Faith (The Cure album)

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Faith
Studio album by The Cure
Released 11 April 1981
Recorded September–November 1980 at Morgan Studios, England
Genre Post-punk, gothic rock, dark wave
Length 36:54
Label Fiction, Polydor
Producer The Cure, Mike Hedges
The Cure chronology
Seventeen Seconds
(1980)
Faith
(1981)
Pornography
(1982)
Singles from Faith
  1. "Primary"
    Released: 20 March 1981

Faith is the third studio album by English alternative rock band The Cure, released on 14 April 1981 by record labels Fiction and Polydor. Preceded by the single "Primary", the album was a moderate success commercially but was received ambivalently by critics. Faith saw The Cure continuing in the gothic rock vein of 1980's Seventeen Seconds, which would conclude with the band's next album, Pornography.

Background and Carnage Visors[edit]

Following the tour for Seventeen Seconds, The Cure returned to Morgan Studios on 27 September 1980 to record a new album.[1] During this session, recordings of songs "All Cats Are Grey" and "Primary" were attempted, but neither ended up on the album. Robert Smith was hoping the tracks would sound "funereal", but instead he said "they just sounded dull".[1] Several other studios were tried: Red Bus, Trident, The Roundhouse and Abbey Road.[1]

Much of Faith was written in the studio.[1] At least two songs on the album, "All Cats Are Grey" and "The Drowning Man", are inspired by the Gormenghast novels of Mervyn Peake.[1] Faith is the first album by The Cure to feature six-string bass guitar; the song "All Cats Are Grey" features Smith on keyboards and piano, with no guitar at all. The front cover, designed by former and future member Porl Thompson, is a picture of Bolton Priory in the village of Bolton Abbey in the fog.[1]

The instrumental piece "Carnage Visors" (an antonym for rose-coloured spectacles; originally available only on the long-play cassette release) is the soundtrack of Carnage Visors, a short film by Ric Gallup, Simon's brother, that was screened at the beginning of shows in place of a support band on the 1981 Picture Tour, and featured animation of several dolls in different positions and stances.[1] The film has since disappeared, and only Lol Tolhurst, Robert Smith and Simon Gallup own copies of it, though during a televised interview in the mid-1980s the host of the program surprised the band by playing a clip of the film on set.[2]

Release[edit]

Faith was released on 11 April 1981.[1] It reached number 14 in the UK charts.[1]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3.5/5 stars[3]
Melody Maker favourable[4]
NME negative[5]
Pitchfork 8.8/10[6]
Record Mirror negative[1]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 3.5/5 stars[7]
Sounds 4.5/5 stars[8]
Stylus Magazine A−[9]

Faith received an ambivalent response from critics on its release. Sounds gave the album a rating of four and a half stars out of five. Reviewer John Gill felt that the two fast tracks "Primary" and "Doubt" were reminiscent of their previous work, with a "sense of strong, haunting melody". However, he noted that the rest of the album was different, describing it as "a modern-day Dusseldorf" with a "Neu!-ish sense of smudged melody, soft tones flowing around a languorous, groaning bass", also evoking the Sixties of the [Pink] Floyd and the Doors. Gill finally said: "Faith requires a personal act of involvement, the reward being a sense of belonging."[8] Melody Maker found the record "impressive", hailing its "richness and deceptive power". Writer Adam Sweeting hailed Faith as "a sophisticated exercise in atmosphere and production". He concluded "It's gloomy, but frequently majestic, never using brute force where auto-suggestion will do. You may not love it, but you'll become addicted to it."[4]

NME reviewed the album with a picture of the band and a caption saying: "Gloomy? Gothic? Us?". Writer Ray Lowry lambasted Faith and wrote that "it says absolutely nothing meaningful". In the end, Lowry found that "this is just the modern face of Pink Floydism."[5] Record Mirror panned the album, writing "The Cure remain stuck in the hackneyed doom-mongering that should have died with Joy Division", ultimately calling it "hollow, shallow, pretentious, meaningless, self-important and bereft of any real heart or soul".[1]

In their retrospective review, AllMusic called Faith "a depressing record, certainly, but also one of the most underrated and beautiful albums The Cure put together."[3]

Legacy[edit]

"Primary" was covered by The Dandy Warhols for the 2008 Cure tribute album Perfect as Cats: A Tribute to The Cure.

Live performances[edit]

In 2011, The Cure performed the album in its entirety over two dates for the Vivid Live festival at the Sydney Opera House, Sydney, Australia. The performances, billed as The Cure: 'Reflections', were recorded for potential DVD release.

Reissue[edit]

Faith was reissued in the UK on 25 April 2005 (26th in the US) as part of Universal Music's Deluxe Edition series. The new edition features a remastered version of the album and the Carnage Visors soundtrack on disc one, while disc two contains demo and live tracks as well as the non-album single "Charlotte Sometimes". It features a few never-before-released tracks (in demo form; all instrumentals), while each song on the first disc except "Carnage Visors" has an alternate version on the second disc, whether it be a demo or live rendition.

A one-disc edition of the reissue was released on 5 September in the UK and 4 April 2006 in the US. The CD, released in the standard jewel case rather than a digipak, features the original album, but does not contain the bonus disc. It also excludes the song "Carnage Visors".

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Robert Smith, all music composed by The Cure (Smith, Simon Gallup and Lol Tolhurst).

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "The Holy Hour"   4:25
2. "Primary"   3:35
3. "Other Voices"   4:28
4. "All Cats Are Grey"   5:28
Side two
No. Title Length
1. "The Funeral Party"   4:14
2. "Doubt"   3:11
3. "The Drowning Man"   4:50
4. "Faith"   6:43

Personnel[edit]

The Cure
  • Robert Smith – vocals, guitars, keyboards, synthesizer, piano, six-string bass guitar, bass guitar, production
  • Simon Gallup – bass guitar, production
  • Lol Tolhurst – drums, programming, production
Production
  • Mike Hedges – production, engineering
  • David Kemp – engineering
  • Martyn Webster – engineering assistance
  • Porl Thompson – album cover design

Charts[edit]

SinglesBillboard (North America)

Year Single Chart Position
1981 "Primary" Club Play Singles 25[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Apter, Jeff (2005). Never Enough: The Story of The Cure. Omnibus Press. ISBN 1844498271. 
  2. ^ "The Cure – Carnage Visors – 45 Seconds Clip ! – YouTube". YouTube. 20 March 2007. Retrieved 14 October 2012. 
  3. ^ a b True, Chris. "Faith – The Cure: Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards: AllMusic". AllMusic. AllRovi. Retrieved 15 June 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Sweeting, Adam (18 April 1981). "The Cure's Funeral Party". Melody Maker. 
  5. ^ a b Lowry, Ray (18 April 1981). "Cure: Cancerous?". NME. 
  6. ^ Abebe, Nitsuh (12 May 2005). "The Cure: Seventeen Seconds / Faith / Pornography | Album Reviews | Pitchfork". Pitchfork. Retrieved 14 October 2012. 
  7. ^ "The Cure: Album Guide". rollingstone.com. Retrieved 15 February 2013. 
  8. ^ a b Gill, John (25 April 1981). "Faith, Hope and Reverse Psychology". Sounds. 
  9. ^ Parrish, Peter (27 June 2005). "The Cure – Faith – Review – Stylus Magazine". Stylus Magazine. Retrieved 14 October 2012. 
  10. ^ "The Cure – Awards: AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 14 October 2012. 

External links[edit]