Boys Don’t Cry was a sort of reworked version of The Cure’s debut album Three Imaginary Boys, and was released in early 1980. It takes many of the better tracks from the debut and adds their first three excellent singles from 1979. The packaging, like the music within, is quite rough and ready, with charmingly cheap looking artwork.
Unlike the material that followed, this album bristles with nervous, jerky energy. Opening with the title track, which is possibly THE quintessential Cure song, and needs little description here. 10.15 Saturday Night oscillates between gentle, barely there guitar strumming and heavier guitar stabs, leading into Robert Smith’s searing guitar solo. It’s probably best to avoid discussion of the emo-inventing “drip, drip, drip...” lyrics which don’t really stand up to scrutiny. Jumping Someone Else’s Train and later Fire In Cairo are bouncy tracks with great melodies which rattle by pleasingly.
Debut single Killing An Arab, HEAVILY influenced by Camus has a vaguely Middle Eastern guitar riff and a hefty dose of attitude. Later on the album, slower tracks such as Another Day and Three Imaginary Boys are moodier, wallowing tracks signposting the band’s direction on subsequent albums. It’s an essential document of The Cure’s very early days.