The Cure

The Hanging Garden

Composed by Simon Gallup / Robert Smith / Laurence Tolhurst / Lol Tolhurst

Song Review by

Through the early '80s, Robert Smith split his time between fronting the Cure and playing guitar in Siouxsie & the Banshees, until he finally fully recommitted to the Cure when John McGeoch permanently joined the Banshees, shortly before the recording of Pornography. Although Pornography is without question the Cure's darkest album overall, it's also the one on which the influence of Smith's sideline job is most obviously felt. In particular, the urgent, thundering drums that underpin "The Hanging Garden" are clearly some sort of homage to Budgie, who provided very similar drum patterns to years' worth of Siouxsie & the Banshees songs. Similarly, Simon Gallup's bass borrows something from Steve Severin's insistent throb, and Smith's own guitar is primarily used for drones and ornamentation, much as it was in the Banshees. Lyrically, the song is of a piece with the rest of Pornography, the key repeating line being the nightmarish "Cover my face as the animals die." Although a relatively weak choice as a single (the previous single, "Charlotte Sometimes," was far superior, thanks to it having a much catchier chorus and stronger melody), "The Hanging Garden" made for a powerful, atmospheric album track.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Pornography 1982 Elektra 4:33