It would be hard to imagine a world where vampires are sexy, black nail polish is worn by even the most mainstream guys, and Marilyn Manson sells out shows without them. I think you could make the argument that emo wouldn't exist at all without The Cure.
They didn't just change music, they put a name and a face on goth, even if they've always resisted the label themselves.
The band has changed members several times, the only constant being Robert Smith. Him and his crazy hair and his makeup and black clothes and darkly depressing songs.
The band started in the mid 70's in England, and began more as a punk act. As Smith took control of the band more, the songs turned darker and more tormented. They wanted to define themselves as unique and different in a world of standard rock bands, and they did. Smith was known to end shows in tears.
They released several albums before they became a household name in the United States. It really wasn't until Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me in 1987 that they got into heavy rotation here, though by that time they had a fairly decent following. Just Like Heaven followed soon after, becoming their biggest hit.
1989's Disintegration was the album that achieved the greatest commercial success, including some of their most popular songs Pictures of You and Lovesong.
The band played the MTV VMA Awards that year, at the peak of their fame. Albums released since haven't been as successful. Many members of the band reunited last year for a series of Reflections shows, and they are playing a music festival this summer.
Robert Smith is still keeping it weird after all this time.
The band was nominated to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on their first year of eligibility this year, but narrowly missed. They'll get in.