The Cure

Peel Sessions

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Though it was by no means the greatest John Peel session that the Cure ever recorded (that honor belongs to their 1981 airing), the band's debut on the show, in late 1978, remains one of their best-loved, as the then all but unknown quartet previewed four of the songs that knowing journalists had already tagged the sound of "the southern Buzzcocks." Recorded on November 12 for broadcast on December 4, "Killing an Arab" (the group's still-unreleased debut single), "10:15 Saturday Night," "Fire in Cairo," and "Boys Don't Cry" all peeled out of Robert Smith's then-firm grasp on the mechanics of post-punk power pop, a little rougher and rawer than the versions that would eventually make it onto vinyl, but crackling with precision and energy regardless. Indeed, bassist Michael Dempsey later admitted, "the...songs captured the spirit far more than the album versions...more like the original demos that had secured our recording contract in the first place, just better quality. All [the] songs in the first...session should be seen as the definitive sound of the early Cure."

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