The Cure are an English rock band formed in Crawley, West Sussex, in 1976. The band has experienced several line-up changes, with vocalist, guitarist and principal songwriter Robert Smith being the only constant member. The Cure first began releasing music in the late 1970s with their debut album Three Imaginary Boys; this, along with several early singles, placed the band as part of the post-punk and new wave movements that had sprung up in the wake of the punk rock revolution in the United Kingdom.
The Cure are often identified with the gothic rock genre, and are viewed as one of the form's definitive bands. However, the band has routinely rejected classification, particularly as a gothic rock band. Robert Smith said in 2006, "It's so pitiful when 'goth' is still tagged onto the name the Cure", and added, "We're not categorisable. I suppose we were post-punk when we came out, but in total it's impossible. I just play Cure music, whatever that is."
The Cure's primary musical traits have been listed as "dominant, melodic bass lines; whiny, strangulated vocals; and a lyric obsession with existential, almost literary despair."Most Cure songs start with Smith and Gallup writing the drum parts and bass lines. Both record demos at home and then bring them into the studio for fine-tuning. Smith said in 1992, "I think when people talk about the 'Cure sound', they mean songs based on six-string bass, acoustic guitar and my voice, plus the string sound from the Solina." On top of this foundation is laid "towering layers of guitars and synthesisers".