Wish (The Cure album)

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Studio album by
Released21 April 1992
StudioThe Manor (Shipton-on-Cherwell, England)
The Cure chronology
Singles from Wish
  1. "High"
    Released: 16 March 1992
  2. "Friday I'm in Love"
    Released: 15 May 1992
  3. "A Letter to Elise"
    Released: 5 October 1992

Wish is the ninth studio album by English rock band the Cure, released on 21 April 1992 by Fiction Records in the United Kingdom and Elektra Records in the United States.[3] Wish was the Cure's most commercially successful in the band's career, debuting at number one in the UK and number two in the US, where it sold more than 1.2 million copies.


The record is the final studio album featuring drummer Boris Williams and the first featuring Perry Bamonte, who was initially working as a roadie for the band,[4] as well as being the last album featuring guitarist Porl Thompson for sixteen years.[5]

Whilst retaining their trademark gothic rock sound and mood on some tracks, Wish often found the band emphasizing the lighter, broader guitar-driven alternative rock direction that was hinted on their previous three records. According to Porl Thompson, 'Wish' was recorded on 48 tracks and "almost everything was used".[6] Robert Smith also revealed the hit song 'Friday I'm In Love' was purposely sped up a quarter-tone sharp on the recording tape, halfway between D and E-flat. Robert Smith commented on the speeding up of the tape of the song in a 1993 interview. "[…] that was an accident. I was playing with the vari-speed and forgot to turn it off. But the whole feel changed, and the fact that it's the only song on Wish that's not in concert pitch really lifts it out and makes it sound different. After working on the record for months, hearing something a quarter-tone off makes your brain take a step backwards."[6] Smith also revealed that the "detuning' of the guitars played a role in the unique "sound" of the album, as did the subliminal overdubs and the extensive use of feedback.[6] "A lot of things on our record that sound like heavy chorusing are actually just detuned instruments. The only drawback to that is onstage it's very confusing sometimes, especially with lots of phasing effects going on. It turns into this overwhelming pulsing sound, and you can't hear anything."[6]

Smith also revealed that the songs "Mesmerise" by Chapterhouse, and "Human" by The Human League were an influence on the album, he commented on both songs in 1993: "For every album we do, I assemble a bunch of songs that have something that I'm trying to capture. For Wish, I would listen to "Mesmerise" by Chapterhouse for its feeling of abandon and "Human" by The Human League. You couldn't spot anything sonically or structurally that would influence anything we did, but there's an indefinable something that I'm trying to capture. One night I must have played "Mesmerise" 20 times, drinking and turning it louder and louder, putting myself into a trance."[6]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Chicago Tribune[8]
Christgau's Consumer GuideC+[9]
Entertainment WeeklyB[10]
Los Angeles Times[11]
Rolling Stone[14]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[15]

The album's lead single was "High", released on 16 March 1992.[17] The single peaked at number eight on the UK Singles Chart, number 42 on the US Billboard Hot 100, and number one on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart.[18][19][20] The album's second single, "Friday I'm in Love", was released on 15 May 1992, a Friday,[21] later reaching number six on the UK Singles Chart, number 18 on the Billboard Hot 100, and number one on the Modern Rock Tracks chart.[22][19][20] The final single was "A Letter to Elise", issued on 5 October 1992.[23] This song reached number twenty-eight in the UK and number two on the Modern Rock Tracks chart.[22][20]

Wish was released on 21 April. It received positive reviews upon release, including a four-star review in Rolling Stone that stated: "For its cult of millions, the Cure offers the only kind of optimism that makes sense."[14][15] Wish was also the band's overall highest-charting album, and most commercially successful in the band's career. Upon release, 'Wish' would soon debut at number one on the UK Albums Chart, and number two on the US Billboard 200, where it sold more than 1.2 million copies.[22][24] It also reached number one on Cash Box's Top 200 Pop Albums chart in the US on 16 May 1992.[25] Wish was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album in 1993.

On 16 November 1993, a limited-edition EP titled Lost Wishes was released on cassette with four new tracks on it.[26]

In 1995, Q included Wish in its publication "In Our Lifetime: Q's 100 Best Albums 1986–94", a list compiled to celebrate its 100th issue.[27]

In 2000 it was voted number 646 in Colin Larkin's All Time Top 1000 Albums.[28]


On April 13, 2018, in an interview with BBC Radio 6, Robert Smith confirmed that the deluxe edition of “Wish” is finished.[29] A release date is yet to be announced.

Track listing[edit]

All songs composed by the Cure (Perry Bamonte, Simon Gallup, Robert Smith, Porl Thompson, Boris Williams).

4."From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea"7:44
5."Wendy Time"5:13
6."Doing the Unstuck"4:24
7."Friday I'm in Love"3:39
9."A Letter to Elise"5:14
11."To Wish Impossible Things"4:43

Lost Wishes EP

Four instrumental tracks taken from the 'Wish' sessions at the Manor Winter 1991. Released in 1994 as a limited edition cassette, through mail order only.

Side A
12."Uyea Sound"5:21
Side B
14."Off to Sleep..."3:38
15."The Three Sisters"4:11


All credits taken from liner notes [5]

The Cure

Additional musicians

  • Kate Wilkinson – viola on "To Wish Impossible Things"


  • Producers: Dave Allen, the Cure
  • Engineers: Dave Allen, Steve Whitfield
  • Assistant engineer: Chris Bandy
  • Mixing: Mark Saunders
  • Mixing assistants: Andy Baker, William Parry, Danton Supple, Mark Warner
  • Album Cover: Parched Art (Porl Thompson and Andy Vella)


Certifications and sales[edit]

Certifications and sales for Wish
Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[52] Platinum 70,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[53] Gold 50,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[54] Gold 7,500^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[55] Gold 25,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[56] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[57] Platinum 1,000,000^
Worldwide 3,000,000[58]

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


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  12. ^ Quantick, David (18 April 1992). "Bats' Entertainment!". NME.
  13. ^ Sandall, Robert (May 1992). "The Cure: Wish". Q (68): 72. Archived from the original on 10 May 2000. Retrieved 11 April 2019.
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