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Today's ear X-tacy: The Cure "Boys Don't Cry"

Today's ear X-tacy features a classic track or deep-cut from the Alternative era every weekday at 10:10.

The Cure released their album, Boys Don’t Cry, on February 5, 1980. The record falls somewhere between an official release and compilation. It contained several tracks from the band's May 1979 debut album, Three Imaginary Boys, which had not been released in the US. The new album was released with additional material from the band's 1978–1979 era in hopes of expanding the band’s audience outside of the UK.

The title track, “Boys Don't Cry" was The Cure's second single, following "Killing An Arab." Originally released in June 1979, it wasn't a hit at the time, but in 1986 a new version was issued as a single in which the original track was remixed and the vocals re-recorded.

The song, written by The Cure’s Robert Smith, Lol Tolhurst, and Michael Dempsey, tells the story of a man who has given up trying to regain a lost love, and tries to disguise his true emotions. In an interview with the NME, Smith stated:

“And as an English boy at the time, you’re encouraged not to show your emotion to any degree. And I couldn’t help but show my emotions when I was younger. I never found it awkward showing my emotions. I couldn’t really continue without showing my emotions; you’d have to be a pretty boring singer to do that. So I kind of made a big thing about it. I thought, ‘Well, it’s part of my nature to rail against being told not to do something’.“

The band performed "Boys Don't Cry" at the 2019 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.

John is the mid-morning host on WFPK. Email John at jtimmons@lpm.org