The Cure - Seventeen Seconds (Vinyl)

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Second studio album by the British rock group, originally released in 1980. For 'Seventeen Seconds', frontman Robert Smith co-produced for the first time with Mike Hedges. The album include the band's first UK Top 40 single, 'A Forest'.


While Three Imaginary Boys is technically the first Cure album, Seventeen Seconds feels like the first album really made by the band, you know. Pretty much immediately after TIB, Smith and Co. were given all the creative control they wanted, and along with the addition of Crucial Cure member Simon Gallup, it really feels like the moment where The Cure finally come into their own.

Their development as a band is clear as soon as you start the album. Opener "A Reflection' shows the band experimenting with atmosphere much more, as it's really just an entirely ambient piece with a dark, isolated atmosphere to it. That then directly leads into one of my favorite Cure openers, Play For Today. It brings the slightly more chilled approach of Three Imaginary Boys and adds thick, gothic basslines, a more melodic guitar line, and an overall darker and more sinister atmosphere than anything on the debut. The Cure continue to deliver many early goth classics for pretty much the whole album. Secrets & In You House are nearly as good and as catchy as Play For Today, Three & M are great pieces that show The Band trying new sounds and approaches to production, and they really help build the atmosphere of this album being very isolated and hidden, almost like being lost.

And speaking of being lost, The album also has The Cure's first AMAZING song, A Forest. It's far longer and more developed than anything had been up to that point, incorporating early elements of Coldwave along one of the best and most memorable basslines in the band's catalogue, and Smith REALLY comes in to his own lyrically here. The imagery and story he's able to develop are rivalled by few other songs he's ever written, and it's really no wonder that it's a favorite of nearly every Cure fan, as well as their most played Live song (of which a SEVENTEEN minute version exists).

The album is able to round itself out pretty nicely as well. At Night is one of the heaviest sounding songs here, and once again it shows the band starting to use synths extremely well. The title track resembles the TIB title track, with it's slow, melancholic atmosphere. it's able to cool down nicely after some of the best and longest songs on the album. The album may not be perfect overall, as it does lack a sense of flow and consistency that the next few album would reach, and in general it's outdone by those albums in nearly every way, but it is a very important album for the band, and a huge step up from the debut. Absolutely start here if you're a new fan (Although THOTD is also a good start).

By: Jeikura

A1 A Reflection
A2 Play For Today
A3 Secrets
A4 In Your House
A5 Three
B6 The Final Sound
B7 A Forest
B8 M
B9 At Night
B10 Seventeen Seconds

Remastered 180g vinyl
Record Label: Fiction