The Roots of Grunge Music: The Cure

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


The grunge music scene of the early 1990s was characterized by its raw and angsty sound. But where did this sound come from? Many point to The Cure as being one of the seminal influences of grunge.

The Cure as a Grunge Influence

The Cure is an English rock band formed in Crawley, West Sussex in 1976. The band has experienced several lineup changes, with vocalist, guitarist, and principal songwriter Robert Smith being the only constant member. The Cure first began releasing music in the late 1970s with their debut album Three Imaginary Boys (1979), this album and lead single “Boys Do Not Cry” were included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. The Cure’s popularity increased with their fourth album, Pornography (1982), which reached number one in the UK.

The Cure’s Sound

Gothic rock band The Cure is cited as a major influence on the grunge movement. The Cure’s “dark, gothic sound” and “moody, atmospheric” songs had a profound impact on the early grunge bands. The dark and brooding lyrics of The Cure’s songs spoke to the angst and alienation felt by many young adults in the 1980s. The Cure’s music was “raw and emotional”, with a sound that was “heavy and distorted”.

The Cure’s Lyrics

The Cure is an English rock band formed in Crawley, West Sussex in 1976. The group has experienced several line-up changes, with frontman Robert Smith being the only constant member throughout the band’s history.

During the late 1970s and early 1980s, the Cure produced a number of singles and albums whose popularity was confined to Europe and Australasia; however, by the mid-1980s, the Cure’s standing had improved considerably, reaching mainstream pop and rock radio stations in the United States with their hit single “Just Like Heaven”, as well as achieving popularity in their native country and elsewhere in Europe with such singles as “Close to Me” and “Lovesong”.

The Cure’s music is characterized by Smith’s droning guitars, atmospheric keyboards, occasional saxophone textures, distorted guitar solos on many tracks, Robert Smith’s distinctive lead vocals which range from whispered croon to impassioned howl. The recurring themes in their lyrics center on love (particularly its physical effects), loneliness, mental illness (especially depression), adolescence, death and despair.

The Cure’s Influence on Grunge Music

The Cure is often cited as one of the biggest influences on grunge music. Grunge music would not be the same without The Cure’s dark, angsty lyrics and gothic aesthetic. The Cure’s music inspired a generation of young people to pick up guitars and start a revolution.

The Cure’s Influence on Sound

The Cure’s influence on grunge music is often overlooked. The band’s dark, droning soundscapes laid the foundation for the genre, and their reliance on minor chords and distorted guitars helped to create a distinctly ominous atmosphere. Kurt Cobain was a big fan of the group, and their music can be heard throughout Nirvana’s discography. Songs like “Come As You Are” and “Heart-Shaped Box” would not exist without the pioneering work of The Cure.

The Cure’s Influence on Lyrics

The Cure’s influence on grunge music is often overlooked. However, their dark and depressing lyrics laid the foundation for the grunge movement. The Cure’s frontman, Robert Smith, was a big fan of Nirvana and even cited them as an influence on The Cure’s album, “Disintegration.”

Grunge music would not be the same without the lyrical contributions of The Cure. Robert Smith’s unique style of writing about personal pain and darkness resonated with many grunge musicians, who were struggling with similar issues in their own lives. The Cure’s lyrics helped to give grunge music its distinctive sound and feel.

The Cure’s Legacy

The Cure is often cited as one of the most influential bands of the past few decades, with their unique blend of gothic rock and pop punk. They helped to pioneer the grunge music genre with their dark and angsty lyrics, and their use of distorted guitars. The Cure’s influence can still be felt today, in the music of bands like My Chemical Romance and The Used.

The Cure’s Influence on Today’s Music

It is safe to say that The Cure was one of the most influential rock bands of the 1980s. The band’s dark, Gothic sound and catchy melodies helped to pioneer the post-punk movement, and their impact can still be felt today in the music of many popular artists.

Despite never achieving the same level of commercial success as some of their contemporaries, The Cure’s influence on the music industry is undeniable. Many modern bands and artists – such as Arcade Fire, Interpol, and The Killers – have cited The Cure as a major influence on their sound.

The Cure’s unique blend of melancholy lyricism and upbeat pop sensibilities has also had a lasting impact on the world of fashion. The band’s gothic look – characterized by dark clothing, pale makeup, and perfect hair – has been adopted by many young people over the years, and can still be seen at music festivals and nightclubs around the world.

So, while they may not be topping the charts anymore, it is clear that The Cure’s legacy continues to live on in today’s music and fashion scenes.

The Cure’s Influence on Today’s Lyrics

Gothic music has become one of the most popular genres in recent years. Although it entered the mainstream in the early 90s with bands like Nirvana, its roots go back much further. One band that had a profound influence on this genre is The Cure.

The Cure is a British rock band that formed in 1976. They were one of the first gothic rock bands and their sound was very dark and atmospheric. Their lyrics were often about love, loss, and betrayal, and they had a very emotive style of singing. They became very popular in the early 80s with hits like “Boys Don’t Cry” and “Just Like Heaven.”

The Cure’s influence can be seen in many of today’s gothic rock bands. Their dark and emotive lyrics have inspired a new generation of songwriters. Many modern gothic rock bands are indebted to The Cure for their style and approach to songwriting.

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