Seventeen Seconds is the second studio album by The Cure, released in April 1980 by Fiction Records. It is the only Cure album to feature keyboardist Matthieu Hartley, and was featured in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. The album reached number 20 on the British album charts.
The record, mostly a collection of downbeat tracks, features ambient echoing vocals and minimally-treated instruments, with the album's sonic direction driven by its drum sound. Due to budgetary restraints, the record was recorded and mixed in seven days on a budget of between £2000 and £3000, which resulted in the band working 16 or 17 hours a day to complete the album. Smith stated that as a result, the track "The Final Sound" was actually planned to be much longer, but was cut down to 53 seconds because the tape ran out while recording, and they couldn't record it again. Inspiration was also very high, as Smith wrote the lyrics and music for most of the record on just two occasions. Most of the music was composed by Smith in his parents' home, on a Hammond organ with a built in tape recorder. Interviewed in 2004, producer Mike Hedges does not recall any demo tracks, with the band