Great Rock/Metal Albums of 1987: The Cult- Electric

For some unknown reason, The Cult’s 1987 album, “Electric,” almost passed me by, I stress, almost. I think the reason for this was because I was in Great Britain by this time and I have the sneaking suspicion that The Cult were more popular in the US than in their native country. The first single from the album, “Love Removal Machine,” never made the top 40 in the UK, so I never saw it on “Top of the Pops” when I was working in the student bar. However, I don’t remember ever hearing it played at East London’s favourite Friday night heavy metal spot, Oscar’s. If they had, I would have remembered it because The Cult do have a distinctive sound.

On “Electric,” they went away from their gothic rock sound and more in a heavy metal direction. But even with that, it’s still The Cult. What is weird is on tracks two and three. Both of those tracks have intros which remind me very much of The Darkness. Since, The Cult were a decade and a half or more before The Darkness, we can safely say which band influenced which. However, on the topic of the third track, “Lil’ Devil,” even with The Darkness sounding intro, there is more of a throw back to their more gothic rock sound from the previous album, “Love.” It was the second single from the album but maybe it should have been the first, but what do I know?

While not The Darkness, the following track, “Aphrodisiac Jacket,” has a great metal intro and that vibe carries on throughout the song. This one is definitely a song to headbang away to. It has some great power chords and it gives me the opportunity to sing the praises of guitarist Billy Duffy like I did when I posted about the “Love” album. He really plays a blinder of a solo on it and keeps it up with the guitar hooks as the song winds down. Needless to say, it’s my choice for hidden gem.

Back to The Darkness intro with “Electric Ocean.” So much so, when I hear this, I can picture Ian Astbury singing in that band. However at the same time, you still know it’s The Cult. My weird mind going into overdrive again. You can forget The Darkness on “Bad Fun.” This is more of an AC/DC song but again, The Cult stamp is definitely put on it. At first listen, I was ready to condemn “King Contrary Man” as filler and then that Billy Duffy guitar solo kicks in and obliterates any filler thoughts.

So far, I’ve made comparisons to The Darkness and AC/DC but on “Love Removal Machine,” it’s the Rolling Stones who get the credit. It’s like the Rolling Stones playing “She Sells Sanctuary” but with a great Duffy guitar solo. I can see why this song got picked for a single but I still stand by my choice for “Lil’ Devil” being a better one. It has said that “Electric” boasts the worst cover of the Steppenwolf classic, “Born to be Wild.” Trust me, I have heard worse versions of that song than this one. Okay, it was from cover bands playing in bars but their versions were still worse than this one. Besides, Billy’s guitar solo is even better than the one on the original.

Track Listing:

  1. Wild Flower
  2. Peace Dog
  3. Lil’ Devil
  4. Aphrodisiac Jacket
  5. Electric Ocean
  6. Bad Fun
  7. King Contrary Man
  8. Love Removal Machine
  9. Born to Be Wild
  10. Outlaw
  11. Memphis Hip Shake

Ian Astbury- vocals

Billy Duffy- guitars

Jamie Stewart- bass

Les Warner- drums

It seems that “Electric” was a great album that nearly slipped under my radar, although not many others. On it, The Cult proved their versatility. They can play rock or metal and I think The Darkness benefitted greatly from it.

Next post: Deep Purple- The House of Blue Light

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12 Responses to “Great Rock/Metal Albums of 1987: The Cult- Electric”

  1. Oh this is the goooood
    Stuff right here

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Love this one. I found it on vinyl a year or two ago and at the same place picked up Sonic Temple. The only other one I have is Love. That trilogy of albums is the best!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Electric is a game changer in my book. One of the all time great rock records. That drum sound on Peace Dog is absolutely brilliant. Kudos to Andy Wallace I believe who did it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I remember this one being huge amongst all us little metalheads at the time. Great loud LP this.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I never made the Darkness connection but now I hear it. Great album.

    Liked by 1 person

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