their sound has evolved over time while remaining true to their roots. How fitting then that it was the opening track to their debut album Three Imaginary Boys.

Pictures of You

If Pictures of You doesn’t have the longest intro of all The Cure’s songs, it is a very strong contender. Any other band with well over two minutes of glittering guitars and percussion at the open may come across as indulgent but Pictures of You has all the atmosphere and emotion of a Cure song before Robert Smith even beings singing about what we can only imagine is yet another long-lost love.


As has been mentioned many a time, Lullaby is the stuff of nightmares. Wonderfully Gothic nightmares – and that’s before you even watch the video. Haunting strings, a heavy bass and Smith’s distinctive whisper, there’s a reason this song is often held up as the How To Do Goth Guide with bands to this day continuing to emulate both the sound and the visuals. There’s a reason Blink 182 collaborated with Robert Smith for All Of This around their Jack and Sally phase and smart money would bet Lullaby is it.

Close To Me

Close To Me is one of those strange songs that’s kind of melancholic but up beat at once and is heralded still as one of the most iconic tracks from the band. The shaking, bright rhythm makes you want to dance so instantaneously that you almost don’t realise how the lyrics might be interpreted. All the wonderful hand claps and keys aside, it has what could be considered one of the most fantastic yet overlooked horn sections in a popular rock song.


Here is where we get more of that morose The Cure sound matched with an eerie, unique knack for injecting a bright, catchy punch throughout. This is especially down to a wonderful guitar riff and what might be one of the most recognisably and strong drum beats the band has to offer. Add in the slick echo in the outro and you’ve got a truly iconic song with lyrics that hit so hard, every time.

Just Like Heaven

You want a stellar bass riff? Well guess what, Simon Gallup has one in this song right here in all it’s commanding glory. Chuck in some more of those fuzzy rhythm guitars, a glittering, descending main guitar melody, waltzing keys and Smith’s distinctive timbre and knack for romantic nostalgia and you have the song that boosts Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me into ‘top albums’ territory for the band.

In Between Days

In Between Days is the most fun one can have with a Cure song as they deal, once again, with the pain of love and loss. A dazzlingly upbeat tone and a dizzy, delirious keyboard matched with a typically steady rhythm, it’s sure to be a crowd favourite and incite not only vigorous dancing but an immensely heartfelt singalong. One of their airiest melodies, the atmosphere on this track is so enveloping and, dare I say it, bright.

Fascination Street

The album Disintegration as a whole is close to the hearts of many, many fans of The Cure. As described in our own Flashback Friday feature article on the album, Fascination Street is an utterly intoxicating track and has some of the more brilliant lyricism, not to mention that deep, heavy bass. The glittering, chiming keys and sliding, swirling guitars do everything to bolster it. If feels like it could be one of those surreal mid-set moments should it appear and like Lullaby could very well lull listeners into a trance-like state.

A Forest

A single off their second album Seventeen SecondsA Forest signifies The Cure’s rather seamless transition from being a purely post-punk band into their goth-rock phase. It was one of the first new songs from the band added to their set list with Gallup on bass and he makes his mark with the outro. It is said that the band were advised to make the song sound more radio-friendly. Luckily for us, they refused as it sounded exactly as Smith had envisioned it would.

Friday I’m In Love

The Cure, kind of surprisingly, do have a handful of love songs that aren’t depressing or preoccupied with heartbreak. Off 1992’s Wish, Friday I’m In Love is one of them and earned them worldwide recognition once again. The video in all its dizzy dancing to go with the easily sing-along-able song, won them European Viewer’s Choice for Best Music Video at the MTV Awards and remains a firm favourite. No doubt there will be a lot of love in the air when they play this.

The Walk

Originally a stand-alone single released in the early 198os, The Walk was later added to a singles compilation album Japanese Whispers. With its synth-driven urgency, its easy to understand why i was somewhat of a commercial breakthrough for the band and remain one of the most excitingly dance-able offerings in their lengthy discography Live this one is sure to to get bodies moving and blood pumping.

The Cure Tour Dates

Monday July 25: Qudos Bank Arena (Formerly Allphones Arena), Sydney
Thursday July 28: Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne
Friday July 19: Adelaide Entertainment Centre, Adelaide
Sunday July 31: Perth Arena, Perth

Image: Rolling Stone