In 2016, I published my first book, Your Favorite Band Is Killing Me: What Pop Music Rivalries Reveal About the Meaning of Life. For all of the famous rivalries that I wrote about — The Beatles vs. the Rolling Stones, Kanye West vs. Taylor Swift, Tupac vs. Biggie — there is one rivalry that I didn’t cover that readers have continually asked me about over the years.
What about the Smiths vs. the Cure?
To be honest, I thought this was only a debate that fans of ’80s alternative rock cared about. And, really, how much of a debate is there anyway? If you like one band, there’s a good chance you like the other, right? Yes … but also no. Not only do fans argue about these bands, the bands themselves have a legitimate beef.
Given that Morrissey was back in the news recently for saying some awful things once again in an interview, and the Cure also is back in the cultural conversation due to an anticipated 40th anniversary concert this summer in London, I decided to finally address this rivalry. I called up Elizabeth Bracy of The Paranoid Style, a huge Smiths fan, and I tried to convince her that the Cure might actually be the better band. Between you and me, I think I succeeded!