I wasn’t sure whether or not to post anything today with the consideration being that it might be beneficial to have the thoughts from yesterday of our anonymous friend remaining to the fore. In the end, I concluded that most folk who drop in on a regular but not daily basis are quite likely to scroll back a few days, so hopefully, everyone will get the chance to read it.
The title of today’s post is the alleged response of the folk at Fiction Records when Robert Smith presented them with an early rendition of Let’s Go To Bed, the song which really changed the direction of the band and, arguably, enabled them to get onto the path that ensured they would still be making music and selling-out arena/outdoor shows almost 40 years later.
The band’s fourth studio album, Pornography, had been released in May 1982. It was a difficult listen – my initial reaction was that it made the two Joy Division albums sound as upbeat as a Bucks Fizz record – with it later transpiring that the recording sessions had been dominated by in-fighting among the band members, heavy drug use and the frontman dealing with very serious depression that later saw him shutting himself away for an extended period of time among the splendour, beauty and fresh air of the Lake District in north-west England.
It was during this spell that Smith determined he would take the band in a slightly different direction, partly enabled by the fact that bassist Simon Gallup left the line-up, leaving things as just a duo alongside Lol Tolhurst. He set out to write a song that was far removed from the doom and gloom of goth-rock with which he was associated, but he later admitted many years later in an interview with Rolling Stone in 2004 that he was sure it was going to fail.
In the end, it proved only to be a minor hit in the UK, stalling at #44 in November 1982, but that was no bad outcome since, up to that point, none of their songs had gone Top 30 in the singles chart. It turned out, however, that the song became a decent-sized radio hit in the USA with a noticeable change in the type of audiences who were coming along to the live shows, all of which empowered Smith to decide to continue in a similar vein with the next two singles in the UK being The Walk and The Love Cats, which reached #13 and #7 respectively in the summer of 1983, a period which coincided with him moonlighting with The Banshees whose cover of Dear Prudence went to #3, all of which meant he was something of a regular on our TV screens via Top of The Pops etc.
Let’s Go To Bed is a fabulous pop single, complete with the do-do-do-do sing-along bit that must have caused the goths all sorts of nightmares at the time. It also comes with a fantastic b-side which kind of bridges the gap between the old and new of The Cure, with its introductory bass notes, tempo, and instrumentation harking back to A Forest.
And here, from an original piece of plastic dating back to 1983, are the two side of the 12″ single:-
You can easily find cleaner copies of these tunes in many places but I make no apologies for the hissing and crackling all the way through…at least it doesn’t jump or skip anywhere.
Both of these take me back to the downstairs, alt-disco in the student union building at Strathclyde University – lots of hair-gel, black clothes, a raincoat and non-stop ecstatic dancing.