1. One Hundred Years
2. A Short Term Effect
3. The Hanging Garden
4. Siamese Twins
5. The Figurehead
6. A Strange Day
- The Cure: Robert Smith (vocals, guitar, keyboards); Simon Gallup (keyboards, bass); Laurence Tolhurst (keyboards, drums).
- Engineers: Phil Thornally, Mike Nocito, Robert Smith.
- Recorded at Rak Studio One, London, England.
- For a band that's known worldwide as the premier purveyors of goth-rock gloom and doom (though hardly incapable of sparkling pop gems), it's no small thing to identify a particular album as their darkest, most disturbing sonic statement. Nevertheless, PORNOGRAPHY surely fills the bill. Reportedly created during a time of great psychological upheaval for group leader Robert Smith, it's a gloriously no-holds-barred existential angst-fest, from the very first line, "It doesn't matter if we all die." Not since Leonard Cohen's SONGS OF LOVE AND HATE had despair been so lovingly ladled into album form, but it's not just Smith's Prozac prescription that was upped during these sessions. His lyrical approach expanded as well, incorporating more stream-of-consciousness poetic imagery. And the rhythmic attack of bassist Simon Gallup and drummer Lol Tolhurst reached new heights of propulsiveness and viscerality as well, whether pounding out a churning syncopation on "The Hanging Garden" or delivering the heavy-hammered nail in the coffin on "A Short Term Effect."
Rolling Stone (p.79) - 4 stars out of 5 - "[T]his goth milestone brings the heaviness of metal without its clich‚s. Smith wails, guitars blare and drums pound in an echo-laden maelstrom of decay and loathing..."
Spin (p.102) - "Where all aspiring new-wavers go to study enunciation."
Spin (p.109) - "[A] druggy steel-cage match between death-disco drums and tarnished hooks that's somehow still fun to shimmy to."
Q (12/99, p.171) - Included in Q Magazine's Best Gothic Albums Of All Time - "...something uniquely, irresistibly nasty....It made sense of the abject horror of those mock A levels."
Uncut (p.124) - 5 stars out of 5 - "Smith's unearthed demos and live tracks from this period do not prepare you for the pure shock and awe of PORNOGRAPHY. Even today, nothing can."
NME (Magazine) (8/12/00, p.29) - Ranked #24 in The NME "Top 30 Heartbreak Albums" - "...Fueled by LSD, [it] is a dense, unrelenting wall of ugly noise..."