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58 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Final-part of bleak trilogy of Cure-albums...
Though the recent 'Trilogy'-DVD has it that 'Pornography' (1982) is part of a trilogy with 'Disintegration' (1989) & 'Bloodflowers' (2000), I'm more of the persuasion that 'Pornography' is the end of a trilogy of albums with 'Seventeen Seconds' (1980) & 'Faith' (1981); all of which have been reissued in this expanded-remastered two-disc form.
Following the departure...
Published on 2 April 2005 by Jason Parkes

versus
1 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars dark
This is the darkest of the cure albums, probably why i dont like it soooooo much, its an ok album, but i dont listen to it so much, its so sad that it lacks the great tunes of the cure, its the first cure album i ever got and i really wouldnt recmmoend it to start with, its just doesnt get any harder to listen to than this really.
It's worth buying if you really like...
Published on 16 Sep 2001


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58 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Final-part of bleak trilogy of Cure-albums..., 2 April 2005
By 
Jason Parkes "We're all Frankies'" (Worcester, UK) - See all my reviews
(No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Pornography [Deluxe Edition] (Audio CD)
Though the recent 'Trilogy'-DVD has it that 'Pornography' (1982) is part of a trilogy with 'Disintegration' (1989) & 'Bloodflowers' (2000), I'm more of the persuasion that 'Pornography' is the end of a trilogy of albums with 'Seventeen Seconds' (1980) & 'Faith' (1981); all of which have been reissued in this expanded-remastered two-disc form.
Following the departure of Michael Dempsey to Associates, Robert Smith with then drummer Laurence Tolhurst changed the Cure's poppier sound for something bleaker - bassist Simon Gallup and keyboard-player Matthieu Hartley with producer Mike Hedges formed part of this change. Hartley exited after 'Seventeen Seconds', leaving the three-piece Cure to make their bleakest record 'Faith'- easily one of the bleakest albums recorded (see 'Movement', 'Music for a New Society', & 'Berlin'). 'Pornography' was the end of the line, Smith rumoured to have composed most of it under the influence of LSD in his parents home. Smith became obssessed with the dark stuff- the cover nodding to what Marilyn Monroe might have looked like if her body had been left to decay on the bed on which she died (while the tour saw the band put lipstick under their eyes- so when they sweated it looked like blood was running from them!). Smith was enamoured with the drum-sound of The Psychedelic Furs (think 'Sister Europe'), while Mike Hedges exited to be replaced by co-producer Phil Thornally (who would later join The Cure, work on Duran's 'Seven & the Ragged Tiger' & compose 'Torn' the Natalia Imbruglia song!). 'Pornography' is an angry-record- a gothic-rage that feels as bloody as Smith's then disintegrating relationship with Gallup was (Gallup would exit afterwards- though would return for 1985's 'The Head on the Door').
This reissue includes the original-eight-track album (remastered) and a bonus-disc of anomalies & oddities that will appeal to fans of these records. The ten-bonus-tracks feature several songs never heard before - Temptation, Demise, Break, Air1ock: Soundtrack & alternate versions of such tracks as A Strange Day, Cold & Pornography. The bonus-discs will obviously appeal more to the hardcore Cure-fan- the kind of person who would listen to 'Curiosity' or 'Join the Dots.'
The original album itself, rumoured to still be Smith's favourite (despite the atmosphere that created it), remains a highlight of The Cure's potent back-catalogue. It is one of those angry-depressed records and should be ranked alongside such howls of despair and rage as 'In Utero', 'The Scream', 'The Holy Bible', 'Junkyard' & 'We Are All Prostitutes.' Opening-track 'One Hundred Years' (still a live-favourite) cues up the feel of the record with its opening-line, "It doesn't matter if we all die..." The song has Smith in lyrical meltdown, visions of entropy crash into each other and you think of something like Ballard's 'The Atrocity Exhibition' as the lines spill forth: "Stroking your hair as patriots are shot/fighting for freedom on the television/sharing the world with slaughtered-pigs/Have we got everything?/She struggles to get away..." Smith is at his most sinister here - parts of the song (a pulsing robotic-beat and chiming-guitars) feel like a paragraph from Camus' 'The Rebel' as read on LSD by a manic-depressive: "Just a piece of new meat in a clean room/The soldiers close in under a yellow moon/All shadows and deliverance under a black flag/A hundred years of blood/Crimson/The ribbon tightens round my throat/I open my mouth and my head bursts open/A sound like a tiger thrashing in the water...Over and over we die one after the other/One after the other...It feels like a hundred years..." & this is where the record begins!
'A Short Term Effect' is a drum-heavy dirge with the kind of futile-lyrics found on 'Faith'; while single 'The Hanging Garden' is a wonderful slab of clattering primal-drumming & oblique Banshees-inflected decay (it would also provide the title of an Ian Rankin novel!)The highlight of what was originally side-one is 'Siamese Twins'- whose lyrics nod to the Banshees 'Red Light' (Smith was associated with The Banshees and particularly Steve Severin at the time) that nods out cheery lines such as "push a blade into my hands" & "worms eat my skin" prior to the amusing sing-a-long bit: "Sing out loud/We all die/Laughing into the fire/Is it always like this?/IS IT ALWAYS LIKE THIS?/IS IT ALWAYS LIKE THIS?????"
The second-half opens with 'The Figurehead', which continues the drum-heavy-gothic-dirge - there is little of Smith's eclectic pop here- the refrain of "I will never be clean again" as the drums rage (an influence on Radiohead's 'There There' I think, as well as XTC's similar 'Travels in Nihilon'). Keyboards feature more on the following tracks- 'A Strange Day' (the most tuneful here and one of my absolute favourite Cure-songs) & 'Cold' nod towards the heavy-keyboard sound of 'Disintegration'. The album closes on 'Pornography', one of Smith's most unpleasant songs - looped-voices melt together as industrial-drumming fades in and a sound like a cello being played from a burial plot comes in, Smith's alienated lyrics going beyond meltdown: "The old man cracks with age...Sour yellow sounds inside my head...The sound of slaughter as your body turns/But it's too late/One more day like today and I'll kill you/A desire for flesh and real blood/And I'll watch you drown in the shower/Pushing my life though your open-eyes...I must fight this sickness/Find a cure..." These are dark-places, an acid-drenched exploration of 'Psycho' or 'Repulsion' and Smith had nowhere left to go...
Following 'Pornography', the next version of The Cure went dream-pop, before shifting into an eclectic-variation on their early records with albums like 'Kiss Me...', 'Disintegration' & 'Wish.' This is the darkest stuff though- & despite its car-crash feel and undeniable morbidity, it's one of The Cure albums I listen to the most! Recommended, and one of those records that has influenced many- I don't think Nine Inch Nails' 'The Downward Spiral' would exist without this & I'm sure that's not the only example of its influence!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Cure's finest, no-one else in the world can do this., 11 Sep 2000
This review is from: Pornography [VINYL] (Vinyl)
This album is really unbelievable, for a start the lyrics are superb- Smith paints an amazing picture of futility, the drums are storming and original (particularly tracks like 'the figurehead' and 'one hundred years'), the bass lines and keyboard parts still send a chill down my spine on the warmest of nights, and the guitar is cutting with some great flange. If this album can't 'cure' you, then you're really in trouble
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly on of the best records ever made, 1 Feb 2004
By 
Ian Turner "Ian" (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Pornography (Audio CD)
I can remember clearly going out to buy this on LP when I was 18 (im now 38 !) and it still sounds fantastic. This album has some of the best sureal lyrics and amazing textures. The Figurehead has been in my all time top 10 tracks and Hanging Gargen & Strange Day are nothing short of stunning. The versions of these tracks on the live "Paris" CD are dare I say amost better than here.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So Dark It's Great, 12 Aug 2006
By 
D. P. Bostock "Emo_Molko" (Manchester, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Pornography [Deluxe Edition] (Audio CD)
For a long time I have been very curious about The Cure, but listening to there greatest hits I could never really tell what there actual sound was, some songs are fun (lovecats), some songs are dark (charlotte sometimes), so... rather than doing the conventional thing of buying the greatest hits, I decided to buy a random album, and I chose Pornography... on the first listen I was confused, because the album flows with a similar sound all the way through (pounding drums, more bass than actual guitar), One Hundred Years became my favourite cure song ever on the first listen, with the opening lyrics "It doesn't matter if we all die" and for some reason my favourite line ever "waiting for the deathblow".

It's only after about 15 listens when I realised how dark this album actually is, and how great the songs are, and this made me like it even more. I found "The Hanging Garden" a bit of an odd song to pick as a single, but after about 10 listens it becomes addictive, especially with the lyrics "cover my face as the animals die". I definitely think that they should have put "charlotte sometimes" on this album, not only because it's one of my favourite cure songs, but it was released a few before this album and remained albumless until recently (placed at the end of the 2nd disc of Faith).

This album obviously says something about Robert Smiths mentality at the time of this album, possibly suicidal.

I love this album so much, but I'm too scared to check out the rest of The Cures albums because I love this dark, brooding sound, and from what I've heard this is the last album which is in this style (apart from disintergration and the 3rd of the trilogy). Oh well, if every album was the same then they wouldn't be interesting.

I recommend this album to any one who has an open mind, and is willing to give this album a chance, by listening to it a few times, because the more you listen to it the more you like it, and the more meaning it gains.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get out your crimpers, 31 May 2005
This review is from: Pornography [Deluxe Edition] (Audio CD)
Bought this 'delux' edition after having the original on tape from the late eighties. Haven't listened to it for years even though it's always been my favourite Cure album (though 17 seconds & Faith vie for that position too). Had second thoughts walking back from the shop - will I still like it after all these years ?
Within 17 seconds of 100 years I knew I'd made the right choice. Great album.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars perfectography, 25 Feb 2010
By 
This review is from: Pornography (Audio CD)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars the real McCoy, 17 Jan 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Pornography (Audio CD)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars A Nightmare Fantasy Of Desolation, 9 May 2005
By 
Steven T. Jarvis "Skarekrow" (Thanet, Kent) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Pornography (Audio CD)
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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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I will fight this sickness!!", 11 Sep 2005
This review is from: Pornography [Deluxe Edition] (Audio CD)
As someone else once noted, the cover art of this record gives us a pretty good idea as to the darkness of the music lurking within. This is certainly the darkest Cure album that I've ever head, advancing on the already tortured sound of Faith and Seventeen Seconds, with Smith, Gallup and Tolhurst moving into a dark and claustrophobic place, where murder, suicide, fame, drug dependency and depression seem to be the only escape from the real horrors of the everyday world.
I'm not going to delve into the same amount of detail as some reviewers - discussing Smith's state of mind during the writing and recording process, etc - though it's clear from pretty much the first minute that this isn't the work of a band particularly captivated by the so-called joys of modern life. Some have drawn comparisons with Joy Division, though I feel that this album is much more troubling than either of their albums, and yet... you can still hear a few similarities, particularly in the heavy reliance on the drums and bass, whilst there's that same suffocating feeling of dread and death conjured up by the production, which does have a touch of the Martin Hannett about it. But Pornography has none of the elegance or, indeed, restraint, so prevalent in Joy Division's work, with Smith and Co. choosing instead to create a angular cacophony of noise, with layer upon layer of keyboards, drums, bass and electric guitar being merged into one thick sludge of musical noise that cannot easily be put into words.
The template for the album is established with the first song, One Hundred Years, which builds around a monotonous bass-line, a thrash of percussion and some eerie keyboard work, before Smith intones the very first line of the entire album ("it doesn't matter if we all die"). From here, things get progressively bleaker, with Smith's howling vocals merging into the mire of background instrumentation, until one sound is indistinguishable from the next. The album also develops something of a template for later Cure songs, particularly those found on Disintegration (1989) and Blood Flowers (2000) - which are supposed to form something of a loose trilogy with Pornography - that being, the development of longer songs with more intricate structures and extended intros/outros. It creates a great atmosphere and generally means that the songs flow out of one another more fluidly than the songs on the albums that came before.
A Short Term Effect continues the sound of One Hundred Years, with a hypnotic flow of percussion and the use of treated-guitars. It reminds me a little of Public Image Ltd, circa Metal Box, as do many of the other songs, particularly the title-track, with The Cure going for a monotonous sound and rhythm that threatens to almost undermine the individuality of some of the tracks as the whole thing ends up blurring into one bleak, black, whole. The Hanging Garden is one of The Cure's most iconic tracks, familiar to anyone who already has the great Staring At The Sea compilation from the mid 80's... featuring a great sound and a terrific use of guitar, whilst the lyrics are almost narrative, moving away (slightly) from the vague and dreamlike references found in the majority of songs included herein.
Certainly tracks like Siamese Twins and the epic The Figurehead will be a shock to those more familiar with The Cure as pop stars (songs like Lovecats, Close To You and In Between Days, which pretty much defined The Cure for a lot of fans... myself included) with the band here sounding a million miles away from the band that they would later become. The heavy, somewhat industrial sound of the keyboard is great here, establishing a doom-laden feeling throughout The Figurehead (a personal favourite and the album's epic centrepiece), with Smith adding to the gothic vibe with lyrics like "a hundred other words blind me with your purity, like an old painted doll in the throws of a dance... I think about tomorrow, oh please let me sleep, as I slip down the window, freshly squashed fly... you mean nothing to me", before ending the song with the bleak refrain "I will never be clean again!".
My favourite song here (and perhaps my favourite Cure song of this era) is the similarly epic sounding Cold, in which the keyboards take on an almost orchestral sound, combined with Smith's distorted, almost psychedelic guitar. The whole song just flows with an immense forward momentum, carried along by the layers of gloomy keyboards, pounding bass and furious percussion. The lyrics are excellent too... Smith relating some dark, though perhaps romantic images that seem to point towards lost love (perhaps murder was involved??), with the opening verse reading, "scarred, your back was turned, curled like an embryo... take another face you will be kissed again... I was cold as I mouthed the words and crawled across the mirror". The second verse is darker, moving forward with lines like "a shallow grave, a monument to a ruined age... ice in my eyes and eyes like ice don't move..." before ending with the sort of chorus, "your name... like ice into my heart".
This leads us into the closing song... all the themes coming together in a dissonant racket of instrumentation, strange sound samples and swirling production, which again, reminds me a little of PiL albums like Metal Box and The Flowers Of Romance. The song and the album both end with the mantra "I will fight this sickness... find a cure!!", bringing to a close the first phase of the band's career before the veered off into a more chart-friendly territory. This album remains something of an early peak for the Cure, one that is as essential as the later epic Disintegration. The sound here on this re-mastered deluxe edition is superb and a real improvement on the early CD release... whilst the bonus tracks add value for money, and a further glimpse into the Cure's dark world, circa 1982.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ignore the Goth label, this is genius, 16 Oct 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Pornography (Audio CD)
The Cure biog describe's Pornography as 'Phil Spector in Hell', and there can barely be a more apt description. The sound melds into a thick wall of pounding tribal drums, gutteral bass, flanged echo-laden spidery guitar lines and Smith's ever present howl, which is here more convincing than ever. The Cure made more consistent and varied albums than this, sure, but none of them match Pornography's sheer statement of despairing intent. Like 'Closer' by Joy Division and 'Murmur' by R.E.M. this is one of the early eighties most important post-punk releases.
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Pornography [Deluxe Edition]
Pornography [Deluxe Edition] by The Cure (Audio CD - 2005)
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