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Cure - Disintegration - 2LP -

Price per Unit (stuk): €26.95

The Cure’s 1989 album, released during what was arguably the band’s peak period, receives a lavish reissue with some terrific bonus material

The late 1980s and early 90s were the Cure’s heyday—from an American perspective. It’s not just that they were making great music; they’d been making great music for roughly a decade already. But these were the years during which they coalesced into this whole iconic thing, the Cure—a sound, a look, and a sensibility that a few kids in every other high school could build whole identities around. Or at least whole wardrobes, decoration schemes, and notebook scribbles. One of my first big memories of listening to Disintegration involves wandering around the Colorado State Fair, from the agriculture show to the gang fights by the midway. This is a kind of reach I doubt Robert Smith ever imagined.

And yet there they were. You could say—again, from an American perspective—that it started with two things. There was Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me, a 1987 double album that scatters in a lot of different directions. This is something the band always did well: listening to their “many moods” pop records is like exploring a new city, where every storefront and side street offers something unique. The same went for Standing on a Beach / Staring at the Sea, a collection of singles stretching from 1978 to 1985, that was critical to introducing this band to North Americans.

But mostly there was Disintegration: the record where Robert Smith approached turning 30, got engaged and then married, got annoyed with the way his band was working, and went off by himself to write something deep and serious. Disintegration does not “scatter.” It’s a single, grand, dense, continual, epic trip into core stuff the Cure did well. They’d always been good at this kind of album, too. If Kiss Me is a crowded, teeming city to explore, listening to Disintegration is more like standing in the middle of some vast, empty space—the kind of ocean or plain where you can see the horizon in all directions. You can sense that focus straight from the first minute, during which some wind chimes knock around in an empty void, and then the band bursts out with one of the most overwhelmingly grand openings I’ve ever heard on a pop record—a slow-motion, radiant synth figure of such scale that Sofia Coppola has plausibly used it to soundtrack the coronation of Louis XVI.

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