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4.9 out of 5 stars
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4.9 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 25 February 2010
Some of the best lyrics ever on this album - 'I can lose myself in Chinese art and American girls' is one of my favourite lines of all time. Extremely dark and no let up from beginning to end. Great drumming, great guitar sound, great singing and so atmospheric. I don't know if this would win the best album in the world award but if you're in the mood there's nothing that can beat it. For me this is the most complete Cure album because you need to listen to the whole album from start to finish to get the effect. Awesome.
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#1 HALL OF FAMEon 28 September 2001
This is one of the nastiest records I have ever heard- there are some close to this: 'Thaw' by Foetus, 'Body to Body, Job to Job' by Swans, 'The Holy Bible' by The Manics, 'We Are All Prostitutes'by The Pop Group, 'Mutiny/The Bad Seed' by The Birthday Party, 'Locust Abortion Technician' by The Butthole Surfers- and so many others!!!
It moves from the stoned-trauma of 'Faith', a very bleak album itself, and takes the despair prevalent since '17 Seconds' and fuses it with anger and violence...The three-piece Cure were disintergrating in a mess of arguments & substances. They had become, by default, the young-men with the weight of the world on their shoulders (to quote Joy Division's 'Decades')- since Echo & the Bunnymen had gone down the pseudo-goth route of 'Heaven Up Here'.
The cover's deranged conception is meant to reflect what Marilyn Monroe's corpse would have looked like if it were left to rot on the bed she died on (her body was not 'claimed' by anyone,remember). Lovely!...'100 Years' is the starting-point, Smith is vomiting out lots of surreal images that sound like a cross between the world of JG Ballard's 'Atrocity Exhibition' & Camus's 'The Rebel'. The robotic drumbeat and violent guitars seem to operate on the middle-ground between Joy Divison and Slayer!...'A Short Term Effect' is another thudding slab of misery- a distant-relative of PIL's 'PopTones'. 'The Hanging Garden', for some reason a single, continues this bleak exploration. It is another nightmare world and not far from that of Siouxsie & the Banshees (whom Smith would sometimes be a member of in the early 80's). It would also provide the title for an excellent Iain Rankin book...'Siamese Twins' is one of the lowest-songs by anyone ever. "Is it always like this?", Smith howls into a void of guitars (one of the most surreal sights was witnessing a yuppie-looking guy in red-running shorts shaking and screaming out the words to this song at their legendary-epic final night of 1989's 'The Prayer Tour' at Wembley)...'The Figurehead' evokes an the worst LSD-trip, the guitars build to a dirty-moan- vile in the 'Death Valley 69'-sense of the word...'A Strange Day' is another key-Cure songs and the most tuneful here. Within the pulsing beats lies a fantastic pop-song- it can sense bliss within all the misery. The part where the drums halt and the guitar riff is set alone is still one of the most spine-tingling sounds I've ever heard!...'Cold' is close to tracks like 'The Funeral Party' & 'The Holy Hour' on 'Faith'- though its epic keyboard sound is a definite precursor of songs like 'Plainsong' & 'Prayers for Rain'. 'Pornography' is the messy-finale, a tribal beat close to XTC's 'No Language in Our Lungs' hammers over some creepy-Soft Cell style samples. Smith screams and vomits out a sinister dialogue, stating at the end that "he must find a cure"...And the reason why The Cure ruled the 80's?- well, the comedy-popsong 'Let's Go To Bed' being the follow-up to all this trauma. Smith would write some fantastic popsongs until 'Disintergration'. This is extremely harsh listening, but after all these years of listening to it (14 and counting!) it seems nothing but obligatory.
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on 3 March 2016
a very heavy and daunting album with bleak and depressing sound and sometimes disturbing lyrical content. it is often called the ultimate goth album. I love this album but be warned it is not easy listening by any means. hide the razorblades when its playing. the extra disc adds demos, outtakes and the otherwise unavailable "soundtrack" called Airlock which was opening music to concerts from this period.
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on 11 August 2011
The Cure are far too often remembered for their more upbeat music however for me this is the era that set them up. Along with Faith and Seveteen Seconds this is the third Cure LP you need to buy.

The bonus tracks are also well up to speed in the live, demo and rare aspects around this time. I play both discs a lot and would strongly suggest if you want to go a little deeper into the back catalogue of The Cure then start here.
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on 7 April 2011
had this years back so was great to hear the early cure sound again with no vinyl clicks on what was probably my favourite album.A strange day was as good as ever and the popular 100yrs and hanging garden stand out as the oldie favourites.Disc 2 is nothing special containing some poorly recorded live tracks( but not awfull) from the period but what was nice was the studio demo songs some instrumentals and a good early version of hanging gdn,100 yrs plus a couple of little surprises.Probably worth paying the extra cash for the 2nd disc.
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on 13 July 2003
I first got into the Cure as a teenager and loved most of their records. When I first heard Pornography I was immediately impressed and it has since become one of my all time favourite records.

Although The Cure are known for making downbeat music this is without doubt the most intense of the lot. Unlike most of their other records, there are no pop singles included. The music is sharp and hypnotic, the lyrics are dark and surreal.

With only three band members at the time the music remains uncluttered and simple. The drums sound tribal, the bass is low and the guitar sounds atmospheric and sometimes nasty. Highlights include One hundred years and The figurehead. Apparently Robert was going through a tough time in the early eighties and this album seems to confirm it.

If you like Joy Division, early Echo and the Bunnymen and Cranes then you will like this. Not one for parties (unless your friends have an odd way of having fun).
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on 20 January 2002
A triumph! Dark, moody and totally atmospheric. They haven`t done anything like this since. Not a bad track to be heard (well, perhaps Pornography itself isn`t so great!) and great artwork to boot!!!
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on 17 January 2004
I got into the cure as a miserable teenager when i heard a forest in 1980. There wasn't much around that sounded eerie at the time and I was completely taken by the cure's sound. I bought 17 seconds and faith when that was released. Although in retrospect pornography was a natural progression for the cure i wasn't quite ready for it when i rushed it home from the record shop that strange day in 1982. I buy and listen to a lot of music and have done for 30 or so years and i have never heard anything like this album. It is bleak, intense, cold, claustrophobic in parts, spacious in others, compelling and adictive. I have owned this album since 1982 in various formats and have never become bored with it. The opening line to the record "it doesn't matter if we all die" sets up what can only be described as the soundtrack to a horror film. The playing on this record is simple but effective. Smith and co managed to take four simple instruments and create this goth masterpiece. They managed to squeeze a single out of this (hanging garden)much to my surprize. I love this album, i have lived with it for 22 years and will continue to do so. If you have not heard Pornography and you are bored with all this recent pseudo-goth stuff that is "dressed in black - heavey metal", then check this out. "i must fight this sickness, find a cure"..........
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on 9 May 2005
Of all their many incarnations, this is truly the Cure at their darkest, most severe and most haunting. Anyone who has ever heard The Cure will appreciate Robert Smith's lyrical genius, but this album is so full of lost and found words of love and death and hopelessness. The cold dead beat of Lol Tolhurst's drum draws us into One Hundred Years, accompanied by Simon Gallup's pulsing base, as Robert Smith sings deathly lullabyes of loss and of parting to his wailing guitar; it is theme that is carried through such classics as The Hanging Garden and Siamese Twins (with Tolhurst's ghastly pagan drum beat and Smith's beckoning voice, always to the rhythm of Gallup's insistent and enduring base), and (a personal favourite) A Strange Day. This album came at the begining of the "Goth" movement and helped pave the road toward the rising darkness; their legend became fact and that fact is now their lecacy. This album is so powerful that its effect is sill felt in later masterworks, such as Disintegration, Bloodflowers and their most recent, self titled, release. Robert Smith's talent as a lyricist/poet is shown at its very best as the Three Imaginary Boys stake their claim on the future of music. As well as being a classic album in it's own right, Pornography was also the death of innocence and their Coming Of Age.
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on 27 November 2010
Of all their many incarnations, this is truly the Cure at their darkest, most severe and most haunting. Anyone who has ever heard The Cure will appreciate Robert Smith's lyrical genius, but this album is so full of lost and found words of love and death and hopelessness. The cold dead beat of Lol Tolhurst's drum draws us into One Hundred Years, accompanied by Simon Gallup's pulsing base, as Robert Smith sings deathly lullabyes of loss and of parting to his wailing guitar; it is theme that is carried through such classics as The Hanging Garden and Siamese Twins (with Tolhurst's ghastly pagan drum beat and Smith's beckoning voice, always to the rhythm of Gallup's insistent and enduring base), and (a personal favourite) A Strange Day. This album came at the begining of the "Goth" movement and helped pave the road toward the rising darkness; their legend became fact and that fact is now their lecacy. This album is so powerful that its effect is sill felt in later masterworks, such as Disintegration, Bloodflowers and their most recent, self titled, release. Robert Smith's talent as a lyricist/poet is shown at its very best as the Three Imaginary Boys stake their claim on the future of music. As well as being a classic album in it's own right, Pornography was also the death of innocence and their Coming Of Age. The Deluxe Edition only improves upon perfection.
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