The Cure: “A Forest” (1980)

The first single from the second album takes a turn for the gothic.

Kronomyth 2.01: Real horrorshow like.

Once there was a girl who wasn’t there, missing an eye, but that seems a lifetime ago… The first single from The Cure’s second album is a haunting tale of a man who follows a woman into the woods only to find she’s disappeared. It is a nightmare pinned to a propulsive melody and Simon Gallup’s perfectly pounding, bounding bass. It’s also a formula for the future, as subsequent Cure singles would sound more or less the same for the next few years.

The flip side is a nonalbum instrumental track, Another Journey By Train, which might have turned into a serviceable song if Smith had been so inclined. The style is the same, with chugging bass and swirling sounds wrapped tight like burial shrouds. It’s not an immortal track by any means, but worth hearing if you pine for the days of perfect moments buried in pine-scented boxes.

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Original 7-inch/12-inch single version

A1. A Forest (Robert Smith/Laurence Tolhurst/Simon Gallup/Matthieu Hartley)
B1. Another Journey By Train (Robert Smith/Laurence Tolhurst/Simon Gallup/Matthieu Hartley)

The Players

Simon Gallup (bass), Matthieu Hartley (keyboards), Robert Smith (guitar, vocals), Laurence Tollhurst (drums). Produced by Robert Smith and Mike Hedges.

The Plastic

Released on 7-inch and 12-inch on March 28, 1980 in the UK (Fiction, FICS 10) and the Netherlands (Polydor, 2059 229) with picture sleeve; reached #31 on the UK charts (charted April 12, 1980 for 8 weeks). Also released on green vinyl 12-inch single in 1980 in New Zealand (Stunn, ESP-103).

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