Best tunes of 1992: #5 The Cure “Friday I’m in love”

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Happy Friday! TGIF! Friday I’m in love! (Sorry. I just had to do it.)

“I don’t care if Monday’s blue
Tuesday’s grey and Wednesday too
Thursday, I don’t care about you
It’s Friday, I’m in love”

I’ve written in the past about how I finally got myself deep into the depths of The Cure after the release of their 1989 masterpiece, “Disintegration”, though the real roots of my love for the band came by way of their early singles. Nevertheless, while this love was burgeoning, Robert Smith and his bandmates were in the studio, recording the songs that would become their highest selling album to date, “Wish”. Hence, this was the first anticipated album by The Cure for me. I distinctly remember going out to buy the CD single for the first single to be released off the album, which was “High”, a happy-go-lucky, chiming and jangle pop song for sure. But it would be the next single that would knock it out of the park.

“Friday I’m in love”. Now this is pop. And as Robert Smith learned, pop magic is really that – magic. A freak of nature.

When he came up with the melody and chord progression, he was spooked. It sounded so good, so familiar, so perfect, that he was sure that he didn’t write it. Much like Paul McCartney and his worries about “Yesterday”, Smith called everyone he knew just to make sure he wasn’t plagiarizing someone. It turned out it was only the drugs and of course, another happy accident. When they recorded it, Smith messed it up and the song turned out slightly faster and at a slightly higher pitch than planned. But even that was perfect. And why mess with perfection? Why indeed? Especially when the song was happier than anything you had ever written before and had any business at all writing.

“Monday you can fall apart
Tuesday, Wednesday, break my heart
Thursday doesn’t even start
It’s Friday, I’m in love”

Like I said above: this is pop. We all need good pop sometimes. Definitely pop like this that is jangly, full of sunshine and sparkles and confetti, complete abandon, screaming Byrds and raging Beatles. This is goth having a day at the beach, lying on a holiday blanket, and eating a picnic lunch. It’s Robert Smith and the boys saying: “F**k it. It’s Friday.” Leave behind your hang ups. your stresses and anxiety, your fears and anger, everything on your to-do-list, just let it go. Give in to joy. The weekend is yours.

For the rest of the Best tunes of 1992 list, click here.

100 best covers: #67 The Sundays “Wild horses”

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I’m not really a huge Rolling Stones fan. However…

However, there are some of their tunes that I really like, mostly from their very early days. I purchased a copy of their compilation “Hot rocks 1964-1971” on cassette tape back when I was in high school and listened to it quite a bit on my Walkman. So I definitely recognized this cover by The Sundays when I first heard it. I distinctly remember being in the car, not far from home in Bowmanville, the town in which I spent my formative years. I was listening to the new music preview on CFNY on the car stereo and they were having some sort of cover song special. I particularly remember this fact because they also played another great cover song, one that will figure in later on this list so I won’t mention it here.

This cover by The Sundays was actually my introduction to the band. I really enjoyed the sound, which I would much, much later identify as dream pop, and thus, made a point of remembering their name. Still, it was a while before I made the connection between them and their big single, “Here’s where the story ends”, which I’d heard many times on the radio and now easily count as favourite by them. To this day, The Sundays are one of those bands that make me smile every time I hear them, even despite their often sad melodies.

Interestingly, their cover of The Rolling Stones’ “Wild horses” feels a bit more upbeat than the original, the acoustic strumming a bit more peppy than the sad lethargy and pining for home felt in Keith Richards’ electric accoutrements. Mick the balladeer was always enjoyable to me and on their original, he’s all very late night and tired, the mood slow burning and sobering, right to the bitter end, which closes up right around the six minute mark. The Sundays recorded their cover almost twenty years later and rather than a late night booze can, theirs evokes a vacuous chamber where all sound wavers and melts. All except for Harriet Wheeler’s vocals, which, instead, dance on a cloud, the quiet whispers and the plaintive and aching vocals, all call out into the wilderness, scream out to you for an embrace.

Do I prefer the cover or the original? Tough call, that one. Both are evocative of their time and place and energy. What do you think?

Cover:

The original:

For the rest of the 100 best covers list, click here.

Best tunes of 1992: #17 Adorable “Sunshine smile”

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Vocalist and guitarist Pete Fijalkowski, guitarist Robert Dillam, bassist Stephen ‘Wil’ Williams, and drummer Kevin Gritton formed adorable in 1990. They recorded their debut single, “Sunshine smile”, the following year. It received positive reviews in the music press but the kicker is, it was never released to the buying public. At least, not that version. After Alan McGee signed them to Creation Records in 1992, the song was re-recorded and Adorable finally released this amazing track that we now know and love. Unfortunately for all involved, it was just a couple of years too late.

Adorable likely only managed two albums and four years of existence because the world had already moved on from the noise pop and shoegaze scenes to which they were pigeonholed. Their singles did well enough. In fact, a couple of them, this one included, managed to travel the radio waves across the ocean to get some play in North America. Their debut album, “Against perfection”, was released in 1993 and climbed into the album charts in their native UK but only just barely. When it was released on this side of the ocean, they tacked on the two non-album singles that had been released beforehand. And so when I found a copy of it in the used CD bins, a handful of years later, “Sunshine smile” was the opening track on the playlist of the compact disc I brought home with me to learn and love.*

This song is a great introduction to a band that sadly never really got the due they deserved. “Sunshine smile” starts all chiming and jangly while frontman, Pete Fijalkowski waxes poetic about his subject’s smile. Then, it gets all noisy, guitars move to crunchy and then, seamlessly back to reverberating chimes. The bridge gets all quiet with some taps at the cymbals and Pete goes quiet, too (“how does it feel to feel?”) and the feeling explodes and it all races to a crashing crescendo. It’s got Creation all over it.

And now that I am writing about this song and listening to it over and over, I am kicking myself for not thinking to include it in my Valentine’s Day playlist post last month. It’s quite lovely.

*Sadly, this song was left off the playlist again when Music on Vinyl pressed it to vinyl for a special 25th anniversary edition a couple of years ago but I bought it nonetheless.

For the rest of the Best tunes of 1992 list, click here.