This song is based on one of Robert Smith's favorite books: a 1969 novel called Charlotte Sometimes by the British author Penelope Farmer. In the book, the title character finds herself transported 40 years back in time. Smith wrote this song using the same themes of time shifting and displacement.
Mick Mansfield directed the music video, which was filmed at a disused lunatic asylum: the Holloway Sanatorium in Virginia Water, Surrey. At the institution, art was a form of therapy (a sign warned visitors not to offer criticism of the patients' artwork), and during the shoot, Robert Smith found drawings by old inmates, which fascinated him, leading to the band's performances at benefit concerts for MENCAP (The Society For the Mentally Handicapped).
The band wasn't thrilled with the video and didn't gel with a director until they started working with Tim Pope, who did most of their subsequent videos.
The American singer/songwriter Jessica Poland goes by the alias Charlotte Sometimes.
Simon from New ZealandNo that’s not Janet. In a 1986 interview Robert described that girl as ‘horrible’ and ‘useless’
Bernie from BurnsviewThat's not Janet. I've seen pictures of Janet Smith/Thompson. She has higher cheekbones than the girl in the video. Do you really think Robert Smith would star his sister in a Cure video?
Gino from Caracas, VenezuelaThe girl of the video is Robert Smith's sister Janet. She later married The Cure's guitarist Porl Thompson.
Herve from Brooklyn, NyMembers of the Cure have often said that they hated the video to "charlotte sometimes"
Jon-michael from Augusta, Georgia, Gai read the book charlotte sometimes and i loved it. i love the song and video.!! the cure is perfect.
Savannah from Salem, InI love the video. Its extremely eerie.
"Islands in the Stream" was originally written by The Bee Gees as an R&B song. It was originally written by the brothers for Marvin Gaye, however it was recorded instead as a duet by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton with the Gibb Brothers also contributing vocals.