About The Cult
The Cult are a British rock band formed in 1983. 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 mainstream in the United States in the late 1980s establishing themselves as a hard rock band with singles such as "Love Removal Machine" and "Fire Woman". According to music critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine, the band fuse a "heavy metal revivalist" sound with the "pseudo-mysticism ... of the Doors the guitar-orchestrations of Led Zeppelin ... while adding touches of post-punk goth rock". Since the initial formation of Southern Death Cult in Bradford in 1981, the band have had various line-ups; the longest-serving members are Astbury and guitarist Billy Duffy, the band's two songwriters.
After moving to London, the band released their second album Love in 1985, which charted at No. 4 in the UK and included singles such as "She Sells Sanctuary" and "Rain". 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.
By the early 1990s, The Cult were fraying behind the scenes due to alcohol abuse, which prompted the band to split up in 1995. The band reunited in 1999 and released the album Beyond Good and Evil two years later. They followed that by reissuing all of their albums in Asia and Eastern Europe in 2003 and Japan in 2004. After their second hiatus, The Cult reformed once again in 2006 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 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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