Yo ho! Nightrider here!
On 2 May 1989, The Cure released what would be considered guitarist and vocalist Robert Smith’s magnum opus: Disintegration, The Cure’s eighth studio album.
Following the success of the band’s previous album Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me in 1987, The Cure was unhappy with their worldwide success. Robert Smith would take LSD to cope with depression and the fact that he felt the band was once again misunderstood. He also realized that he was turning 30 in one year at the time; Smith was frightened so much that he had to do something about it. Abandoning the pop feel from Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me and returning to the darkness from their 1982 album Pornography, Smith and The Cure recorded what was to be Disintegration. The title of Disintegration was prophetic: The Cure turned into a stadium rock band, something that Smith wanted so much to avoid. He knew that the chemistry of the group was falling apart and that the band’s “golden period” is over. As a result of their hatred of the 1989 Prayer Tour where they played in sold-out arenas, Smith didn’t want to record, promote and tour for another album. It wasn’t until 1992 that The Cure would release their ninth album Wish.
The legacy of Disintegration cannot be ignored. The gloomy atmosphere was at its peak with doomy lyrics that express the future outcome of where The Cure was heading. The song “Pictures of You” went to number 24 in the British charts despite that this occurred in 1990 after Disintegration’s release one year before that. The South Park episode “Mecha-Streisand” has Kyle Broflovski mention to the hero Robert Smith that “Disintegration is the best album ever!” This is because creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone are big fans of The Cure.
Disintegration is an album that is still fresh today as it was 30 years after it’s the initial release. The musicianship is superb and well-orchestrated, and the sad lyrics can apply to almost any emotion. Here are a few well-known pieces of Disintegration worthy of investigating: