The Cult are a British rock band formed in Before settling on their current name in January , the band performed under the name Death Cult, which was an evolution of the name of lead singer Ian Astbury 's previous band Southern Death Cult. Since the initial formation of Southern Death Cult in Bradford in , the band have had various line-ups; the longest-serving members are Astbury and guitarist Billy Duffy , who are the band's two songwriters. After moving to London, the band released their second album Love in , which charted at No.
On their third album, Electric , the band supplemented their post-punk sound with hard rock; the polish on this new sound was facilitated by producer Rick Rubin. Their fourth album, Sonic Temple , proceeded in a similar vein, and these two albums enabled them to break into the North American market. It was also during this period that The Cult relocated to Los Angeles , California , where the band are currently based.
The Cult went their separate ways once again in , but returned in to perform a series of worldwide tours, and have since released three more studio albums: Born into This , Choice of Weapon and Hidden City The band's origins can be traced to , in Bradford, Yorkshire , where vocalist and songwriter Ian Astbury formed a band called Southern Death Cult. The band signed to independent record label Situation Two , an offshoot of Beggars Banquet Records , and released a three-track, triple A-side single, Moya , during this period.
They toured through England headlining some shows and touring with Bauhaus and Theatre of Hate. A compilation named The Southern Death Cult was released, this being a collection of the single, radio sessions with John Peel for Radio One and live performances - one of which an audience member recorded with a tape recorder. The single " Gods Zoo " was released in October Another European tour, with UK dates, followed that autumn.
To tone down their name's gothic connotations and gain broader appeal, the band changed its name to "the Cult" in January before appearing on the UK Channel 4 television show, The Tube. The record was to be produced by Joe Julian, but after recording the drum tracks, the band decided to replace him with John Brand.
Brand produced the record, but guitarist Duffy has said the drum tracks were produced by Julian, as Preston had become unreliable. It is unknown what the outtake was, or whether it was developed into a song at a later date. Songs like "Horse Nation" showed Astbury's intense interest in Native American issues, with the lyrics to "Horse Nation", "See them prancing, they come neighing, to a horse nation" , taken almost verbatim from the book Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee , while " Spiritwalker " dealt with shamanism , and the record's title and title track are overtly influenced by Australian Aboriginal beliefs.
On 4 April , the Cult released the single " Spiritwalker ", which reached No. This was followed that summer by a second single, " Go West Crazy Spinning Circles ", before the release of Dreamtime in September; the album reached No. Dreamtime was released initially only in the UK, but after its success, and as the Cult's popularity grew worldwide, it was issued in approximately 30 countries. The song was recently voted No. In June , following his increasingly erratic behaviour, Preston was fired from the band. The Cult then finished recording their second album, Love in July and August The band's music and image shifted from their punk-oriented roots to s psychedelia influences.
Love was a chart success, peaking at No. From late September to June , the band went on a worldwide tour with new drummer Les Warner who had played with Julian Lennon and Johnny Thunders. Neither charted in the US.
Another single, "Nirvana", was issued only in Poland. Once back in England, the band booked themselves into the Manor Studios in Oxfordshire, with producer Steve Brown who had produced Love , and recorded over a dozen new songs. The band were unhappy with the sound of their new album, titled Peace , and they decided to go to New York so producer Rick Rubin could remix the first single, "Love Removal Machine". Rubin agreed to work with the band, but only if they rerecorded the song.
Rubin eventually talked them into rerecording the entire album. However, after hearing the initial New York recording, Beggars Banquet agreed to proceed. The first single, "Love Removal Machine", was released in February , and the new version of the album appeared in April that year, now renamed as Electric , reaching No. Two more singles, "Lil Devil" and "Wild Flower", were released during A few tracks from the original Peace album appeared on the single versions of "Love Removal Machine", and "Lil Devil".
The full Peace album would not be released until , when it was included as Disc 3 of the Rare Cult box set. The band also appeared at Roskilde Festival in Denmark in June At the end of the tour the Electric album had been certified Gold in the UK, and sold roughly 3 million copies worldwide, but the band were barely speaking to each other by then. Warner sued the band several times for his firing, as well as for what he felt were unpaid royalties due to him for his performance on the Electric album, resulting in lengthy court battles.
The Cult signed a new management deal and wrote 21 new songs for their next record. For the next album, Stewart returned to playing bass, and John Webster was brought in to play keyboards.
The band used Chris Taylor to play drums during rehearsals and record the demos, with future Kiss drummer Eric Singer performing during the second demo recording sessions. The Cult eventually recruited session-drummer Mickey Curry to fill the drumming role and Aerosmith sound engineer, Bob Rock , to produce. Released as a single in February , the song was another hit in the UK, and reportedly reached number one on the rock charts in Brazil. After playing a show in Atlanta , Georgia , in February , the band's management told Astbury that his father had just died of cancer.
As a result, the remainder of the tour was cancelled after a final leg of shows were performed in April. After the tour ended, the band were on the verge of splitting due to Stewart retiring and moving to Canada to be with his wife, and Sorum leaving to join Guns N' Roses. This two-day festival drew 40, people, and inspired Lollapalooza , which started in Also in , a ten CD box set was released in the UK, containing rare songs from the Cult's singles.
The CDs in this box set were all issued as picture discs with rice paper covers, housed in a white box called "Singles Collection", or a black box called "E. Collection '84 - '90". He declined the role because he was not happy with the way Morrison was represented in the film, [ citation needed ] and the role was ultimately played by Val Kilmer. In , Astbury and Duffy were writing again for their next album.
During the demo recordings, Todd Hoffman and James Kottak played bass and drums, respectively. During the actual album recording sessions, Curry was recruited again to play drums, with Charley Drayton on bass, and various other performers.
Astbury and Duffy's working relationship had disintegrated by that time, with the two men reportedly rarely even being in the studio together during recording. The album climbed to US No. In the Cult played a show at the Marquee Club in London, which was recorded and released in February , packaged with some vinyl UK copies of their first greatest hits release. Only a handful of CD copies of it were ever manufactured originally, however it was subsequently reissued on CD in An incomplete bootleg video of this show is also in circulation.
The band were sued by the parents of the Native American boy pictured on the cover of Ceremony , for alleged exploitation and for the unauthorized use of the child's image. The parents stated that the boy felt he had been cursed by the band's burning of his image, and was "emotionally scarred. This lawsuit delayed the release of Ceremony in many countries including South Korea and Thailand, which did not see the record's release until late , and it was unreleased in Turkey until the Cult played several shows in Istanbul in June Here artists such as Pearl Jam performed.
The warm-up gig to the show, in a small nightclub, was dedicated to the memory of Nigel Preston, who had died a few weeks earlier at the age of This tour marked the first time the band performed in Turkey, Greece, and the Slovak Republic.
With the same line-up still in place, the band released The Cult   in October , produced by Bob Rock. The record achieved little success, only reaching No. Duffy remarked that he thought that the record wouldn't sell well due to the offensive lyrics. The record went to number one in Portugal also, but quickly dropped out of sight.
The single "Coming Down Drug Tongue " was released with the band going on tour in support of the new album. In the song was resurrected and was finally completed for the record in as, just simply, "Star". When the band began the Beauty's On The Streets tour in winter , they augmented the line up with James Stevenson on rhythm guitar.
As with the Ceremony record several years earlier, no other official singles were released, but several other songs were released on a strictly limited basis: "Sacred Life" was released in Spain and the Netherlands, "Be Free" was issued in Canada and France, "Saints Are Down" was issued in Greece, but none of the songs gained much commercial success.
During this tour, the Cult made their first ever appearance in Norway. During the Black Rain tour of South America in spring of , despite the fact that several more new songs had already been recorded, the tour was cancelled after an appearance in Rio de Janeiro in March, and the band split up citing unspecified problems on a recent South American tour. Astbury started up a garage band called Holy Barbarians a few months later.
The band made their debut at the Club in London in February and released their first and only record in May , and toured throughout North America and Europe for the rest of The band started writing material for a second record in , but the band was dissolved and Astbury began writing and recording a solo record. Throughout and Astbury recorded his solo record, originally to be titled Natural Born Guerilla , later called High Time Amplifier. Astbury played one solo concert in In November , a number of CD reissues were released: the band's American record company released High Octane Cult , a slightly updated "greatest hits" compilation released only in the US and Japan; The Southern Death Cult , a remastered edition of the fifteen-song compilation CD; a ten-song compilation CD by Death Cult called Ghost Dance , consisting of the untitled four-song EP, the single "God's Zoo", and four unreleased songs from a radio broadcast; and a remastered repackaging of the Dreamtime album, containing only the ten original songs from the record in their original playing order and almost completely different but original artwork.
Dreamtime Live at the Lyceum was also remastered and issued on video and for the first time on CD, with the one unreleased song from the concert, "Gimmick". Their first official concert was at the Tibetan Freedom Concert in June , after having rehearsed at shows in the Los Angeles area. The band's Cult Rising reunion tour resulted in a sold out 30 date tour of the US, ending with 8 consecutive sold out nights at the LA House of Blues.
The song was featured prominently and the melody was fused into parts of the score. In November , another authorised greatest hits compilation was released, Pure Cult: The Singles — , along with an accompanying DVD, which was later certified gold in Canada. In November , Beggars Banquet released copies of a six-disc boxset with a bonus seventh disc of remixes for the first copies titled Rare Cult. The box set consists of album out-takes, demos, radio broadcasts, and album B-sides.
It is most notable for including the previously unreleased "Peace" album in its entirety. In , the band signed to Atlantic Records and recorded a new album, Beyond Good and Evil , originally being produced by Mick Jones of Foreigner , until Jones bowed out to tour with Foreigner.
Astbury and Duffy co-wrote a song with Jones, an odd occurrence, as in the past, neither Astbury or Duffy would co-write their material. Although Sorum has previously toured with the band on the Sonic Temple tour in , this was the first time that he had recorded a studio album with the band. However Beyond Good and Evil was not the comeback record the band had hoped for. Despite reaching No. The first single "Rise", reached No.