On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenge of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.
My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.
I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.
So long as I post every day (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be… legendary!
The Cure – Just Like Heaven (1987)
” Just Like Heaven” is a song by 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 their frontman Robert Smith, who drew inspiration from a past trip to the sea shore with his future wife.
We leave Guinea behind, dear reader, and make our way back to the UK and to Crawley to check in once again with The Cure. It’s a third appearance for the band and when we join them in 1987 things are progressing nicely with the release of a seventh album – Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me. By this point the band have shifted somewhat from the gloomy material of their early days to come up with more pop friendly material. 1001 Songs have gone with yet another example of this – Just Like Heaven.
Robert Smith wrote Just Like Heaven after a scenic drive to the coast with then girlfriend, now wife, Mary Poole. Smith himself described the track as a couple kissing with such passion that they pass out. Sounds like a lot of work to me. The lyrics are simply gushing with the narrator describing holding his lover in his arms and the intensity of their kissing. This is unquestionably akin to heaven, yet when he wakes his love seems to have gone but the intensity of his emotions burn strongly in his heart. Smith and Poole first met when they were 14 and are still together nearly 50 years later. Just like heaven indeed.
Although Just Like Heaven only charted in the Top 30 in the UK it proved to be one of the group’s best loved hits and helped to capture the attention of an audience in the US as well. Robert Smith has described it as one of the band’s finest compositions and in terms of their more pop oriented material it has to be up there with the likes of Friday I’m In Love. The group were truly in their element at this time and more memorable material was still to come, maybe even worth another appearance on this list at some point. We shall see.
Favourite songs so far: