'Friday I'm in Love'
Robert Smith doesn't consider this track among the best Cure songs. The Cure frontman told reporters it was an overly commercial song released as a concession to pressure from record label employees. Regardless, it's a clever take on the classic pop songwriting style of the early '60s, and one of the band's biggest hits ever, reaching the Top 20 in the States and helping 1992's 'Wish' album achieve platinum success.
'Let's Go to Bed'
The lead track from 1983's currently out-of-print, early singles collection, 'Japanese Whispers,' was written as a deliberate attempt to break out of the claustrophobic, stripped-down sound of the Cure's previous albums. The band turned their sound on its head with light, uptempo songs featuring varied instrumentation and brighter lyrics.
The Cure successfully combined their earlier gothic sound with the more eclectic, pop-centered sound to create their undisputed masterpiece, 1989's multi-platinum 'Disintegration.' Alternatively spelled both 'Lovesong' and 'Love Song' on various official releases, this stately affirmation of devotion, off 'Disintegration,' reached No. 2 on the US pop charts, the group's biggest-selling single to date.
'In Between Days'
The Cure continued to expand their reach and grow their devoted cult following, thanks to clever songwriting touches in this acoustic guitar-driven and Spanish-influenced track. It may have failed to crack the pop charts in the US, but many fans consider this one of the all-time best Cure songs. It also helped tack the album art of 1985's 'The Head on the Door' onto countless college dorm room walls for the next decade.
The Cure strip their sound down to its barest possible form and deliver one of their earliest classics on this tightly wound track from 1980's 'Seventeen Seconds.' Soon after, while opening for Robert Palmer at a rock festival in Belgium, the band was told to cut their performance short after the next song. Naturally, this started a tradition of the Cure playing extended 10-minute versions of this track at their shows.
'Boys Don't Cry'
'Boys Don't Cry' is title track from the US version of the Cure's 1980 debut album. The same album was released in the UK, but with a different title ('Three Imaginary Boys') and a different track listing. The low-budget, but extremely clever video for this track features young doppelgangers for the band performing in the foreground as the curtained silhouettes of the original trio shadow them in the background.
'Close to Me'
This track from 1985's 'The Head on the Door' was released in two significantly different versions. On the album it's a twitchy, uptempo number driven primarily by a haunting keyboard refrain. However, when the Cure released it as a single, they added a traditional New Orleans funeral-sounding marching brass section to form an unexpected call-and-response within the already existing song.
It's completely understandable that 1989's landmark 'Disintegration' places three tracks on this list of best Cure songs. The plucked strings and whispered vocals of this warped 'Lullaby' clearly deserve a spot near the top. In fact, it's hard to leave out another classic, the pulsing, bass-heavy 'Fascination Street.'
'Pictures of You'
This evocative, twisting piece of genius was reportedly conceived when Robert Smith was going through photos of his wife after a fire at their house. The chiming guitars and wordless vocals at the end allow the listener to drift back through their own photographic memories.
'Just Like Heaven'
Fans, peers and even sometimes-cranky revisionist Robert Smith agree this sweeping epic from 1987's 'Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me' is the Cure's finest moment. The sweetest part? He wrote it while on vacation in England with his soon-to-be fiancee. See, at heart he's just a simple lovestruck guy.