Faith (The Cure album)

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Faith
The Cure - Faith.jpg
Studio album by
Released14 April 1981
RecordedSeptember 1980 – March 1981
StudioMorgan Studios, London
Genre
Length36:54
LabelFiction (UK)
A&M (US original release)
Elektra (US rerelease)
Producer
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 rock band the Cure, released on 14 April 1981 by Fiction Records. The album saw the band continuing in the gloomy vein of their previous album Seventeen Seconds (1980), which would conclude with their next album Pornography (1982).

Preceded by the single "Primary", the album was well-received by critics and was a commercial success in the UK, peaking at number fourteen on the UK Albums Chart and staying on the chart for eight weeks.

Background[edit]

Following the tour for Seventeen Seconds, the Cure returned to Morgan Studios on 27 September 1980 to record a new album, minus Matthieu Hartley, who had departed due to disagreement with the musical direction of the band. 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". Several other studios were tried: Red Bus, Trident, The Roundhouse and Abbey Road.[1]

Much of Faith was written in the studio. At least two songs on the album, "All Cats Are Grey" and "The Drowning Man", were inspired by the Gormenghast novels of Mervyn Peake. Faith was the first album by the Cure to feature a six-string bass guitar; "All Cats Are Grey" features Smith on keyboards and piano, with no guitar at all.

The instrumental piece "Carnage Visors" (i.e., rose-coloured spectacles; originally available only on the long-play cassette release) is the soundtrack to Carnage Visors, a short film by Ric Gallup, Simon Gallup'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 Smith, Lol Tolhurst 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]

The album's 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]

Release and reissue[edit]

Faith was released on 14 April 1981.[1] It reached No. 14 in the UK Albums Chart.[3] The album was remastered in 2005 as part of Universal Music's Deluxe Edition series. The new edition featured "Carnage Visors", demos and live tracks as well as the non-album single "Charlotte Sometimes". It also included a few never-before-released tracks (in demo form, all instrumentals).

Critical reception and legacy[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic3.5/5 stars[4]
Blender3/5 stars[5]
Entertainment WeeklyB+[6]
The Guardian3/5 stars[7]
Mojo4/5 stars[8]
Pitchfork8.8/10[9]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide3/5 stars[10]
Smash Hits7/10[11]
Sounds4.5/5 stars[12]
Uncut4/5 stars[13]

Faith received mixed reviews from critics on its release. Sounds reviewer John Gill wrote that while the more uptempo songs "Primary" and "Doubt" were reminiscent of the Cure's previous work, with a "sense of strong, haunting melody", the remainder of the album marked a stark departure for the band; he noted a "Neu!-ish sense of smudged melody, soft tones flowing around a languorous, groaning bass", and found that the band's new sound evoked 1960s acts such as Pink Floyd and the Doors. Gill remarked that "listening to Faith requires a personal act of involvement, the reward being a sense of belonging."[12] Melody Maker deemed the record "impressive", praising its "richness and deceptive power". Writer Adam Sweeting described Faith as "a sophisticated exercise in atmosphere and production", adding, "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."[14] David Hepworth of Smash Hits said that "despite some rather stilted lyrics", the Cure "continue to develop one of the most individual and pleasing styles around."[11] NME's review of the album, written by Ray Lowry, was accompanied by a picture of the band and a caption reading: "Gloomy? Gothic? Us?". Lowry wrote that the album "says absolutely nothing meaningful" and dismissed it as "just the modern face of Pink Floydism."[15] Record Mirror's Mike Nicholls found that "The Cure remain stuck in the hackneyed doom-mongering that should have died with Joy Division" and panned Faith as "hollow, shallow, pretentious, meaningless, self-important and bereft of any real heart or soul".[16]

In a retrospective review, Chris True of AllMusic called Faith "a depressing record, certainly, but also one of the most underrated and beautiful albums the Cure put together."[4] In 2010, Fact ranked the album as one of the 20 best "goth records ever made".[17]

Track listing[edit]

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

Side A
No.TitleLength
1."The Holy Hour"4:25
2."Primary"3:35
3."Other Voices"4:28
4."All Cats Are Grey"5:28
Side B
No.TitleLength
1."The Funeral Party"4:14
2."Doubt"3:11
3."The Drowning Man"4:50
4."Faith"6:43
Cassette/2005 CD Deluxe Edition bonus track
No.TitleLength
5."Carnage Visors: The Soundtrack"27:51
2005 CD Deluxe Edition bonus disc: Rarities 1980–1981
No.TitleLength
1."Faith" (Robert Smith home instrumental demo 8/80)2:56
2."Doubt" (Robert Smith home instrumental demo 8/80)1:09
3."Drowning" (group home instrumental demo 9/80)1:52
4."The Holy Hour" (group home demo 9/80)4:48
5."Primary" (Morgan studio out-take 9/80)4:22
6."Going Home Time" (Morgan studio guide vox out-take 9/80)3:31
7."The Violin Song" ('Faith' studio guide vox out-take 2/81)3:38
8."A Normal Story" ('Faith' studio guide vox out-take 2/81)3:04
9."All Cats Are Grey" (live "somewhere", "Summer 1981")5:37
10."The Funeral Party" (live "somewhere", "Summer 1981")4:38
11."Other Voices" (live "somewhere", "Summer 1981")4:45
12."The Drowning Man" (live "Australasia", "Summer 1981")5:48
13."Faith" (live at Capitol Theatre, Sydney, August 1981)10:23
14."Forever" (live "somewhere", "Summer" 1981)9:19
15."Charlotte Sometimes"4:13

Personnel[edit]

The Cure

Production

  • Mike Hedges – production, engineering
  • Graham Carmichael – 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[18]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
New Zealand (RMNZ)[19] Gold 7,500^
United Kingdom (BPI)[20] Silver 60,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Apter, Jeff (2005). Never Enough: The Story of The Cure. Omnibus Press. ISBN 1-84449-827-1.
  2. ^ "The Cure – Carnage Visors – 45 Seconds Clip ! – YouTube". YouTube. 20 March 2007. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
  3. ^ "The Cure". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 21 August 2015.
  4. ^ a b True, Chris. "Faith – The Cure". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
  5. ^ Wolk, Douglas (October 2005). "The Cure: Faith". Blender. No. 41. Archived from the original on 30 November 2005. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  6. ^ Sinclair, Tom (11 April 2005). "EW reviews the latest album reissues". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 7 January 2016.
  7. ^ Sweeting, Adam (20 May 2005). "The Cure, Faith". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
  8. ^ Perry, Andrew (June 2005). "Death became them". Mojo. No. 139. p. 116.
  9. ^ Abebe, Nitsuh (12 May 2005). "The Cure: Seventeen Seconds / Faith / Pornography". Pitchfork. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
  10. ^ Sheffield, Rob (2004). "The Cure". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. pp. 205–06. ISBN 978-0-7432-0169-8.
  11. ^ a b Hepworth, David (16–29 April 1981). "The Cure: Faith". Smash Hits. Vol. 3 no. 8. p. 29.
  12. ^ a b Gill, John (25 April 1981). "Faith, Hope and Reverse Psychology". Sounds.
  13. ^ Martin, Piers (June 2005). "Power of three". Uncut. No. 97. p. 124.
  14. ^ Sweeting, Adam (18 April 1981). "The Cure's funeral party". Melody Maker.
  15. ^ Lowry, Ray (18 April 1981). "Cure: cancerous?". NME. p. 34.
  16. ^ Nicholls, Mike (18 April 1981). "Grinding halt for the Cure". Record Mirror. p. 16.
  17. ^ Sande, Kiran (2 November 2010). "20 best: Goth records ever made". Fact. p. 1. Retrieved 29 November 2020.
  18. ^ "The Cure – Awards: AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
  19. ^ "New Zealand album certifications – the Cure – Faith". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  20. ^ "British album certifications – the Cure – Faith". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 1 June 2019. Select albums in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Faith in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.

External links[edit]