It all started in 1976 as Easy Cure, formed by Robert Smith (vocals, guitar) along with schoolmates Michael Dempsey (bass), Lol Tolhurst (drums), and local guitar hero Porl Thompson. They began writing and demoing their own songs almost immediately, playing throughout 1977 in Southern England to an ever-growing army of fans. In 1978 the ‘Easy’ was dropped, along with Porl, and an eager trio now known simply as The Cure were quickly signed to Chris Parry’s new Fiction label.
In May 1979 their debut album Three Imaginary Boys was released to great acclaim, and as the band toured extensively around the UK, the singles “Boys Don’t Cry” and “Jumping Someone Else’s Train” were released.
Michael left the band at the end of the year, and Simon Gallup (bass) and Matthieu Hartley (keyboards) joined. In early 1980 the Cure quartet embarked on an exploration of the darker side of Robert’s songwriting, and emerged with the minimalist classic album Seventeen Seconds, along with their first bonafide ‘hit single’ “A Forest.”
After pushing the limits of excess, Robert felt he had to change things, and did so by ‘going pop’ again. Rejuvenated, the Cure duo released their first real dance single, the cheesy “Let’s Go To Bed,” and during the making of the accompanying video forged a colorful and lasting relationship with director Tim Pope.
The band continued into 1983 with the groovy electronic dance of “The Walk,” followed by the demented cartoon jazz of “The Lovecats.” All 3 singles and accompanying B-sides were then compiled and re-released as the Japanese Whispers album.