Disintegration is the eighth studio album by English alternative rock band The Cure, released on May 1, 1989, by Fiction Records. The record marks a return to the introspective and gloomy gothic rock style the band had established in the early 1980s. As he neared the age of thirty, vocalist and guitarist Robert Smith felt an increased pressure to follow up on the group’s pop successes with a more enduring work. This, coupled with a distaste for the group’s new-found popularity, caused Smith to lapse back into the use of hallucinogenic drugs, the effects of which had a strong influence on the production of the album. The Cure recorded Disintegration at Hook End Manor Studios in Reading, Berkshire, with co-producer David M. Allen in late 1988 through early 1989. During production, founding member Lol Tolhurst was fired from the band.
In spite of record label fears that the album would be “commercial suicide,” Disintegration became the band’s commercial peak. It charted at number three in the United Kingdom and at number twelve in the United States, and produced several hit singles including “Lovesong”, which peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100. Disintegration remains The Cure’s highest selling record to date, with over three million copies sold worldwide. Disintegration was also a critical success, being placed at number 326 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time”. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic called it the “culmination of all the musical directions the Cure were pursuing over the course of the ’80s.”
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