Saturday, October 3, 2015

Andy Vella Cure album art article in Classic Pop

Phil Thornalley interview

Part of a very nice interview with Phil at Song Facts:

The Cure's 1982 Pornography album was a turning point for the English rockers, who were nearing the brink of collapse with increasing in-fighting fueled by near-constant drug use. Produced by Phil Thornalley, the dark record reflected frontman Robert Smith's depression and the promotional tour introduced their trademark goth look.

The album is now considered a proto-goth rock classic by fans and critics alike, but its production has inspired larger-than-life tales, from the Cure barricading themselves in their record label's offices and building trash heaps and beer can pyramids in RAK studios to refusing to work until they snorted ample amounts of coke or dropped acid. Smith claims he barely remembers making the album, but calls it one of the group's best.

Songfacts: You also went on to produce The Cure's Pornography album. Has the experience of making that album been mythologized to some degree?

Phil: Totally. I actually produced that very early in my career. I was like 21 and it was before I'd worked with Alex. Robert has gone on record saying that it's one of his three favorite albums. At the time, it was just another album that was made along with The Psychedelic Furs or Hot Chocolate, but with that one I think because I was at the same age as the guys in The Cure, we were more like contemporaries and all the nutty stories you've read about the making of the record, they're all true. It was just over the top.

In the end there was no hit single, but there was this great legacy of this album that you put on and you go: "That's something different." So I'm very proud of that, but the mythologizing, I guess maybe it has got something special about it: it's so different, it's so not what anybody was doing then or not what anybody's doing now. So, long may the myths continue!

Songfacts: I read how you guys stumbled upon the pornography debate between Graham Chapman and Germaine Greer that is sampled at the beginning of "Pornography." But was that track already written when that happened?

Phil: Yes it was. It was just one of those freaky things that has happened in my career in the studio where we tried this approach that Brian Eno and David Byrne from Talking Heads were doing. They called it "Found Music." You turned on the radio or the TV and tried to find some disparate elements and sometimes it just worked.

I suppose in this case it was very literal. You know, I don't know what the song was about, but the title was "Pornography." But we happened to try this experiment coincidentally just as this highbrow program was discussing the subject. So it's just weird. (Thanks Carl)

New Reeves interviews

New interviews with Reeves at The Mouth Magazine, St. Albans Review, and The Yorkshire Evening Post.

Andy Bell’s Top 5 Pre-‘Nowhere’ Influences

From Classic Album Sundays:

Ahead of our next event with Guardian Live: Classic Album Sundays presents ‘Nowhere’ with special guests Ride, we caught up with Andy Bell who shared with us his Top Five Pre Nowhere Influences.
Alongside his work in Ride, Andy also played bass in Oasis, guitar in Beady Eye and Hurricane #1.

The Beatles – Revolver

You can hear echoes of Revolver throughout Nowhere. Seagull is the track with the closest links, obviously the bassline is quite similar to Taxman and there is also a lot of backwards guitar which is something the Beatles pioneered.

Spacemen Three – Perfect Prescription

My most played record during the short time I was an art student. I loved the stretched out long songs, the guitar sounds, the clearly signposted influences. They got me into Suicide, The Red Crayola, 13th Floor Elevators, but more importantly this is a great album.

Sonic Youth – Daydream Nation

There was a huge side of Ride that was influenced by American guitar rock, at the time the UK indie music often had quite a twee, tame sound, and the US had a lot of bands with a lot more bite, like Dinosaur Junior, Sonic Youth, Screaming Trees, Mudhoney etc.

The Smiths – The Queen Is Dead

This was the record that kick started my friendship with Mark Gardener. We bonded over him wanting to learn the chords from Bigmouth Strikes Again, and me knowing them. We were two Smiths fans and this album was the soundtrack to us dreaming of starting a band one day.

The Cure – Disintegration

Like the Smiths, The Cure were a constant soundtrack at school, and they carried on putting out excellent albums throughout Rides existence. Disintegration was a band favourite.

We will be hosting a special event with Ride in conjunction with Guardian Live in London on October 7th.

Full details can be found on the Guardian website:

Tickets: £15 in advance with free Guardian Friend membership and £12 for Guardian Partners and Patrons here. (scroll down to become Guardian Friend for Free to purchase tickets)

Note: I just saw Ride in Chicago a week ago, and they were incredible! If they are playing near you (or even if they're not), go see them! Worth it for 'Drive Blind' alone.

Roger remixes Sister Mystery

New song from Reeves

100 Greatest Alternative Singles of the '80s

From Pop Matters:

8. The Cure - “A Forest” (1980)
The Cure’s debut Three Imaginary Boys (1979) is a collection of melodic but slightly kooky power-pop. For their next album Seventeen Seconds (1980), the band went in a much more austere and emotional direction, inspired by the icy ambient soundscapes of David Bowie’s Low. The first single is their epic achievement “A Forest.” Opening with keyboard that sounds like a beam from an alien starship, a stately and simple guitar pattern emerges, followed by a rumbling bass and taut rhythm. It’s a stark atmosphere of tension that builds for a full 1:47 before Robert Smith begins his echoey, dreamy vocal about a man haunted by the vision of an imaginary girl who is lost in a forest. Much in “A Forest” is left to the imagination. There is so much space in the recording, every sound so perfectly placed. When “A Forest” is performed live, it becomes a behemoth often stretching well past its studio length, building to an immense climax with Smith restlessly calling out the song’s final vocal line “again and again and again and again and again…” with manic intensity, leading the band into a protracted full-throttle ending that slowly collapses one instrument at a time. First the drums give out, while the guitar squalls continue over the thumping bass. Then finally the guitar peters away, and only the solitary bass survives for ten more seconds. “A Forest” is a powerful recording, emanating unease, isolation, and dark wonder. It became the Cure’s first Top 40 hit in the UK, reaching #31, and was the first proof that the Cure was more than just an awkward power-pop trio. “A Forest” laid the groundwork upon which all future Cure songs were built.

Friday, October 2, 2015


Sorry for the lack of posts lately. Will get this updated over the weekend, though honestly, there's not much to post. No actual news, but some stuff that you might be interested in.