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48 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The first classic album by The Cure
'Seventeen Seconds' was the first classic album by The Cure- a very different version of The Cure to that of 'Three Imaginary Boys' (though a few songs lead this way, 'Subway Song', 'TIB', 'Another Day'). Original-bassist Michael Dempsey left to join Associates (Robert Smith ironically performed backing-vocals on Associates debut-LP 'The Affectionate Punch'!)& the...
Published on 24 Mar 2005 by Jason Parkes

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Cure - Seventeen Seconds (Deluxe Edition)
This is the second album of the band and, in my opinion, better than the first. There are compositions and a more consistent style better defined. The instrumental part is better structured and Robert Smith vocals too. Most, perhaps, prefer "Three Imaginary Boys". It's a matter of taste. This version with the second album was not very happy because there are bad...
Published 19 months ago by Jose Henrique


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48 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The first classic album by The Cure, 24 Mar 2005
By 
Jason Parkes "We're all Frankies'" (Worcester, UK) - See all my reviews
(No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)   
'Seventeen Seconds' was the first classic album by The Cure- a very different version of The Cure to that of 'Three Imaginary Boys' (though a few songs lead this way, 'Subway Song', 'TIB', 'Another Day'). Original-bassist Michael Dempsey left to join Associates (Robert Smith ironically performed backing-vocals on Associates debut-LP 'The Affectionate Punch'!)& the Smith-Tolhurst unit expanded with the arrival of bassist (the timeless Simon Gallup) & brief-keyboardist (Matthieu Hartley). The songs had been becoming bleaker, Smith (the principal songwriter) influenced by 'Astral Weeks', Nick Drake, 'Low' & Joy Division began a trilogy of miserable albums that climaxed with the toxic 'Pornography.'
Smith had been exposed to many post-punk peers (The Banshees, Killing Joke, Wire) & this version of The Cure certainly belonged to that time of young men in long coats (The Bunnymen, Joy Division, The Sound). There are a few tracks that are more experimental, possibly in the second-side of 'Low'-vein- something like 'Three' could be contrasted to Joy Division's 'As You Said', or further back to Faust & Neu! The original 10-track album remains wonderful, the reissued cover reminding us of The Cure's anonymous image at the time (...everything was a blur...)- this album would be a favourite of Steve Albini's (his outfit Big Black would record a song 'Bad Houses' from 1986's 'Atomizer' that nodded towards this record).
I love every song, and have known this album since 1987, the remastering etc. obviously makes it sound even better. While the bonus-disc happily brings the great I'm a Cult Hero/I Dig You by The Cult Heroes (which I thought had been forgotten on the 'Three Imaginary Boys' reissue!)& some demo-alt versions that will appeal as much to Cure-fans as 1984's 'Curiosity.'
'Seventeen Seconds' always seemed to me a bit of a post-punk 'Dark Side of the Moon'- tracks like 'A Reflection', 'The Final Sound' & 'Three' setting a tone before other songs. The classic 'A Forest' is of course here; though since 'Wild Mood Swings'-era I've plumped more toward 'Play for Today', which has a gorgeous melancholy that could give way to something like 'In Between Days' or 'Just Like Heaven' at any second...A few songs seem quiet- 'Secrets' demonstrating that Joy Division were not alone (plagiarist noters note that Pere Ubu preceded Joy Division...). Even better is 'At Night' (title from a Kafka-piece found in Penguin's 'The Great Wall of China'), which quotes Franz's words exactly at several points ("someone has to be there"), so is therefore very 2004 in a Franz Ferdinand stylee!!!
'M' picks up from 'Three Imaginary Boys' - there is a pop-element to the DIY drones that stop/start; while 'In Your House' is another Cure-classic that was echoed last year with 'alt.end.' & the title track is so wonderful, you wonder why it doesn't get played very often by the band as say 'Faith', 'Disintegration', 'Three Imaginary Boys' or 'Pornography' does...
A wonderful reissue of a classic album, and I know I'm being a spoilsport with the whole Cure-renaissance-deal, but my favourites are 'Faith', 'Pornography' & this - all of which amongst reissues of 2005 and going to war with Judee Sill and Nine Inch Nails as we speak!!! I were only a nipper in 1980, but this be one of those records yow should purchase alongside 'Crocodiles', 'Closer', 'Ju-Ju', 'Killing Joke' & 'The Affectionate Punch.'
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best night driving album of all time., 15 May 2009
This review is from: Seventeen Seconds (Audio CD)
I believe that this is amongst the Cure's finest work, possibly a pinnacle. It was also the first Cure album I heard, and when I got it initially on vinyl it was in a two-album collection along with Faith. So I have always seen both excellent albums as two halves of a whole. Faith goes even bleaker, but both albums are the kind of medicine (or cure, I hate to say it!) for feeling bleak. If you're in that dark zone, this will comfort you and lift you. Heavy on drums. Obviously influenced by Bowie's 'Low', but with a voice of it's own. It is also excellent driving music for the long dark open road.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Arise, all ye Curists - this is the first great Cure album!!, 9 Jun 2005
By 
Steven T. Jarvis "Skarekrow" (Thanet, Kent) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This is a milestone album, transcending all their previous material, without making it appear any less than the brilliant work it is. There are few albums as stark, as emotionally desensitised and as soulfully raw as Seventeen Seconds; this was The Cure's moment of acendence from the vital and yet unformed post-punk kids, with big boots and bloody-nosed rock songs, to something unique, something unprecedented and something that ultimately re-modelled rock music altogether. This is a barren and desolate wilderness of cold, heart stopping rock music and it is a clarion call to those who were dying under the stagnating sun, indifference and apathy of post punk fall-out.

The Three Imaginary Boys had added to their number for this outing and Mathieu Hartley's keyboard gave a new depth to the already metamorphosising triad of Smith Gallup and Tolhurst. There can be no argument that the remixed and re-astered "Delux" edition only enhances it's pre-existing brilliance and standing as a classic album of it's time: the second disk, is a treasure trove of hidden, if not undiscovered, masterpieces and is a unequivocal example of the band's unparalleled brilliance and is an experience that no true "Curist" should ever miss out on.

I find myself totally immersed in the moment of my own desolation, in the desperate moment - just me and The Cure, . A Play For Today, Secrets and At Night are yet more examples of Smith's poetic brilliance and the band's unusual of not unique musically talent. All that and you are still to hear Disk 2; what a marvel - I'm A Cult Hero is a superb example of The Cure's roots and a reflection of their astounding progress.

In addition to rerities, such as "Im a Cult Hero", "Another Journey By Train" and "I Dig You", the live and demo tracks from Seventeen Seconds itself are just so vital and so delightfully harsh. This is not the product of a pop band trying to be cool, this is a outstanding example of a Rock Band succeeding at being so good that their ever step on the path becomes a landmark for others to acknowledge and pay homage to. This album laid the foundations for The Cure's further successes, which now exist in the annals of musical legend and in the hearts and souls of all Curists!

Personally, I just can't wait for the Delux Edition of Head Of The Door. Can you??!!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just My Review....., 22 May 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Seventeen Seconds (Audio CD)
Still capturing the more accessible pop elements and angular post-punk leanings of Three Imaginary Boys, Seventeen Seconds marks a move toward the despair for which the band would become best known. The tempos are slowed down considerably, and the addition of subtle synthesizers to minimalist arrangements builds a darkly evocative atmosphere of depression.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The bleak and droning roots of what went on to become 'Goth', 24 Sep 2011
By 
This review is from: Seventeen Seconds (Audio CD)
The Cure's "Seventeen Seconds" is a kind of 'proto-Goth' calling card, the point where spikey, jumpy late Seventies New Wave starts to transform itself into the genre of Gothic rock that so characterised much of the Eighties. Here the energetic, boisterous New Wave Cure slows to an introspective, self-pitying and anxiety-ridden sulk, permanently indulging an adolescent fixation with the morbid and macabre. By now Robert Smith and his not so happy band are sounding like the Buzzcocks on Mogadon.

The nightmarish classic single taken from this album "A Forest" is a perfect blueprint for student bedsit angst; in my mind it is the greatest thing The Cure ever delivered, sublime in its ability to evoke in music a taut, tense state of dread. The other tracks can't match this panic-stricken epic and on first hearing could be easily dismissed as inferior variations on the same theme, with lots of repetitive, plodding drum patterns, snatches of discordant piano and Robert Smith's trademark weary vocal laments.

The sleeve to "Seventeen Seconds" sums up the music within very well - downbeat, doomy and dank. There's little in the way of contrast or colour, just a relentless grey dirge-like procession of melancholy. Yet believe me, compared to the onslaught of anguish in what was to follow a couple of year's later in "Pornography", this album is a stroll in the park. It does make you wonder though. All this gloom... maybe that is what living in the tedium of suburban (Creepy) Crawley did to the young mind of Robert Smith and his glum chums. Still, "Seventeen Seconds" promised great things for the rest of the decade - and The Cure didn't disappoint.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Album by the Cure, 17 Nov 2000
By 
This review is from: Seventeen Seconds (Audio CD)
There is just one problem with this album - it's far too short. This album cuts straight to the pure emotion that Robert Smith has been trying to relay ever since. If you are a fan of Disintergration or tracks like Primary you will revel in the clean noise generated by these few short tracks
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Cure....., 9 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Seventeen Seconds (Audio CD)
I would have given this record a 5 star rating, but, The final sound is a pointless under a minute track that needn't have been added to a otherwise brilliant album!! A classic cure album with some truly great tracks...A Forest, M, Play for today...............
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4.0 out of 5 stars Can't see the wood for the trees?, 25 Jun 2013
This review is from: Seventeen Seconds (Audio CD)
The title of this review is deliberately meant to refer to the single - 'A Forest' which although probably a little on the long for some tastes as a single, remains a classic. When I first heard it I could not believe it (this CD) was actually The Cure as they had already been written off as dross. Referring to the title of this album 17 seconds was about as much as I could stand. But this CD is just so brilliantly spookey with an almost etherial quality. This is not meant as a criticism but the monotony of the druming adds an almost hypnotic quality. Never really liked The Cure as you have probably already gathered and for the most part still don't and never will but this is a bit of a one off and seems to spend a lot of time in my CD player.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A for Atmosphere, 31 Aug 2012
By 
Lee Hanley (London, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Seventeen Seconds (MP3 Download)
I remember listening to this (as a vinyl album then) when it first came out at my friend John's flat in Sheffield. The Cure were very much of the Punk and New Wave movement at the time but it was clear even then that they were way beyond those genres.

Several decades later I was slowly pulled back into the music of that era with an unatural urge to hear The Cure's Disintegration album. I am now going back to the beginning collecting the early material and it is suprising to find that it dates really well.

If you have lost sight of this great band then I would recommend the new material as much as I would the early classics. This is one of those, a very atmospheric album created through its emphasis on sparse instruments which are rich in tone.
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5.0 out of 5 stars No escaping Joy Division in 1980, 25 Jun 2010
By 
Martin (Sunny Surrey) - See all my reviews
Don't get me wrong,I really like this album,but s with a lot of albums of this time(even OMD)the ghost of Joy Division looms large.Whether due to everyone having the same effects and equipment or not it has that classic bass heavy sound.Still ,thumbs up for the Cult Hero tracks which I'd forgotten about,old Bob's always had a sense of humour buried inside him
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Seventeen Seconds-Deluxe-
Seventeen Seconds-Deluxe- by The Cure (Audio CD - 2012)
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