By 1988, The Cure had seemingly been around in 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’.
In the clip, Robert Smith and the rest of the band give a quite sumptuous performance of the song and officially made that holiest of things in the music industry; 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 think 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.
But they were 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 (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—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’d never admit it, they probably look back at this performance as one of the most important in their career. 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 Cure’s US TV debut at the 1988 MTV awards below.