As a band, The Cure have had one of the most interesting careers in all of rock. Meandering through the musical landscape and constantly reinventing themselves, the British band have, at points, been defined by post-punk, psychedelia, pop, goth and new wave.
Frontman and mastermind Robert Smith has been the only constant member since the band’s formation in 1978. His commitment to progression has given The Cure an enduring pulp and crafted a legacy that has outlived every genre that has been en vogue, or that they’ve been lumped in with.
Often taken as a band of the ’80s, whereby no doubt they released the majority of their most important work, The Cure also found success in the ’90s, where they found another creative lease of life following what is often hailed as their masterpiece, 1989’s hallucinogenic and brooding, Disintegration.
The following year, The Cure released an album that again, totally reconfigured what the band were about. Seemingly hailing the dawn of the new era, and influenced by the flourishing baggy movement, the band released Mixed Up in November 1990. As the title suggests, the album was comprised of remixes of some of their hits, including ‘Lullaby‘ and ‘Close to Me’.
The decision by the band to release remixes of their tracks reflects just how popular the craze of remixing was in the late ’80s and early ’90s. No one would have thought amidst the gloomy fog of Disintegration that The Cure would ever remix their tracks. Mixed Up was also significant as it came with a new single, ‘Never Enough’, which totally reinvented The Cure for the hedonistic abandon of the ’90s.
Influenced by baggy, and featuring one the busiest guitar lines in the whole of the band’s back catalogue, it sounds more like ‘Begging You’ by The Stone Roses or something The Charlatans would have released than a Cure track. This also makes it one of the most refreshing points in the entirety of the band’s career.
Smith explained: “The song is about excess. Anything I do is not enough, there always has to be something else or you’d stop, and the fact that there is always something else drives you into excess.”
Smith wrote the song after the band had been holed up in the studio for three days attempting to write a single for the album. He told a Pirate Radio interviewer in October 1990: “We recorded four songs and they sounded like crap, and I was really depressed. Everyone knew it wasn’t working. I wrote ‘Never Enough’ that night and said, ‘Let’s record this.'”
In a 1992 interview with Melody Maker, Smith said that ‘Never Enough’ inspired The Cure to “become a guitar band again”, following the downbeat and introspective spirit of Disintegration.
Their next studio album, 1992’s Wish would see the band move into alt-rock, and it featured singles such as ‘High’ and the hit ‘Friday I’m in Love‘. Jangly and melodic, with a full production style, the Chapterhouse and Human League influences were clear. The Cure was here to stay.
Listen to ‘Never Enough’ below.