Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A.V. Club on 'Let's Go To Bed'

From The A.V. Club:

The Cure ditched the wallowing and tried to get laid
By Josh Modell  Aug. 12th, 2014  1:00 PM

In Hear This, A.V. Club writers sing the praises of songs they know well—some inspired by a weekly theme and some not, but always songs worth hearing. This week, with Let’s Be Cops coming to theaters, we’re picking our favorite songs with “let’s” in the title.

By many accounts, the members of The Cure were in relatively terrible mental shape around 1982, which makes sense considering they sang about death and dying for three albums in a row (that’d be the classic platters of misery Seventeen Seconds, Faith, and Pornography). Robert Smith seemed fairly sure he didn’t even want to continue the band, so he figured it’d be fine to take a sharp turn, which took the form of the 1982 single “Let’s Go To Bed.” Smith called the song “stupid,” “rubbish,” and “a joke,” saying it was “everything I hated about music at the time.” It was, of course, a massive hit, and it led Smith down a poppy path that would produce some of his finest work in the ensuing years. Even by modern pop standards, “Let’s Go To Bed” doesn’t sound particularly pandering; sure, it has some “doo-doo”s and a friendly-enough keyboard sound, but it’s far from high gloss. (The biggest hits of 1982 were by Olivia Newton-John and Survivor, to provide some reference point.) No, “Let’s Go To Bed” seemed like something almost entirely new, a pop subgenre inspired by the dour goth from whence it came, but with an odd self-assurance. And as much as Smith liked to shit-talk the song at the time, it clearly inspired him to make more like it: “The Walk” and “The Lovecats” followed, complete with a raft of B-sides that signaled The Cure Version 3.0. (Version 1.0 was the differently poppy “Boys Don’t Cry” era.) And ultimately it led to The Cure’s finest hour, 1985’s The Head On The Door. (Thanks @TacchinoGigante)

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