This is a Random Album Generator.
One album a day.
From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Pornography

The Cure

1982

Buy At Rough Trade
Pornography
Album Summary

Pornography is the fourth studio album by English rock band The Cure, released on 4 May 1982 by Fiction Records. Preceded by the non-album single "Charlotte Sometimes", it was the band's first album with new producer Phil Thornalley, and was recorded at RAK Studios from January to April 1982. The sessions saw the band on the brink of collapse, with heavy drug use, band in-fighting, and frontman Robert Smith's depression fueling the album's musical and lyrical content. Pornography represents the conclusion of the Cure's early dark, gloomy musical phase, which began with their second album Seventeen Seconds (1980).Following its release, bassist Simon Gallup left the band, and the Cure switched to a much brighter and more radio-friendly new wave sound. Although it was poorly received by critics at the time of release, Pornography was the Cure's most popular album to date, reaching number eight on the UK Albums Chart. It has since gone on to gain acclaim from critics, and is now considered an important milestone in the development of the style of music known as gothic rock.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.29

Votes

11959

Genres

  • Rock
  • New Wave
  • Post Punk
  • Indie

Reviews

Like a review? Give it a thumb up to help us display relevant reviews!
Sort by: Top Date
View Author
Mon Feb 08 2021
5

Dense with atmosphere - jagged guitar loops, foreboding synth drones, vocal echoes, distorted field/media recordings. Lyrics express paranoia and dread - "I must fight this sickness." Initially what strikes me most is the drum sound. Sparse, driving, machine-like, repetitive, urgent. In this regard, it seems to borrow from Joy Division. This album is not a feel-good crowd pleaser and I'm instantly in love.

👍
View Author
Fri Jan 29 2021
3

Never heard this album, never listened to The Cure. Horror, hatred, misanthrope, nihilism, pessimism, sadism, despair. My kind of music. Synth goth rock in a Götterdämmerung frame of mind. I think Richard Wagner would have appreciated this. Musical settings emphasize minor keys, heavy echo, driving rhythms, haunting sustain—a perfect vehicle for the grim and even deranged lyrics. Makes me want to go out and get my eyebrows pierced. Speaking of the lyrics, they are suitably dark and dreary, but at times border on the trite. They tap into the lyricist’s horror, but not quite the listeners’. Robert Smith’s lead vocals are limited in range and flat in pitch and timbre. He’s not really a singer, but he is depressing, and I suppose that’s the point. Melodies and chord structures are rather repetitive. The most impressive musician in the group is Lol Tolhurst on drums. Guitar work (Smith) is disciplined but lacking in virtuosity. Good execution of synthesized colorings, tremendously enhancing the dark mood. By the end of the album, Smith’s vocals become monotonous—literally and figuratively. Black Sabbath, Metallica, and Nirvana do this kind of music much better. Impressionable adolescents who listen to too much of The Cure risk a serious contraction of their intellectual horizons—but it’s still great fun if one doesn’t take The Cure’s deathly seriousness too seriously. But overall, a good album. A really cool album. I’m glad I heard something by The Cure before my death—an event which, in the mood of this album, is to be languidly embraced. There’s your Pornography. 3/5

👍
View Author
Tue Oct 26 2021
2

Maybe I've been jaded by the era of Softbois™️ but I can't listen to The Cure without fear of a man in Doctor Martens brogues busting through the wall like the Kool-Aid guy to tell me that I just *have* to try this new craft beer and also, actually, it's feminist of him to ask me for pictures of my tits

👍
View Author
Sun May 09 2021
3

Holy shit that’s depressing! Will listen if I ever want to kill myself

👍
View Author
Fri Nov 13 2020
5

Picking up where the great Joy Division left off, The Cure isn't exactly Joy Division or any of their post punk godfathers for that matter. Modeled after the despairing bass lines and repetitive drum rhythms that took over depressed alternative scenes in the late 70s, Pornography opts for a little more lustre or sex appeal. Whereas something like JD's Closer seems grounded in philosophies, Pornography seems more for the fan of Edgar Allan Poe with its exciting but ultimately brutal and irrational twists and turns. It's all about the contrast of the bright with the dark. Robert Smith, true to the album's title, defiles love and all of life's pleasures being brought further into despair. The album takes a few listens to come together but once it does you appreciate how well it falls apart. The album is collapsing in on itself, becoming irreparably distorted by Cold and the title track Pornography to the point of not even sounding like conscious melodrama anymore. Yet, in the hardly musical wreck that is Pornography, Robert Smith's ultimate conclusion is that he must "fight this sickness" even as it numbers him and envelopes him whole.

👍
View Author
Tue Jan 26 2021
2

I want to like this be use I know it’s culturally important but man it’s a bit of a chore so far. Cold is interesting Listening more and I still don’t really feel it. Oh well

👍
View Author
Thu Jul 29 2021
1

Leaving aside questions of originality and influence, Pornography sucks. Must I count the ways? That horrid, echoey drum sound; the whiny anti-melodies issuing from the maw of chief villain Robert Smith; the monochromatic tonal palette. I'm told that Smith was depressed when he was making the album. Now I am, too. Mission accomplished. Can we call this review a wrap and go home? All kidding aside, this album pushes a lot of my buttons.: pseudo profundity, 80s production, the typical 80s vocal style. Can I think of anything nice to say? Well, the album manages to make me nauseated without the stereotypical hideous 80s synths (with the exception of Cold). Robert Smith manages some nice creative guitar leads towards the end of A Short Term Effect and on the title cut, using scales which are vaguely Arabic. That's about it.

👍
View Author
Wed Jan 13 2021
5

the album just gets better and better as you listen; it has such heady, enthralling, blood-pumping beats. it's wicked and haunting and like a magical chant.

👍
View Author
Thu Jan 27 2022
5

This one gives Disintegration a run for its money in the moribund stakes. Millions of sad goths united listening to this album, no doubt finding a kinship lost to them in the isolation of whatever suburban hell they were living. What I love about this album is that it is rawer sounding Cure with Robert Smith and co. crafting almost a concept album around depression. With only Hanging Garden (one of my Favourites) sounding even remotely like a single this is vastly different to most other Cure albums which usually contained a radio friendly pop hit or two. I can hear the influence of Krautrock and Joy Division on this album and the fact that this album influenced every dark wave band to follow. While Pornography isn't my favourite Cure album, it's darkness a bit to hard to handle sometimes it is one of the most cohesive and best works

👍
View Author
Sat Feb 26 2022
5

For those who don't know, Townsville is a tropical city, definitely not conducive to wearing long coats. Nevertheless, in 1985, I discovered that the West End hotel was the home of the city's goth scene. Both music is the best dance music, without question, as far as I'm concerned. It manages to have a hypnotic, insistent beat, while escaping the utter boredom and repetition of '70s disco, EDM, etc. Whenever they played a song I didn't know, but really liked, there was an excellent chance it came from this great album. When you find out that it was recorded while they consumed vast quantities of alcohol and drugs, while Smith has stated he was suicidally depressed, it is no surprise this album is considered the beginning of goth rock. When they toured it was the first appearance of the big hair and make up that symbolised goth. A wall of thundering noise that thrills me like few other albums.

👍
View Author
Wed Jul 21 2021
4

The Cure are known for making music to feel sad to. Considering only that, this might probably be the most Cure album there is. It's certainly not the most accessible one if you're just in the middle of a regular day; but the feelings, the talent, the passion, and everything that makes an album great is here. If what you're looking for is just a slightly gloomy album, you'd be better off listening to Disintegration, but if you're having a bad day and just want something to go along with it, it doesn't get any better than this. And the drums, oh, the drums.

👍
View Author
Fri Jan 15 2021
5

wow great album seemed like i was about to have a bad fucking trip though, but that was what i liked about it

👍
View Author
Mon Nov 01 2021
5

Beautifully dark and strong without being dramatic and overpowering. The drums especially after fantastic throughout. It's a bit repetitive but that's not a problem when it's all great.

👍
View Author
Mon Dec 27 2021
5

One of the darkest, coldest albums I've ever heard. Absolutely brilliant

👍
View Author
Thu Jan 06 2022
5

Takes me back to those moody days as a teenager. Perfect goth shoe gazing classic

👍
View Author
Tue Apr 19 2022
5

The last truly great Cure album? Possibly.

👍
View Author
Sat Jan 16 2021
4

Getting some influence from early 70s prog rock. This would still be fantastic and big if released today. But it's a fantastic step between the rock of our parents and modern rock. It maybe the missing link of music.

👍
View Author
Sat Mar 06 2021
4

I LOVED the guitar on this album, the melodies were insidious and infectious. Some songs tended to overstay their welcome with their lack of movement, but overall a great album

👍
View Author
Tue Oct 05 2021
4

According to Robert Smith it was either he makes this album or he was to commits suicide and you can hear it. This album is heavy and feels like drowning in tar. Fueled by LSD and booze, it really does sound like something you write while in the deepest pit of depression but you decided to fight your way out of it. This is Smith's fuck you album and it hasn't lost any of its raw violent edge.

👍
View Author
Wed Feb 28 2024
4

It has superb guitar work and a stellar aura, but the vocals can be jarring.

👍
View Author
Fri Mar 26 2021
2

Honestly every song kinda sounded the same... I was enjoying it at the beginning and then the album kinda droned on with the same feel in each song. Favorite Tracks: “The Hanging Garden” and “The Figurehead”

👍
View Author
Sat Jul 03 2021
2

Not bad but not great either. Too goth and emo for me, I can only take it in small doses. If you're into that kind of depressive music then you'll enjoy it.

👍
View Author
Mon Apr 19 2021
5

Most artists who touch abjection in a song do so in the middle of or across an entire album. The arc of this album, on the other hand, is from low to low. No one sounds quite like The Cure, either. The pace is perfect, the bass tone especially is perfect, and the dark is bone-chilling.

👍
View Author
Thu Jan 14 2021
5

I liked how dark this album was. I thought the Cure was lighter and they do have lighter albums (as I learned after I listened to this one) but I LOVED this and it made me a huge fan of the Cure. I heard a lot of sounds that had to have inspired future bands such as R.E.M.

👍
View Author
Fri Feb 05 2021
5

Fabulous album, completely different side to them from their best of and definitely makes me more interested in them

👍
View Author
Fri Jan 29 2021
5

a hot n spicy listen that broods with seething menace

👍
View Author
Tue Feb 16 2021
5

La verdad lo disfruté mucho, en todos sus sonidos, esa parte ruidosa y la voz desesperada de Robert Smith. Es uno de esos discos en los que se puede sentir el sufrimiento, por decirlo de alguna forma. Sonaría muy bien en una reunión de amigos melancólicos o con ansiedad. Las 8 canciones me gustaron, pero si tuviera que elegir un top, para mí se conforma de "A Short Term Effect", "The Hanging Garden" y el gran cierre: "Pornography". Igual y como hay películas de terror, este es un poco un álbum de terror. 10/10

👍
View Author
Wed Jun 09 2021
5

Ich kann gut nachvollziehen, wie man diese Band über alle anderen stellt (was ich selbst immer noch nicht tue), verstehe aber wirklich niemanden, der nicht wenigstens ein bisschen Cure-Fan ist. Hier drin ist wirklich alles angelegt – für das Cure’sche Werk selbst, aber auch schon als Steinbruch für die ganzen anderen Superstars ihrer Generation und im ganz weiten Sinne Szene, die sich hier hörbar bedient haben: Depeche Mode, New Order, die Smiths (!) – vom gemeinsamen Sterben in Autos über Bassläufe, Synth-Gitarren: Robert Smith kann ihnen allen immer sinister von schräg unten hoch ins Licht grinsend zurufen: „been there, done that“. Überhaupt glaube ich, dass Robert die besten Alpträume hat, und er schafft es wie echt kein anderer das 1:1 auf Band zu bekommen. Und auch wenn ich persönlich (bis jetzt) z.B. Disintegration noch ein bisschen besser finde (weil poppiger, schwebender, taumelnder): das hier kann ja gar nicht anders als volle Punktzahl zu bekommen, in Form von 4,7.

👍
View Author
Wed Apr 21 2021
5

5* because Simon Gallup is a Reading fan. Also. They're just great in general.

👍
View Author
Tue Feb 16 2021
5

Amo a The Cure. Sobretodo su etapa pre-pop. Esto por razones meramente personales (me gusta mucho azotarme). Este disco creo que es la cumbre de esa trilogía oscura ( Seventeen Seconds, Faith y Pornography). Me parece que recrea muy bien las posibilidades sónicas de un mal viaje. Un disco ácido hecho con unas buenas tabletas de por medio. Es sicodélico pero en la versión del otro lado del espejo. Muy opresivo, borroso como la portada pero extremadamente pop también. El pop que al menos me gusta a mí, el que me descoloca, el miserable, el que es posible cantar o bailar sintiéndote de la verga pero que no te aleja de ese sentimiento. No es escapista, habita el malestar. O algo así. Es brutal. The Hanging Garden marea. Es intenso. Hay un buen artículo sobre The Cure del Mark Fisher por si quieren clavarse más. Lo he escuchado muchas veces al borde del colapso mental, creo que también veo reflejos de eso en la música. En fin, me encanta. También lo quiero en vinil.

👍
View Author
Fri Jun 25 2021
5

I just love this sound. The haunting atmosphere that it creates is amazing.

👍
View Author
Thu Aug 26 2021
5

U visećem vrtu dajem ovdje cenera

👍
View Author
Sat Sep 25 2021
5

Sempre que torno al rock gòtic em porto alegries, malgrat l'aparent contradicció. I aquesta és una de les cimes del génere: percusió repetitva, baix opressiu, riffs de guitarra genials i la veu tan característica de Robert Smith. No és només la seva qualitat i originalitat, és que aquesta tercera part de la 'trilogia obscura', la més fosca i depressiva de les tres, és una obra mestra, que viu fora del temps i de l'espai

👍
View Author
Mon Oct 11 2021
5

10/10 damn i gotta listen to more of this band

👍
View Author
Tue Nov 09 2021
5

Dark, swirling madness. Normally I dislike the 80s tunnel production, but I think it really adds to the vibe the record is going for. Really enjoyed the atmosphere. Looking for reasons to not give this a five, and I couldn't find any. Favorite tracks: "One Hundred Years", "Pornography", "Siamese Twins"

👍
View Author
Tue Dec 07 2021
5

Arger Sound - Schlagzeug radikal, überall hall drauf. Bedrückend - Kalt - Nihilistisch. Hat nichts aber auch gar nichts mit Friday I'm in Love und boys don't cry zu tun. Teilweise richtig unheimlich. Mega spannend - nimmt mich voll mit. Top Songs: Cold, One hundert years, pornography

👍
View Author
Wed Aug 25 2021
5

Draži mi je Desitegration kao album. Klasična saga Kid A vs OK computer. Što znači da mi je i ovo savršen album.

👍
View Author
Sat Jan 08 2022
5

A fantastic piece of music - as an album it's a 5. dark and speaking directly to the listener, no huge stand out tunes. but a super powerful album, something to put on and contemplate.

👍
View Author
Tue Feb 08 2022
5

This album was an unexpected pleasure. The tracks all have an eerie, menacing and foreboding atmosphere. I would describe it as ambient, industrial, psychedelic and relentless. It's another good example where repetition is used to good effect. Great music doesn't have to be pretty and this dark gothic sounding album is the proof. Fabulous from start to finish.

👍
View Author
Tue Feb 08 2022
5

A firm favourite when I was a young teen back in NZ, previous albums were also classics, Excellent

👍
View Author
Mon Feb 21 2022
5

good shit plata hlustaði ogeðslega mikið a hana 5 stjörnur

👍
View Author
Tue Mar 22 2022
5

Bleak. Brilliant. One of the best opening tracks of any album ever.

👍
View Author
Thu Mar 24 2022
5

Batman walks into a bar with a pig... It was a hot summers day and the barman thinks it's a strange sight, not to just see Batman, but to see him with a pig that has jet black hair, black eye shadow and studded bracelets. The barman says "Is there anything I can get you Batman?" He replies "Just-ice for goth-ham"

👍
View Author
Wed Mar 30 2022
5

"Sing out loud We all die Laughing into the fire"

👍
View Author
Fri Apr 01 2022
5

Absolute 5. For a long time my fave album by The Cure. It's too dark for me to enjoy any more.

👍
View Author
Tue May 17 2022
5

Sometimes this is my favorite Cure album. It’s also the first album I remember playing drums along to as a kid.

👍
View Author
Tue Jul 12 2022
5

Jo meir trist Smithern e, jo meir glad blir eg

👍
View Author
Wed Jul 27 2022
5

Very dark and atmospheric, nothing like what you would expect from the more mainstream, pop like songs that the cure later released. That being said this is still probably my favourite Cure album and definitely deserves its place

👍
View Author
Tue Aug 09 2022
5

Oh, so you think YOU'RE depressed? You've got nothing on this.

👍
View Author
Fri Aug 19 2022
5

Moody, dark. Rhythmic drumming that you feel in your body. Easy to listen to, I like this one.

👍
View Author
Sat Aug 20 2022
5

5*. Just what this lost needed

👍
View Author
Tue Aug 23 2022
5

Ten stars for a masterpiece.

👍
View Author
Thu Aug 25 2022
5

The original emo rock group. Hadn’t heard any of these tracks! Awesome!

👍
View Author
Mon Aug 29 2022
5

Pure ecstasy. Not a dull moment here, this album paints a very bleak picture throughout. Probably my favourite Cure album, or close against Disintegration. Favourite Tracks: All Overall Grade: 5/5

👍
View Author
Fri Sep 02 2022
5

Oh boy, it's gonna be one of those kinds of days... I love The Cure but I haven't spent a lot of time with this whole album. To prepare I decided to start with "Charlotte Sometimes" since that was the single that preceded the album but didn't make it on. Great track, you can feel the angst and sorrow emanating from it. Excited to dive in... UPDATE: This was a truly phenomenal record! I think I'm going to go right through a second time. The way the final track unravels, you could call THIS album "Disintegration." Everything is just so dark yet vibrant, very much a haunted record. The beat for One Hundred Years is subtle yet oppressive; it really drags you right into the uneasiness of the guitars and lyrics. UPDATE 2: I listened to this album three times today. Love it! Definitely my favorite The Cure record.

👍
View Author
Sat Sep 03 2022
5

The Cure decided \"we make long dreary songs, so let's only put on a few to be less cumbersome\" and, frankly it worked.

👍
View Author
Sat Sep 03 2022
5

Simply one of the best albums by one of the best bands.

👍
View Author
Sun Sep 11 2022
5

I really enjoy The Cure when they are new wavy and poppy but I especially love them when they are dark, psychedelic and a little scary.

👍
View Author
Wed Sep 14 2022
5

I don’t think that there’s another album that I was so sure that was going to be on this list that I had never heard before. “Like Lou Reed’s Berlin and David Bowie’s Low, it’s an album that requires a few years of music history to pass in order to be appreciated.” That’s mighty high praise. Seems accurate.

👍
View Author
Wed Sep 14 2022
5

Dank , dreary and depressing. A solo exploration of what it was like to be of an age where the crushing realisation of responsibility was approaching. Not my thing but appreciated the fragile beauty of the melodies.

👍
View Author
Fri Sep 30 2022
5

Classique PREFS: TOUT MOINS PREF: RIEN

👍
View Author
Sat Oct 15 2022
5

I’ve always been a fan of the Cure. Great album.

👍
View Author
Thu Oct 20 2022
5

One of my wife's favorite albums gets played pretty regularly in our house

👍
View Author
Fri Dec 23 2022
5

my god do i love the cure. but disintegration is still better.

👍
View Author
Tue Dec 27 2022
5

More or less everything the Cure brought out before 1990 is 5 star (afterwards, it is 2-3 star). This album is from 1982 so it is 5 star. Atmosphere over songs. Belongs to the sequence 17 Seconds - Faith - Pornography so the other two albums should be on the list too.

👍
View Author
Tue Jan 10 2023
5

Moody, with great drums. Something about the drums just got me on this one. The rest of it is great too, but the drums.

👍
View Author
Tue Jan 24 2023
5

Flera låtar som jag aldrig hört förut. En alldeles fantastisk platta är det i alla fall.

👍
View Author
Tue Feb 28 2023
5

Meni najbolji the cure ujedno i najsjebaniji😄

👍
View Author
Mon Apr 03 2023
5

Probably my fave cure album, the last gasp af angst before the pop takeover

👍
View Author
Tue Apr 25 2023
5

Love this album. Wish I was alive at the time you could hear the whole thing in a club.

👍
View Author
Thu May 11 2023
5

Þetta er nú meiri helvítis snilldin! Mjög auðvelt að heyra tenginguna milli The Cure og Kælunnar miklu.

👍
View Author
Mon May 15 2023
5

Instant 5. My favorite Cure album... the dark brooding pained vocals and music are immediately compelling. A Short Term Effect and A Strange Day stand out, but the first 6 tracks all make but Cure Greatest Hits list. Love this album.

👍
View Author
Thu May 25 2023
5

second favorite cure record and it’s still an absolute banger

👍
View Author
Fri May 26 2023
5

I love The Cure whether it's the darker faire like this or the more radio friendly stuff. I don't play this one more than say, Disintegration or The Head On The Door but it's still excellent. Obviously a 5.

👍
View Author
Fri Aug 18 2023
5

The Cure at their most misanthropic and self-loathing. Absolute darkness from beginning to end. In anyone else's hand this would come across as ham-handed or cartoonish, but after Seventeen Seconds and Faith, The Cure were adepts at this style. While "Cold" may earn the title of most Gothic track ever, it's "Siamese Twins" which wallows in the most misery: "Dancing in my pocket Worms eat my skin She glows and grows With arms outstretched Her legs around me… In the morning I cried Leave me to die You won’t remember my voice I walked away and grew old You never talk We never smile I scream You’re nothing I don’t need you any more You’re nothing" Hard to believe this is the same band who would write "Just Like Heaven" a few years later.

👍
View Author
Sun Sep 10 2023
5

Pornography is an earworm of perfectly crafted Gothic Rock songs. Robert Smith works as a perfect vessel for all these songs. His vocals tear through every song to perfection. These songs were made with him in mind. What a man! What a performer!

👍
View Author
Thu Sep 21 2023
5

The album is a masterpiece Epic.

👍
View Author
Fri Sep 22 2023
5

IN THE HANGING GARDEN PLEASE DON'T SPEAK!

👍
View Author
Mon Oct 02 2023
5

A pretty unlistenable, tough album that paved the way for a lot of dark ambient and gothy music - I'm definitely a fan.

👍
View Author
Wed Oct 04 2023
5

A true Goth-classic. Dark, atmospheric and beautiful.

👍
Load more reviews