I know I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The Cure are one of the best bands from the 80’s. Not only is the proof in their amazing songs, but it can also be found in their crazy, cool videos. It’s a shame that they are not given more credit for these clips because if anything they are creative and times innovative. During a time when CG wasn’t even really thought of, The Cure manage to make things look trippy or take the audience to different worlds just by scenery and costumes. But of course, all of their videos can’t be golden. Here’s their videos from 1986-1990 ranked from best to worst. And in case you missed the first part, make sure to check out The Cure videos from 1979-1985.
This is one of The Cure’s best videos and the best part is it still holds up 24 years later. The creepy song has an equally creepy video, which finds Robert Smith being eaten by a giant spider. For added effect, he also shown covered in webs as this “spider man” who comes to eat people. And even though it looks kind of cheesy, when they show Smith on the ceiling like a spider it still creeps me out; maybe because they linger on it longer than they should. Definitely don’t watch if you’re deathly afraid of spiders. Great make up, cool costumes, and one weird looking spider prop all make for an amazing video. Fun fact: originally a spider was supposed to be crawling all over Smith, but he refused since he is afraid of spiders.
Why Can’t I Be You
This is probably the only time you’ll see The Cure attempting to dance and yes, it’s just as awful as you imagined, but at least they tried. This wonderfully weird video was of course directed by Tim Pope and finds the guys in several different costumes ranging from vampire, bee, and Robert Smith donning most of a bear costume. It has to be one of the silliest things they’ve ever done, but it’s great because it looks like they’re having fun. Also, it shows that it wasn’t all death and depression for the infamous dark band. They knew how to have a good time in the most 80’s way possible.
Close to Me (Remix)
In 1990, the band released Mixed Up their only remix album and it included a new version of their hit “Close to Me.” For some reason they decided to film a new video to go along with it, but it has to be one of best things they’ve done. What makes the clip so ingenious is that it continues where the original video leaves off. We see the wardrobe falling into the sea, then we are taken underwater where Smith and Co. swim out and explore the underwater world. More awesome costumes and weird props, including a trumpet playing octopus out to get Smith make the video odd, but fun. I love the part where they make it look like bubbles are coming out of Smith’s mouth while he’s singing. What makes the video even more charming is that they did this all on a set; no CGI found here.
This is another quirky and odd video from the band that has each member performing in a freak show of sorts. Robert Smith does double duty as an overweight woman who keeps flashing her grotesque thighs and a Siamese twin with bassist Simon, while Porl plays the bearded lady etc. Some of the visuals are really cool, such as The Cure looking gigantic while playing on a small stage or when they look like they’re caught in the ocean. There are even some gruesome close ups of Smith in black make up that are kind of creepy when you look at them long enough. It’s videos like this that make you realize that The Cure should get more credit for having some of the most creative and innovative music videos of the 80’s.
A Night Like This
Even though this song got the video treatment, it was never officially released as a single, which is a shame because it’s one of their best songs. Unlike the previous videos, there’s nothing whimsical about this video. It’s mainly the band standing there playing the song, but what makes it stand out is how it seems to be running backwards. The band’s movement is very slow and spastic; Smith looks like he has no control over his arms at times. Also, rather than the camera zooming in on the group, it’s constantly moving away from them, something you don’t see very often. It’s a video that’s easy to miss, but it’s still one of their better clips.
Just Like Heaven
If you don’t know The Cure, you’ve at least heard this song. It’s still their most popular and most accessible song. The video is pretty memorable too with the band back at the cliff where they “fell off” in their previous video “Close to Me.” The video marks the only appearance of Smith’s long term wife Mary Poole; she’s the one who comes out and dances with him during the dreamy sequence (isn’t that sweet!). This is probably what The Cure will always be known for, but you can’t complain; it is a great song.
Boys Don’t Cry
The whole idea for this video is actually really cute. Even though the video was released in 1986, the song was first recorded in 1979 for their first album when the band was a trio, which is how they’re depicted here. They even went so far as to get their original bassist Michael Dempsy for the shoot. What makes the clip so adorable is that there are three young lads representing members of the band, while the members dance around as silhouettes. It gets kind of creepy at the end when the silhouettes of the members suddenly sport glowing red eyes. It doesn’t sound like it should be that scary, but it’s actually quite disturbing. With such a cute video, why would you then make it terrifying with something like that?
This is probably one of my favorite Cure songs, even though it doesn’t seem to get that much attention. Something about it is so relaxing and pretty. That might’ve been the vibe they were after with the video. Nothing much happens; it’s just the band at the beach enjoying the beautiful scenery. It has to be one of the most unremarkable Cure clips out there. It’s almost surprising to learn that Tim Pope directed this one too, since his videos seem to find the band in odd situations and costumes. Though nothing much goes on, it’s still an enjoyable video.
Hot Hot Hot!!!
If this video is notable for anything it’s Robert Smith’s lack of hair. This is around the time where he decided to practically cut it all off and needless to say Cureheads were shocked by Smith’s new look. Weird ass puppets, awkward dancing, and mini versions of the band are all found in this chaotic and confusing clip. It’s not a boring video, it’s just not that memorable, which seems to describe the song pretty well too. If you ever wondered what The Cure would sound like as a weird funk, Jazz band then check out this video; yes the results are as confusing as you think they are.
If you ask me this video is kind of awkward because the band are surrounded by phallic cave formations and yes, they look phallic on purpose (thanks Tim Pope). No wonder the guys look uncomfortable sitting there. Smith looks like he wants to disappear as he curls up in a ball while Simon looks at the scene very disapprovingly. But I’m sure it’s hard to sing a song you wrote for your wife while surrounded by dicks. No joke, the director said he wanted to show the raw sexual power of the band. Is that really something you think of when you think of The Cure? I didn’t think so either.
The video for the US only single originally had a cool concept involving time travel and Doctor Who. But due to time constraints and not sure if American audiences would understand the references, they settled for the band playing their instruments with some hazy effects over them. A part of the original concept is seen during the beginning; there is a police box shown much like the one used for the Tardis in Doctor Who. It’s a shame that such a great song got a mediocre video.
Pictures of You
This is another video I’ve always found disappointing. This is one of the songs that made me fall in love with the band, so it’s sad that the video is kind of boring. I guess it’s a cute idea with the home movies motif, but it’s basically them performing the song in winter outfits on a beach like set. There’s nothing else to it. Sure, it looks like they’re having a great time and Smith looks amazing in it, but there’s really nothing about it to keep you watching til the end.
Killing an Arab
This seems to be the band’s artsy video. It doesn’t feature them at all, rather just an elderly man walking around a village until he reaches the sea. I think the video takes inspiration from The Stranger by Albert Camus, which is what the song is based on (not the actual killing of Arabs). Beside from that, nothing else happens. This video can only be found on their 1986 video collection Staring at the Sea: the Videos. Fun fact: The Cure have since re-named the song “Killing Another,” they were tired of the constant racist accusations.
Jumping Someone Else’s Train
This is a great song from their debut album, but the video is nothing but train tracks sped up from the point of view of the train. I guess it’s an interesting idea, but that’s all that happens. The band isn’t in it and it’s not like the train crashes at the end or anything like that. It basically goes from one stop to the next. The video wasn’t even released along with the single in 1979. Rather, it was specifically made for their first video collection, which had all their videos from 1979-1986. It’s interesting to see at least, but it’s not something that you would watch again and it’s definitely not memorable.
Where did your favorite Cure video land on the list? Make sure you keep checking back for part three, which will look at Cure videos 1991 onward.