1979 - Best (France)
"THE FOREIGNERS" (Les Etrangers)
THE FOREIGNERS (Les Etrangers)
“Standing on the beach / with a gun in my hand / staring at the sea / staring at the sand / staring down the barrel / at the Arab on the ground / I can see his open mouth / but I hear no sound / I’m alive / I’m dead / I’m a stranger / Killing an Arab” No more possible hate. There’s no question about being a racist blood-rooted apology of a proselytism offense with a, yet worrying, poetic tone. If this stunning murder doesn’t remind you of anything it’s because either you didn’t read or read incorrectly “The Stranger” from Albert Camus. In the British educational system, “The Stranger” is used as the standard French learning book. In Crawley, a small village established in the south frontier of Surrey and Sussex, after the French lessons, Robert Smith, Lol Tolhurst and Mike Dempsey, used to get together, also with other less known friends. The reason for those clandestine meetings: to express the teenager’s pathologies reaffirming the shortness of the environment and with the help of imitation guitars, bought twenty books at the WoolWorth area. In 1976, The Cure came out spontaneously but with truly rises. Patients and full of secrets as shy children but burning inside with a possessive force. They quickly signed up with ‘Ariola Hansa’ a Dutch label dedicated to disco music. Nothing came out from that association. A fella called Chris Parry, who made The Jam sign with Polydor, carried them under his wing. “Killing an Arab” was done by Robert Smith, the guitarist and artist of the group, one of the best British singles of the latest weeks. “To avoid confusion, Polydor distributed together with the record, the old Camus’s for promotion. The racism is too dangerously obvious so we provide the book taking the risk of turning into a group of intellectuals” confides Mike Dempsey, bassist, as a tourist in Paris with a nice little girl friend. “And we are not intellectuals. We don’t belong to any particularly wave. Not punk, nor cold. People can place us between Sham 69 and Buzzcocks or Human League.” In fact, Buzzcocks is the most accurate reference that The Cure is not the antagonist childish side, at the same time mature and naïf, of Peter Shelley’s group.
The Cure is a trio with a gray tune, a bit of rock, only an atom, in fusion with a romantic pop which lands like an O.V.N.I. on the intensively plane British scene. Both the single and the album are enigmatic and nice enough to be listened by the flexible ones. There are two or three titles, “Accuracy”, “Fire in Cairo”, and “10.15” which pass by like a fluid poison, their climates bewitch you and could resemblance to Television, Père Ubu, Magazine and Buzzcocks. But all subtlety! A homeopathic dose. “Musically it derives a bit from the psychedelic pop. We played Hendrix’s “Foxy Lady” and Bowie’s debut “Suffragette City”. It might not be completely honest, but it is as if a French group would have produced such notorious and attractive machine as “Killing An Arab” as their destiny’s backbone. After all, Camus was a bit French.
Sabrina -THANKS so much!!!