Twenty-five years ago today, The Cure released what many fans consider the band’s masterwork (it won the Slicing Up Eyeballs readers polls for 1989 and the entire 1980s), the gloom-struck epic Disintegration — an album that found Robert Smith and Co. snapping out of their mid-’80s pop phase in favor of a darker, more cinematic sound.
To celebrate this anniversary, we turn to 1989’s Prayer Tour, which saw The Cure playing arenas and stadiums in the U.S., and performing the album in full, albeit not consecutively, throughout its nightly sets. Because the band has not graced fans with a film of this historic trek, we turn our lonely eyes to YouTube, where we’ve found these five fan-shot concerts.
Be warned: These are VHS-era recordings. In 1989, we couldn’t film concerts with our telephones. So the quality’s not the best, but it’s a historic document of one of the band’s true high points.
Happy birthday, Disintegration.
Video: The Cure @ Barcelona, Spain — June 21, 1989
Video: The Cure @ Paris, France — June 21, 1989
Video: The Cure @ Vienna, Austria — June 21, 1989
Video: The Cure @ Munich, Germany — May 19, 1989
Video: The Cure @ Brussels, Belgium — July 9, 1989 (Part 1)
Video: The Cure @ Brussels, Belgium — May 10, 1989 (Part 2)
PREVIOUSLY ON SLICING UP EYEBALLS
- The Cure’s ‘Entreat Plus’ live album to receive double-vinyl U.S. release on Record Store Day
- The Cure’s Robert Smith donates handwritten ‘Plainsong’ lyrics to U.K. charity auciton
- Review: The Cure’s ‘Disintegration: Deluxe Edition’ expanded 3CD reissue
- The Cure launches ‘Disintegration’ website, streams 20 unreleased demos, live tracks
- Roger O’Donnell: Recording of The Cure’s ‘Disintegration’ a ‘happy, jokey’ time
- The Cure’s ‘Disintegration’ gets 3CD deluxe reissue in 2010, plus ‘In Orange’ on DVD
Happy Birthday to my Jr High soundtrack!
That’s all well and good. But a much better album was released 25 years ago last week. That’s right – I just threw the apple of discord. Let the fighting begin anew!!!
Totally agree about the Roses….a real LANDMARK LP.
Wow, brings back memories. I saw them perform this concert in Detroit. Awesome!
25 years old today. I can actually remember the premiere of the still powerful “Fascination Street” on MTV’s ‘120 Minutes’ and feeling the goosebumps.
Regretfully, I missed The Cure on the “Prayer Tour” in 1989. I bought the “Disintegration CD, and loved it! I tried making up for the “Prayer Tour” by seeing three shows on the “Wish” Tour in 1992. I still wish I had seen the band on the “Prayer Tour” because I liked the album so much.
My best friend saw The Cure in 1987 on the “Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me” Tour and the “Prayer Tour in 1989. I should have listened to him, and gone to those shows. The “Wish” shows were great, but didn’t seem as dark as previous tours. Thanks for sharing the excellent old school videos. It was exciting to see shows that I had gone to back then. Although, I didn’t attend these actual shows. Cheers!
The Height of my Cure fandom! I was a complete Cure freak around 86-91. Wearing black everyday and ratting my hair up like Roberts. The Disintegration album was a perfect attribute and reason to further love the Cure. The Prayer Tour was and still is one of my top shows of all time. The Cure influenced so much of my teen and early twenties that I can never disregard them. I’m 40 now and I will always remember those beautifully dark days!
Why apologize for the fidelity? Camera shots from mobile phones are shakier than, well, me after two pots of coffee and usually some screeching prat is drowning out the band. Watching the Munich concert and the camera/sound adds to rather than detracts from the performance.
And yeah, the Roses’ debut was/is/ever shall be brilliant.
Definitely their last, true masterpiece although Wish and Bloodflowers had their moments.
i loved this album, still do…i’m a 50 y/o brother too.
First, I realize these responses were made 6 years ago, but I just wanted to say something anyways. My brother was watching the Cure on the television doing a concert at Hyde Park in 2018, and he sent me a few text msg’s that showed different clips of that. He said it reminded him of me when he was watching them. I started being a Cure fan back around 1986, and was fortunate enough to be able to attend their Prayer Tour concert in Hamburg, Germany on May 5, 1989. I was so in to that album, in particular, and still am. I have be a loyal Cure fan all these years. They are one of a kind. Their music and lyrics are beautifully done.
Wipes the floor with the Stone Roses LP.
Ever since I first heard Disintegration in the early 2000’s I’ve never for the life of me understood how TSR is supposed to be better or even a great album on it’s own TBH. It’s too derivative for a start, and compared to Disintegration it sounds like a pop record made for 12-year-olds. It doesn’t hold up well when comparing the two.
Disintegration truly is a great album, it has a timelessness and ambition to it. It isn’t pop music for the charts it’s serious stuff.
Music’s not a competition. I love both albums, they serve completely different purposes, and neither of them exists to the exclusion of the other.Both are great, both have problems with the production values, although Disintegration is considerably less blighted in that respect. If you think that Stone Roses album is pop music for twelve year olds then you probably don’t know enough about it, haven’t listened to the lyrics properly and haven’t read the interviews Squire and Brown did back in the day. Those songs are serious stuff. Don’t judge a band on the bands it influenced. Whereas, ironically you can make a very strong argument for Disintegration being music for 12 year olds, certainly based on the lyrical content which is the epitome of adolescent self interest.