Remembering you :: VOTD

Pictures of You :: The Cure
from the album, Disintegration
Directed by Tim Pope

Pictures of You is the fourth and final single from the British rock band The Cure’s 1989 album Disintegration. The single version is a remix edit of the album version, and at 4:48 minutes is significantly shorter than the original album version which runs for 7:24. There are also two different remixes on two UK 12″ singles, and other singles released around the world, one of which later appeared on Mixed Up, and the other is an extended remix of the original album version which, at 7:59, runs slightly longer than the album version. There is also an edit which was released on 12″ in the US, titled “extended remix” as in the European and Australasian releases, but which runs for 6:40 rather than 7:59.

According to various interviews, the inspiration of the song came when a fire broke loose in Robert Smith’s home. After that day, Smith was going through the remains and came across his wallet which had pictures of his wife, Mary. The cover of the single is one of the pictures. The same picture was used as the cover of the Charlotte Sometimes single, but that version was heavily warped and distorted.

Many of Robert Smith’s compositions are inspired by literature. Pictures Of You has also been stated to have been based on an essay by Myra Poleo called The Dark Power of Ritual Pictures. Smith has stated that after reading it, he destroyed his old personal photos and many of his home videos in an effort to wipe away his past. He came to regret the decision a few days later.

It is interesting that one interpretation speaks of rescuing photographs, and the other, speaks of destroying photographs.

In a  1989 interview with Music Box TV, Robert Smith was quoted as saying: “It’s about the idea you hold someone. It goes back a bit to a song like ‘How Beautiful You Are.’ The idea of you hold someone isn’t really what that person is like. Sometimes you completely lose touch with what a person has turned into. You just want to hold onto what they were.”

The video (see above) was filmed in Ballachulish, Scotland. Director Tim Pope says of the video: “We just took three Super-8 cameras to the place I thought it should look like. The old adage -the camera doesn’t lie- isn’t true.”

In 2004, the song was voted # 278 on Rolling Stone‘s “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time” list.

Editor’s Note: The boy who was my first love and first heartbreak is forever part of this song, to me. It is impossible for me to separate the memory of he and I. Perhaps it is because Disintegration came out on the cusp of our break-up and it played as background soundtrack, confident and comforter as I fell apart, and then picked myself up again.


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