4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pornography still rocks
I still love 'Pornography' after all these years.There is much to be said for an album that starts with the line 'Doesn't matter if we all die!' and cheerfully informs us that, 'In a high building there is so much to do'. 'Strange Days' is an absolute goth floor-filler and we danced in the darkness loving every single second of it! Probably my favourite Cure album and...
Published on 27 Aug 2011 by Charlotte Sometimes
4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great album ruined
Pornography is a great album by a fine band.
Unfortunately, if you listen on anything that passes for a decent system, the re-mastered version is painfully bad. Whoever was responsible for the sound quality must be deaf - such a shame.
Probably OK on a portable/car/budget system, but real hi-fi fans should get the original.
Published on 22 Nov 2009 by A. C. Brand
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pornography still rocks,
I still love 'Pornography' after all these years.There is much to be said for an album that starts with the line 'Doesn't matter if we all die!' and cheerfully informs us that, 'In a high building there is so much to do'. 'Strange Days' is an absolute goth floor-filler and we danced in the darkness loving every single second of it! Probably my favourite Cure album and forms a nice, notional trilogy with 'Faith' and '17 Seconds'.
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest post-punk albums ever,
I never rated the Cure when they first started. All that stuff about jumping other people's trains, killing middle-easterners and not crying 'cos you're a boy didn't do much for me.
However a mate persuaded me to go and see them on the "Faith" tour and I was blown away. Bought "Faith" the next day and, when "Pornography" came out, I just had to have it (made even better by the childish pleasure of asking my parents to buy me "Pornography" for my birthday).
I loved "Faith" and I loved Joy Division, the Banshees, and the rest of the post-punk crowd, but this was something else.
With an opening line of "It doesn't matter if we all die" and a closing line of "I must fight this sickness, find a cure", and a whole range of (un)healthy emotions and obsessions explored inbetween, this was just the thing to listen to for those of us who didn't buy into the emptiness of New Pop and the Thatcher Dream. Lots of people thought it was morbid and depressing - more fool them. It made us feel more alive than ever.
And as for the music ... you'll find no better soundtrack to a slasher movie scripted by William Burroughs and Jean-Paul Sartre than this. Now if only someone would make that movie.
More than 20 years on, I bought it again on CD. It was just as good as before, in fact if anything better for now being out of its historical context.
A timeless record. Now, where's my lipstick and face paint......
24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The shock of what was new,
It's a shame in a way that nowadays this album seems to fit in with a vast amount of similarly aggressive and agonising music. On it's release it was the first of it's kind and to describe its impact as harrowing would be a serious understatement.
Seminal it undoubtably was but where other bands strive to achieve the same effect they fail because 'Pornography' is so sincere. Only Nirvana reached the level of outright desperation that brutally stabs out of this recording. But cacophony in itself is not enough. These are really great songs produced by a man who was driving himself way too hard.
In amongst the relentlessly attacking sound, evidence of a great songwriter emerges in moments of astonishing beauty. This is why the Cure's more recent releases fail. Smith was still discovering his ability and wrote as a man in some kind of genuine purgatory. Now, he's wealthy and comfortable and no matter how hard he digs, the well of desparate memories and wondrous revelations have run dry.
So considering it's utterly uncompromising sound it's not surprising that this shocking album didn't sell on release. It left people either stunned (like watching someone having a nervous breakdown at a party) or alienated, after all, it's predecessors were low key and fanciful in comparison.
It marked a change in Smith's life. Although the following album had it's moments of crushing beauty he moved firmly into the land of the 'Lovecats', commercial success and some kind of weird happiness. And unlike Kurt Cobain there really was a happy ending.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An English Masterpiece...,
There are a few great English things which I truly recommend to anyone in their teens. 'Oh, whistle and I'll come to you, my lad' by M R James (watch the BBC version if reading isn't your thing). The first Clash and Dexys albums. And this. Completely uncompromising, cathartic. Still leaves me breathless.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Relentless Album,
I should start by saying it has taken me nearly 25 years to love this album. A friend introduced me to The Cure in 1987 and I loved them. 17 Seconds is still one of my favourite albums of all time. I got hold of all the albums and loved them all instantly except this one. I just could not get on with it - too dirty, too noisy and too intense. I don't think it helped that I had a second hand tape of the album which I remember sounding so murky it was difficult to listen to.
When the remastered albums came out I decided to finally replace my old tape and LP versions of the early albums (yes I still listen to tapes - you can look them up on Wikipedia) and bought Pornography to give it another try - and was completely blown away!
How did I miss the incredible beauty of this album all those years ago. The relentless pounding drums - so high in the mix they feel like they are in your head. The intensity of Smith's lyrics, the wonderful guitar and keyboard tunes. And then the overwhelming experience of the final track. Distorted backwards voices like an ESP recording and TV and film voices heard through a wall with the most relentless repetitive drum pattern of all overlaid with slab like keyboards and feedback guitars - wonderful!
This album is not an easy listen - but it is truly wonderfully unnlike anything else you have heard.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the last blast,
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
coming at a time when punk rock and new wave was being strangled be newglamromantisicko 80s pop crap(spandau ballet, duran duran yuk!), the cure were becoming increasingly black.each album was better, darker, than the previous. this was not 'goth', this was undefinable unique and always uplifting, much in the same way as joy division's 'closer', or killing joke's self named debut. unfortunately this was the last of this particularly brilliant period. 'pornography' and 'faith' gave way to the more sales inspired , though not bland, poptunes like 'lovecats'. i have continued to marvel at this pulsing, mesmerising genius of an album since it was first released, and it is still fresh, and inspiring. this is the cure.
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite Cure album,
"Pornography" by the Cure is definately my favourite album by one of the most inspriational bands to come out of England. This totally redefines "goth" music and is really one of the only Cure albums to really capture a strong picture of the dark side of the band. Most people associate The Cure as a band that writes catchy tuneful pop songs, but for a glimpse of Robert Smith at his darkest i would totally reccomend this. Dont get me wrong, i love the catchy melodies and hooks from songs off latter albums, but I will always hold this album up high as a favourite. It is bleak as sin and dark as hell.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A dark masterpiece,
"Gothic rock" isn't easy music to listen to. Put on a CD of "My Dying Bride" or anything this side of the more synthesizer-heavy "Bauhaus"-like goth music and most of us will find ourselves struggling to make it to the end track without at least taking a break to sniff some flowers or something.
Dark, depressing and dramatic, "Pornography" will come as a shock to the system for anybody who associates Robert Smith with "Friday I'm in love". Each of The Cure's 'phases' have produced great music, peaking with 1989's epic "Disintegration", but Pornography represents by far the darkest place The Cure have visited.
Opening with the heart-stopping "One Hundred Years", Smith opens with the line "Doens't matter if we all die", and the tone for the album is set. Smith, Gallup and Tolhurst will walk you through the valley of the shadow of death without so much as a stop to catch your breath.
If "Friday I'm in love" or The Cure's other happy-go-lucky material is your bag (I'll admit, it's also my bag, I love everything they've done) then buying this may be a huge mistake. On the other hand, it could be one of the best musical purchases you make. Dark, powerful goth rock which is actually worth listening to.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark and Ugly,
The Cure are a band of many faces, and 1982's `Pornography' is one of the ugliest. Recorded during a time of band turmoil and drug abuse, the results are abrasive and punishing, but not without their charms. One particularly note-worthy aspect of this album is the way it is mixed. Most albums are mixed in such a way as to accommodate the various instruments within the song. On `Pornography', an instrument will come into the mix as loudly as possible, and then stay that way as everything else is packed on top of it. So, drums pound mercilessly, bass grinds and throbs, and guitars swirl and churn, all at odds with each other, but also strangely complimentary.
The mood of the album is dark and heavy, and it feels as though some kind of emotional battle is being played out throughout the grooves of the record. Despair and hopelessness are key themes to the album, and many of the songs feature disturbing imagery about being trapped in certain circumstances, but being powerless to do anything about it.
But, as with everything about the Cure, first appearances are often disturbing. Yes, the album is heavy and oppressive, but it is also melodic and inventive. All of these songs (with the exception of the title track) have very memorable tunes. `The Hanging Garden', a harrowing and disturbing song, actually managed to be a chart hit for the Cure when it was released as a single, which give some idea of how the band managed to make their brand of misery accessible.
The other highlights on the album are the opening track, `One Hundred Years', which sets the scene perfectly for the rest of the album, conjuring up a palatable sense of dread, and the churning, spiralling guitar part from `A Strange Day' which always threatens to go over the edge, but somehow never does.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A quality of its own...,
This is the Cure's best album, there is no denying that; it also their most impenetrable, especially for the casual listener and to those new to the band. If you are coming to the Cure from their later releases - such as "Disintegration", "Kiss me" or even "Head on" - then you might be in for a shock.
It's hardly surprising that this record appealed to me when I was a teenager. It is loud and filled with a superficial layer of anger and angst that suit persons of the teenage disposition. However, when you strip away these superficial references you are left with a piece of work that is infinitly better than the sum of its parts. This is an album with long term appeal.
The multitude of cultural and political references spewed out within the first track, 'One hundred years', are simply overwhelming. The rigid, martial staccato drum patterns (mostly played by Robert Smith, I understand) set the percussive mood for the rest of the record. The many references to the ultimate political tool are surely not coincidental, and are very relevant in our own troubled times.
The tangible insanity contained within 'Short term effect' and 'Siamese twins' is perhaps the most disturbing element within the first side of this record. This has personal resonance.
Side two opens with the exceptional 'Figurehead', the meaning of which continues to intrigue me over twenty years later. Smith has a wonderfull way of capturing my imagination with diverse subject matter; for instance Chinese art and American girls. The gently applied reverb/ echo effect is also noteworthy.
The closing track 'Pornography' deserves special mention. The subject matter remains distrubing and relentless to the very end and is a million miles distant from images of Perrelli calender girls wrestling in body lotion (sic). A very powerful song.
Although I've highlighted Smith's songwriting, and the wonderfully martial quality of the drumming, I should also direct praise towards Simon Gallup's bass playing - brilliant. Smith's guitar playing; a mixture of (Fender) Jaguar barritone and more typical Fender (tones) equally stands out.
If you already own the Cure's more mainstream recordings, I would recommend "Pornography". However, I would caveat my recommendation: you need to give this record time to get under your skin - you will be rewarded.
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