I played my cassette copy of The Cult‘s Love enough times in high school that the oxide wore off. Despite this, the record has enough moments of ridiculous hippie pandering that I’m not able to ward off its distracters.
Whatever. I still think it’s great and feel that everything the band has done since then pales in comparison.
The Cult, now reduced to the duo that was/is the band’s creative force (Ian Astbury and Billy Duffy), have always been the type of band whose albums seem to reflect which one of the two were the dominant force during the pre-production. Astbury’s been the experimental one (if you consider the idea of a British Shaman Priest as told through the voice of the world’s best known Doors impersonator “experimental”) while Duffy’s a study in reliability (turn on amplifier, create an awesome quarterstick of chords and repeat).
For this reason, the vast majority of Cult albums have been frustratingly inconsistent. When one considers their catalog, Love stands at being Astbury’s highpoint while Sonic Temple remains Duffy’s. Their most recognized album, the Rick Rubin produced Electric, sounds like it may be the lone example of when Astbury and Duffy’s egos were in check and their roles were clearly spelled out.
And because The Cult has never really managed to get their shit together after Electric, they never really managed to get the credit they were due after or success they should have received.