Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Robert's Top 30 of the 80s intros

Update: Here are all of Robert's intros from the show
(Thanks Pussycat). I've also added the transcriptions of the missing intros to the comments section. We have them all now.

To save space on the front page, I've moved the transcription of his intros into the comments section of this topic. (Thanks to Heron for helping me transcribe them.)


  1. Tom Waits - In the Neighborhood. (We have to stop somewhere, and where better than alphabetically? Finally, from one of the greats, a song from Swordfish Trombones, an album that drowned post-Cure show ? around the world, through the 1980s and beyond. The very magical Tom Waits and In The Neighborhood.)

    Suzanne Vega - Small Blue Thing (Next is one of the most beautiful songs from one of my all-time favorite artists. Cool and smooth and curious. This is Suzanne Vega with Small Blue Thing.)

    Sugarcubes - Birthday (Next up is one of those Peel show songs. Like White Riot, or Alison, or One World, or Waiting In Vain, where I just stopped, and listened. This is The Sugarcubes. The Sugarcubes and Birthday.)

    Soft Cell - Tainted Love (The next song is a bit of an obvious pick. It's probably on more 80s collections than any other song I can think of, but it does, somehow, for 3 short minutes, manages to whirl me back 27 long years. This is Soft Cell and Tainted Love.)

    Siouxsie & The Banshees - Dear Prudence (It was going to be a song called Christine, which is a gorgeous song, but then I came over all psychedelic and sentimental. So, from Robert Smith & the Banshees, this is Dear Prudence.)

    Psychedelic Furs - Heaven (Next up is another seminal 80s track but so much more than that. Another really outstanding band, instantly recognizable sound, 3 great albums in a row, cool tunes, cool words, cool shades, so how come Richard Butler didn't end up owning the world, too? This is the Psychadelic Furs, and Heaven.)

    Prince - Starfish & Coffee (Psychedelic rhymes, backwards drums, harp drills, hand tambourines, surf harmonies. This is so 196...80s, it hurts. From one of the really great albums of the decade, this is a song that reminds me of a particularly lovely time in my life. Prince, with Starfish & Coffee.)

    The Pretenders - Don't Get Me Wrong (Next is another of those songs that just jumps out and gets you. It doesn't happen that often, but when it does, ow!, love at first listen. One of the best feelings in the world. Voice, melody, structure, and the sound of this song. Don't Get Me Wrong, The Pretenders.)

    The Pixies - Gigantic (Next up from another one of the best bands I ever saw or heard, going on after them on the Prayer Tour in 1989 pushed the Cure to a new level and they'd really only just started! This song sounds heartfelt, effortless, carefree, gorgeous and fun, and it always makes me feel very very happy. Cue the best stick-click intro ever, this is the Pixies, and Gigantic.)

    Yoko Ono - Walking On Thin Ice (The next up is yet another post-show Club Smith 3 am favorite, one of the all-time great weird late night singalongs. I, I, I love this song, even the rap bit! This is Yoko Ono, Walking on Thin Ice.)

    New Order - Everything's Gone Green (Next up is another song that was a Steve Severin "Clockwalk Club flap Christmas" (?) staple. I hold on to my picture of this as it was then - possible and New Order, Everything's Gone Green.)

    Mel & Kim - Respectable (What can I say about the next song? One of those secret, guilty pleasures? Except it's not secret and I don't feel guilty, BUT it is a pleasure, not many days went by on the Cure Kiss Me tour in 1987 when this wasn't played very very very loud. Mel and Kim, Respectable.)

    My Bloody Valentine - Lose My Breath (Next song up an absolutely beautiful piece of music from one of my all time favorite groups. I particularly love the way in this song that the sound of every breath being taken is the loudest thing in the mix. Absolute genius. This is My Bloody Valentine and Lose my Breath.)

  2. Madness - Return of the Lost Palmas Seven (The next song's one of those "I can't help it, I just love it" things. 2 and a half minutes of "sharp suited, out with the naughty boys, good time music" Another song I almost learned to dance to, this is Madness, with the Return of the Los Palmas Seven. Waiter.)

    Chaka Khan - I Feel For You (There were more than a few songs in the same kind of style as the next one. Whatever the kind of style is or was. And in the right place, at the right time, in the wrong mind, I could really enjoy this kind of style a lot. This song in particular stuck with me, as it was, and is, one of the best examples of this kind of style. Despite the rapping. )

    Joy Division - The Eternal (Another song that would have to be in my Top 30 of all time. Although this is the sound of the end of the 70s, it was the sound of the start of the 80s. It's effects on me as an artist, and an individual, were pretty profound. It's one of the saddest, and best, songs I ever heard. This is Joy Division and The Eternal.)

    Jesus and Mary Chain - Some Candy Talking (The 1960s via the 1970s via the 19880s or something. So much fun, too much fun. This is the Jesus and Mary Chain, Some Candy Talking.)

    Human League - Human (From one of the giants of the 1980s, yet another song that would be there in my Top 30 of all-time, I think. The group that kind of did what we did. Went from underground to overground. As soon as I heard this song, I fell in love with it. And despite, or maybe because of, the four line Yorkshire rap in the middle, I still love it. Very loud and very often. This is The Human League with Human.)

    Peter Gabriel - Red Rain (While Sledgehammer caused a much bigger stir, it was this next song that moved me a lot more. Another seminal sound & vision. The vast gated drum reverb, the auto wah sub-bass, and on top of it all, the voice of Peter Gabriel singing Red Rain.)

    Echo & The Bunnymen - Killing Moon (Next is another song that would make my Top 30 of all-time, I think. One of the mysteries of the 1980s, as a decade, is how it ended up with so many idiots on top. How come Ian McCulloch didn't trip? until 1990 ruling the world? This is Echo & the Bunnymen and The Killing Moon.)

    Dinosaur Jr. - Freak Scene (Would make his Top 30 of all time. The sound of the 80s turning into the 90s. One of the best guitarists he's ever seen.)

    Depeche Mode - Personal Jesus (Really fun watching them grow from a tiny synth pop band into a huge synth rock band, with at least one great single on every album. This is probably one of the best.)

    D.A.F. - Sex Unter Wasser (Another Severin flat memory. This had a strange influence on the Glove project, but he's not quite sure how.)

    Christina - Things Fall Apart (takes him back to Steve Severin's flat during Christmas 82.)

    Cocteau Twins - Persephone (played their album Treasure as he was getting ready on his wedding day.)

    Kate Bush - Cloudbusting

    Bananarama and Funboy 3 - It Ain't What You Do (It's the Way that You Do It)

    David Bowie - Lets Dance

    The Associates - Tell Me It's Easter on Friday

    ABC - Look of Love

  3. The Tom Waits ? is
    "post-Cure show dressing rooms"

  4. Chaka Khan.

    See? Never put Robert into a box.

    That's one of the reasons why I have loved him for so long; he is just himself and not afraid of what people think.

  5. Craig, I also recorded this. I working on combining all my intros into daily files so I'll have one file for each day instead of every 4 hours. You've got my email so let me know if you want the new links and I'll send them to you.


  6. Thank you for the transcription!

    "Cocteau Twins - Persephone (played their album Treasure as he was getting ready on his wedding day.)"

    I especially love this record!

  7. Rob's great as usual! And trying to be nice and timeless...Also great!

  8. Does anybody know what Robert said about the Kate Bush song?
    /Thank you/

  9. And here are the transcriptions of the songs that we missed last night:

    Dinosaur Jr. - Freak Scene (The next song is a song that would make my Top 30 of all-time. This is the sound of the 1980s turning into the 1990s. One of the greatest guitarists, and bands, that I've ever seen and heard. This is Dinosaur Jr. and Freak Scene.)

    Depeche Mode - Personal Jesus (Next song, instantly recognizable. It was really good fun watching this lot grow from tiny synth pop thing into huge synth rock thing, with always at least one great single on every album. This is one of the best, I think. Depeche Mode with Personal Jesus.)

    D.A.F. - Sex Unter Wasser (Next up, another Severin Christmas flat song. This stuff had a strange influence on our Glove project, although I must admit I can't quite remember how. Maybe the synth bass, maybe the marimba, maybe the German words? Uh, one of the times I almost learned to dance, I remember, too. This is D.A.F. with Sex Unter Wasser )

    Christina - Things Fall Apart (The next song takes me back to Steve Severin's Christmas flat, 1981 I think, or this would be 1982? Anyway, plotting The Glove's takeover of Japan and then the world. I used to put this on his Hi-Fi at #11. Over, and over, and over, and over, until it was dark enough to float outside into the London snow again. Goog morning, midnght, it's Christmas indeed. This is Christina with Things Fall Apart. )

    Cocteau Twins - Persephone (The next song is from a band that's very very special to me. I played their album, Treasure, as I was getting ready on my wedding day. And it was very hard to pick just one song from that album, as I love them all. This is the Cocteau Twins with Persephone )

    Kate Bush - Cloudbusting (Next up is a song that would be in my Top 30 of all-time. I love everything about it. I remember I used to play the album, The Hounds of Love, so loud, just before pretty much every Cure show we played in 1985. And this song was my favorite then, and it's my favorite now. This is Kate Bush and Cloudbusting.)

    David Bowie - Let's Dance (The next one is from one of my all-time musical heroes. I love stuff that he did in the 70s, the 90s, the naughties, and maybe not quite as much stuff in the 80s, but the next song, if only for the way he sings, "flower", in the change, which is about 3 minutes in, or you know, whatever. Uh, I have to include a song by him anyway, this is David Bowie with Let's Dance.)

    Bananarama and Funboy 3 - It Ain't What You Do (It's the Way that You Do It) (Another seminal sound, and a great collaboration. This is a fab combination of music, words, voices, instrumentation, production, character, style. In less than 3 minutes, this song pretty much conjures up a whole summer. This is Bananarama and Funboy 3 with It Ain't What You Do (It's the Way that You Do It). )

    The Associates - Tell Me It's Easter on Friday (When The Cure signed their first record contract
    with Fiction Records, back in 1978, we had one other label mate. We got on really well with them, they toured with us, I sang backing vocals on their first album, The Affectionate Punch, and loved pretty much everything they did. This song though stood out, and it's always been one of my real favorites. This is The Associates, with Tell Me It's Easter on Friday.)

    ABC - The Look of Love (Hello, this Robert from The Cure, with my 80s Top 30. Very catchy. We have to start somewhere, where better than with the definitive archetypal classic 1980s pop sound? Clean, glossy, and sharp, not words that I'd normally cozy up to, but when a song is this good...ABC and The Look of Love, Part 1.)

    Thanks to Pussycat for providing the missing intros.

  10. Ha I love that he loves Mel & Kim, I am not so embarrassed to admit I love that song to!

    What a shame that poor old mel died.... : (

  11. Geez, and Robert said ROGER had weird taste in music! :P
    I can definitely hear the influences though. That Bananarama song made me think of Lovecats, and in the Sugarcubes song, one part of the lyrics goes "He's got a chain of flowers"; that one's catchy without being '80s with camp & cheese', I like it!
    He's definitely listed some great artists.

    I never tire of listening to The Cocteau Twins. "Crushed" is one of my faves... there's something wistful, rueful, sad, happy, hopeful... I dunno, I just really like the way that song makes me feel. Liz Fraser's voice is beyond description, one of the greatest singers this planet has ever seen. She's done many awesome collaborations, like this one for instance!

  12. sww, no clickey...