It was the mid-Eighties, and rolling the streets of Dallas/Ft.Worth at night felt less like a big-block muscle car and just right in a fire-engine red BMW M3, moonroof open, with The Cult Love cassette permanently jammed in the dash player blasting “She Sells Sanctuary”,”Rain”,”Nirvana“, and “Big Neon Glitter“. Hard to believe it was thirty-five years ago.
By the time The Cult‘s Sonic Temple came out in April 1989 and went Top 10 on Billboard Album Sales chart, I would have bet my last dollar that this British hard-rocking four piece, led by trippy leather-lunged singer Ian Astbury and ripping guitarist Billy Duffy, was going to be hugely popular into the next decade. After all, The Cult had just completed a trifecta of terrific albums in just four years, 1985’s US breakthrough Love containing “She Sells Sanctuary” and “(Here Comes the) Rain”; the Rick Rubin-produced harder Electric in 1987 with “Love Removal Machine”,”Wildflower”, and “Lil Devil”; and their best seller Sonic Temple two years later which introduced “Fire Woman”, her sibling “Sweet Soul Sister”, and yet another femme fatale from real life,“Edie (Ciao Baby)”, inspired by Andy Warhol heiress/model Edie Sedgwick. This Billy Duffy 1987 interview concludes with the hypnotic, tense, dynamic “Elemental Light” from the strong 2012 comeback Choice of Weapon . And it is all dedicated to the late Jerry Barrett who, as the Reprise Records Southwest Promotion person for the Cult’s US label, believed in this band more than anybody I know. -Redbeard