The Smiths Vs. The Cure

On the twenty-fifth anniversary of The Queen Is Dead, we finally settle the oldest dispute in mope rock. 

By Mike DiBenedetto and Peter Malamud Smith

The Smiths' Morrissey and The Cure's Robert Smith have been at each others' throats since the early ‘80s. Given that both of them were mopey, sexually ambiguous English boys who sang melancholic ballads over jangly guitars, the whole thing must've seemed pretty odd to your average Wham fan.

But if we look closer at the two bands, we can see that one is awesome and one actually is totally lame. We're just divided about which one's which. So today, to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of The Smiths' The Queen Is Dead (and also because we've wanted to do this for a while), two Nerve writers will finally settle this debate. May the gloomiest man win.

The Smiths Are Better Than The Cure

I've always loved The Smiths. I've always wanted to like The Cure, and sometimes I actually think I do like The Cure. Danceable post-punk sound, arty lyrics, pop instincts — what could be wrong with that? Then I actually listen to a Cure album and remember why I don't like them. This must be the most monochromatic band on earth. Let's take a look at a classic Cure song, "Plainsong," which opens Disintegration, roundly considered their best album. By the time the vocals come in two-and-a-half minutes into this thing, I've heard the same slow, majestic chord progression for forty-two measures.

MP3

The Cure - Plainsong

And now that I've joined him on his blasted, featureless heath, what does Bob Smith have to say to me? Does he have an arresting image? A clever turn of phrase? A sharp insight about the human condition? No, he's got a witless goth cliché that would've embarrassed Lord Byron: "You said, 'And it's so cold/ It's like the cold if you were dead.'"

Why am I here? Why doesn't this guy write songs where anything happens? It's not like these songs aren't pretty; I just wish they were more eventful. (Plain song is right.) Even "Pictures of You" goes on for seven-and-a-half minutes, and that was one of Disintegration's singles, for God's sake.

People who don't really listen to The Smiths accuse them of this same lugubriousness all the time, but compare "Plainsong" to their "William, It Was Really Nothing." "William" bursts in with energetic chords, changes key unpredictably, crescendos; Morrissey sets a scene, introduces his characters, cracks a joke; then it's over. Look at the tonal palette of this song: it's funny, it's wry, it's sad, it's hopeful. And if you started playing "Plainsong" at the same time, Morrissey would be done before Robert Smith even started singing. To paraphrase Lester Bangs in Almost Famous, it takes The Smiths less than two minutes to accomplish what it takes The Cure hours to not accomplish.

MP3

The Smiths - William, It Was Really Nothing

Now, you can say I'm stacking the deck here, picking a great Smiths song and an average Cure song. Fair, and there are actually some Cure songs I really like — "Close to Me," "Why Can't I Be You?," "Friday I'm In Love." These are economical pop songs with great hooks; of the last, Robert Smith once said, "People who bought this single are not real Cure fans." Check. — Peter Malamud Smith

Tags Morrissey

Commentarium (126 Comments)

Jun 16 11 - 12:20am
Lou

Fuck..why can't we all just get along? I love both of these bands so damn much.

Jun 16 11 - 9:31am
M

Second that. It's like choosing your favourite child!

Jun 16 11 - 4:07pm
JK

Agreed. But, Friday I'm in Love is pretty hard to forgive. Slight edge to Moz and the boys.

Jun 16 11 - 11:38pm
Bro

What is this constant need to divide people? With me or against me crap that some people just need to level onto other people. Both are absolutely amazing in their own way.

Jun 16 11 - 11:49pm
Ram

Actually, that Smith's song sucks the big, blue, smurf bag! Horrible song.

Nov 21 11 - 4:06pm
joe

I love both bands, as well! (But Morrissey is still a gigantic dick!)

Jun 16 11 - 12:28am
Finn

I love the long vocal-less intros on The Cure's music...

Jun 16 11 - 7:36pm
lp

Absolutely.

Jun 16 11 - 11:36pm
Bro

Long intro's are mint! Love 'em so much. Sets the mood.

Jun 17 11 - 1:10am
matt

Totally! I prefer the Cure. There's just more diversity to their style. I can keep listening to them for longer than The Smiths. Who are obviously fantastic as well.

Feb 03 12 - 2:29am
Pablo

If you don't get the feeling in The Cure - Plainsong's Intro you've got a sensitivity problem

Jun 16 11 - 12:34am
akay

MOZ!

Jun 16 11 - 12:34am
akay

the man sweats in the shape of heart.

Jun 16 11 - 12:54am
Sexy Mynxs

First, the general readers that are reading this article weren't even around when these two bands were 'happening' so they shouldn't be allowed to comment. Secondly the world is going to end in 2047, so I can't say "If you jump ahead One hundred years from now which band will not sound ridiculous" but I will say if you jump ahead to 2046- and play The Cure and The Smiths- The Smiths will not sound like recycled pop tunes. The Cure, though fun, doesn't really achieve "GREATNESS". Sorry for all you kids who don't know better.

Jun 16 11 - 4:30pm
sminky

Sexy Mynx - what stupidity. I was around when these bands were 'happening' and saw The Smiths live before they even has a record deal. If a bunch of kids are now searching back in time and finding the good stuff then good for them.

Jun 16 11 - 6:16pm
Streets

wow sexy mynxs, how self righteous...just like Morrissey

Jun 16 11 - 1:57am
bizzaroRevten

Well Sexy Mynxs, i hope you never form an opinion of classical music, because you weren't around when it was happening. Oh wait music, at least good music, is timeless. so it doesnt matter when the music happened. If its good enough, the music will feel current.
When i hear "Bernadette" by the Four Tops, I don't think " boy that sounds like a 60's song." i get the singers passion for his subject and the feeling is clear and in the year 2046, some kid will be listening to his Brainboy 4000(patent pending) and feel the same.
Now this is where i start my opinion on the real matter. I listen to The Smiths, and its enjoyable, moody, sometimes effecting. Mostly I enjoy the humor, but the stories are too much about the story, and i don't connect as much with them emotionally(for the most part). I listen to The Cure, i know how Robert Smith is feeling in that song. The songs are sometimes about clever lyrics, but mostly they convey the mood and the emotion the character is feeling, and im affected by it and relate. The ultimate Emotional Litmus test for this is the music. When I'm sad, i can't hear "Friday I'm In Love." cause its too damn perky, and when I'm happy, songs like "The Same Deep Water As You" are just terrible. But The Smiths? If "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" comes on and im happy, i just enjoy the guitar and strings because they're so pretty sounding, but i ignore the lyrics. Flip the story when I'm sad. The song doesn't change, but neither do i.

Side note": Morrisey is a total douchebag. "im stopping this concert you all paid good money to see because i smell MEAT COOKING!!!! My god, somebody has a different dietary system than i, i cant sing like this!"

Jun 25 11 - 12:29am
JD

Hear, hear! The classical music call-out was dead on. Although I am old enough to have lived through the prime years of both these bands, you don't have to be born in a certain era to appreciate and understand music from that time.

Jun 16 11 - 2:11am
Mark

If that's The Cure, I don't want the disease

Jun 16 11 - 5:19am
P. Diddy_faggot69

Why are we even arguing about this? Everyone knows that The Cure is clearly better. By everyone, I mean me.

Jul 11 11 - 10:56pm
Robert Paulsen

Everyone is a fuckwit pillow biter.

Jun 16 11 - 6:12am
Vinegar Bend

I don't think this one is even close. The Smiths are better. It's the songs, the body of work that matters. Theirs is vastly superior.

Jul 11 11 - 10:56pm
Boson Higgs

There's no competition. Smiths.

Jun 16 11 - 10:52am
Aaron

It is ridiculous to keep up this argument. They are not one and the same.... The Cure are far better to me, and still exist!

Jun 16 11 - 10:53am
betty

Smiths

Jun 16 11 - 11:27am
Slothrop

I didn't listen to the Smiths for so long because Morrissey talked and acted like such a douchebag that I just couldn't bring myself to it. Then I listened, and realized I'd wasted a few years mixing the music and the asshole that (partially) makes it, which is always a mistake, I think. His public persona makes me think of Lars Von Trier's: abrasive, toeing the line, for no clear purpose but provocation.
The Cure, though, were always an obvious mood band, and it didn't matter whether or not you understood or paid attention to the lyrics. Yeah they're pretty goth, their lyrics are too. Duh. They can get creepy in ways the Smiths are completely incapable of, or possibly unwilling. Setting a mood often takes time. The Smiths are clever (not just lyrically), but they're most straight-forward pop.
The Smiths or the Cure? Why deprive oneself of either one? Gang of Four kills both of them anyway... :)

Jun 16 11 - 6:37pm
Geebee

You clearly have no idea what the expression "toe the line" means".

Jun 16 11 - 12:19pm
andrea

I agree with both the pro and both the con arguments. I appreciate the Smiths for their poetry, and the Cure for their emotion/passion.

And Robert Smith is right; "Friday I'm in Love" is easily the crappiest single they ever put out. God, I hate that song. But "Spider" is a creepy, sexy delight.

Someone said the Gang of Four kicks both their asses--I don't listen to GoF, but XTC easily defeats both of these bands in terms of their poetry and their passion.

Jun 16 11 - 4:34pm
cancereater

"Spider"-- by TMBG? What is "spider"? I can only assume you mean Lullaby. Though I agree with what you said : FIIL is crap and Lullaby is an excellent single, I just wish people would get the song titles right. If you don't know the subject well enough, how can you make a solid argument.

Personally, I'll never know why the two are grouped together. While I like the Smiths a lot, I don't really consider them to be anywhere near as amazing as the Cure. I know the Smith's debut album by heart and I still think a lot of the songs sound the same. But what does it matter? Each opinion is valid, so like whatever you like. Or do what I do: listen to them both.

point of fact-- Marr is a far better musician than every Cure member ever combined.

Jun 17 11 - 3:27am
Chuck

I was wondering what "Spider" was, too. Could it be a new single? It's pointless to debate, though. It's like comparing gold and diamonds. They're both they're both head and shoulders above the metaphorical dog turds of 98% of their contemporaries.

Jun 17 11 - 10:25am
andrea

you're right, it's "Lullaby"--I rarely look at the album cover/label--though I know the whole album lyrically by heart

Jun 16 11 - 12:45pm
figurehead

THE CURE - FOREVER

The Smiths for second place...

Jun 16 11 - 12:50pm
Draize Train

To me both bands are amazing for different reasons. I just realized I've been listening to both for over 25 years now. I can only remember two bands that completely broke my heart when they broke up, the Smiths and the Pixies, because neither had wanked out yet and they both had so much more to say.
I don't know who you are Mr. Peter Smith, but to insult Robert Smith and the Cure, I'm sorry but "You Just Haven't Earned it Yet Baby."

Jun 16 11 - 12:53pm
JenBloomer

I'm glad it was brought to my attention that these are bands, because I thought they were just quote resources for whiny, misunderstood straight girls in their late teens/early 20s.

Jun 16 11 - 3:07pm
Slothrop

Ziiiing! But yeah.

Jun 16 11 - 12:58pm
anon

All The Cure.

Jun 16 11 - 1:31pm
what she said

In high school, having to pick between the two, I picked The Smiths because the cute girls at my school listened to them. That really is the only fair (and honest) determiner between the two.

Jun 16 11 - 3:01pm
wtjw

It's a good world that has both.

Jun 16 11 - 4:19pm
Why-Choose

What is it about people that they have to pick a favorite for absolutely everything? It's not like the world is asking us to choose forever between vanilla and chocolate, Apple or PC, Star Wars or Star Trek, The Smiths or The Cure. Why does everything have to rule or suck, with no middle ground? Embiggen yourself, keep an open mind, and there will be room for everything.

Nov 09 11 - 9:12am
Kat

You are so right-- I really couldn't agree more. I love them both equally, but in different ways and for different reasons. I grew up listening to The Cure, since they're my mom's favorite band ever, I've been blessed to have been able to listen to them since I was born, and saw them a few years ago with her. I have to say, they really are still quite amazing. The Smiths, though my mom liked them too, didn't pass them on so-to-speak. Instead, I "found" them on my own time. Morrissey is definitely a bit on the douche-y side, but I love how he's a vegetarian and is incredibly passionate about it-- I've been a vegetarian for about 3 years now, so I think that's pretty neat. Robert Smith though, seems to be a bit more kind and has a less harsh personality (that's the best way I can describe it) or at least I perceive him to be that way. Obviously I couldn't say for sure because I've never met him, though I reeaaally wish I could! All in all though, I love them both-- neither one is better. I don't understand why I have to even choose one in the first place.
Also, why am I not allowed to like them just because I was born in '93? My mom is proud that she's been able to pass on her excellent taste in music, especially because I'm the only girl in the family who listens to music that's not Justin Bieber, Rihanna, or that current, pop crap tha's on the radio now. I know if my kids one day decide that they like The Cure, The Smiths & some of my more "current" favorites like The Drums, Animal Collective, Radiohead and Ghost Mice- I would feel like the happiest, most honored mother in the world. I can only hope.

Jun 16 11 - 4:40pm
EdwardSF

The Cure all the way!!

Jun 16 11 - 4:59pm
Steve

If it's not love, then it's the bomb that'll bring us together.

Jun 16 11 - 5:29pm
Music Fan

I loved both of these bands. Yeah I heard the Cure Disintegration first, but then purchased the Staring at the Sea video Laser Disc, and heard so much more great music from them. Killing and Arab, Caterpillar, The Forest. Seeing Robert Smith with blonde hair threw me for a loop. They were so great till the became so permanently depressing. Then they brighted up a bit again with "Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me". Yes the Smiths were great they reminded me the I eat death, and their music was great I can always listen to "How Soon Is Now" along with many of their tracks. The Honest truth is that The Smith can't hold a candle to the Cures voluminous catalog, and they couldn't keep it together. Morrisey had to big of an ego and went all solo. I love "Son and Heir", but The Cure wins for quantity and length of time playing. I think Old Bob Smith and the Cure are still Touring. Where are the Smiths. Oh yeah, gone.

Jun 16 11 - 6:29pm
Thank You!

I just searched for Robert Smith blonde-- because I had never seen that and I've been with them since 'In Orange' on VHS of course. I didn't see a pic of that but I did discover 'Not in Love' featuring Robert Smith. Going to purchase and download it now.

Nov 24 11 - 5:30am
Sam

Music Fan - You've missed the point completely. The Cure did 13 studio albums, at least 12 of them were completely drab and boring. The Smiths did 4 amazing studio albums without one bad track. Anyone can put out countless albums full of bad songs, bad haircuts and mediocre music. It takes Marr I guess. But what difference does it make? I'm probably starting something I can't finish with this argument.

Jun 16 11 - 5:50pm
sisyphus00

Love both bands but The Smiths beat The Cure hands down. Come on The Smiths had Johnny Marr playing guitar and the lyrics of Morrissey. Morrissey may be a bit of a dick maybe that's why his music is so great. It's like the Bruins and the Canucks. The Sedin twins sure are nice guys, but I'll take Brad Marchand any day of the week ("why were you punching him (daniel sedin)?" "Because I felt like it").

Jun 17 11 - 3:30am
Chuck

Exactly. Morrissey may not be a nice guy but few geniuses are.

Jun 16 11 - 6:03pm
RusholmeRuffian

So bands competing with one another.......???? How about we grow up and enjoy music for what it is without all this mindless bullshit about we is better. Each one of these bands are great for different reasons. Are we enjoying the music or betting on a horse race?

BTW White Lion is way better then Warrant.

Jun 16 11 - 6:35pm
PeterSmith

Totally with you on White Lion. Rise again, little fighter.

Jun 16 11 - 6:13pm
Hyde

The Smiths are retarded, Mr. Marr has Morrissey to blame for how much they suck. He's talented but Moz is a douche. The Cure are much better.

Jun 16 11 - 7:32pm
AmLowLife

I was around at the time and I picked the Cure. And I still listen to the Cure now and then. Just the other day I was telling someone their music endures whereas a lot of music from that time sounds dated.
The Smiths? As soon as Morrissey comes on in any form I skip to the next song. Always hated their whiney ass vocals (music was decent, though). He always sounded like the bitchiest of drama queens. But, I suppose, if you like that sort of thing then The Smiths and Queen Morrissey will be your pick.

Jun 16 11 - 8:13pm
Marc

Loved them both in different ways. The Smiths for their catchy humour and The Cure for touching my heart and speaking to me as a troubled teenager. 25 years on and The Cure will always be the love of my musical life.

Jun 17 11 - 1:26pm
Robert Smith

Amen!

Nov 24 11 - 5:32am
Sam

Anyone who listens to the cure somehow manages to become "troubled". Personally, I don't think they ARE the "cure" for troubled people, I think they are the trouble instilled in to young, impressionable teen's minds.

Jun 16 11 - 9:36pm
JW

Why the focus on Disintegration, is that when you discovered The Cure? That was their 8th album. By that time the Smiths had produced half the number of albums and already folded. Look back at the same period when the Smiths were active and The Cure put out some great albums. Both bands were good during that time and but the Cure put out more quality material (by volume) during those years.

Nov 24 11 - 5:32am
Sam

Again, The Smiths did 4 studio albums without one bad track on it. The Cure did at least 12 rubbish ones

Jun 16 11 - 10:08pm
Hugh

Wow, lots of strange feedback, as a huge fan of both bands, I must honestly say, I have never compared one to the other, i think their styles and music are so different, there is no place for comparison. For me it's like comparing Echo & the Bunneymen with Depeche, both great groups from the same era and very different.... and if you're lookig for gloominess, go back a little bit in time and listen the the founder, the great late, really and truly disturbed Ian Curtis of Joy Division. (please excuse my spelling errors)

Jun 16 11 - 10:33pm
Garth

Wow, can't believe this is even debatable. The Smiths output far exceeded what most Brits put out in the early-mid 80s and their music's endurance and stature through the years/ The Cure became a pop band and had some hits on both sides of the pond. The Smiths were the real deal and created music that spoke on another level. Frankly, Mr Shankly, this is not contest.

Jun 16 11 - 11:49pm
bloodyface

these are my two fav bands. But to say that the cure just is a pop band with just a few hits on both sides of the pond is ignorant. The Cure were massive in their hey-day with sold out shows at the Rose Bowl and Texas Stadium. They were still headling festivals like Coachella has early as a couple years ago. They've always been bigger in America than The Smiths.

Jul 11 11 - 10:58pm
Alan Coffee

Huh? On the strengths of one weak Top 40 hit? What fucking planet were you on?

Jun 16 11 - 11:47pm
bloodyface

lame criticism.

for one, you botched the Plain Song lyric. The song actually starts "I think it's dark and it looks like rain," you said.

Jun 16 11 - 11:49pm
ed

both great

May 06 12 - 12:21pm
ROBERT SMITH

who made the most money. we are still doing sellout gigs .what morrow doing nothin

Jun 17 11 - 2:40am
Nhadz

I love them both...but The Cure weighs more for me...Robert could write the most beautiful love songs while Morissey could write the most miserable songs...They are good in their own way! But The Smiths cannot take me into the most imaginable sorrowful place while The Cure does that to me...Pictures Of You is one great example that Robert's such a brilliant songwriter and Cemetery Gates is also one of the best Morissey-written songs... :)

Jun 17 11 - 7:20am
pmil

The Smiths had a five year run. Not too bad. They made a mark ...and still continue to garner fans. The Cure continues to be relevant even in it's 34th year of making music. Yes the line-up has changed, and yes the music reinvents itself with each album, but that is what The Cure is all about. Rediscovery. I've listened to both bands for over 27 years, but have to hand it to The Cure. With each album release, they continue to innovate and push what they do best.

Jun 17 11 - 9:42am
mahoner

I like them both, but rarely listen to the Cure intentionally. I find myself singing along with Morrissey and the Smiths a lot more than Smith and the Cure. I also agree with previous comments that Morrissey is an asshole. I have met a few rockstars and I find that I liked them a lot better when I'd never met them. Ian McCulloch (Echo and the Bunneymen) wrote some lovely songs but when I met him in person, I was very disappointed. Morrissey wants your adoration but he does NOT want to know you. I LIKE the Cure just fine, but that's just it. When I listen to the Smiths though "like" is too small a word to describe how I feel about them.

Jun 17 11 - 6:23pm
Dr Teeth

My favourite The Cure album was Head On The Door ... the peerless Close to Me plus Inbetween Days and Six Different Ways. That said, the darker, less melodic stuff like Lullaby, A Forest and Primary also hold appeal.

Jun 18 11 - 8:39am
PaulJ

The Cure are clearly better than the Smiths but Depeche Mode is better than both of them!

Jun 18 11 - 10:22am
Jimsmith

The Cure of course !

Jun 19 11 - 7:36am
errr

How are they even comparable? Really nerve, really? And sexually ambiguous? Robert Smith, perhaps, but Morrissey was (and is) definitely a proud (and not shy about it) VERY gay man. No confusion there. I have always loved both bands for different reasons. Why? Because they are SO different.
Also, Friday I'm in love was Robert Smith's shame. He did several interviews about it.

Jun 19 11 - 9:30am
tmp

Re: Morrissey's sexuality--not true. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morrissey#Sexuality

Jun 19 11 - 11:30am
UhYeah

Re:Wikipedia. Selectively ALWAYS true. Right

Jun 19 11 - 7:45pm
tmp

I'm sorry, which of those ten-odd footnoted citations are you disputing? Do you have a link to an interview where Morrissey says, "Yes, contrary to decades of coyness towards both listeners and press, I actually AM gay and proud, and not shy about it, even though being shy about it is pretty much my whole thing?"

Jun 19 11 - 5:17pm
bbaik

Everything you say after saying, "'Disintegration' is Cure classic", is not relevant since its actually their last good album and by far their best. How old are you?

Jun 20 11 - 3:58am
Skippy

I grew up with both these bands; they're both great, for different reasons. In a sense, it doesn't matter. Of the 2,000+ songs on my phone I only have complete albums from The Cure ("Disintegration"), The Smiths ("Rank"), and Tom Waits ("Heartattack And Vine"). All 3 are as close to perfect albums as possible. It's a pointless discussion. Just enjoy genius.

Jun 20 11 - 9:38am
Jason

This has been done to death! New Order vs Depeche Mode would be much more interesting.

Jun 20 11 - 10:32am
Roy Lee Harwell

"the company of a greedy, self-aggrandizing smartass who thinks even his sadness is better than yours?"

I gotta admit, that's pretty clever. And you could only cone up with a conclusion like that if you had actually been listening to Morrissey. Well done article, bravo.

Jul 11 11 - 10:59pm
Alan Coffee

Shut up, you pathetic grovelling stinkhammer-sucking little dweeb.

Jun 20 11 - 12:19pm
samatna

you mean they aren't the same band?

Jun 20 11 - 7:36pm
BOTH

so one guy settles the argument? they are both great and luckily they dont sound too similar

Jun 21 11 - 5:06pm
jvcinsf

Smiths.

Nov 24 11 - 5:36am
Sam

Good, good.

Jun 21 11 - 5:34pm
Non-hardcore fan

As a person who enjoys both bands but is not a hardcore fan of either, I believe they are not comparable at all! Both are good in their own way.

HOWEVER, one thing that struck me was how the first guy in this article said that The Cure sounds the same over and over again. WHAT?! Are you serious?! I can honestly say that I have rarely listened to a band that has such diversity. Compare both examples given here, Just Like Heaven and Plainsong ... two different worlds! Listen to Lovecats and the bass sounds really jazzy, for example. It takes balls to do this! This is maybe why some Cure songs may suck, because they have the guts to experiment.

Also, I used to work as a musician in weddings, and was surprised to see how many people made "The Cure" songs onto their first dance. Guess its closer to their hearts, as the second guy in this article said.

Jun 21 11 - 11:28pm
fb47

This article was written using examples of the least Cure-ish and least Smith-ish songs from both bands. The writers probably only own an album apiece and know songs they've heard on the radio. The artistic songs rarely have mass appeal; Disintegration is the album real Cure fans like the least.

Jun 22 11 - 1:49am
Ana

Morrissey has always sounded like a pompous asshole when he sings. Robert Smith isn't the best lyricist. These bands served a purpose in the 80s by being 'the' alternative of the New Romantic bands. For me, they each conform to the popular saying: SSDS. Same shit different smell.

Nov 24 11 - 5:37am
Sam

You're right there. Morrissey was a better lyricist and singer than Smith and Marr was a better songwriter and guitarist than Smith. Not much competition really

Jun 22 11 - 2:41pm
Matt

I love the Smiths, but there's more diversity to the Cure's music. Just go from Subway Song to The Holy Hour. The Caterpillar, to Prayers for Rain and finally to The 13th. All years apart but all different nonetheless.

Jul 11 11 - 10:59pm
Roy Lee Horwell

Just like Baskin-Robbins! I'm so excited for you, Matt! Can I cup your testicles in my hands?

Jun 22 11 - 5:02pm
AdamB

The Cure recorded (as Cult Hero) "I Dig You". The Smiths did not. Game, set and match for the Cure.

Jun 22 11 - 5:36pm
booboo

i was gonna say the smiths but then i heard "prayers for rain" and now automatically the cure win

Jun 22 11 - 7:07pm
Tommy

Marc Spitz did a great piece comparing the two bands for a book called Rock and Roll Cage Match. He said comparing the two were like comparing James Dean and Marlon Brando. I agree with the logic, but I disagree with his siding with Dean/Smiths over Brando/Cure.

Jun 22 11 - 8:50pm
Irene

I just lurvvv Morrissey to bits and would not be the person I am today but for his sage lyrics. And viva! to his public persona - if it could only mean never having to endure another royal wedding!

Jun 22 11 - 9:43pm
jacko

this has always been an irrelevant argument...yeah they hate each other...but they hate a lot of other people that hated them back. they play two completely different styles of music...one actually plays instruments, the other is really just a lyricist with a flat voice...ok they both have odd voices...and neither of them have done anything great in 20 years(unless you count live dvd's) on that note, robert smith is my hero and i have moz tattooed on my left arm

Jun 23 11 - 9:37pm
Jonny Quest

Love the Cure Remixes ! Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me was one of the first 80 minute CD's
and it is a brilliant piece of Music composition ! The Smiths, well, I had second row seats to see them and then Morrisey called it quits 2 days before the concert ! I hated him after that,
but now I just don't care. Anyways, listen to "Hatful of Hollow", The Smiths european versions and see how great they were back then. They would've been the new Beatles if they didn't break up.

Jun 24 11 - 1:19am
P. Jones

You really have to be an idiot to compare a band as big as The Cure with The Smiths. Both are huge, and I love them both, but the Smiths only did a handful of albums. Yes Morrissey's lyrics are great, and Johnny Marr is an incredible guitarist. But The Cure's output has gone through a million different phases. Simon Gallup is undoubtedly one of the most influential bass players ever. Their lyrics and harmonies are unbeatable... Come on.... What does this "beginner of a Cure critic" have to say about songs like LaMent, Piggy In The Mirror, One Hundred Years, Cold, Siamese Twins, Lullaby, Fascination Street, Open, High, Bare, Apart, Lovesong, The Dream, Fight, All I Want, The Snakepit, etc etc etc.... for Chris-sake!

Jun 24 11 - 1:26am
Morrissey

I am ashamed of my output, and my psychological complexes, -but to hide it, I'll put the blame on others, starting with Robert Smith, then I'll carry on with Johnny, Andy and Mike.

Jun 25 11 - 7:36am
mazzya

If this was a real case in court, you did The Cure more good than bad.
Peter, sweetie, you don't know what you're talking about.. cause if you did, you would have chosen a different approach.
Robert Smith is Oh So talented artist and what you've stated up there, that's the charm of The Cure!.. and then some!

Jun 26 11 - 1:15pm
Wizard

It appears Peter doesn't have the attention span to listen to the lengthy Cure numbers. And that's okay, not many people do!

He likes his music to be quick and to the point. The jangle pop of the Smiths suits his taste perfectly.

Jun 27 11 - 4:18am
groan

and who do ya think would win in a fight between batman and superman?!..... both are good, wtf does it matter.

Jun 27 11 - 2:40pm
verdus

i would have to choose Bauhaus and Joy Division....

Jun 29 11 - 6:25pm
Bottom line:

Robert Smith is a poet. Morrissey is a comedian.

Jun 30 11 - 4:53am
Volkov

Smiths made more accessible music. The Cure made better music.

Jul 11 11 - 11:00pm
The Baltimoron

Fucking wankers.

Jul 22 11 - 10:07pm
Ian

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

This is satire. There is no way this isn't satire. Oh my...

Jul 30 11 - 7:22pm
Trevor

Is this real life? Please stick your head in an oven.

Jul 30 11 - 7:25pm
Trevor

And The Cure is better, for what it's worth.

Aug 09 11 - 3:17am
Greasybastard

Robert Smith.... The Smiths?..How about just make a band called " The Robert Smiths Cure" Ft. Morrissey :P

Aug 30 11 - 6:07am
Zariel

You couldn't pay me to iognre these posts!

Aug 30 11 - 10:51pm
Koruton

I love this bands both so much, I think it's unfair to compare them
The smiths are great cause they're real, who can't compare to that emotion
The Cure, however, you need to be in a certain emotion, and they are better than anything, Robert Smith creates his own world, and it just so happens to be relatable to others when everyone in awhile.
Morrisey and Marr, were extremely impact-full for only doing 3 (you could argue you "4") albums, and I love so many of their lines, but the cure is also real in every song, And they do actually have better albums, where as the smiths were more of a singles band. If you're in a certain mood play X cure album and you'll love it, The smiths throw anything on and it's incredible.

Sep 21 11 - 8:32am
Dhans

The Cure for me, they are more diverse...

Jan 05 12 - 7:53am
Mark

As a huge fan of both bands i must vote for The Smiths, why? I could go on forever.

Jan 10 12 - 10:40am
Dugaldo

Never had anything against The Cure or the clumpy mascara doning boys and girls who loved them in highschool, but Frankly Mr. Shankley, I just get The Smiths and that big 'ol ego of Morrisey's just a little bit more. Great dueling banjo read you guys...

Jan 11 12 - 8:39pm
Jack

This has been a topic of discussion between me and a friend for a while now, I didn't even know the debate was raging elsewhere. I've always fully backed The Smiths and she's always fully backed The Cure. In my opinion alternative rock is almost as much about just being plain cool as how good the music is. The Smiths are so much cooler than The Cure, they have a better singer with a really distinctive voice, that's cool; they have an amazing guitarist, that's cool; they were only around for five years and released four amazing albums, that's cool. Aside from that, I think the music is more emotive, says way more in so many different ways that any Cure song ever did, the vocals and guitar and every other sound they created is just spot on. I feel the same as the guy who wrote the first part of the article, Ireally like some of The Cure's songs but i've never been able to love the band as much as I'd like. A different friend once said to me "you're just not listening to very Cure-like songs", and she gave me a list of what she considered to be better Cure songs. I didn't really like them. I'm pretty certain I'll never change my mind on this one.

Mar 13 12 - 6:39pm
dovic

Music is not about being cool, narcissistic egomania is (and it makes you earn some extra money too).

Jan 12 12 - 4:39am
lesHots Potomac,

Lullaby rules, I could listen to its intro over & over, without bothering with the rest of the song (which, needless to say, is a delight).

Jan 30 12 - 3:49pm
jazz

For me 'Disintegration' is the most beautiful album ever made..i havent listened that long to The Smiths but so far i think they are pretty good..but doesnt come close to The Cure...just my opinion

Feb 13 12 - 4:13am
JohnMcIntyre

I never much liked The Smiths to be honest. I'm not going to dish on them though. It's all about whatever works for you, whatever makes you feel more keenly or breathe more deeply than you would have otherwise. If that's the Smiths, that's fine. But for me...

The Cure, The Cure, The Cure.

I listen to all sorts of music from underground 80s to extreme metal to ambient. Music has changed my life. I wouldn't be the person I am today, have the outlook on life or the values that I do now without music. And The Cure started all of that for me. Not only did they lead me to other great bands and forms of music, they showed me what music is truly about. They showed me that music is more than pretty background noise or glorified elevator music. They're the most important band in my life. ALL of their albums are to me at worst, great music, and at best, utterly life-changing.

Feb 16 12 - 3:30am
poop

The Smiths were musically mediocre at best and Moz is a witless Oscar Wilde wannabe. At least The Cure innovated. At the end of the day though, The Fall > both

Feb 22 12 - 8:01am
LoserMan

Fuck the author. He doesn't know the Cure. His favourite songs ? "friday I'm in love"... This is stupid. Listen to "All cats are grey" and you'll understand why the Smiths are just another pop band and why The Cure are Artists. A question of depth...

Mar 13 12 - 6:17pm
dovic

I think this is the stupidest article I've ever read.
The comparison is presented so superficially I can't even take it seriously. Criticizing a post-PUNK song because it's repetitive... Damn, 90% of bloody rock'n'roll is repetitive, it's about riffs and hooks, verse/chorus/verse. Plainsong is good because of its atmosphere and sound layers, if you want some variety go listen to prog rock. And, wait a minute... I'm not even a fan of The Cure! But this article is just too stupid for me to shut up.
Moreover, why bringing up Lester Bangs? For chrissake, he was dead two years before the Smiths published their first album, leave the man alone! And he probably would have hated Morrissey's pretentiousness and fake melodrama anyway.

Apr 04 12 - 10:43am
DAVIE

Obviously The Smiths! They win hands down! The Cure are a Miserable Lie :D

Apr 11 12 - 4:47pm
Charlotte

This was not a good article. Neither of these guys are real fans of either band. They're unqualified.

I LOVE both of these bands. I was raised on The Smiths. When I was 3 my favorite song was "Frankly, Mr. Shankly" (more for the fun beat than the lyrics, which I couldn't understand at that age). When I was 12, my first CD purchase was The Cure's "Faith"...I'm 26 now but I'm still a bigger fan than either of you.

Apr 11 12 - 4:56pm
Charlotte

You guys should have me write an article: Why Your Stupid Band Rivalries Mean Nothing To New Fans And Will Mean Nothing In The Long Run.

(Speaking of dumb articles, Nerve could have asked me whether or not Madonna was relevant back when she kissed Britney Spears, and I could have saved you all some time...)

Apr 12 12 - 11:06am
faulknersaysrelax

Wow... you managed to combine everything terrible about internet commenters into two comments. Insulting the website, insulting the writers, using all caps to get a point across, pointlessly big-upping yourself without any actual credentials -- well done, Charlotte, well done.

May 02 12 - 6:51pm
Monsieur Croche II

This started off well enough, but all the second page did was demonstrate that the writer hasn't understood The Smiths, and certainly hasn't understood Morrissey.

Jul 04 12 - 6:04pm
Travis

Apart from Johnny Marr being their guitarist, The Smiths are nothing more than a slack jawed self-righteous man holding flowers in my opinion. I think the reason the Cure have appealed to me so much in the past is because they have changed SO MUCH in the 80s... You really can't say that they sounded like anyone else during that time. Granted I believe that depending on the person's music taste is when you will get a different comment. I like the cocteau twins, slowdive, jesus and mary chain, my bloody valentine, etc... So of course the Cure are going to interest me more because of the six string bass, fascination street-esque sound. And shame on you, whoever wrote this article, for picking plainsong by the Cure. Of course you can hate on that song, especially when you compare it to a song that starts right from the beginning hard; there are plenty of cure songs that start just like that Smiths song. Plainsong is like an opener to the album ya know? I never really look at it like it's own entity, I use it as a setup for the rest of the album. I understand why you chose it though... It really is the one song you can actually use to make the Smiths look better.

And yes, I too believe Friday I'm in Love was a bit alsdkjfaklsjdf too...