"Show me, show me, show me how you do that trick."
Even for those who have not listened to a lot of The Cure (I have listened to a lot of The Cure) it's pretty obvious that the band is somewhat schizophrenic. Robert Smith veers back and forth between songs that are so sad that you wonder if he's about to slit his own wrists in the studio and happy, bouncy silly songs. Sometimes listening to an album by The Cure makes you feel like medications must have been switched mid-recording.
Now for me personally, I've always enjoyed the darker side of The Cure. Showing my age here, I first became interested in this band when the video for Charlotte Sometimes went into heavy airplay during the early days of MTV (back when they actually played music--don't get me started). An interesting video, during which the band just stands there looming creepily behind a panicky girl.
But that's all beside the point: obviously, The Cure's biggest success has been with the tunes on the other side of the personality spectrum, such as Just Like Heaven and Friday I'm in Love. But here, in various covers of The Cure, I've found that I can have it both ways: I feel like some of the best covers have taken the happy songs and brought them to the dark side. Which I think is very cool
By the way, you'll probably notice that one of the most famous Cure covers, that by Adele, is not on this list. No further comment there.
Anyway, one of my favorite bands, so here we go. And If you like this list check out our other lists of covers by great artists such as U2 and R.E.M. (song previews provided courtesy of iTunes).
Pictures of You by Angie Hart
Angie Hart has a voice that just sucks me in every time, there's just so much emotion going on there. Add to that the fact that I'm a fan of interesting string parts (these strings almost sound like they are crying). Here she takes a song that is already melancholy and wrings it into the heartbreaking range. Were I not so manly, I'd want to bawl my eyes out at this one.
Just Like Heaven by Josh & Larkin
There are about a million covers of Just Like Heaven, and I really love this one. Fantastic warm vocals and harmonies. And this guy Josh... holy crap is that guy an amazing guitarist (just check out some of this live video on Youtube to see what I mean). Anyway, I love this version of this Cure classic.
Let's Go to Bed by Sunmay
Sunmay has certainly reinterpreted this song. They've taken what was one of The Cure's first upbeat synth hits and turned it into a haunting and lonesome cry. Acoustic guitars at the fore and they've converted Robert Smith's famous "Do do do doooo"s and played them on an echoey slide guitar. Add in emotional vocals and you've got a tune of loss and longing
Close to Me by Ortopilot
These guys have managed to retain the bouncy joie de vivre of the original, yet without sounding like the original. Love the pulsing percussion on this one.
This version moves along really well, but what really works is her vocal stylization. Not sure how to explain it, it's as though she's dragging the words along behind the music. That's probably actually not the best way to explain it, but it's really cool. Buy it on iTunes (or hear longer preview)
Conflict of Interest Alert! ... I promise that I don't make a habit of putting myself on these lists, but I do feel that I got something right with this one, it seemed to me that stripping away all of the goth and production from this one really brings the lyrics to the fore, and when you do that... you really notice that this is a disturbing song (in a cool way). Buy it on iTunes (or hear longer preview)
Catch by Devics
As you may have seen on other pages of this site, I think that Devics are just plain cool. So it should come as no surprise that if they did a cover of a Cure song, then it would end up on this list. They did and it has. These guys take a great song and add their own little spin on it and I love it.
Pictures of You by Vitamin String Quartet
You know, pretty much any list of great covers that I would assemble would include Vitamin String Quartet. I love the way that they interpret songs and this version of Pictures of You is no different.