Smurfing Sing Song

Wait… That’s a Cover?! – “You’re a Pink Toothbrush” by The Smurfs

I had stacks of records as a kid. Some of them made sense, like the single about taking a walk down Alphabet Street, the street with 26 houses. Others not so much, like a random single for “Tie a Yellow Ribbon” by Tony Orlando and Dawn. We were big MASH fans, what can I say? I guess our house was just too mellow for Edwin Starr’s “War”. Anyway, with myriad options available for my listening enjoyment, one album rose to the top of the heap and logged several hours of playtime on my Fisher Price rig. And no, I’m not talking about the debut album from the Rock-afire Explosion. At this point those guys were still playing smoky pizza joints searching for their big break. The record I speak of was Smurfing Sing Song by the Smurfs released in 1980.

Smurfing Sing Song Cover

Smurfing Sing Song Back

The album was riddled with songs that would get stuck in your head for days. One track, however, went beyond being a minor nuisance and actually began to haunt me. It was written from the perspective of a toothbrush who had just discovered the love of his life. It was titled “You’re a Pink Toothbrush” and it chronicled the unrequited romantic affection felt by one lonely toothbrush toward a newcomer to the bathroom. I had always assumed this was an original tune, but recently learned the shocking truth about its origin. It’s actually a cover of an old song from the 1950s made famous by performer Max Bygraves. Damn, now I know what Millennials must feel like every time they discover a new song, tv show, or movie.

Here are both versions of the song along with the lyrics. I like to give credit where credit is due. Anyway, I need to track down a 45 of the original now because that’s the kind of OCD I’m cursed with each day.

You’re a Pink Toothbrush

(Irving Halfin / Dick James / David Ruvin)
Max Bygraves – 1955

You’re a pink toothbrush
I’m a blue toothbrush
Have we met somewhere before
You’re a pink toothbrush
And I think, toothbrush
That we met by the bathroom door

Glad to meet, toothbrush
Such a sweet toothbrush
How you thrill me through and through
Don’t be hard, toothbrush
On a soft toothbrush
‘Cause I can’t help loving you

Ev’ry time I hear you whistle
(Whistling)
It makes my nylon bristle
(Whistling)

You’re a pink toothbrush
I’m a blue toothbrush
Won’t you marry me in haste
I’ll be true, toothbrush
Just to you, toothbrush
When we both use the same toothpaste

(Instrumental Break)

Ev’ry time I hear you whistle
(Whistling)
It makes my nylon bristle
(Whistling)

You’re a pink toothbrush
I’m a blue toothbrush
Won’t you marry me in haste
I’ll be true, toothbrush
Just to you, toothbrush
When we both use the same toothpaste

Rock-afire Explosion

My Birthday with The Rock-afire Explosion

Looking back, there are three birthday parties from my childhood that stand out in my mind. The earliest one being my McDonald’s party. Yep, before today’s numerous birthday party options became available many parents just set aside some time at the local burger joint. And you know what? It was awesome. We played games, one of which involved trying to drop straws into a paper cup from a predetermined height, we ate burgers, and we just sort of ran around the place. Hey, it was a simpler time. The next memory would have to be my skating rink party. After all, it was the 80s and that was what we did. I remember trying not to fall down, and I remember the arcade games that were available. Double Dragon seemed so cool, edgy, and adult to my little 8-year-old eyes. Lastly but not leastly, I remember my Showbiz Pizza birthday party and the robotic rock band that melted my face as I munched on my slice of pepperoni with cheese, The Rock-afire Explosion!

Rock-afire Explosion Logo

After my party, I remember becoming obsessed with the animatronic band. I even tried to create my own makeshift robots in my bedroom to no avail. After giving up on a future in robotics, the art student in me eventually decided to simply draw each band member’s likeness on paper grocery sacks. I would then convert these sacks into costumes I could wear by cutting out arm holes, eye holes and a mouth hole. A photograph exists of me and my sister wearing these abominations, but since I wish to remain on speaking terms with my sister, I’ve decided to withhold them from the site.

Anyway, getting back to the party, I was the birthday boy so that meant I was to be presented with a free gift from the house. I think you can guess what I probably received, right? After all, if it was a rubber coin purse displaying the Showbiz Pizza logo or some such nonsense, I probably wouldn’t be writing this post. Indeed friends, it was the premiere album from what I had just decided was “like, totally my favorite band of all time”! Behold dear reader… Gee, Our 1st Album by the Rock-afire Explosion on vinyl!

I don’t think a day went by in the late-80s where I didn’t spin this bad boy on my small Fisher Price record player. I’m convinced this album is what first introduced me to the music of Billy Joel, The Doors, and Elvis Presley. So, I owe it a lot actually. Thankfully someone was able to digitally preserve this classic and post it up for the common good on YouTube as well. Enjoy!

One More Thing

If you were also obsessed with the Rock-afire Explosion as a child, I must direct you to the following documentary. It tells the story of a small town disc-jockey who acquired his own Rock-afire Explosion, and then tweaked things a bit to have them perform new set lists. It’s a bit of a bummer, but it beautifully illustrates the urge we all feel to remain young and to keep certain things from our own childhood alive. It’s well worth a watch.

Official Site: http://www.rockafiremovie.com

Feel free to share your childhood birthday memories in the comments section below as well!

Dark Wave to the Rescue! Part 4

I sure hope I’m right about finding solace in the abyss because that’s exactly where The Cure’s 1982 release Pornography fixes its gaze. To those only familiar with The Cure’s radio friendly releases, I say buckle in. Robert Smith is about to give us an education. People don’t toss around the term “goth” when speaking of The Cure because the band once wrote a song about falling in love on a Friday. The band won that moniker because they put together this freaky little musical suicide note and scared the crap out of suburban moms and dads everywhere. Let’s proceed, shall we?

January and February with The Cure’s Pornography

As the dead of winter lowers my seasonal depression to a critical level, I reach for my copy of Pornography and once again drink in the album art. I see the band’s name in a new typeface along with the album title, Pornography. Below this information, I find a nightmarish image of the band. Reds, violets, and blacks dominate the color palette. Fitting for an album about death and sorrow, no? The visuals let the listener know immediately that Robert Smith wanted this album to be an unbearable experience. It dabbles in the obscene and finds a fitting name in Pornography. Its lyrics exploit and expose. Its instrumentation is chilling and unrelenting. It quickly becomes apparent that this recording was crafted by a man well acquainted with depression and personal suffering.

So… are you ready to dig in?! I should note, if you think we are going to be able to ease into this one, you are wrong. The album’s first song is about to repeatedly beat you about the face with your own mortality for six minutes and forty-one seconds.

One Hundred Years

It doesn’t matter if we all die.” What a way to start things off, right? Pornography goes beyond Faith’s fearful realization that death is imminent. Instead, it opts to hurl itself toward its own demise willingly at 90 miles an hour. The opening track, “One Hundred Years”, begins with an up tempo drum beat and then launches into a bending guitar riff, packed with enough sustain to make Nigel Tufnel jealous. In January, everything has a tendency to seem pointless to me. I never want to start anything new, always hoping the motivation will eventually arrive when the weather improves. “One Hundred Years” is a song that helps me pass the time and survive the “everything is futile” phase of my depression. “Over and over we die. One after the other. One after the other. One after the other.

A Short Term Effect

“A Short Term Effect” is written from the perspective of a man ready to die. Burial analogies run rampant, along with an analogy referencing a radio or television set that is no longer receiving a signal. “Cover me with earth. Draped in black. Static white sound.” It’s also impossible to escape the nods to suicide. The lyrics depict a harrowing scene of a friend finding a lifeless body of a loved one. “Scream as she tries to push him over. Helpless and sick. Jump, jump, dance and sing.” Here we see some poor soul begging the universe to once again reanimate the recently deceased. While I’ve never entertained suicidal thoughts, I’ve certainly had my dismal moments. Most often, early winter seems to trigger these thoughts for me.

The Figurehead

Robert Smith has said in an interview that this song is about guilt. In “The Figurehead” we find a man on the edge, feeling as if he can never be redeemed for his past sins. “I will never be clean again.” The song also illustrates those moments where depression and guilt can break the mind, causing the afflicted to act a bit nutty. “I laughed in the mirror for the first time in a year.” As the new year begins, I too find myself thinking of the poor decisions I’ve made or things I’ve done that have hurt people in unimaginable ways. “The Figurehead” captures the unclean feelings that often overwhelm me, and it reminds me that I am not alone in my grief.

Cold

The instrumentation for “Cold” gives off an evil vibe. The lyrics once again deal with death, this time seeming to focus on the death of a loved one. “A shallow grave. A monument to the ruined age. Ice in my eyes, and eyes like ice don’t move. Screaming at the moon. Another pastime. Your name, like ice into my heart.” This song is a perfect fit for the chill of late February with its many references to ice and the coldness of death.

Pornography

The last album of The Cure’s dark trilogy fittingly ends with another title track, “Pornography”. Wow, this song is unsettling! It begins with garbled voice recordings. It’s hard to make out what is being said and often some of the speech sounds reversed. Strange scratches and scrapes ring out and an overall feeling of uneasiness grows in the heart of the listener. Is this what death is like? Holy crap, are we dying?! I’m honestly not sure if I’ve ever survived all six and half minutes of this track.

Anyway, the speech fades out and we are met with a tribal sounding drum beat. It sounds as if a horde of demons is coming from the shadows to carry us away to the devil’s inner sanctum. We eventually hear voices again, shouts, and maybe animal noises? About three minutes in we realize there is a synth bed playing in the background as we are being marched to our doom… and then Robert Smith sings. He sings of death, suicide and the vanity of existence. “In books, and films, and in life, and in heaven, the sound of slaughter. One more day like today and I’ll kill you. A desire for flesh and real blood. I’ll watch you drown in the shower.” As dark as this all sounds, the song resolves in sort of a hopeful way. I find this small glimmer of light inspiring as I sit in late February, wondering if spring will ever come. Robert concludes by showing that he still has an inner determination to persevere. “I must fight this sickness. Find a cure. I must fight this sickness.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this series dealing with my personal struggles with SAD and greatness of The Cure’s early 80s trilogy. Please check out these records if you haven’t. I glean something new from them with each listen.

Dark Wave to the Rescue! Part 3

Halloween has come and gone with only piles of leftover candy to show for itself. It’s now early November, the leaves are for the most part on the ground, and the trees in the yard are becoming nothing more than giant collections of sticks. I respond by eating said leftover candy, grow to hate myself for having consumed it, and stare at the crunchy leaf carcasses scattered about the lawn. The next phase of my seasonal depression has officially begun: the phase where I realize I might not live forever after all. My poor eating choices, coupled with this seasonal reminder from nature, make this fact very apparent. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was an album that could help me explore the realization that death is unavoidable? I’m happy to report that I know of just such a record, The Cure’s 1981 release, Faith. Let’s take a look, shall we?

November and December with The Cure’s Faith

I remove my copy of Faith from the record shelf, and I am met with yet another cryptic image. This time, I see what appears to be a black and white photo revealing the vague outline of a church building with a small patch of grass in the foreground. The band logo used during the early 80s appears once again, this time in black. The album’s title is displayed in lowercase letters that seem to hover beneath the logo as if floating in a thick fog. I’m immediately filled with a sense of dread. In my mind’s eye, I find myself adding in a churchyard cemetery. I play the album’s opening track “The Holy Hour” and prepare myself for Robert Smith’s crisis of faith set to music.

The Holy Hour

I’m a sucker for a good bass riff, and this track starts with a bass line that instantly pulls me into the song. The drums kick in along with a synthesized gonging sound that rings out over and over behind each instrumental phrase. When the lyrics begin, they speak of a graveside service. One by one the attendees pay their respects and slip away into the night. Robert is left listening, as if in a dream, to the promises of salvation that were made during the service. As Robert eventually rises to leave, he shares a sentiment that brings the first hint of the faith crisis that will plague him throughout Faith. “I stand and hear my voice cry out. A wordless scream at ancient power, it breaks against stone.” As I listen, my depressed thoughts drift to the dead leaves and brown grass of early November. Thoughts of my lost loved ones arise as well, and I share his inner turmoil. It’s easy to dwell on how everything eventually passes away. Why must it be this way?

Other Voices

My depression, often being of the seasonal variety, ramps up at year’s end. Even if I find joy in sharing a meal with extended family, or being with a large group of friends, there is always a looming discomfort that comes from such gatherings. It’s amazing how I can feel so isolated even while surrounded by those I care about most. Robert captures this sentiment nicely in one line from the album’s third track, “Other Voices”. “But I live with desertion and eight million people. Distant noises. Other voices.

All Cats are Grey

I’m not going to lie. I’ve always gravitated toward this song, and feel the need to include it for one simple reason: I have a grey cat. It’s my personal opinion that grey cats are the best cats to have around. Do I have a detailed list of reasons to back up that claim? Nope. I just wanted to make a bold statement and move on. For me, the synth intro to “All Cats are Grey” conjures up a mental image of a snow covered mountain side in early winter. Robert, stranded within a cave, sings about the discovery of death. “I never thought that I would find myself in bed amongst the stones.

The Funeral Party

“The Funeral Party” deals with the loss of a loved one. Lyrically it reflects on the life the person lived and the void their death will create in the lives of those that remain. At year’s end, I often find myself ruminating over those I’ve lost throughout the course of my lifetime. I often saturate myself with memories shared over the holiday season and think of the positive influences I have lost forever. A sinister church organ pounds out the chords that lead us into “The Funeral Party”. The notes hit hard and offer us little comfort in return.

Faith

Like its predecessor, Seventeen Seconds, Faith wraps up with a title track. Powerfully written, “Faith” is a song in which anyone can find solace. We will all experience the cliched “dark night of the soul” at some point. It’s part of the human experience. In the final song, Robert Smith describes a conversation with someone he holds dear. Phrases such as “please, say the right words” cut deep. We see the agony of someone reaching out for anyone to make sense of life’s pain. The album’s arguments rest in the conclusion that in order to persevere we must all continue on in faith. There is really nothing more we can do. Smith sings, “I went away alone, with nothing left but faith.

Next up, we tackle January and February with The Cure’s 1982 release Pornography.

MTV logo

What Ever Happened to Dig?

DigAnyone who watched MTV in the early 90s will undoubtedly remember Buzz Clips. These videos were often in heavy rotation on the channel and largely consisted of new and noteworthy alternative rock acts. Buzz Clips caught the eye of many young high schoolers, myself included, who were eager to get a guitar, save up for a fuzz box, and make mom move the LeSabre from the garage so the guys could come over and “practice”.

One band that made its way into the Buzz Bin, was Southern California’s Dig. Formed by Scott Hackwith and guitarist Dix Denney, the band recorded their self-titled debut album in 1993. It spawned one hit single “Believe” which landed them a place in Buzz clip history and even earned the group appearances on MTV’s The John Stewart Show and NBC’s Late Night with Conan O’Brien.

Strangely enough, if you try to find any of the band’s albums for sale digitally, or even attempt to stream their albums from your streaming service of choice, you’ll notice there isn’t much available. The band was somehow lost in the shuffle after the alternative rock boom of the early 90s took the dirt nap. In order to get a copy of the debut album today you have to find a used one online, or stumble into a used record store in real life and hope you get lucky. I’ll be honest, that last part sounds kind of fun. Still though, it’s sad that the band’s music isn’t widely available. That’s what the Internet is supposed to be good for, right? I swear, Internet, the one time I go lookin’ and you let me down.

I know what you’re probably thinking. “Well, most of that 90s rock was crap. All the bands sounded the same. And that Dig record, the one with the video on MTV, probably wasn’t that great to begin with. I mean, you only mentioned that one song.”

But that’s just it, the album Dig released via Radioactive in 1993 was actually pretty good. Solid even. I struggle to think of a throwaway track. Now, I should mention you do need to calibrate your expectations a bit when listening. Dial it in for “distorted-stoner-SoCal-rock-circa-1990” and you’ll be fine. We’re not talking Pet Sounds or anything here folks.

Anyway I think someone has posted the self-titled album on YouTube, but that’s about it for its digital availability. Check it out if you can, or like the good old days, hunt it down in the wild. At the very least it’ll build character.

Seventeen Seconds

Dark Wave to the Rescue! Part 2

It’s Labor Day weekend in the States, football is back and everyone is getting ready to tailgate. And what do I do? I reach for my vinyl copy of the Cure’s 1980 release, Seventeen Seconds. I hold the pressing in my battle-scarred hands and gaze at the cover art. I’m presented with the logo the band used in its early years seated atop an obscured photograph. To me, the image looks like the view from behind a rain smudged windshield in late summer. You see, I have a knack for getting the maximum number of wipes out of a set of wiper blades. I’m often presented with a similar looking greasy smear when precipitation levels are just low enough to warrant wipers but not really strong enough to wash away grime and maintain a clear field of vision. This happenstance most often occurs in early September after the aquatic onslaught of spring and summer comes to a close. Feelings of failure begin to instantaneously brew in my gut, and my inner rage boils over regarding these small, inanimate objects. The early warning signs of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) have started up once again. Help me Robert Smith. You’re my only hope. Once I’ve mumbled a few PG-rated obscenities, I slip the disc out of it’s protective sleeve, place it on the turntable, and drop the needle.

The Cure’s Seventeen Seconds – September to October

What follows is a listing of key songs from The Cure’s sophomore release, Seventeen Seconds. You’ll find my notes regarding the proper date/time/situational pairing peppered into each section. Consider it a little guidebook for following my seasonal depression at home or on the go.

A Reflection

The album begins with an instrumental track that kicks off my annual descent into darkness. “A Reflection” starts with a synthesized pulsating sound subtly ticking away the seconds. Life is passing us by. Good thing Robert is about to explain how meaningless it all is! We hear simple guitar chords ring out over a sorrowful, single note piano melody. The chords eventually resolve in a way that almost sounds hopeful, but trust me, that’s not where things are heading. It’s early autumn, leaves are starting to fall, and much like the notes of the piano melody, my inner sense of well-being descends as well.

A Play for Today

I’m especially fond of this one because who among us doesn’t run dialogue inside his or her head before testing it out in real life? My poor, beleaguered wife is leading lady in all of my internal screenplays. I hand craft each word to painstaking detail, but nevertheless she always likes to improvise. Actors, am I right? In this set of lyrics, Smith bathes in his flaws and expresses apathy toward making any personal improvements. He emphasizes his partner’s constant need for him to be more than what he’s capable of being. He anticipates her words and deeds offering only apathy in return. “It’s not a case of doing what’s right. It’s just the way I feel that matters. Tell me I’m wrong. I don’t really care.” I see this as the classic tale of a summer romance turned sour. The perfect emotional cocktail for early September! Things will only grow colder and deader from here. As strange as it may sound, I get a cozy feeling from knowing that someone else is imperfect and that someone else behaves in this manner. I get some kind of “I’m-not-a-maniac-after-all” validation from it.

In Your House

This part might sound unflattering or even strange coming from a fan, but dear LORD is this track boring! I believe that if seasonal depression had a soundtrack, it would sure as hell contain the lifeless drum beats repeated throughout this song. The incessant thumping makes me feel instantly disengaged and soulless. I like to tell myself that Robert Smith was going for this sensation as he developed these songs with the band. It certainly mirrors how I feel in late September. Things at that time of year seem to just plod along, taking me with them. Lyrically we get Robert walking through someone’s house in a milky haze. He likens it to swimming. The point of view is purposely detached. “I play at night in your house. I live another life. Pretending to swim in your house. I change the time in your house. The hours I take go so slow.” The hours do move slowly my man, but thankfully this little tune is over in about four minutes.

The Final Sound

All I can say about this one… ever had a bit too much to drink… in a room filled with musical instruments and a recording device? No? Well, if you ever do find yourself in such a position, “The Final Sound” is what you’d discover the next morning when you press “play” on the night before. For me, late September reeks of this kind of frustrated desperation.

A Forest

“A Forest” is one of the most popular songs The Cure ever recorded. Often played live, this one is a real crowd pleaser. It has everything. Creepy lyrics, a driving bass line, and a drum beat to which you can actually dance! It tells the story of a man lost in the woods, searching for the girl he will never find. A “boo scary” vibe permeates the recording which has helped me establish a strong mental connection between this song and October. Even though it’s intense, I’ve listened to “A Forest” so many times that it now has a calming effect on me. It’s like a classic horror flick. The kind you’ve grown familiar with and can now put on to help you fall asleep.

At Night

Let me paint a picture for you. It’s late October and you’re an adult, so I mean, Halloween isn’t really what it used to be. Perhaps you’re running a random errand in your car: it’s dark, and the air outside is cold. You don’t really feel like laughing, or rocking out to the latest from… oh hell, I can’t name anyone current. You reach under the seat to find your heavily scratched copy of Seventeen Seconds on compact disc. You insert the disc and skip to track nine. There goes that stoic drumming again… but wait, a fuzzy guitar riff? And synth too?! Embrace the anguish, as you sink deep into the night. It’s going to be ok.  Your pal Robert is here too.

Seventeen Seconds

Seventeen Seconds could be described as an album about fear. The fear of settling down and the fear of isolation are all front and center on this recording. Perhaps the greatest fear discussed is the fear that life is passing us by. “Seventeen Seconds”, the title track from which the album derives its name, closes things out with the phrase: “seventeen seconds, a measure of life.” For me, in the grip of SAD, that’s what always remains in forefront of my mind. The passage of time with me playing the part of an observer. It doesn’t matter what I’m doing, or what I have to look forward to in life, I’m mindful of the fact that time is ever in motion. It’s just sweeping me along without my permission. It’s late October, and I am on the outside looking in once again. It’s healthy to dwell on this kind of stuff, right?

Next up, we endure November and December with The Cure’s 1981 release, Faith.

A Forest Single Cover

Dark Wave to the Rescue! Part 1

If I’m ever asked to rank gloomy guys with messy hair from best to worst, Robert Smith of The Cure would sit comfortably atop a list populated by such greats as Alan Moore, Edgar Allan Poe, and Oscar the Grouch. Am I drawn in by Robert’s unorthodox yet lovable (if you let it grow on you) vocal style? Do I most adore his ability to construct bitchin’ soundscapes with layer upon layer of affected guitar? Or do I simply have a penchant for dismal introspection? Oh, who am I kidding, we all know it’s the makeup. He’s like a sad clown version of Paul Stanley, sans platform boots.

Now before I proceed, any long time fan of The Cure will be quick to point out that Smith has penned more than his fair share of saccharine ditties. “Just Like Heaven” immediately comes to mind and also “Mint Car” if you prefer to dabble in the 90s. For the sake of this essay, however, I propose we all forget about those tracks and turn the clock back to the year 1979. Here we find a young Mr. Smith, fresh on the cusp of adulthood, having a hard go of things. I mean, I’m assuming he was struggling since it must have been at this exact moment that he flopped open the black composition notebook he undoubtedly used for writing song lyrics and hastily scrawled the following cry for help:

“I’m running towards nothing. Again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again.”

In a scene that plays out in my mind time and time again, here is where I play the part of Robert’s witty, slightly overweight best friend. I toss my arm around him and say, “Hey old chum, it’s going to be alright. We’ve all been there. Now finish that freaky little poem, plug in that rad Strat knock off of yours, and make music history you beautiful bastard!”

The Disorder

I mean, I can sympathize after all. Each year, as the warm embrace of summer is disrupted by the cool kiss of autumn, my naturally lifted spirits also falter. Before I proceed, I by no means wish to belittle the pain of those who suffer from a depressive disorder that plagues them throughout the year. I just wish to chronicle how my melancholy rears its ugly head in typical fashion as the year begins to wind down and the epic three month long holiday season in the U.S. slowly drains my will to live. The proper name for this condition is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and it can last for an indeterminate amount of time, for me typically lifting during the springtime thaw. Since my depression is a temporary thing, I just keep my head down and soldier through it all, clinging to any artistic endeavor I can find that might bring some solace to my achy soul. For me, this means firing up the old record player (all post-punk and new wave should be enjoyed on vinyl) and presenting myself with a kick ass soundtrack, custom built for wallowing in misery.

The Cure

Yes, I have a ritual of sorts that I enact each year as SAD shows up at my doorstep, a fresh coat of black lipstick smeared across its maw, donning a black turtleneck while holding a stack of Cormac McCarthy novels under its arm. This annual ceremony always begins in September when I feel pulled by unseen forces to take a journey through the legendary trilogy of albums The Cure released from 1980 to 1982. Ok, so another side note, Robert Smith considers the following Cure albums to be the band’s official “trilogy”: Pornography, Disintegration, and Bloodflowers. While those are certainly epic records, many Cure fans, myself included, consider the real “trilogy” to be the albums released in the early 80s: Seventeen Seconds, Faith, and Pornography. Mostly because these records all deal with nihilistic themes and have a similar sonic aura to them. Plus, I mean, they all came out back to back. Keep it simple, I say! Anyway, these albums warm my heart by reminding me that I’m not alone in my anguish. It’s almost as if Robert comes up alongside me and says, “forget that other rubbish, it’s perfectly fine for a boy to shed a few tears.”

In the posts that follow, I will take a closer look at the albums that comprise The Cure’s early 80s trilogy. I’ll break each album down, review a few standout tracks, and attempt to illustrate how each one pairs nicely with a particular phase of my seasonal depression. In doing so, I will reveal why I find the trilogy to be so captivating and how these records act as an embalming agent of sorts, preserving my sanity for revival at a later date. So turn down the lights dear reader, grab a warm beverage, and search for Seventeen Seconds on Spotify (if you must). I won’t judge.