on March 15, 2004
Back in my goth days of the late 1980's I kinda scorned this album, I loved The Cure of course but thought that this was just a bit too poppy and chirpy for it's own good. Hearing it again, after many years, I was blown away by how well this has stood the test of time, perhaps better than any other of Robbie Smith's offerings.
From start to finish this album bounces and rocks through many different styles and influences and colours, though maintains it's 'Cureness' through Smith's deliciously crazy lyrics, his definitive, angular guitar work and instantly recognizable voice.
I would have to say in hindsight the sonwriting on this album is better than any other Cure album. There is just not one bad moment on all 10 tracks. The angst of earlier (and later) releases is still there, it's just less relentless, and expressed in a wider tapestry of musical references.
People always associate The Cure with doom and gloom - they were always much more than that. They are one of the most interesting, eccentric and unique bands of that emerged in the 80's and Robert Smith is about the only guy who looks good in lipstick and eyeliner.
on December 21, 2003
this Cure album, to me, is one of the most complete recordings in the entire Cure catalogue. i remember back in '85 when i first heard this album, and it quickly became a classic in my music collection as track #10, Sinking, came to a close.
everything from In Between Days with its undeniable groove to the flamenco sip of The Blood....wow, good stuff.
The Kyoto Song is a slow groove....The Baby Screams is some of the quirky, fun Cure that us Cure fans love so much. A Night Like This, Sinking, Six Different Ways, and Push are simply some of the finest Cure songs ever written....they feel "grand" "deep"...i dunno, there is just something about those tracks that i dig....the words, guitar, keys, and of course, Smith's voice...trust me, this release is about alot more than the hit "Close to Me" (which i skip 8 times out of 10 anyway) Head on the Door is a different side of the Cure, but it is still the Cure, and it is fantastic.
Give me a sign
Waiting for the sun to shine
Pleasure fills up my dreams
And I love it
Like a baby screams
- The Cure/The Baby Screams/Head on the Door/1985/R. Smith
on September 11, 2003
For The Cure, the instrumentation on this album is surprisingly upbeat with lots of new-wave/synth/europop beats, but the music contrasts starkly to the darkness and angst of Robert Smith's lyrics. This dichotomy makes for one of the best Cure albums available.
The album kicks off with the beat laden "In Between Days", and the contrast between lyrical content and music is very evident on this great song. Other classics include "Push", the exotic "Kyoto Song", and the nifty spanish guitars of "Blood". My personal favorite on this album is the deceptively simple "Six Different Ways", which is another confessional song from Robert. The balance between darkness and light has always been a central theme in the Cure's work, and nowhere is it maintained better than on "The Head on the Door".
For those looking for an introduction to the Cure, this is a great album to get started. Other strong contenders would have to be "Disintegration" and "Pornography", but the more upbeat moments on THOTD help to ease you into some of their even darker work.
on August 25, 2003
The Cure's discography can be divided in half with a thick, black line into two halves. On one side, are the dark albums (Pornography, Disintegration, Bloodflowers, Faith), where epic, depressing soundscapes are plenty. And on the other side are their lighter, poppier works (Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Boys Don't Cry, Wish), which favor catchiness and instrumental experimentation over raw emotion. The Head On The Door falls into the latter category. All ten tracks are perfect 80s pop songs that get stuck in your head and never fail to delight.
Whether it be the dancable Eurobeat of "In between days", the spanish-flavored "The Blood", or the quirky "Six Different Ways", this album has something for everyone and is a good introduction to the Cure. It won't stick with you immediately, but you'll soon come to love it.
If you're looking to get into the Cure, make The Head on the Door your first purchase. Or, if you're already a Cure fan, I give this album my *highest* recommendation.
on June 19, 2000
Whenever I hear the first drum beats of this album, I get a smile on my face. Since listening to this album for the first time in the winter of '86, I've savored every note, every word, every emotion, every second. It is truly one of the finest releases of the '80's, yet the music really is timeless. It's a happier Cure than found on "Faith", "Pornography", or "Seventeen Seconds". Don't get me wrong, those albums are excellent, but "Head On The Door" was a new direction for Robert Smith and company. The lyrics on this album are still dark, twisted, and thought provoking like earlier albums, but they are matched with a lighter, happier sounding music. Even on tracks like "Sinking", and "A Night Like This" where the images are dark and brooding, the music is unlike any they've done before. I love this album. It always seems fresh and vibrant...even after all these years (15 to be exact) "The Head On The Door" still makes me happy to be a Cure fan.
Track highlights from "The Head On The Door"? Hmm, they're all great but if I had to pick..."InBetween Days", "Six Different Ways", "A Night Like This", "Push", and "Kyoto Song". Some of the Cure classics by far.
Although the Cure has come to the end of the road in what has been an amazing musical career, I thank the musical gods that looked upon Robert Smith, Laurence Tolhurst, Porl Thompson, Simon Gallup and Boris Williams during the making of this excellent album. Five stars? Nah, I give it six.
on June 11, 2000
The review up top is right: This is the Cure album to start with. But maybe that's because this is the one I happened to start with. Actually, I think it's excellent because it's right at what I would call the middle of the Cure's range of sounds. It's still got some of their early punk edginess, some of their 80's danciness, some of the dark goth-like tones, and a hint of the gloss that you'll find in their more recent albums.
Even though it falls in this niche, the styles of music on this album vary widely and the lyrics are haunting as always. This is definitely one of my favorite albums and seems to fit a variety of moods and settings. I bought this album on vinyl when it first came out and have been listening to it periodically ever since (although I've "upgraded" to a CD version). Every once in a while I forget about it and find it dusty on my shelf. When I clean it off and pop it back in the player I'm always glad I did.
If you only know the Cure's recent stuff, definitely go out and get this album. If you've never heard of the Cure and don't just want a greatist hits album, get this one. If you don't care...well, then nevermind...
on March 19, 1999
Head on the Door is one of the definitive, groundbreaking albums of the 1980s. From its very first playing, it immediately soared above and transcended the other beebop "new wave" junk of the same period that seemed to scratch along as if stuck in a monotonous groove. Every song on Head hit a different emotional cord and revealed a subtle nuance new to that musical genre. The album was fearless, borrowing spanish and other influences infused into such a creative and distinctive product that it helped to define and deeply influence albums to follow.
I remember seeing the Cure on their Head tour during their stop at Montezuma Hall at San Diego State University and being mesmerized (even shocked) by Smith's incredible guitar skills and the tight, seamless exchange of beautiful music between all of the musicians. One could sense the complete immersion of band and audience throughout the show. The songs tranlated themselves every bit as powerfully live as they did on vinyl. I knew then that Head was a work of art that would endure and influence for many years, and I listen to it to this day feeling the same way.
on March 11, 2000
Simple, honest, passionless but worth-while all the same. This was the first Cure record I purchased. I was 10, the year was 1985. When you hear this CD you will know that it was made in the 80's. Still, it IS a Cure classic and for the most part I still love it. Now that I bought the CD version from Amazon it sounds even better than the record ever did. You'll instantly fall in love will "Inbetween Days" and the longest intro ever to a song "Push". It's got a cool version of "Close to me" on it. This version doesn't have the horns at the end like the single version that you always hear does. "When a baby screams" and "Screw" will also grow on you as will "Six different ways". The finale is "Sinking" which seems to be either a throwback to Faith or a stepping stone for Disintegration. Anyway, if you buy it, and listen to it, you WILL love it. Let the keyboards and over-toned guitars take you away.
on November 24, 2001
In my opinion, this is simply the best album by the Cure. Drummer Boris Williams joins the line up on this album, and is an extreme improvement over Lol Tolhurst who moved to keyboards. "In Between Days" is the closest to pop perfection that Robert Smith has ever been, and "The Baby Screams" and "Screw" are way ahead of 1985. If these songs were played on the radio today, they would be instant hits. "Close to Me" is such a catchy song that can't help but make you want to dance around the room and clap your hands along. And for you Christians out there, "The Blood" is not blasphemous. Robert wrote it about a drink called The Blood of Christ that got him really drunk. This album would be flawless if it weren't for the unnecessary "Push." What Robert was thinking when he wrote that, I don't know. But since every Cure album has one really annoying song, this completely fits the formula. Why are you wasting time reading this? Go out and buy it!
on August 23, 1998
i will not call it the best of the cure, since i like their other albums, too. probably not a masterpiece (to forget four or five tracks which are), it is worth a listen, and, oh, how different from the cure's other albums.
this time the mood swings to bright and happy - at least, for the cure. it is something of a drift away from the punky and goth past (though screw and kyoto song smell of those, respectively), and it has the first signs of the band's future: sinkng is a predecessor of some of the kiss me, kiss me, kiss me or disintegration or wish, and a night like this gives some idea of what's to come even later.
the rest of the tracks are quite distinct: the cure had done nothing like this before, and smith has moved on to different things later.
some major rock and alternative musicians have thought well enough of head on the door to plagiarise on it.