brent johnson digs up a lost song from The Cure, one of the bands that was not included in another otherwise stellar Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame class today …
Today, the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame welcomed one of its strongest classes in a while: the Beastie Boys, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Guns ‘N Roses, The Faces, Donovan and Laura Nyro. A good mix of critical favorites, modern legends, innovators and artists that represent a wide array of genres — rap, funk, alt-rock, hard rock, blues rock, the British Invastion, ’60s psychedlia and ’70s singer-songwriter.
So congrats on that, Rock Hall.
But for all the progress the hall has made — finally recognizing hip-hop and remembering what was good about ’80s rock — there were still two names missing from today’s list: The Smiths and The Cure. And that baffles me.
Everything about The Smiths was different. Johnny Marr played layers of gorgeous guitar at a time when synthesizers ruled. Morrissey sang in a crooning voice about Oscar Wilde and celibacy, while wearing flowers in his pocket and a hearing aid in his ear. But I understand a tad why the Rock Hall continues to ignore them: As much as they influenced a slew of alt-rock bands over the last 25 years, The Smiths were stars in Britain but a cult act in America.
That makes The Cure’s snub even more mind-boggling, though. They certainly started as a cult band, but they also scored a string of hits on American radio. They’ve inspired countless teenagers to play minor chords, wear black makeup and turn their diaries into songs.
Plus, The Cure were more inventive than they’re given credit for. Sure, many of their songs drip with goth. But frontman Robert Smith also wrote shimmering love songs that walked the line between adoring and cheesy — something that’s not easy to do. And on their classic 1989 album Disintegration, they showed that opening songs with a minute of nothing but instrumental music builds tension.
They also have a catalogue filled with fantastic tracks — like ‘Lullaby.’ It was the first single off Disintegration, though it didn’t make much of a splash in the U.S. Still, it’s one of the best examples of The Cure’s trademark: melodically sweet but lyrically creepy …
Oh well. There’s always next year, Rock Hall.