History made: Peel Session, 1979

Paul Morley will always be remembered for his 1979 review of the Cure’s debut album Three Imaginary Boys and the ‘homage’ made by Robert Smith: a version of “Grinding Halt” recorded for the John Peel show, during which Robert Smith sarcastically recites quips from Morley’s piece.

A Desperate Journalist (Lyrics)

Hey mister a review
A word for salad
Is written by my friend
Ian Penman

He uses long words
Like semiotics and semolina
But I counted
With Enigma and metropolis

The lads go rampant on insignificant symbolism
And compound this with rude soulless obliqueness

Everything’s coming to a grinding halt
I use such long words

It’s all clever stuff
All this charming childish fiddling about aims for the anti-image
But it naturally creates the perfectly malleable image

Tantalizing enigma
Of the Cure
They try to take

But the Cure really
They’re just trying to sell us something
Their product is more artificial than most
This is perhaps part of their
Master plan
But it seems more like their naivety

Everything’s coming to a grinding halt
Everything’s coming to a grinding halt
Everything’s coming to a grinding halt

Note how really songs what are made of (?)
Murk and marshes
Tawdry images
Inane realizations
Dull dull dull epigrams
Sometimes they sound like an avant-garde John Otway
Or an ugly spirit

Toy drumming
Sprightly bass
Limited guitar riff

Check the sheet out of my favorite book

People don’t forget the Penman
It’s just that in 1979 people shouldn’t be allowed to get away with things like this

I say. . .  

May 6, 1979 London
© John Peel Session



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