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Song Stories

“Just Like Heaven”

The Cure | 1987

Although the track was the Cure’s 11th Top 40 hit in their native United Kingdom, it was the alt-rock band’s first in the United States, reaching just Number 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The whimsical lyrics and lilting melody were inspired by a seaside trip singer Robert Smith took with his then-future wife, recollecting a dreamy romantic rendezvous. Smith once admitted to Rolling Stone that “when I find someone I like, I try to hold on to them” — a truism underscored by the fact he’s been with the sweetheart he’s singing about since he was 15.

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Song Stories

“Nightshift”

The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

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