The first album by The Cure which I actually owned was 1987’s Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, which could easily have been the band’s best effort — except damn if they didn’t top it two years later with Disintegration. I happened to be working at a Top 40 station in Arcata, California at the time, but being a college town we played a lot of alt-rock. Especially during the overnight shift, which tonight’s cut was hand-tailored for.
UK listeners were treated to “Lullaby” for the album’s first single release, but we got “Fascination Street” instead. Ostensibly the song is about frontman Robert Smith and a lady friend getting ready to hit Mardi Gras in New Orleans. But a not-even-close reading of the lyric says that “Fascination Street” is about a particularly bitter instance of breakup sex. And of course that fits in with the album’s theme — the disintegration of relationships, of personal life, and even of the self. This is one dark and twisted (and disturbingly hot) little number.
Disintegration was released 25 years ago this month, when it instantly became one of my desert island albums. It still is.
Here’s the band performing “FS” live in 2002.