By 1988, The Cure’s music was seemingly heard quietly echoing through the dorm rooms and University rec-rooms of the US and the UK for quite some time. Despite their popularity, the band had never made their TV debut in the US. That would all change, of course, at the 1988 MTV Awards when they performed their massive hit ‘Just Like Heaven’.
As the footage of the performance shows, Robert Smith and the rest of the band deliver a quite sumptuous arrangement of the song and officially achieved what every UK band dreams of doing: The Cure made a big old crack in the American market.
It seems strange for a band who had been together since 1976 to only make their big break in the US 12 years later and, it has to be said, even weirder still when you consider that during the early days of MTV, The Cure were a relatively permanent fixture. In many people’s minds, they would be an archetype of the time.
However, The cure were also a figure of the underground scene and were certainly safer there than anywhere else. That would all change, though, on September 7th, 1988, when MTV’s Awards show – which was suddenly gaining massive attention – would ask The Cure to perform their newly charting hit ‘Just Like Heaven’.
Introduced by Arsenio Hall, the band deliver a brilliant – if not slightly static performance – of ‘Just Like Heaven’ and make a very large step on their way to world domination. The song was being touted as their breakthrough hit, but it was just the start, and the real journey would begin when their album Disintegration landed and set up The Cure to take over The States for good.
It was a seminal moment for the band, and while they would like never admit it, The Cure most likely look back at this performance as one of the most important of their career so far. It’s a note-perfect and compelling watch, even if it is missing Robert Smith’s unimitable scowl. So, take a moment to appreciate the performance below.