You know, I can’t pinpoint when it happened, but sometime ago it simply ceased being cool to dig on The Cult. Okay, I’ll admit that their Zeppelin/Doors-meets-Sisters of Mercy can at times sound a bit corny, but I’ve always admired Ian Astbury’s unabashed commitment to mid 70’s big rock sound, and there’s no denying that Love and Electric are damn fine big rock albums. Especially considering they hit the market at a time when the rock sound was being date-raped by hair metal and the never ending diminishing returns of comeback efforts like Aerosmith.
Hell, the straightforwardness of The Cult is the same reason I dig modern retro rockers like The Eagles of Death Metal; I don’t need my rock to be all angry and angsty. I just want straight up, fist pumping, hook filled rock like the stuff that made Back in Black and Led Zeppelin I so damn awesome.
Sure 1989’s ‘Sonic Temple’ felt like a rehash of ‘Love’ & ‘Electric’, and their output post 1990 was just kinda meh, but for a few years that band kicked ass. And considering how much I loathe all things Jim Morrison, the Wannabe Lizard King Ashbury is responsible for some seriously great tunes.
I’ll always consider The Cult and Guns n’ Roses as my go-to bands for that very unique rock sound from the mid 80’s, so enjoy this live performance of ‘Love Removal Machine’ from an ‘87 appearance on the Old Grey Whistle Test, or jump to the extended for a small smattering of memorable Cult tunes.