Originally a postpunk outfit with gothic leanings, The Cure evolved into one of the most visionary, creatively satisfying and influential groups to come of age in the 1980's. From dreamy pop to moody expressionism, their signature sound is adventurous, hypnotic, and rich with texture. Formed in 1976 by Robert Smith and schoolmates Michael Dempsey (bass) and Laurence Tolhurst (drums), The Cure's stunning 1979 debut on U.K.-based Fiction Records launched an extraordinary career and enduring worldwide popularity. Originally issued in 1980, the group's sophomore album Seventeen Seconds introduced the darker, emotionally weighted sound for which the band would become renowned in large part due to the evolution of Robert Smith's songwriting and a line-up change that saw bassist Michael Dempsey replaced by Simon Gallup as well as the addition of keyboardist Mathieu Hartley. Seventeen Seconds marked the onset of the Cure's "Dark Trilogy" which also included follow-up efforts Faith and Pornography.