Book Review: The Cure: A Perfect Dream By Ian Gittins

Release Date: October 2, 2018

In 1976, three young boys from Crawley in West Sussex fought against the boredom of the suburbs and formed what would eventually become The Cure. 40 years later, the band still has a devoted fanbase, continues to sell out stadiums despite their last album being released 10 years ago, and is up for induction at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (again). All this and more is celebrated in Ian Gittin’s new book The Cure: A Perfect Dream.

While not an in-depth look at the band, Gittins offers an up to date history on them. He tracks their early beginnings, their rise to megastardom, and their uncertain future. Along the way, he tackles their highs and lows, including band drama, such as the infamous fist fight between Robert Smith and bassist Simon Gallup that nearly ended them, and the ugly lawsuit launched by drummer/keyboardist Lol Tolhurst. He also highlights their later eras paying special attention to the Curiosa festival and their recent activity. It doesn’t offer anything new to well-versed fans, but it’s still a fond look back at the moments that made The Cure who they are.

One rare treat Gittins offers is new quotes from former members Boris Williams and Roger O’Donnell. Williams offers his side of the story, discussing their unfair treatment of Tolhurst during his last days with the band, working with Smith, and why he left after Wish. O’Donnell also comments on life in The Cure and how he felt about being fired. Seeing as we usually hear from Smith and Tolhurst, this input from Boris and O’Donnell tells a side of The Cure story we don’t often get. Fans will relish these new insights even though they are only a small portion of the book.

The rest of the book is filled with glossy photos of The Cure throughout their career. A mixture of promo shots, live images, and candid moments, they provide a great visual history of the band, especially with the ever-changing lineup. They might be familiar to dedicated fans, but it’s still a blast flipping through them. Aside from photos, various sidebars outlining Smith’s favorite songs, favorite artists, and literature that influenced his writing are sprinkled throughout the chapters. These factoids offer a glimpse into the inner workings of Smith and the band.

The Cure: A Perfect Dream is a celebration of The Cure’s legacy. The detailed history, numerous photos, and reflection on their catalog shows it was written as a loving tribute to the band. Fans new and old alike will enjoy revisiting the band’s bumpy history and reflecting on their extensive output. It also reminds you of what makes The Cure great, why their music still strikes a chord decades later, and why people are still obsessed with Robert Smith.

The Cure: A Perfect Dream is out now. Pick up a copy here.

Ian Gittins - The Cure: A Perfect Dream
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Ashley Perez Hollingsworth

Ashley Perez is a freelance music journalist based in Chicago. Her work has appeared on AXS, The Crypt 1331, Chicago Innerview, New City, The Millions, and Reality-Comics. She also runs her own music blog at Radio Not Found. Some of her favorite bands include Nirvana, The Cure, Muse, Marilyn Manson, and Green Day.

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