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The Love Cats (song)

"The Love Cats" (sometimes rendered as "The Lovecats") is a song by English rock band The Cure, released as a stand-alone single in October 1983.

"The Lovecats"
Single by The Cure
B-side"Speak My Language", "Mr. Pink Eyes"
Released18 October 1983
Format7" & 12" vinyl
RecordedJune 1983
Songwriter(s)Robert Smith
The Cure singles chronology
"The Walk"
"The Lovecats"
"The Caterpillar"
Music video
"The Love Cats" on YouTube

It was the band's first Top 10 hit in the UK, peaking at number 7.[3] It also reached number 6 on the Australian chart in early 1984.[4] The single later appeared on the compilation album Japanese Whispers, released in December 1983.


At the time the song was written, Robert Smith was very interested in the work of Australian author Patrick White.[5] According to a number of his fans, Smith was inspired to write "The Love Cats" after reading White's novel The Vivisector (1970), although this claim is difficult to verify.[6][7] In the novel, the protagonist, Hurtle, is appalled when his lover's husband drowns a sack of stray cats. White draws a parallel between the way in which the cats are discarded, and the treatment of certain characters in the book; by extension, the cats symbolize the most innocent and vulnerable members of society, and the casual cruelty with which they sometimes meet their fate.[8]

Music videoEdit

The music video features a number of cats and a large lampshade falling on the head of bassist Phil Thornalley. There are many shots of a mansion which the band told a buyer they were interested in buying it. They returned the keys in the morning.[9] Real cats were supposed to be used but after proving to be troublesome, taxidermied ones were used in the place of cats.[10] Smith said of the video: "'The Love Cats' is far from being my favourite song: composed drunk, video filmed drunk, promotion made drunk. It was a joke." [11]

Cover versionsEdit

"The Love Cats" has been covered by Luke Doucet, on his album Blood's Too Rich; OK Go, on their Do What You Want EP; Tricky, on his album Vulnerable; Paul Anka, on his 2005 album of covers, Rock Swings; The Hot Rats, on their 2010 debut album Turn Ons; and The Sharp, on their EP Yeah I Want You. Jamie Cullum and Katie Melua also did a live cover of the song in 2007.

Track listingEdit

  1. "The Love Cats" (3:33)
  2. "Speak My Language" (2:39)
UK & US 12"
  1. "The Love Cats (Extended Version)" (4:37)
  2. "Speak My Language" (2:39)
  3. "Mr. Pink Eyes" (2:45)



  1. ^ Mason, Stewart. "Why Can't I Be You?" Retrieved on 22 January 2013.
  2. ^ Ramirez, AJ (13 December 2011). "Snubbed!: Why the Cure Deserves to Be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame". PopMatters. Retrieved 15 June 2016.
  3. ^ "Cure | Full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Official Charts. Retrieved May 15, 2016.
  4. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  5. ^ The Stud Brothers: "Pictures of Youth (Pt. 1)", Melody Maker, March 7, 1992: 25–26.
  6. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) file for The Cure". Retrieved 2010-06-09.
  7. ^ "The Cure-Inspiraciones". Retrieved 2010-06-09.
  8. ^ White, Patrick. The Vivisector. New York: Viking Press, 1970.
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^

External linksEdit