13 November 2010

The Cult

 Pure Cult Sonic Temple

I have mentioned before that the original incarnation of this site is still online, but it's "locked" to editing and out of date. Unfortunately, the email address on it still works, so I get a good amount of mail with complaints about omissions and errors.

One of the top complaints is about what I had written about The Cult. I mistakenly said that The Cult started as the Sudden Death Cult. The band must have a pretty good cult following still because people are always complaining about the goof.

Let me set the record straight here.

The Cult are a British rock band, formed in 1983. They gained a dedicated following in Britain in the mid 1980s as a post-punk band with singles such as "She Sells Sanctuary."

They went more mainstream, especially in the United States, in the late 1980s as more of a hard rock band with singles such as "Love Removal Machine".

They have been described as a fusion of "heavy metal revivalist sound with the pseudo-mysticism of The Doors and the guitar-orchestrations of Led Zeppelin while adding touches of post-punk goth rock". That's quite a mix.

There have been varying lineups since 1981 with the longest serving members being vocalist Ian Astbury and guitarist Billy Duffy.

Formed in 1981in Bradford, Yorkshire by vocalist/songwriter Astbury, he named it Southern Death Cult. The name comes a 14th century Native American religion, the Southeastern Ceremonial Complex (or Southern Death Cult) which existed near the Mississippi delta area.

The connection can be heard on songs like "Horse Nation" which shows Astbury's interest in Native American issues. The lyrics include "See them prancing, they come neighing, to a horse nation" which is taken almost verbatim from the book Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. The song "Spiritwalker" deals with shamanism and was influenced by his reading of Australian Aboriginal beliefs.

In April 1983, Astbury teamed up with guitarist Billy Duffy and formed the band "Death Cult". Duffy had previously been in The Nosebleeds (along with Morrissey), Lonesome No More and then Theatre of Hate.

They softened the Gothic connotations of the name by shortening it to "The Cult" in January 1984 before appearing on the (UK) television show, The Tube.

They released the album Love in 1985, which charted at #4 in the United Kingdom, and which included singles such as "She Sells Sanctuary" and "(Here Comes the) Rain".

The harder rock sound came with their third album, Electric and their fourth album, Sonic Temple, which were their North American "breakthrough" albums.

Beyond Good and EvilIn the early 90s, the band was coming apart (alcohol abuse, off-stage tensions etc.) and they split in 1995.

Four years later, they reunited and recorded the album Beyond Good and Evil (which took its name directly from a book by Friedrich Nietzsche).

All of their albums were reissued in Asia and Eastern Europe in 2003 and Japan in 2004. In 2006, the band did a series of world tours.

Their last release was Born into This


There is a compilation of early recordings under the name Southern Death Cult.

Ghost Dance

Here is a Wikipedia entry on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_Death_Cult and some information on the Native American connection.


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