Robert Smith favourite 80s songs
Credit: Alexander Blum

Hear the isolated guitar of The Cure’s classic ‘Just Like Heaven’

Despite their post-punk beginnings and their goth visuals, The Cure have gone on to write some of the world’s most iconic pop songs. During the eighties, Robert Smith and the band delivered an array of perfect material destined to make the mixtapes of all who heard them. That said, we bet you haven’t heard the band’s classic ‘Just Like Heaven’ like this before. Here, we bring you the isolated guitar track of the 1987 banger.

The song was written in 1987 and released on The Cure album Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, a record which saw the band become more popular than ever across the globe. One of the reasons behind that success was the song’s infectious lead guitar line. While we can’t be quite sure on who took the lead on this lick, either Pearl Thompson or Robert Smith, we are sure that without it the song would be nowhere near as effective.

Speaking about the song to Blender magazine in 2003, Robert Smith said of the song’s origination: “In 1987, my wife, Mary, and I lived in a small two-bedroom flat in North London. The other room was my music room. Just about the only discipline I had in my life was self-imposed. I set myself a regimen of writing 15 days a month; otherwise I’d have just got up in mid-afternoon and watched TV until the pubs opened, then gone out drinking. I knew as soon as I’d written it that it was a good pop song.”

Much of the track’s charm comes from the ascending and descending repetition of notes, offering up a beguiling lick unlike anything people had ever really heard before. Except of course if you’re Smith, who continued in 2003: “Although I didn’t realise it at the time, the structure is very similar to ‘Another Girl, Another Planet,’ by The Only Ones, which I can still vividly remember hearing on the radio late at night in the mid-70s.”

But he was also keen to point out that there were noticeable differences between the songs both musically and conceptually. “The main difference is that as the song progressed,” he said, “I introduced some different chord changes, which give it that slightly melancholic feeling. The song is about hyperventilating—kissing and fainting to the floor. Mary dances with me in the video because she was the girl, so it had to be her. The idea is that one night like that is worth 1,000 hours of drudgery.”

Naturally, as with every song by the band from Crawley, the lyrics are vitally important to the story. Musically the band’s sound was often seen as pop-driven and perfumed while lyrically their content was typically much darker, it created an intoxicating juxtaposition. However, on ‘Just Like Heaven’, for once, the song’s lyrical and musical content marry up perfectly, though, we’d argue that it is the song’s enticing riff that makes it truly too tempting to resist.

While the below clip may not be the cleanest, the guitar has an unbridled positivity to it when isolated, telling its own story as accurately as Smith regales that night of kissing and fainting on the floor. Listen below to the isolated guitar on The Cure’s ‘Just Like Heaven’.

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