The Cure – “Burn”

The Cure – “Burn”

I’m old enough to remember seeing the original The Crow in theatres – a cool movie, but not a good movie – and also the ubiquity of the soundtrack, which opened with what I think is now regarded as one of The Cure’s greatest non-album tracks, “Burn”.

It’s the 30th anniversary of the film – and soundtrack – so MusicRadar has put together the story of the recording of the song, mostly reliant on an interview Robert Smith did in 2008, about how the official lineup of The Cure was down to just him and drummer Boris Williams when the request came in to provide a song for the soundtrack, and how quickly the two of them churned out what would become a classic for the band:

The duo being isolated as a unit during the creation of Burn meant that the duo’s dynamic was intensified. “That’s probably why it came together so quickly – I think the whole thing was turned around in two days,” remembered Smith. “It was very much like I did the Top album actually. He just sort of jammed the drums and I was playing along.”

“I think the whole thing was turned around in two days”: The two-man Cure lineup that recorded one of the greatest film soundtrack songs of all time for The Crow @ MusicRadar

What’s interesting is that as popular as the song is, and as epic as Cure shows tend to be, it never made into a live set until almost 20 years after it was released. It was debuted at the Voodoo Music Experience in New Orleans in November 2013, introduced by Smith with, “Here’s another song about New Orleans. One we’ve never played.” You can watch it via a non-embeddable Vimeo link here:

The Cure – “Burn”, live at Voodoo Music Experience, 2013

Here’s the studio version of the song, and The Cure’s performance of it at Glastonbury 2019, as performed by more than two people:

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