Saturday, December 15, 2018

"In Between Days (Without You)" by The Cure

Song#:  2619
Date:  02/15/1986
Debut:  99
Peak:  99
Weeks:  1
Genre:  Alternative Rock

Pop Bits:  Thanks to the gloomy and atmospheric sounds that they perfected on their first five albums (in particular 1982's Pornography - #8 UK), Britain's The Cure became one of the first bands whose music was described as goth rock. With their big hair, makeup, and dour demeanor, the band became synonymous with the genre. They were having good success at home, but after five albums they had yet to make a real dent in the US market. The band's lead singer and songwriter Robert Smith chose to take a more pop/rock flavored approach for The Cure's next LP, The Head on the Door. The more streamlined (and less dreary) sound was well-received and it resulted in this first single hitting #15 in the UK. In the US, the track generated a lot of buzz on college campuses and it picked up some airplay. It was enough for the single to get on the Pop chart, but only for one short week. It did a bit better at Dance going to #39. The results weren't fantastic, but it was enough to spur interest in the album and it ended up reaching a solid #59 on the chart. While it wasn't a huge breakthrough, it was their first significant success in the States and it set them up well for their next few albums.

ReduxReview:  This is one of those songs so many people now know that it's nearly incomprehensible it spent only one week on the chart when it was first released. I guess pop radio at the time wasn't ready for jangly alt-rock with sorrowful lyrics. The Cure definitely appealed to the lonely and depressed, but it was going to take a while longer before the mainstream would catch up to them. Luckily, this song came along for the ride and over the years it has turned into one of their most popular tracks.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  The band was initially named Easy Cure. It came from the title of a song their drummer had written. Under that moniker, they ended up entering and winning a talent contest that secured them a deal with the record label Hansa. The band began to record demos for a potential album, but the label just wasn't thrilled with the results. Hansa wanted to turn the band into something more pop-oriented and have them do cover tunes. The group told the label no and in the end they took off and none of their recordings for the label were released (a few later showed up on a 2004 reissue version of their 1979 debut album Three Imaginary Boys). In 1978 after a lineup change, Robert Smith shortened the name of the band to The Cure (as he thought Easy Cure was too hippie-ish and didn't fit their sound) and they got signed to Fiction Records, an offshoot of Universal. Their first official album came out the following year and made it to #44 in the UK.


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