About The Cult
The Cult are an English rock band formed in 1983 in Bradford, West Yorkshire. Before settling on their current name in January 1984, 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. They gained a dedicated following in the United Kingdom in the mid-1980s as a post-punk/gothic rock band, with singles such as "She Sells Sanctuary", before breaking into the mainstream in the United States in the late 1980s establishing themselves as a hard rock band with singles such as "Love Removal Machine". Since its initial formation in 1983, the band have had various line-ups; the longest-serving members are Astbury and guitarist Billy Duffy, who are also the band's two songwriters.
The Cult's debut studio album Dreamtime was released in 1984 to moderate success, with its lead single "Spiritwalker" reaching No. 1 on the UK Indie Chart. Their second studio album, Love , was also successful, charting at No. 4 in the UK and including singles such as "She Sells Sanctuary" and "Rain". The band's third album, Electric , launched them to new heights of success, also peaking at No. 4 in the UK and charting highly in other territories, and spawned the hit singles "Love Removal Machine", "Lil' Devil" and "Wild Flower". On that album, the Cult supplemented their post-punk sound with hard rock; the polish on this new sound was facilitated by producer Rick Rubin. After moving to Los Angeles, California, where the band has been based for the remainder of their career, the Cult continued the musical experimentation of Electric with its follow-up album Sonic Temple , which marked their first collaboration with Bob Rock, who would produce several of the band's subsequent albums. Sonic Temple was their most successful album to that point, entering the Top 10 on the UK and US charts, and included one of the band's most popular songs "Fire Woman".
By the time of their fifth album Ceremony , tensions and creative differences began to surface between the band members. This resulted in the recording sessions for Ceremony being held without a stable lineup, leaving Astbury and Duffy as the only two official members, and featuring support from session musicians on bass and drums. The ongoing tension had carried over within the next four years, during which they released one more studio album, The Cult , and disbanded in 1995. The Cult reformed in 1999 and released their seventh album Beyond Good and Evil two years later. The commercial failure of the album and resurfaced tensions led to the band going back on hiatus in 2002. They resumed activity in 2006, and have since released four more studio albums: Born into This , Choice of Weapon , Hidden City and Under the Midnight Sun .
The band's origins can be traced to 1981, in Bradford, Yorkshire, where vocalist and songwriter Ian Astbury formed a band called Southern Death Cult. The name was chosen with a double meaning, and was derived from the 14th-century Native American religion, the Southeastern Ceremonial Complex or Southern Death Cult as it was sometimes known, from the Mississippi delta area, but it was also a stab at what the band viewed was the centralisation of power in Southern England ; there has long been a perceived notion of a North–South divide based on social, historic and economic reasons. Astbury was joined by Buzz Burrows , Barry Jepson and Aki Nawaz Qureshi ; they performed their first show at the Queen's Hall in their hometown of Bradford on 29 October 1981. The band were at the forefront of an emerging style of music, in the form of post-punk and gothic rock, they achieved critical acclaim from the press and music fans.
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. The band played their final performance in Manchester during February 1983, meaning after only sixteen months the band was over. 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.
In April 1983, Astbury teamed up with guitarist Billy Duffy and formed the band "Death Cult". Duffy had been in the Nosebleeds , Lonesome No More and then Theatre of Hate. In addition to Astbury and Duffy, the band also included Jamie Stewart and Raymond Taylor Smith , both from the Harrow, London based post-punk band, Ritual. Death Cult made their live debut in Oslo, Norway on 25 July 1983 and also released the Death Cult EP in the same month, then toured through mainland Europe and Scotland. In September 1983, Mondo was deported to his home country of Sierra Leone and replaced by Nigel Preston, formerly of Theatre of Hate. The single "Gods Zoo" was released in October 1983. 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 1984 before appearing on the Channel 4 television show, The Tube.
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