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Pornography

4.8 out of 5 stars 105 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 11 1988)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Elektra Entertain.
  • ASIN: B000002H5T
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 105 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #96,072 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. One Hunderd Years
2. A Short Term Effect
3. The Hanging Garden
4. Siamese Twins
5. The Figurehead
6. A Strange Day
7. Cold
8. Pornography

Product Description

Product Description

Originally a Goth-flavored post-punk outfit, the Cure evolved into one of the truly seminal bands of the '80s, and ultimately one of modern rock's most celebrated and influential acts. Guided by creative visionary Robert Smith, the Cure's signature sound balances a dreamy pop savvy with a dark, brooding majesty and fuses superbly crafted, literate songs with a feverish emotional intensity. The band's early catalog-newly remastered and expanded with a wealth of rarities-is a series of masterpieces that laid the groundwork for their phenomenal and enduring popularity. Elektra. 2005.

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Singer Robert Smith was determined to make the Cure one of the most distinctive groups of any age. After jaunty power pop was in vogue, Smith shifted to tone poems and ethereal freakouts. However, with Pornography, he entered the downward spiral that prompted the greatest music of his career. The title track is sheer hell as Smith abandons music altogether. But the remaining tracks are among the finest the '80s had to offer. "One Hundred Years," with its grinding riff, "Siamese Twins," with its stuttering beat, and "The Figurehead" ("I laughed in the mirror for the first time in a year") are gothic studies in terror par excellence. Nothing sounded like Pornography, not even other Cure records. It has since been decided that Pornography is the first volume of a trilogy that's completed by Disintegration and Bloodflowers. Both are worthy, but nothing beats the first installment. --Rob O'Connor


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4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
When released in 1982, "Pornography" was the kind of album that the Cure had never made before, or have made since. "Disintegration" and "Bloodflowers" may have been gloomy affairs, but at least their guitars and atmosphere were luscious with sound. "Pornography," however, is anything but; the songs are stark; the drums pounding, robotic, tribal; the production abrasive; the lyrics often venturing into unadulterated terror. After nearly 25 years, this still remains one of the band's strongest, perhaps best album to date. Without question, "Pornography" is the Cure's darkest album, easily surpassing "Faith" and "Disintegration" with its violent lyrics, Phil Spector-in-Hell production, and imagery of vacant rooms and murders in showers. Just look at its jarring cover: three figures in white masks, bathed in red light...that should give you the clue that this isn't a poppy CD with "Just Like Heaven" on it.

Beginning with the harrowing "100 Years," the Cure's punk-rock roots clearly haven't been forgotten. "It doesn't matter if we all die/Ambition in the back of a black car" Robert Smith sings to the point of desperation, as the guitars and drums wrap around his voice like a noose. Immediately followed by "A Short Term Effect," we encounter that signature Cure guitar sound, heavily distorted, at times sounding like it was recorded backwards. Coincidently, it sounds a lot like Depeche Mode's "Never Let Me Down Again."

While the schizophrenic "Hanging Garden" is one of the more poppy moments in the album, it's followed immediately by two sure standouts, the stuttering "Siamese Twins" and the robotic-like pounding "The Figurehead," both some of the best songs the Cure ever wrote in the '80s.
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Format: Audio CD
I write this review after many years of listening to the album, and after having heard a variety of bands merely attempt to capture the brooding gothic grace this album possesses...but never succeeded. The only band I feel that even remotely came close was Autumn and their debut album "The Hating Tree." But that is another review.
All in all, this is probably one of the Cure's best albums, if not the best. Sure Robert Smith & Co. has churned out albums with more cohesion and production value over the years, and he's always been a very powerful musician lyrically and emotionally. However, "Pornography" captures raw emotions, and much of the time, the rawest emotions are those of love, longing, despair, and rage. And this is the Cure at their angriest. The album is dark and even depressing, but never so much sad as it is angry. The power of songs like "The Hanging Garden" and "One Hundred Years" hits the listener with a full-on aural assault that will leave you shaking your fists in the air with each listen. It's not without its element of sadness (it wouldn't be the Cure if it lacked in melancholy...even their happy stuff could bring a tear to the eyes, and I'm not talking about the so-called hardcore fans who think the Cure had to be sad to be good. I LIKE "Friday, I'm in Love.").
Did I mention anger? Robert Smith's signature wailing voice even sounds angry, though not in a cheesy death metal sorta way, but in that way that his voice alone is an instrument of his despair. The music is solid, showing the Cure (a trio at the time) at their tightest, especially the percussion.
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Format: Audio CD
Pornography is dark, brooding, eery and sometimes just plain weird. You need to take it all in one listen, the combined songs all add to make one complete experience, best appreciated by lying down on the floor with your eyes closed and head between the stereo's speakers. Just lie still and Pornography's musical psychosis will transport you to a dark moody place. Signs of things to come lie hidden in "One Hundred Tears" and the "Short Term Effect", but from "Siamese Twins" onwards you really start the sinister descent into the netherworld of malfunctioning reality, a weird surreal dreamland that bares Robert Smith's emotional distortion and despair. The ambience gets so warped that it's like Smith is screaming out at you in bloodshot mania, fibrillating and hyperventilating at you, on a bad trip. Many of the songs finish by plunging into depths of bottomless reverb, dragged out by relentlessly throbbing drum beats and ruthless basslines. Smith's pained voice begging for redemption, the pain accentuated by bizarre twanging riffs, and again that weird punching throb of the drums - each track just gets weirder, more sinister and more psychotic with "The Figurehead", "A Strange Day" and "Cold", the last being being particularly dark and loathesome. It all culminates in the scattered and schizophrenic charge of the final track, "Pornography", the 'alien babble' and atmosphere being quite spooky and disturbing. Pornography is not just an album to listen to, it's an experience in mood, spooky, chilling, a way to detach from reality for roughly 45 minutes. A great unique album, but admittedly it may not be for everybody.
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