Top That. Where do artists go after releasing their defining album.

Slayer - Reign In Blood. The band knew they could never top this so slowed the hell down for what is still a great follow up in South Of Heaven.

Portishead - Dummy. Debate possible here but I can’t see that any of their following two subsequent studio albums surpass the sublime power of Dummy in any way.

Any other albums spring to mind?

Debate inescapable


The Cure - after Pornography, which was really the peak of their early career, he got really into drugs and freaked out because people kept thinking he was the new Ian Curtis or that he was going to kill himself. I think their manager convinced him to just try and destroy everything that came before it with the lightweight singles and acid rock stuff from the next album. Which leads to his pivot back to writing straight ahead pop.

Obviously their career hits another peak from Head in the Door to Kiss me to Disintegration. Though wish is good after that Robert Smith is a spent force creatively, which he realises with the flop of Wild Mood Swings. Now he’s just working on securing the legacy by being less embarrassing than Morrissey

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Debate already on going in the Mezzanine thread

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Please note the guy who produced Pornography went on to write Torn by Natalie Imbruglia, which is cool

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And by the fact that The Cure are still an incredible live band.


I really should have seen them in 2019 when I had the chance :roll_eyes:

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strong disagree

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I saw the Hyde Park and Glastonbury shows.
Good times :smiley:

It’s debatable, but Pornography is definitely the culmination of the previous two albums in terms of asthetic and the gaze into the abyss that he started with Seventeen Seconds.

That said I’d rather listen to Faith

The Cure are nominally (as in having a stock answer if someone were to ask me) my favourite band and I’ve seen them about 10 times in the past 10 years - feels exhausting just thinking about it given that they’re usually about 3 hours a pop.

Three Imaginary Boys to Wish is easily my favourite run of albums by any artist ever. Was pretty disappointed by Wild Mood Swings at the time, but having revisited it recently it’s actually got loads of great tracks on - just needs a firm editing. Enjoyed both Bloodflowers and The Cure. 4:13 Dream is probably their only genuinely sub-par album, and even that’s probably a 6/10 album…

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Some good B-sides from the ‘Wild Mood Swings’ era…could have been a better album than it was. ‘It Used to Be Me’, ‘A Pink Dream’, ‘Ocean’ are all great.

True :+1: Might have to go dig out my Join The Dots CD box set…

I think Seventeen Seconds is their defining album, but that is just personal choice. Pornography is an advance from this (and Faith) but not an easier album to listen to in my opinion. Not questioning that it is a great album though, just Seventeen Seconds is their best album.

I feel they were creatively always moving forward up to and including The Head On The Door then I felt they changed a little, nothing drastic and the latter albums are also at least all good or very good.


They often go on tour


Interpol - Turn on the Bright Lights: Diminishing returns ever since.

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - BRMC: Dropped the ball on the second album, reinvented themselves as a noisy Americana band on ‘Howl’ and are still fantastic live.

My Bloody Valentine - Loveless: Surprisingly managed to not ruin their legacy with mbv.

Burial - Untrue: Could probably create a cogent follow-up to ‘Untrue’ in a couple of weeks instead of releasing 16-minute long big bags of nowt. I’m convinced everything after Street Halo EP is an exercise in how to take the piss and still have a core fanbase lap it up.

Skinnyman - Council Estate of Mind: His recent guest appearances show that he still has it in him to deliver another relevant record, but needs the right producer to work with.

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