The Cult. The 80’s Band That Was Almost Great.

the cult love
Such an almost great album.

The Cult

The Best B+ Band From The 80’s

I am a child of the 1980’s. Generation X, that’s me. I’m middle aged but still play video games and read comic books. I’m probably creepy to the young women at work, but I still think I’m cool.

Anyway. Enough about my life. I’m about to hang myself in a moment of clarity. Let’s talk about my favorite band from the shittiest decade of all time, the 80’s.

The Cult showed up on my radar in 1985, on MTV (insert comment re: mtv:videos) with the song Rain.

This song kind of has balls, underneath the 80s shit production (more on that soon). They have a good look, and good song with a nice hook, and I dug it. I went out and bought the album (on vinyl for I was a record store snob). I LOVED IT. It had some clunkers but it was a solid album. What made it like manna from heaven was that it had balls. Kind of, but kind of was enough in that musical desolation that was the 80’s. (Mark, you seem to not like the 80’s much. Why is that? how perceptive. the 80’s were pure garbage. It’s the Taco Bell decade of the 20th Century. It’s completely void of nutrient but full of fat and flavor. It was the death rattle of the brief hope of the 60’s.) Anyway, back to our show.

Rain was good. I liked it. She Sells Sanctuary is good as well. It’s the most throwaway track in that it’s fluff, but it’s good fluff. What makes this album hold up as a good album is Love. The song Love has an actual groove. That’s something of which the 80’s was completely void. It was all white dancing.  At least where I grew up in the Boston Metro area. Love would be a great song if the production didn’t completely neuter it. That song need some goddamn bass holding that groove together, and beefing up the drums. But no. It sounds like you’re listening to a good song on a drive in movie speaker. This band needs ambience. You need to record the room as well as the instruments. Like the Black Crowes. But no, the Cult got boned aurally.

I posit that in an alternate universe The Cult were the U2 of the 80’s and 90’s, with hit after hit, and arena tours and great production. U2 was huge because Brian Eno produced them, and contributed enormously to the sound of the band. The Cult never had a Brian Eno or George Martin to polish the rough diamond into a shining gem.

This post is a goddam train wreck because all I really wanted to was say, “Hey, listen to these songs. They’re good.” But then I started writing about the band, because who the fuck knows who the Cult are in 2016? Over six weeks I would login and add more words to this piece, trying to find a theme upon which to expound, but I never could really care enough. So. Listen to these songs. They’re good.