THE GLOVE – BLUE SUNSHINE (recorded 1982, released 1983)
For about 40 years The Cure have been the main creative outlet for Robert Smith but he’s engaged in the occasional side project here and there (and there). Whilst not as obscure as Cogasm or Cult Hero, The Glove and their sole album, Blue Sunshine, is a one album wonder that deserves better.
I suppose that The Glove were as much a Siouxsie & The Banshees side project as a Cure one since aside from Smith (who was himself twice a Banshee) the Glove was full-time Banshee Steve Severin. They also came about largely because Siouxsie Sioux and Budgie were off recording their own Banshee side project, the first Creatures record. It also owed a lot to the neo-psychedelic direction that the Banshee’s had first pursued with 1980’s Kaleidoscope.
The first Glove song I ever heard was “Mr. Alphabet Says,” on the radio. The vocals were unmistakably those of Robert Smith. However, Smith was contractually prohibited from singing on the album so aside from that song and “Perfect Murder” the vocals were handled by Budgie’s then-girlfriend, Jeanette Landray. Landray’s vocals are fine — icy and remote but perhaps not entirely memorable. After recording Blue Sunshine, she did appear in another one-hit wonder, Kiss That, who released the Mick Ronson-produced Kiss And Tell in 1986.
Blue Sunshine produced two singles, “Like An Animal” b/w “Mouth To Mouth” and “Punish Me With Kisses” b/w “The Tightrope” in 1983 — the same year that The Cure, then essentially reduced to a duo, released the non-album singles compilation, Japanese Whispers. After the release of Blue Sunshine, that recording’s session drummer, Andy Anderson, joined The Cure. Violinist Martin McCarrick later played with Siouxsie and the Banshees. Blue Sunshine has been re-issued many times in various formats over the years although notably in 2006 when Rhino digitally remastered the album and added a bonus disc of studio demos with Smith on vocals.
We’ve had a pleasantly wet winter this year in Southern California. In fact, I reckon it’s one of the nicest rainy seasons we’ve had in a decade. Confronted daily with lush greenery in the hills around me and cloudy, gray skies above it’s no wonder (to me at least) that I keep hearing Teardrop Explodes songs in my head all day long which means that Alan Gudguy gets to experience me singing “Soft Enough for You,” “Treason (It’s Just A Story)” and “Metranil Vavin” all day long. If you find yourself in a similar situation, consider adding Blue Sunshine to your neo-psych/raincoat rock repertoire, your cat with thank you.