"Hurts Like Heaven" is a song by British rock band Coldplay. It was written by all members of the band and producer Brian Eno for Coldplay's fifth studio album, Mylo Xyloto. The song was released as the album's sixth overall single on 27 July 2012.
In an interview with The Independent, lead singer Chris Martin stated that guitarist Jonny Buckland was largely involved in the creation of "Hurts Like Heaven", saying of the song: "'Hurts Like Heaven' is all Jonny. It only has two chords. The songs are group-y, it's guitar-y. Jonny is coming out of his cocoon. We're just trying some risky things."
Reviews of the song have noted that the song contains signs of influences of the other artists; in their preview of Mylo Xyloto, Q noted that "the melodies, like the title, are a nod to the '80s heroes they so successfully channeled on A Rush of Blood to the Head, The Cure and Echo and the Bunnymen's influence looming large as Chris Martin sings like he's in a hurry [...] the chorus [...] is as upliftingly bittersweet as Robert Smith and co's best pop songs, whilst the "whoa oh oh" bridge provides the record's first stadium-singalong moment." Reviews from both Rolling Stone and The A.V. Club have drawn comparisons to dance-punk band LCD Soundsystem, with the latter calling the song "a driving homage" to the band.
The music video for "Hurts Like Heaven" was announced at the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con International convention. Coldplay posted a 30 second teaser trailer on Twitter on the evening of 5 October 2012. It was later released on 8 October 2012. The clip, who does not feature the band, is a comic book style animation set on a futuristic dystopian storyline. Directed by Mark Osborne with illustrations by Alejandro Fuentes, the video contains flashes of neons, the band's trademark over the course of Mylo Xyloto's promotions, the story features male and female protagonists who, according to briefly displayed captions, fight a villain named "Major Minus" and his army of "silencers"
"Hurts Like Heaven" received generally positive reviews from critics. Will Hermes of Rolling Stone published a favourable review of "Hurts Like Heaven"; giving the track 3 and a half stars out of 5, he praised the song's "outstanding guitar asides", noting that the song's word rush "occasionally recalled LCD Soundsystem's 'All My Friends'". In his review of Mylo Xyloto, Ian Cohen of Pitchfork Media called the song "a remarkably aerodynamic piece of all-purpose inspirational rock that never gets too pushy even with [Chris] Martin's meaningful/meaningless proclamations." Josh Modell of The A.V. Club also reviewed the song positively, calling it a "nice kick in the formula", calling the band "expert formula-repeaters." Mikael Wood of Spin wrote that the song "rides a zippy new-wave groove that justifies its Cure-conjuring title". Andy Gill of The Independent wrote that the song "opens proceedings at a peak, the twinkly demeanour of its bustling pop layered with disparate guitar lines".
Recorded in 2010, the song was first performed at the 2011 Rock Im Park festival in Nuremberg, Germany on 4 June 2011. It acts as an opener on both Mylo Xyloto and its corresponding tour, played immediately after the album's title track, "Mylo Xyloto", a 42-second instrumental that segues into "Hurts Like Heaven".