Menu Close Menu

The 50 Best Covers of The Cure Songs

"Show me, show me, show me how you do that trick."

Even for those who have not listened to a lot of The Cure (I have listened to a lot of The Cure) it's pretty obvious that the band is somewhat schizophrenic. Robert Smith veers back and forth between songs that are so sad that you wonder if he's about to slit his own wrists in the studio and happy, bouncy silly songs. Sometimes listening to an album by The Cure makes you feel like medications must have been switched mid-recording.

Check out The Cure's entire
catalog on iTunes


Now for me personally, I've always enjoyed the darker side of The Cure. Showing my age here, I first became interested in this band when the video for Charlotte Sometimes went into heavy airplay during the early days of MTV (back when they actually played music--don't get me started). An interesting video, during which the band just stands there looming creepily behind a panicky girl.

But that's all beside the point: obviously, The Cure's biggest success has been with the tunes on the other side of the personality spectrum, such as Just Like Heaven and Friday I'm in Love. But here, in various covers of The Cure, I've found that I can have it both ways: I feel like some of the best covers have taken the happy songs and brought them to the dark side. Which I think is very cool

By the way, you'll probably notice that one of the most famous Cure covers, that by Adele, is not on this list. No further comment there.

Anyway, one of my favorite bands, so here we go. And If you like this list check out our other lists of covers by great artists such as U2 and R.E.M. (song previews provided courtesy of iTunes).


Angie Hart

Pictures of You by Angie Hart

Angie Hart has a voice that just sucks me in every time, there's just so much emotion going on there. Add to that the fact that I'm a fan of interesting string parts (these strings almost sound like they are crying). Here she takes a song that is already melancholy and wrings it into the heartbreaking range. Were I not so manly, I'd want to bawl my eyes out at this one. Buy it on iTunes (or hear longer preview)

Josh & Larkin

Just Like Heaven by Josh & Larkin

There are about a million covers of Just Like Heaven, and I really love this one. Fantastic warm vocals and harmonies. And this guy Josh... holy crap is that guy an amazing guitarist (just check out some of this live video on Youtube to see what I mean). Anyway, I love this version of this Cure classic. Buy it on iTunes (or hear longer preview)

Sunmay

Let's Go to Bed by Sunmay

Sunmay has certainly reinterpreted this song. They've taken what was one of The Cure's first upbeat synth hits and turned it into a haunting and lonesome cry. Acoustic guitars at the fore and they've converted Robert Smith's famous "Do do do doooo"s and played them on an echoey slide guitar. Add in emotional vocals and you've got a tune of loss and longing Buy it on iTunes (or hear longer preview)

Ortopilot

Close to Me by Ortopilot

These guys have managed to retain the bouncy joie de vivre of the original, yet without sounding like the original. Love the pulsing percussion on this one. Buy it on iTunes (or hear longer preview)

Laura Cortese

Just Like Heaven by Laura Cortese

Fantastic vocals (I just love the intimate quality of Laura's voice) and a straightforward, fairly spartan arrangement highlight this cover. Buy it on iTunes (or hear longer preview)

Pyeng Threadgill

Close to Me by Pyeng Threadgill

This version moves along really well, but what really works is her vocal stylization. Not sure how to explain it, it's as though she's dragging the words along behind the music. That's probably actually not the best way to explain it, but it's really cool. Buy it on iTunes (or hear longer preview)

CALLmeKAT

The Love Cats by CALLmeKAT

How to explain this one? I love the scratchy old-fashioned feel to the recording, plus the fact that it's been slowed down and pulled apart. Buy it on iTunes (or hear longer preview)

Neal A. Yeager

Fascination Street by Neal A. Yeager

Conflict of Interest Alert! ... I promise that I don't make a habit of putting myself on these lists, but I do feel that I got something right with this one, it seemed to me that stripping away all of the goth and production from this one really brings the lyrics to the fore, and when you do that... you really notice that this is a disturbing song (in a cool way). Buy it on iTunes (or hear longer preview)

Devics

Catch by Devics

As you may have seen on other pages of this site, I think that Devics are just plain cool. So it should come as no surprise that if they did a cover of a Cure song, then it would end up on this list. They did and it has. These guys take a great song and add their own little spin on it and I love it. Buy it on iTunes (or hear longer preview)

Vitamin String Quartet

Pictures of You by Vitamin String Quartet

You know, pretty much any list of great covers that I would assemble would include Vitamin String Quartet. I love the way that they interpret songs and this version of Pictures of You is no different. Buy it on iTunes (or hear longer preview)

Mariee Sioux

Love Song by Mariee Sioux

I absolutely love the ultra-somber take on Love Song here. The guitar arrangement--finger-picked broken chords--is almost hypnotic in the way that it rolls over and over. Then add in a beautiful vocal interpretation and we've got ourselves a winner here. Buy it on iTunes (or hear longer preview)

Fightstar

In Between Days by Fightstar

Something very intriguing about this cover. I love the harmonica (a Cure song with harmonica!) and the whole approach feels almost like a Replacements sort of vibe.Which works for me. Buy it on iTunes (or hear longer preview)

Seth Davis

Friday I'm in Love by Seth Davis

It's always interesting when people take pretty much an opposite approaches to the cover as the original. Here's the Cure, a British band known for great big production style (among other things), but let's take one of their songs and play it in an Americana acoustic folk style. Shall we? Buy it on iTunes (or hear longer preview)



Pictures of You by Caroline Corn

A very heartfelt cover, with beautiful, longing vocals and a simple acoustic guitar part. This is the kind of cover that makes me actually interested in listening to covers. Buy it on iTunes (or hear longer preview)

Katie Melua

Just Like Heaven by Katie Melua

One of several very beautiful covers of this tune, which just begs to have beautiful covers of it made. I love the slow Spanish guitar style, which is so perfectly accented by Katie's smooth vocals. Buy it on iTunes (or hear longer preview)

Rio En Medio

Pictures of You by Rio En Medio

Picture a Parisian jazz cafe, circa 1960. The small ensemble is improvising a smooth little tune, and that tune is called Pictures of You. Are you hip to that daddy-o? Buy it on iTunes (or hear longer preview)

Dean & Britta

Friday I'm in Love by Dean & Britta

I love the orchestral-ish arrangement of the synth strings and the whispered vocals reminiscent of Nick Drake. This one works well. Buy it on iTunes (or hear longer preview)

Dinosaur Jr.

Just Like Heaven by Dinosaur Jr.

This noisy version is almost as much a classic as the original. It's possible that this one by Dinosuar Jr is the earliest cover of this tune (from way back in 1987, a few years before the heyday of noise and grunge). Today it is still definitely a cover worth listening to. Buy it on iTunes (or hear longer preview)

Francoise Sanders

Friday I'm in Love by Francoise Sanders

Trippy little drum loops and synth noises at a slow tempo make this one one worth checking out. Buy it on iTunes (or hear longer preview)

Magicrays

Pictures of You by Magicrays

You can definitely hear the emotion in the vocals in this one, as Magicrays definitely hits the nail right on the head with the spirit of regret that this tune exemplifies. Buy it on iTunes (or hear longer preview)

Charlotte Martin

Just Like Heaven by Charlotte Martin

I love hearing Robert Smith's well-known guitar intro played on a piano. It just changes it and brings it a very special quality. Add lovely female vocals on top and you've got yourself a winner. Buy it on iTunes (or hear longer preview)

Bavasso

A Night Like This by Bavasso

One of those dark tunes that I like so much (this one is probably my favorite Cure tune). Here it's been taken from the gigantic gothic arrangement of the original to a sort of spartan triphop. The whispered female vocals give this one a delicate and disturbing edge that I love Buy it on iTunes (or hear longer preview)

Janet Devlin

Friday I'm in Love by Janet Devlin

A delicate strings and strings version of this one. Once again, female vocals seem to work really, really well on this particular tune. Buy it on iTunes (or hear longer preview)

Xu Xu Fang

Fascination Street by Xu Xu Fang

A pretty darned good cover of Fascination Street here. The big disturbing and uber-gothic feel of the original is retained here. The pulsing tribal drums add to the tension and work very well to great effect. Buy it on iTunes (or hear longer preview)

Sweet Dreams

Fascination Street by Sweet Dreams

Okay, so if you spend much time looking for cover tunes, you discover several artists who do lullaby versions and kids' versions, etc. of pretty much every artist ever. But this one... okay, first off, Fascination Street is a damned disturbing song with definite adult content, so you'd have to question the decision to make a kids' version of it in the first place. But here's the thing: playing it with bells in that kids' version style actually makes it even creepier. I'm pretty sure that this would give a listening infant their first nightmares, but for adults, it's actually kinda cool. Buy it on iTunes (or hear longer preview)

 Alex & Friends

Close to Me by Alex & Friends

This one has a great pulsating feel to it, and I love the whatever-that-accent-is-accented vocals which makes it come across as pretty trippy. Buy it on iTunes (or hear longer preview)

Miguel Escueta

Just Like Heaven by Miguel Escueta

Great acoustic guitars on this one. I really enjoy how the lead guitar is done with what sounds like a nylon-string guitar. Buy it on iTunes (or hear longer preview)

Nakhane Toure

Just Like Heaven by Nakhane Toure

This is a soft and sweet cover here. The simple arrangement and soothing vocals remind me quite a bit of the Israel Kamakawiwo'ole cover of Over the Rainbow. Very Nice Buy it on iTunes (or hear longer preview)

Pentatonik

Just Like Heaven by Pentatonik

Pentatonik pulls off a very interesting one here. The first word that comes to mind in reference to this arrangement is "experimental." Sometimes that's not a good word, but this time it definitely is. Buy it on iTunes (or hear longer preview)

Piano Tribute Players

Friday I'm in Love by Piano Tribute Players

Let's say you're a little edgy and you'd like to use a Cure song as the Recessional song at your wedding, but you don't want to shock your grandparents. This piano version of Friday I'm in Love will definitely do the trick. Buy it on iTunes (or hear longer preview)

Ash Koley

Just Like Heaven by Ash Koley

A pretty straightforward danceable-with-the-beat-on-2-and-4 version here. And though I would usually use that kind of phrase in a bad way, I actually like it with this version. Buy it on iTunes (or hear longer preview)

Modern Meditations

Just Like Heaven by Modern Meditations

I've not tried meditating to this one (not that I do a whole lot of meditating anyway) but I really like the concept of this group whose tagline is "rock goes zen." Buy it on iTunes (or hear longer preview)

The Amalgamates

Just Like Heaven by The Amalgamates

What list of covers would be complete without an a cappella version of one of your favorite tunes? Not a good list, I'll tell you that. And I really like this one, because the arrangement of the different voices is actually quite elaborate, as compared to the simple harmonizing of most a cappella groups. Buy it on iTunes (or hear longer preview)

Norman Palm

Boys Don't Cry by Norman Palm

A simple broken-chord acoustic guitar part and doubled and delayed lead vocals make this one seem like something from a faraway time. Buy it on iTunes (or hear longer preview)

Jed's Dead

Just Like Heaven by Jed's Dead

I make no secret of the fact that I'm not into country music, but just by virtue of "a different take" on a song, I kinda dig this version of a British song with a Southern twang. Can you picture Robert Smith in a cowboy hat? I'm not sure I can, so we've got this instead. Buy it on iTunes (or hear longer preview)

Kat Edmonson

Just Like Heaven by Kat Edmonson

It amazes me how many lounge-jazzy covers there are out there of rock/pop songs. This one, I think, works pretty darned well. Buy it on iTunes (or hear longer preview)

Ivy

Let's Go To Bed by Ivy

I find this cover pretty interesting. A kind of haunting acoustic guitar part atop a straight-ahead drum loop, topped off with great female vocals gives this one a very unique feel. Buy it on iTunes (or hear longer preview)

Fevertree

Friday I'm in Love by Fevertree

Sometimes you just need a little garage rock, you know? And that's what you get with this cover by Fevertree. Buy it on iTunes (or hear longer preview)

The Submarines

Boys Don't Cry by The Submarines

I've always thought that Boys Don't Cry should be covered by girls (my vote was always for Suzanne Vega, but I digress) and this version by The Submarines works really well for me. Not only are there great female vocals on this one, but the sparse-but-hugely-echoey rhythm tracks are a fantastic touch. Buy it on iTunes (or hear longer preview)

Kris Orlowski & Andrew Joslyn

In Between Days by Kris Orlowski & Andrew Joslyn

Really interesting string arrangement on this one (and I love interesting string arrangements). I particularly enjoy the little pizzicato part rolling along in the background. Buy it on iTunes (or hear longer preview)

Danny Dean and the Homewreckers

The Love Cats by Danny Dean and the Homewreckers

So here's a rockabilly version of Lovecats. And here's the thing... the way that it's done it almost convinced me that the original actually was rockabilly, but I just never noticed. Way cool. Buy it on iTunes (or hear longer preview)

Agustin Amigo

Boys Don't Cry by Agustin Amigo

Fantastic Spanish guitar cover of this one. No vocals but the stylings of Agustin keep you very much engaged. Maybe if I had actually practiced I could play guitar that well... or maybe not. Buy it on iTunes (or hear longer preview)

Helene Greenwood

In Between Days by Helene Greenwood

Slowed down and sparsified version of In Between Days, Helene makes you really feel the power of the line "yesterday I got so old I felt like I could die." Buy it on iTunes (or hear longer preview)

Hilde

Just Like Heaven by Hilde

Fantastic piano-based version here. And what is it with me and weird accents? I don't know, but this weird accent surely does work well. Buy it on iTunes (or hear longer preview)

The Ellis Collective

Let's Go To Bed by The Ellis Collective

This is a very interesting arrangement, tribal drums, trilling strings and an extremely emotional vocal delivery make this a good one from the Ellis Collective. Buy it on iTunes (or hear longer preview)

...and
altArtistName

Close to Me by Gennaro Cosmo Parlato

Okay, so I wasn't quite sure where to put this one, but I find it... compelling. A string quartet and operatic vocal rendition of Close to Me. Something tells me that if Robert Smith knows of this one, he digs it. Buy it on iTunes (or hear longer preview)