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Friday, July 9, 2010
ROBERT “THE CURE” SMITH – WPAP BY TONI A.
Smith was raised as a Catholic and went to Notre Dame Middle School and St. Wilfrid's Comprehensive School in Crawley. He was an accomplished student who maintained high marks, but after he began playing guitar at the age of 11 his primary focus quickly became his music. He was influenced by The Beatles, Nick Drake, Jimi Hendrix, The Stranglers, The Ink Spots, Syd Barrett and David Bowie.
When The Cure was first formed, Smith did not intend to become the lead vocalist; he only began singing after the original singer left and the group could not find a suitable replacement. From the late 1970s and into the 1980s, Smith composed some of The Cure's songs on a Hammond organ with a built-in tape recorder, including a complete demo of the song "10:15 Saturday Night".
Smith has written or co-written the bulk of the band's music and lyrics over its 30 year lifespan. With Lol Tolhurst, Smith wrote such songs as "The Lovecats", "Let's Go to Bed", and "The Walk". He wrote the album The Top between stints as Siouxsie and the Banshees' guitarist. Smith has co-produced most of the band's material.
In the band's earliest period, Smith used a soft vocal style on the demos of "10:15 Saturday Night" and "Boys Don't Cry", and a frenetic punk style on "I Just Need Myself". Both of those styles were left behind as a third emerged during the production of the band's debut album, Three Imaginary Boys. This new sound, which can be heard on most of the final versions of songs from that period, became the signature Smith sound, which he generally employed until the 2000 album Bloodflowers. Around that time, Smith said he wanted to improve his singing, the opposite of his goal in 1984: he remarked in the documentary Ten Imaginary Years that he tried to sing badly on the album The Top.
Despite the gothic "gloom and doom" image often tagged onto Smith, he has proven himself to be able to sing up-tempo songs well. Examples include "Friday I'm in Love" and "Mint Car".
Smith has also been involved in other musical projects, including stints in 1979 and 1982–84 as guitarist with Siouxsie and the Banshees, and a side project in 1983 with Banshee bassist Steven Severin called The Glove.
In 1980, Smith sang backing vocals on the song "The Affectionate Punch" on the Associates' debut album The Affectionate Punch. At the time, the Associates were also signed to Fiction Records. The Cure song, "Cut Here", is about the Associates' singer Billy MacKenzie's suicide.
In 1998, Smith formed a "one-off" side project with Jason Cooper and Reeves Gabrels under the name COGASM, releasing the track "A Sign from God" for the film Orgazmo. In 2000, Smith contributed to the track "Yesterday's Gone" on Reeves Gabrels' solo album Ulysses (Della Notte).
In 2003, Smith collaborated with the pop punk band Blink-182 on the track "All of This" on their self-titled Blink-182 album. He also provided vocals for Junior Jack for the club hit "Da Hype".
In 2004, Smith co-wrote and supplied vocals for the Tweaker song "Truth Is". Smith collaborated again with Junior Jack on a remix of "Da Hype", featured on the album Trust It. Blank & Jones remixed "A Forest" featuring Smith on vocals. He was also featured as a vocalist and co-writer on JunkieXL's "Perfect Blue Sky".
In 2005, Smith teamed up with Billy Corgan, lead singer and lead guitarist of both The Smashing Pumpkins and Zwan, to do a cover of the Bee Gees' "To Love Somebody" on Corgan's first solo release, TheFutureEmbrace.
Smith also provides guest vocals to the track "Come to Me" on the 65daysofstatic album We Were Exploding Anyway, released in 2010
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