"Just Like Heaven" is a song by the British alternative rock band The Cure. The group wrote most of the song during recording sessions in southern France in 1987. The lyrics were written by the band's frontman Robert Smith, who drew inspiration from a past trip to the sea shore with his future wife. Before Smith had completed the lyrics, an instrumental version of the song was used as the theme for the French television show Les Enfants du Rock.
"Just Like Heaven" was the third single released from the band's 1987 album Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, while Smith's memories of the trip formed the basis for the song's accompanyingmusic video. The song became The Cure's first American hit and in 1988 reached number 40 on the Billboard charts. It has been praised by critics and covered by artists such as Dinosaur Jr., Alvin and the Chipmunks, and Katie Melua. Smith has said he considers "Just Like Heaven" to be one of the band's strongest songs.
Background and recording [edit | edit source]
In order to develop material for Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Smith forced himself to write music for 15 days of each month. During this regimen, he developed the chords and melody which form the basis of "Just Like Heaven". Structurally, Smith found what he had written was similar to The Only Ones's 1978 hit "Another Girl, Another Planet". When he brought an instrumental demo of the song to the album recording sessions in Southern France, Cure drummer Boris Williams increased the tempo and added an opening drum fill which inspired Smith to introduce each instrument singularly and in sequence.
When the French TV show Les Enfants du Rock asked The Cure to provide a theme song, Smith offered the instrumental version. As he explained, "It meant the music would be familiar to millions of Europeans even before it was released". He completed the lyrics when the group moved the sessions to Studio Miraval, located in Le Val, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur. The band completed the song quickly, and at the time Smith considered it to be the most obvious potential single from the songs the band had recorded during their two-week stay at Miraval.
Composition and lyrics [edit | edit source]
|"Just Like Heaven"MENU 0:00 Sample of "Just Like Heaven", taken from The Cure's 1987 album Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me. The song's guitar riff appears briefly as Robert Smith sings the lines, "That stole the only girl I loved/And drowned her deep inside of me."----|
|Problems listening to this file? See media help.|
"Just Like Heaven" is written in the key of A major and consists of an A–E–Bm–D chord progression which repeats throughout the song, except during the chorus when the band plays an F♯m–G–D progression. The song's central hook is formed from a descending guitar riff which appears between song verses and in parts of the bridge and the last verse. This guitar line contrasts with the "fuzzier mix" of the rhythm guitars.
According to Smith, "The song is about hyperventilating—kissing and fainting to the floor." The lyrics were inspired by a trip with his then-girlfriend (and later wife) Mary Poole toBeachy Head in southern England. Smith said the opening line of the song ("Show me, show me, show me how you do that trick") refers to his childhood memories of mastering magic tricks, but added "on another [level], it's about a seduction trick, from much later in my life".