Iterations: The Cure – “Friday I’m In Love”

Iterations: The Cure – “Friday I’m In Love”

I’m just to get this out there and out of my drafts folder, and make it three Cure pieces three Fridays in a row. And they’ve all been on Fridays because, well, duh.

The 30th anniversary deluxe of edition of Wish finally came out a few weeks ago – digitally and in Record Store Day edition picture disc vinyl, at least – the regular editions aren’t out until January. And Wish, of course, was home to arguably the band’s most popular – in the broader context of the general populace – song… which is probably the song most of their die-hard fans hate most. I imagine The Cure and R.E.M. had a lot to commiserate about in the early ’90s.

Unsurprisingly, Robert Smith has been asked about his feelings towards the song a lot over the years. Many of those articles are not digitized, but Far Out compiled a lot of the quotes commemorating the song’s 30th anniversary earlier this year, and I’m not too proud to crib. In an interview with SPIN around the album’s release, Smith admitted his fondness for the song precisely because it was so out of character for what people expected:

‘Friday I’m In Love’ is a dumb pop song, but it’s quite excellent actually because it’s so absurd. It’s so out of character—very optimistic and really out there in happy land. It’s nice to get that counterbalance. People think we’re supposed to be leaders of some sort of ‘gloom movement.’ I could sit and write gloomy songs all day long, but I just don’t see the point.

Robert Smith, The Cure
SPIN via ‘Friday, I’m In Love’ turns 30: The everlasting impact of a “dumb pop song” by The Cure @ Far Out

Rolling Stone also collected a number of fun facts about the song for a 25th anniversary piece they ran back in 2017. I particularly like the confession of the song having been accidentally sped up, made to Guitar Player in 1992 (I think I have that issue squirrelled away somewhere):

“Friday I’m in Love” was originally recorded in the key of D major, but the version on record was inadvertently sped up by a quarter tone. “That was an accident,” Smith admitted to Guitar Player in September 1992. “I was playing with the vari-speed [pitch control] and forgot to turn it off.” Luckily, he liked the effect that resulted. “The whole feel changed, and the fact that it’s the only song on Wish that’s not in concert pitch really lifts it out and makes it sound different. After working on the record for months, hearing something a quarter tone off makes your brain take a step backwards.”

The Cure’s ‘Friday I’m In Love’: 7 Things You Didn’t Know @ Rolling Stone

Here’s the official video, which apparently took just a couple hours to shoot. Who could tell?

The song is basically a fixture of their live sets, so there’s plenty of live footage of it. This one came from a TV performance for CD:UK at some indeterminate date.

And from a television studio to the biggest stage in Britain, here’s their performance from the 2019 headlining set at Glastonbury:

Being a very popular song, there are many many covers by artists I don’t care a bit about. Here’s some that I do care about. Luna’s Dean & Britta recorded a version for a 2008 tribute album, Just Like Heaven:

Phoebe Bridgers recorded a characteristically sad girl version as part of her Spotify Sessions EP in December 2018:

And Yo La Tengo included a version on their 2015 covers album Stuff Like That There. I guess there’s just something about the song that makes people want to strip it down and dial down the joy.

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