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Faith (The Cure album)

Faith (The Cure album)

Faith is the third studio album by British alternative rock band the Cure, released on 14 April 1981 by record label Fiction. Preceded by the single "Primary", the album was a commercial success in the UK, peaking at number 14 and staying in the albums chart for 8 weeks. It was mostly well received by critics.

Faith saw the Cure continuing in the gloomy vein of 1980's Seventeen Seconds, which would conclude with the band's next album, Pornography.

Studio album by
The Cure
Released14 April 1981
RecordedSeptember–November 1980 , February–March 1981
StudioMorgan Studios, England
  • Gothic rock
  • The Cure
  • Mike Hedges
The Cure chronology
Seventeen Seconds
Singles from Faith
  1. "Primary"
    Released: 20 March 1981


Following the tour for Seventeen Seconds, the Cure returned to Morgan Studios on 27 September 1980 to record a new album, minus Matthieu Hartley, who had departed due to disagreement with the musical direction of the band. During this session, recordings of songs "All Cats Are Grey" and "Primary" were attempted, but neither ended up on the album. Robert Smith was hoping the tracks would sound "funereal", but instead he said "they just sounded dull". Several other studios were tried: Red Bus, Trident, The Roundhouse and Abbey Road.[1]

Much of Faith was written in the studio. At least two songs on the album, "All Cats Are Grey" and "The Drowning Man", were inspired by the Gormenghast novels of Mervyn Peake. Faith was the first album by the Cure to feature six-string bass guitar; "All Cats Are Grey" features Smith on keyboards and piano, with no guitar at all. The front cover, designed by former and future member Porl Thompson, is a picture of Bolton Priory in the village of Bolton Abbey in the fog.[1]

The instrumental piece "Carnage Visors" (an antonym for rose-coloured spectacles; originally available only on the long-play cassette release) is the soundtrack to Carnage Visors, a short film by Ric Gallup, Simon Gallup's brother, that was screened at the beginning of shows in place of a support band on the 1981 Picture Tour, and featured animation of several dolls in different positions and stances.[1] The film has since disappeared, and only Smith, Lol Tolhurst and Simon Gallup own copies of it, though during a televised interview in the mid-1980s, the host of the program surprised the band by playing a clip of the film on set.[2]

Release and reissue

Faith was released on 14 April 1981.[1] It reached No. 14 in the UK Albums Chart.[3] The album was remastered in 2005 as part of Universal Music's Deluxe Edition series. The new edition featured "Carnage Visors", demos and live tracks as well as the non-album single "Charlotte Sometimes". It also included a few never-before-released tracks (in demo form, all instrumentals).

Critical reception and legacy

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3.5/5 stars[4]
Blender3/5 stars[5]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music4/5 stars[6]
Entertainment WeeklyB+[7]
The Guardian3/5 stars[8]
Mojo4/5 stars[9]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide3/5 stars[11]
Sounds4.5/5 stars[12]
Uncut4/5 stars[13]

Faith received mixed reviews from critics on its release. Sounds gave the album a rating of 4.5 stars out of 5. Reviewer John Gill felt that the two fast tracks, "Primary" and "Doubt", were reminiscent of their previous work, with a "sense of strong, haunting melody". However, he noted that the rest of the album was different, describing it as "a modern-day Dusseldorf" with a "Neu!-ish sense of smudged melody, soft tones flowing around a languorous, groaning bass", also evoking the Sixties of the Floyd and the Doors. Gill finally said: "Faith requires a personal act of involvement, the reward being a sense of belonging".[12] Melody Maker found the record "impressive", hailing its "richness and deceptive power". Writer Adam Sweeting hailed Faith as "a sophisticated exercise in atmosphere and production". He concluded "It's gloomy, but frequently majestic, never using brute force where auto-suggestion will do. You may not love it, but you'll become addicted to it".[14] NME reviewed the album with a picture of the band and a caption saying: "Gloomy? Gothic? Us?". Writer Ray Lowry lambasted Faith and wrote that "it says absolutely nothing meaningful". In the end, Lowry found that "this is just the modern face of Pink Floydism".[15] Record Mirror panned the album, writing, "The Cure remain stuck in the hackneyed doom-mongering that should have died with Joy Division", ultimately calling it "hollow, shallow, pretentious, meaningless, self-important and bereft of any real heart or soul".[16]

In a retrospective review, AllMusic called Faith "a depressing record, certainly, but also one of the most underrated and beautiful albums the Cure put together".[4] Fact rated the album at No. 3 on their list "20 Best: Goth Records Ever Made".[17]

Track listing

All lyrics written by Robert Smith; all music composed by The Cure (Smith, Simon Gallup and Lol Tolhurst).

Side A
"The Holy Hour"4:25
"Other Voices"4:28
"All Cats Are Grey"5:28
Side B
"The Funeral Party"4:14
"The Drowning Man"4:50
Cassette/2005 CD Deluxe Edition bonus track
"Carnage Visors: The Soundtrack"27:51
2005 CD Deluxe Edition bonus disc: Rarities 1980–1981
"Faith"(Robert Smith home instrumental demo 8/80)2:56
"Doubt"(Robert Smith home instrumental demo 8/80)1:09
"Drowning"(group home instrumental demo 9/80)1:52
"The Holy Hour"(group home demo 9/80)4:48
"Primary"(Morgan studio out-take 9/80)4:22
"Going Home Time"(Morgan studio guide vox out-take 9/80)3:31
"The Violin Song"('Faith' studio guide vox out-take 2/81)3:38
"A Normal Story"('Faith' studio guide vox out-take 2/81)3:04
"All Cats Are Grey"(live "somewhere", "Summer 1980/1981")5:37
"The Funeral Party"(live "somewhere", "Summer 1980/1981")4:38
"Other Voices"(live "somewhere", "Summer 1980/1981")4:45
"The Drowning Man"(live "Australasia", "Summer 1980/1981")5:48
"Faith"(live at Capitol Theatre, Sydney, August 1981)10:23
"Forever"(live "somewhere", "Summer" 1981)9:19
"Charlotte Sometimes"4:13


The Cure

  • Robert Smith – vocals, guitars, keyboards, production

  • Simon Gallup – bass guitar, production

  • Lol Tolhurst – drums, production


  • Mike Hedges – production, engineering

  • David Kemp – engineering

  • Martyn Webster – engineering assistance

  • Porl Thompson – album cover design


SinglesBillboard (North America)

1981"Primary"Club Play Singles25[18]


RegionCertificationCertified units/sales
New Zealand (RMNZ)[19]Gold7,500^
United Kingdom (BPI)[20]Silver60,000^
sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


Citation Linkarchive.orgApter, Jeff (2005). Never Enough: The Story of The Cure. Omnibus Press. ISBN 1-84449-827-1.
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Citation Linkwww.youtube.com"The Cure – Carnage Visors – 45 Seconds Clip ! – YouTube". YouTube. 20 March 2007. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
Sep 25, 2019, 1:35 AM
Citation Linkwww.officialcharts.comCure - UK Albums Chart, Officialcharts.com, retrieved 21 August 2015
Sep 25, 2019, 1:35 AM
Citation Linkwww.allmusic.comTrue, Chris. "Faith – The Cure". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
Sep 25, 2019, 1:35 AM
Citation Linkblender.comWolk, Douglas (20 September 2005). "The Cure: Faith". Blender. Archived from the original on 30 November 2005. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
Sep 25, 2019, 1:35 AM
Citation Linkopenlibrary.orgLarkin, Colin (2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th concise ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-85712-595-8.
Sep 25, 2019, 1:35 AM
Citation Linkwww.ew.comSinclair, Tom (11 April 2005). "EW reviews the latest album reissues". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 7 January 2016.
Sep 25, 2019, 1:35 AM
Citation Linkwww.theguardian.comSweeting, Adam (20 May 2005). "The Cure, Faith". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
Sep 25, 2019, 1:35 AM
Citation Linkopenlibrary.orgPerry, Andrew (June 2005). "Death became them". Mojo (139): 116.
Sep 25, 2019, 1:35 AM
Citation Linkpitchfork.comAbebe, Nitsuh (12 May 2005). "The Cure: Seventeen Seconds / Faith / Pornography". Pitchfork. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
Sep 25, 2019, 1:35 AM
Citation Linkopenlibrary.orgSheffield, Rob (2004). "The Cure". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. pp. 205–06. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
Sep 25, 2019, 1:35 AM
Citation Linkopenlibrary.orgGill, John (25 April 1981). "Faith, Hope and Reverse Psychology [Faith album review]". Sounds.
Sep 25, 2019, 1:35 AM
Citation Linkopenlibrary.orgMartin, Piers (June 2005). "Power of three". Uncut (97): 124.
Sep 25, 2019, 1:35 AM
Citation Linkopenlibrary.orgSweeting, Adam (18 April 1981). "The Cure's Funeral Party [Faith album review]". Melody Maker.
Sep 25, 2019, 1:35 AM
Citation Linkopenlibrary.orgLowry, Ray (18 April 1981). "Cure: Cancerous? [Faith album review]". NME.
Sep 25, 2019, 1:35 AM
Citation Linkopenlibrary.orgNicholls, Mike (18 April 1981), "Grinding halt for the Cure [Faith album review]", Record Mirror
Sep 25, 2019, 1:35 AM
Citation Linkwww.factmag.com"20 best: Goth records ever made". Fact.
Sep 25, 2019, 1:35 AM
Citation Linkwww.allmusic.com"The Cure – Awards: AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
Sep 25, 2019, 1:35 AM
Citation Linknztop40.co.nz"New Zealand album certifications – the Cure – Faith". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
Sep 25, 2019, 1:35 AM
Citation Linkwww.bpi.co.uk"British album certifications – the Cure – Faith". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 1 June 2019. Selectalbumsin the Format field. SelectSilverin the Certification field. TypeFaithin the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
Sep 25, 2019, 1:35 AM