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10:15 Saturday Night – The Cure

Editor’s note: This song is not a one-hit wonder. In fact, “10:15 Saturday Night” never even charted on the Billboard Hot 100. Once in a while I write about songs that pop in my heads and become earworms (in other words, they lodge in my head and won’t get out until I write about these songs).

“10:15 Saturday Night” is a brilliant song by a brilliant band that is not even remotely close to a one-hit wonder since they charted three songs on the Billboard Hot 100 (“Just Like Heaven” from 1987, “Lovesong” from 1989″ and “Friday I’m in Love” from 1992. All great songs from a great band. But none of them are as manic, as creepy and as brilliant as “10:15 Saturday Night.”

Few songs strike me as frenetic, constrained, manic and morose as “10:15 Saturday Night” by The Cure. The original version from their 1979 release Three Imaginary Boys is simple concise madness.

It doesn’t sound like a pop song or anything that should ever have become popular. But that little song that led to The Cure being signed to a record contract in 1978 is deservedly on most Cure fan’s greatest hits lists.

I’m posting two live versions of this song.

Listen to 10:15 Saturday Night by The Cure

Buy “10:15 Saturday Night” from Three Imaginary Boys
The Cure - Three Imaginary Boys

You’ll see a young and nearly unrecognizable Robert Smith fronting this post-punk band in all its innocent glory. Smith later evolved into the king of mope rock. But here he’s just a teenager with a guitar. No makeup. No black baggy clothing. Just Smith, the song and the three-piece original version of The Cure. Classic darkness.

Matt Thurston, thanks for introducing me to this song years ago. It never really leaves my head for long.

Live version of “10:15 Saturday Night” by The Cure from 1982

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I'm an obsessive music collector, cataloger, commenter and trivia nut. Sometimes I'm even a listener. One-hit wonders have always been a guilty pleasure.

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6 Responses to "10:15 Saturday Night – The Cure"

  1. Matt Thurston says:

    You’re welcome.

    10:15 Saturday Night is something of a minimalist classic, isn’t it? Like minimalist painting, the “empty space” between the notes is as important as the notes themselves. It also has a kind of existential vibe, musically and lyrically. Maybe Smith was dabbling in existentialism, (or maybe I’m just reading into it myself). In any case, another track from the same record, Killing an Arab, is also an existential ditty, based on The Stranger, by Camus.

    Had Smith kept this rather pedestrian look, would The Cure have achieved the same degree of fame? I doubt it. I wonder if he still likes his official look? Or is it at best a “uniform” he feels forced to wear, or at worse a noose around his neck?

    Also, if Elvis is the King of Rock, and Michael is the King of Pop, and Aretha is the Queen of Soul, and James Brown is the Godfather of Soul… isn’t Robert Smith the Godfather of Goth? Is there a better candidate? One could make an argument for Peter Murphy and Ian Curtis, maybe. Certainly Lou Reed, Jim Morrison, Iggy Pop, and especially David Bowie influenced the Goth look and sound, but none of them would be described as “Goth” artists. I see them more as early influences of Smith’s, the same way Elvis had his influences.

    In any case, a great song. The Cure never wrote another one like it.

  2. Michael Waterman says:

    Robert is definitely the Godfather of Goth. Some peg him as the King of Mope. Lyrically that may be true. But I’ve often heard an undercurrent of, well, joy in his music. Maybe not joy. But definitely not slash-your-wrists-life-is-sad music either.

    Agree that 10:15 Saturday Night is a one-of-a-kind Cure gem.

  3. […] Cure’s 1989 release, Disintegration. This song is so far removed from the manic brilliance of “10:15 Saturday Night” it’s amazing the two songs were written by the same guy. But that is part of the charm of The […]

  4. blah says:

    Describing a group as long standing and popular as the Cure, as a “one hit wonder” is ridiculous.
    Even if they technically qualify cos of only having had… etc etc.

  5. Michael Waterman says:

    You are correct. The Cure is not a one-hit wonder. In fact, they are a three-hit wonder. Please see the Editor’s Note at the top of the posting. And thanks for visiting Top One-Hit

  6. […] Cure’s 1989 release, Disintegration. This song is so far removed from the manic brilliance of “10:15 Saturday Night” it’s amazing the two songs were written by the same guy. But that is part of the charm of The […]

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