The greatest Alt Rock album of all time turns 30 today. The Cure's Disintegration was released on May 2, 1989, and this masterpiece has more than stood the test of time.

Filled with sweeping, dark soundscapes, Disintegration runs the gamut from the breathtaking "Plainsong" to the paranoid claustrophobia of "Lullaby." I'll never get over the sweeping tragic bass on "Pictures of You" or the irresistibly alluring "Fascination Street." Disintegration was a return to The Cure's early Gothic sound, and it's beautiful from start to finish, filled with self-absorbed gloom and a brooding sexiness with which I've been fascinated for years.

When Disintegration was released, I was five. I didn't get into The Cure until high school. Do you remember the South Park episode "Mecha-Streisand" in which a bigass robotic version of Barbara Streisand is destroying the town and the only hope for South Park is to summon Robert Smith? Robert Smith disappears into the sunset at the end of the episode, and Kyle yells after him, "Disintegration is the greatest album ever!"

I used my babysitting money to buy it on CD a few weeks later. I can tell you, without a moment's hesitation, that if I were trapped on a desert island, I'd require a copy of Disintegration to survive. It was a major part of my formative years, and although I know that sounds terribly cliche, it's true.

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