Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Cure - Pictures Of You

By 1989, The Cure had become big stars in the U.K. with four consecutive top 10 albums, and they had even broken through in the U.S. (1987's Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me broke the top 40 on the album charts).  However, frontman Robert Smith was depressed about turning 30 and concerned that the band's music had become too commercial.

As a result, 1989's Disintegration was broody and somewhat downbeat -- to the point that the label was concerned that the record could be considered commercial suicide (a phrase that turns up a lot when discussing this record).  But a funny thing happened on the way to the discount bins -- Disintegration became a huge hit, and received no small amount of critical acclaim as well.  It turns out that the songs' melancholy vibe had just enough pop sensibilities to appeal to a broad audience, and the sound was unlike anything in pop music at the time.

Although there are many strong cuts on the album, we have always been partial to "Pictures of You."  The song was supposedly inspired by a Myra Poleo story called The Dark Power of Ritual Pictures ... except that there is no such story or author.  Cure fans have pointed out that Myra Poleo is an anagram for Mary Poole (Robert Smith's wife), for what it is worth.  Smith has also stated that the inspiration for the song came after a fire damaged his house, and left him looking through old photographs from his wallet.  Whatever the source, "Pictures of You" remains a haunting, sad and romantic song.

Disintegration would go on to reach #12 on the U.S. album charts (#3 in the U.K.), while "Pictures of You" would hit #71 in the U.S. (#24 in the U.K.).

For a slightly more upbeat Cure song, "In Between Days" was featured on ERV in April 2013.


  1. Great song info, as always.
    You didn't mention...
    Guess you have to be a South Park fan?
    P.S. I'm more a "In Between Days" upbeat CURE Fan

    1. Love the South Park reference, and I hadn't seen it. I am also more of an upbeat Cure fan but have always liked "Pictures of You."