Happy 30th: The Cure, KISS ME KISS ME KISS ME
30 years ago today, The Cure released the album that would prove to be their first entry in the top 40 of the Billboard 200 and – perhaps more impressively – would provide them with their first-ever top-40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100.
Recorded at Miraval Studios in the South of France (if you know your French geography, it’s about halfway between Marseille and Nice), KISS ME KISS ME KISS ME was an album which author Jeff Hapter called “the most sprawling, musically adventurous outing of The Cure’s career, possibly because it was the closest the band had ever come to a democracy in terms of song selection. Frontman and predominant songwriter Robert Smith instituted a scoring system, one where the various members of the band would write songs, record demo versions of them, and give the tapes to Smith, who would offer them a grade. In the end, this methodology led to Porl Thompson and Boris Williams earning their first-ever songwriting credits with the band.
KISS ME KISS ME KISS ME spawned several hit singles in the UK, with “Why Can’t I Be You,” “Catch,” and “Just Like Heaven” all making the top 40 in the band’s native land, but it was the latter track that made The Cure into top-40 hitmakers in the US. Granted, “Just Like Heaven” only hit #40, so it wasn’t a stone-cold smash or anything, but both “Why Can’t I Be You” and “Hot Hot Hot” climbed to respectable spots within the Hot 100, which – given the band’s previous chart history – was impressive in its own right.
If you haven’t given KISS ME KISS ME KISS ME a spin recently, you might want to remedy that today, and when you do, prepare yourself for an album that sounds as fresh now as it did in 1987.