Current listening: The Cure “Hey You”

Once they were popular. Then they were not. They have always ploughed their own furrow and have arguably never received the credit they are due. If Robert Smith had died in 1989 they would undoubtedly now be revered as one of the most innovative and interesting groups of the 1980s. They are certainly on a par with Joy Division New Order or even The Smiths but are never feted as such. They have never stood still. Try listening to their punky debut single Killing An Arab next to the beats and guitars of Wrong Number from the nineteen nineties. Contrast The Forest from 1980, possibly their greatest moment (although there are so many to choose from), with Friday I’m In Love a jangly indie disco classic from 1989 – you could almost be listening to two completely different groups but both songs are full of those distinct but indefinable Cureisms. I love them.

Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me from 1987 was the point at which they went mainstream, with a good bunch of out and out pop classics feelgood bouncers and horn topped dance tunes with even latin influences in amongst the more traditional bleak but melodic tracks. They had hitherto been popular with the sixth form crowd and students – up there with Joy Division, Echo and the Bunnymen, The Teardrop Explodes and latterly The Smiths as on every greatcoat wearing 17 year old’s playlist. I suspect that after this record a lot of their followers might have despaired at the sheer commerciality of this record and the follow up Disintegration, but in my view nothing was lost. 20 odd tracks but not a wasted moment. Just Like Heaven was / is a classic and the sheer joy of the balearic classic Why Can’t I Be You ? a contender for my favourite track off the record.

Hey You ? is another short jaunty positive happy song which puts a smile on my face. “Hey You, yes you, yes you the one that looks like Christmas, come over here and kiss me, kiss me” No-one could listen to this and not smile.


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