The Cure
Boys Don't Cry


4.5
superb

Review

by Major Tom CONTRIBUTOR (139 Reviews)
July 5th, 2011 | 31 replies


Release Date: 1980 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The boys won’t cry when they hear this…

Before The Cure became fully fledged goths they enacted a pretty convincing portrayal of a solid, post-punk outfit - simple, chirpy rock with an eye for pop-hooks, and all. As the story goes, Robert Smith - band leader and the one constant in the group’s ever shifting line-up - had little control over what the public got to hear on ‘Three Imaginary Boys’ (their debut LP, circa 1979), and was unhappy over the slightly 'lightweight' feel to some of the tracks. Pushing for a move towards a more substantial, darker brand of alternative music, he soon managed to steer ship Cure in the direction of gothic waters, staring with the bands 2nd 'proper' LP; ‘Seventeen Seconds’, in 1980. The reason I use the term 'proper', being that, in between ‘Three Imaginary Boys’ and that record, came an odd album that was half compilation, half catch-up retrospective, entitled 'Boys Don’t Cry'.

Collecting the bands first few non-album singles, and nestling them up aside the choice cuts from ‘Three Imaginary Boys’; the record was intended to gain the band some exposure outside of their UK home turf. Truth be told, ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ is probably the better of the two albums - serving as both a perfect introduction to The Cure’s early days, and a streamlined, polished version of the bands debut - buffering out a few of the less remarkable tracks and replacing them with early classics like ‘Killing an Arab’ and ‘Boys Don’t Cry’.

Speaking of the title track; it’s a genuine hit, and one of the strongest new-wave singles of its era. Short, sharp and sweet, ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ encapsulates all that was great about this shorted-lived phase of The Cure, with its eternally memorable riff and Smith’s considered, personal lyrics combining to great effect. The result is the undoubted two and half minute gem in the crown of the lads early days.

The other essential track present here but absent from ‘Three Imaginary Boys’ is the dangerously named ‘Killing an Arab’. It’s false, exotic eastern-sounding riff and steady rhythm section give the track a distinctive feel, and Smith’s jabbing vocals, singing the chorus “I’m the stranger / Killing an Arab” are the icing on an already delicious cake (perhaps ‘cupcake’ would serve as a more accurate analogy, given the track’s skimpy 2.23 runtime).

The other two tracks replacing numbers like 'Meathook’ and 'Object', are less compelling, but just as enjoyable as any of the tracks they’re replacing - perhaps more so in the case of quietly brilliant 'Jumping Someone Else’s Train'. It’s no 'Boys Don’t Cry' but it’s a solid little number with a brisk, sprightly riff and a hint of the sombre, with the sad, ringing guitar weeping after the chorus.

The four 'new' tracks, two of which are essential Cure tunes ('Killing an Arab' and 'Boys Don‘t Cry'), when combined with the best material from 'Three Imaginary Boys' (such as the plodding ‘10.15 Saturday Night’ and the infectiously catchy ‘Grinding Halt’), mix together to create a package that is ultimately more satisfying than the debut album, with its trim, streamlined track-list. Shedding any of the weaker songs from the previous year’s effort, and featuring gems aplenty; 'Boys Don’t Cry' is a perfect summation of the bands loveable early phase (before Smith embarked on his gothic desires with a trail of dark albums) and serves as a perfect place for any Cure neophytes to delve into the bands work.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
WhiteNoise
July 5th 2011


3151 Comments


So it turns out you have awesome taste in music man! nice review, would this be a good place to start for the cure? I've only heard their best of.

Meatplow
July 5th 2011


5524 Comments


besides some of the obvious singles actually never got into The Cure yet

it's high time

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
July 5th 2011


6448 Comments


Nice read, as usual.

Don't know a damn thing about The Cure so I guess I'll start here. After this, what's the next album to look for?

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

Tom93M
Contributing Reviewer
July 5th 2011


1106 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

WhiteNoise - Thanks, man. Yeah, this would be a great place to start with The Cure - they got a lot darker afterwards, but this is still a nice introduction to them.

Meatplow - Sounds like a plan.

clercqie - Cheers. After this? - Pornography and Disintegration are two of their big ones. Either of them might be a good choice.


Acanthus
July 5th 2011


9543 Comments


Glad to see you're continuing to review these, eventually it's going to sink in that I need to get the older albums.

pos'd sans before.

Digging: Falls of Rauros - The Light That Dwells in Rotten Wood

Tom93M
Contributing Reviewer
July 5th 2011


1106 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Acanthus - Thanks, dude.


random
July 5th 2011


2262 Comments


The title track is amazing.

Tom93M
Contributing Reviewer
July 5th 2011


1106 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

random - Totally, man. It's a downright classic.


vanderb0b
July 5th 2011


3473 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nice review. Album is an easy 4.5 for me. Still, though, I generally prefer their Pornography/Disintegration-era stuff.

Tom93M
Contributing Reviewer
July 5th 2011


1106 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

vanderb0b - Thank you.

Yep, as you might be able to tell from my score, we both see the greatness of this record, although i agree that their later stuff is more to my tastes than this. I still love this, tho.


bloc
July 5th 2011


34854 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Hell no the boys won't cry, they love this shit.

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

Tom93M
Contributing Reviewer
July 5th 2011


1106 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

bloc - Haha, glad you saw the summary. I'm one of those boys too - this album is great (my score kinda gave that away, but.. yeah). 'Boys Don't Cry' and 'Killing An Arab' are essential.


WashboardSuds
July 5th 2011


5014 Comments


gonna check this out soon

good review like last time, pos'd

Tom93M
Contributing Reviewer
July 5th 2011


1106 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

WashboardSuds - Cheers. Think i'm gonna do their main discog.


porch
July 5th 2011


8460 Comments


haven't listened to this one in a long time, should probably revisit. solid review

qwe3
July 5th 2011


21362 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

perfect band

wabbit
July 5th 2011


7000 Comments


I like this less than their goth era stuff but it is still better than 99.9% of music

Tom93M
Contributing Reviewer
July 5th 2011


1106 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

porch - Thanks.

wonarabbit - Agreed - even The Cure's least defining period is stronger than most artists peak points.



ohfoxxxycole
July 5th 2011


4353 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this was the first album I had heard from them and it's still my favorite of theirs

qwe3
July 6th 2011


21362 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

idk i think this is prob their 2nd best one maybe 3rd best. such a great rock album



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