We are taking a trip down memory lane, rummaging in the Far Out archives to revisit The Cure doing there best miming of ‘Just Like Heaven’ on the Spanish television programme ‘A Tope’ back in June 1987, which is nothing short of sublime.
‘A Tope’ was a short-lived music programme that ran from just 1987 to 1988 which was the Spanish equivalent of ‘Top Of The Pops’ with The Cure’s performance being the pinnacle of its 29 episodes run before it would find itself cancelled.
The Cure, who don’t even attempt to hide the fact that they are not playing live, delivers perhaps the strongest nod and a wink to the audience at home watching that they are being forced into miming was the use of an acoustic guitar when it’s clearly an electric guitar being played on the recording.
The track was written in 1987 and released on The Cure‘s Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me which had been released just weeks before this performance on Spanish television, this song, as well as the record, would help the band become more popular than ever across the globe.
The song was The Cure’s eleventh top 40 hit in the UK, and stayed on the charts for five weeks during October and November 1987, peaking at number 29. Clearly Smith knew it was destined for big things from the very start. In an interview with Blender, Smith called ‘Just Like Heaven’: “The best pop song The Cure has ever done… all the sounds meshed, it was one take, and it was perfect.
“In 1987, my wife Mary and I lived in a small two-bedroomed flat in Maida Vale in North London,” Smith recalled. “The other room was my music room, Just about the only discipline I had in my life was self-imposed. I set myself a regime of writing 15 days a month, otherwise, I’d have just got up in the mid-afternoon and watched TV until the pubs opened, then gone out drinking.”
With the help of Mary, an unwavering force for good who changed Smith’s life for the better, the singer managed to put his mind to some songwriting and eventually the seeds of ‘Just Like Heaven’ grew into pattern chords that Smith instantly saw for their value. “I knew as soon as I’d written it that it was a good pop song,” he said.
For a band so known for being such an iconic live act, it is somewhat bizarre to watch them restrained and unable to perform at their full capacity as they were restricted due to the nature of live television in the ’80s when this was the norm. ‘Just Like Heaven’ would chart in Spain at number 25 following its release a few months later in the Mediterranean country which would suggest it went down well with the audience at home despite the constrained performance.
Take out three minutes of your day to go back to 1987 and watch The Cure’s Spanish takeover, below.