The Cult

The Cult

I said hep-cats, sinners, brats - suck on this for sunshine

The Cult was formed in January 1984 by Billy Duffy (guitar), Ian Astbury (vocals), Jamie Stewart (bass, guitar) & Nigel Preston (drums). During their active years, from 1984 to 1989, they had 4 other band members: John Webster (keyboards), Les Warner (drums), Mark Brzezicki (drums) & Mickey Curry (drums).

They were Death Cult. What are they doing now? still going strong....

associated bands: The Southern Death Cult.

recommended listening:

Links: official website. wikipedia.

The Cult were kick-ass rockers, bloodymindedly and unashamedly set on their own idiosyncratic path, and in Astbury they possessed a spokesman of boundless optimism with a bent for the spiritual heavily marked by the plight of Canada's Native Americans, which he had of course viewed at first hand. Some called Astbury naive, others called him a visionary. He was both - remorselessly positive.

The Cult's debut LP, DREAMTIME (an appropriately earthy and religious title), made their intentions clear, with Astbury's grunting, panting, howling performances underlaid by Duffy's soaring, pulverising guitars and a thundering rhythm section that crossed the strut of Glam with an aggressive, pounding wardance. Success came rapidly, with the follow up album, LOVE, which featured the stand-out and still resonant singles "SHE SELLS SANCTUARY" and "RAIN".

With the Native Americans' battle for compensation with the US Government now front page news, history was being rewritten in their favour. Beyond this, the merciless yuppie culture spawned by Reagan and Thatcher had seen millions begin to experiment with "religions" old and new in an attempt to find the togetherness clearly missing in Western society. This made The Cult perhaps the most contemporary band in the world, but that wasn't enough for Astbury whose love of cutting edge music is legendary throughout the industry. So in came Rick Rubin, the hotshot Def Jam supremo behind the raging success of Run DMC and The Beastie Boys. The result was ELECTRIC, a caustic melange of Duffy's killer riffing, Astbury's lupine shriek and Rubin's murderously hip rhythms. The singles - "LOVE REMOVAL MACHINE", "WILD FLOWER" and "LIL' DEVIL" - were literally monstrous.

Astbury's indulgences and excesses were drawing him ever further from his songwriting partner - Duffy now a straight edge fitness freak - yet the pair remained on a creative high. Next came the swirling, bludgeoning, Bob Rock-produced SONIC TEMPLE (only Bob was Rock enough), featuring the exceptional "FIRE WOMAN" and "SWEET SOUL SISTER". Astbury now took the opportunity to put his money where his mouth was and organised the massive Gathering Of The Tribes, a huge two-day festival in California that deliberately brought together some crazily varying genres. Starring Soundgarden, Ice-T, Iggy Pop, The Charlatans and Public Enemy, it was an inspired mix and an obvious influence on Lollapalooza which began the next year.

Beggars Banquet

The Cult

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