Shop now Shop now Shop now  Up to 50% Off Fashion  Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Shop now Shop now Shop now

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars30
4.9 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:£24.76+ £1.26 shipping
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

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!
33 comments|59 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 11 September 2000
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
0Comment|9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 12 August 2006
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.
0Comment|13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 1 February 2004
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.
0Comment|5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 6 January 2010
With an opening line as final as that it should come as no surprise to first time listeners that they are not going to be let off lightly here. 'Pornography' was and remains an icy blast of pain and despair, one of Robert Smith's finest hours and an essential addition to any music collection. Building on the excellent previous efforts, 'Seventeen Seconds' and 'Faith' the album catches Smith at an early peak and was his best until 'Disintegration' managed to improve on it (no mean feat that). Musically, the album is driven by repetitive, booming drums and bass, shards of mangled guitar and howling vocals (an acquired taste, granted, but us fans wouldn't have it any other way). Lyrically, its pretty despairing and the bruising opening track 'One Hundred Years' makes no sense structurally but the imagery is fantastic and it remains one of the finest songs Smith has ever written (indeed, one of the finest opening tracks on a record full-stop) Unbelievably, 'The Hanging Garden' was released as a single, but didn't do too well. No surprise really, it's a brilliant song but like everything else on this album completely uncommercial. This 2005 Re-master has been overseen personally by Robert Smith and he also handpicked the bonus tracks on the second CD. The original album has been polished to perfection - Those HUGE drums sound more ominous than ever - and if you're unsure about purchasing it for whatever reason, don't be. For all Robert Smith's genius at writing quirky, original pop songs like 'The Lovecats' 'In Between Days' or 'Close To Me' the darker side to The Cure is a side well worth investigating as it contains probably their best work. "Is it always like this?"
0Comment|2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
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.
0Comment|2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 31 May 2005
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.
0Comment|14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
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.
0Comment|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
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"..........
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
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.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.

Sponsored Links

  (What is this?)