The song began as a riff idea by Brian May. Then John Deacon and Freddie Mercury turned that into a song, with Deacon playing rhythm guitar. The single reached #43 on the Dutch charts. The title also appears as a line in "One Year of Love". As with most Mercury songs, it has prominent keyboards and, like most Deacon songs, it has a prominent bass line. It is also one of the only songs in which Mercury sings all the vocals in falsetto.
The version which appears on the single is a remix, rearranging much of the backing track from the original elements. The 12" single features an extended version of this remix, rather than an extended version of the track as it appears on the album."Pain Is So Close to Pleasure" has more than 58,000 hits on Lastfm.