On August 26th, 1985 The Cure released their 6th studio album The Head On The Door, an album that takes its title from a line from the single “Close to Me”. The record was the band’s second LP produced by Dave Allen who would work with the band up until the release of 1992’s Wish.
Parched Art designer Andy Vella created the font for The Head on the Door using a cotton bud, some household bleach, and photographic paper. The cover art was created using a manipulated photograph of Robert Smith’s younger sister Janet taken by Porl.
The Head On The Door marked the return of bassist Simon Gallup who had departed after touring for the band’s 4th album Pornography. The album also saw Porl (Pearl) Thompson officially rejoining the band, as he had played guitar during the Malice and Easy Cure days, and had previously guested on The Top, and The Glove’s Blue Sunshine. Also added to the lineup was drummer Boris Williams, who had previously worked with the Thompson Twins.
The album was the first to be released by singer/songwriter/guitarist Robert Smith after he left Siouxsie and The Banshees in May of 1984. Smith has stated that the Banshees album Kaleidoscope was a strong influence of the wide variety of tracks on The Head On the Door: be it “Kyoto Song’s” Japanese flavor or “The Blood’s” Spanish style. Flamenco. The piano tune in the track “Six Different Ways” was evolved from the single “Swimming Horses”.
Following the ill-informed controversy between 2 years previously with The Cure’s “The Walk”, and New Order’s “Blue Monday”, is the even stronger similarity between The Cure’s single from this record, “In Between Days”, to New Order’s “Dreams Never End”.
Regardless of what you believe from the rivalry above, the video only single “A Night Like This” admittedly reuses previous Cure material by reworking the original melody from the Easy Cure track “Plastic Passion”. “The song also contains a saxophone solo by Ron Howe from Fools Dance, a band that also featured Simon Gallup, and former Cure keyboardist Matthieu Hartley.
Below, we have included the full Les Enfants du Rock program from 1985 where The Cure are promoting The Head On The Door. Note that at 6 minutes and 45 seconds, Robert half-jokingly derides founding member and keyboardist Lol Tolhurst for his alcoholism that would lead to his departure from the band by the release of the band’s 1989 album Disintegration—a subject that is addressed at length in Lol’s book Cured: The Story of Two Imaginary Boys.
- In Between Days
- Kyoto Song
- The Blood
- Six Different Ways
- The Baby Screams
- Close to Me
- A Night Like This