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Thursday, 6 April 2017

Revisiting Electric - The Cult (1987)


Electric - The Cult
Beggars Banquet
Produced by Rick Rubin
Released 6th April 1987
UK Chart #4
US Chart #38

Side One
Side Two
    Ian Astbury – vocals
    Billy Duffy – guitar
    Jamie Stewart – bass guitar
    Les Warner – drums

The album would be reissued in 2013 and brought together for the first time all of the Manor Studio recordings which had previously only been available on the Rare Cult (2000) album and The Manor Sessions EP (1988)
A1 Wild Flower    
A2 Peace Dog    
A3 Lil' Devil    
A4 Aphrodisiac Jacket    
A5 Electric Ocean    
A6 Bad Fun    
B1 King Contrary Man    
B2 Love Removal Machine    
B3 Born To Be Wild    
B4 Outlaw    
B5 Memphis Hip Shake    
C1 Love Removal Machine    
C2 Wild Flower    
C3 Peace Dog    
C4 Aphrodisiac Jacket    
C5 Electric Ocean    
D1 Bad Fun    
D2 Conquistador    
D3 Zap City    
D4 Love Trooper    
D5 Outlaw    
D6 Groove Co.

Singles on Electric
Released 20th February 1987
UK Chart #18

Was also released as a Double Pack 7" with:
A-Side: Conquistador

B-Side: Groove Co
It was also released as a Cassette Single
A1 Love Removal Machine    
A2 Wolf Child's Blues    
A3 Conquistador    
A4 Groove Co    
A5 Love Removal Machine (Extended Rock Mix)    
B1 Love Removal Machine    
B2 Wolf Child's Blues    
B3 Conquistador    
B4 Groove Co    
B5 Love Removal Machine (Extended Rock Mix)

A-Side: Lil' Devil / Zap City
Released 20th April 1987
UK Chart #11
 B side recorded live at the Music Centre, Utrecht, Holland 24 January 1986
Cassette Single
A1 Lil' Devil    
A2 Zap City    
A3 Wild Thing/Louie Louie (Live)    
A4 Phoenix (Live)    
A5 She Sells Sanctuary (Live)    
B1 Lil' Devil    
B2 Zap City    
B3 Wild Thing/Louie Louie (Live)    
B4 Phoenix (Live)    
B5 She Sells Sanctuary (Live)
Was also released as a CD Single in the UK
There was also a 2 x 12" Version

Double Pack 7"
A-Side: Wild Flower
B-Side: Love Trooper
C-Side: Outlaw (Live)
D-Side: Horse Nation (Live)
Released 10th August 1987
UK Chart #24
The 12" included an Extended Rock Mix of Wild Flower as the A-Side. 

A further 12" released a week after the previous one included on the B-Side:

It was also released as a 7" Picture Disc
A-Side: Wild Flower
B-Side: Love Trooper

There was also a Limited Edition Australian Tour EP 12"
A1 Wildflower (Extended Rock Mix)    
A2 She Sells Sanctuary (Howling Mix)    
B1 Love Trooper    
B2 Horse Nation (Live Version)    
B3 Outlaw (Live Version)
Track B1 recorded at The Manor Sessions, Summer '86.
Tracks B2, B3 recorded at the Brixton Academy, London, 31 March 1987.

Cassette Single
A1 Wild Flower    
A2 Love Trooper    
A3 Horse Nation (Live)    
A4 Wild Flower (Extended Rock Mix)    
B1 Wild Flower    
B2 Love Trooper    
B3 Horse Nation (Live)    
B4 Wild Flower (Extended Rock Mix)

In Canada it was released on CD with the Tracklisting:
1 Wild Flower (Extended Rock Mix)    
2 Love Trooper    
3 Horse Nation (Live)    
4 She Sells Sanctuary (Live)    
5 Outlaw (Live)
6 Wild Flower (Dub Mix)
It's amazing to think that 30 years have passed since The Cult released their third album Electric! I rarely post anything negative about albums because I enjoy posting music that I still get a real kick out of but every once in awhile an album comes along that kind of grates on me and disappoints me that maybe it is worth saying a few things about it.
So, to all those who love The Cult and adore almost everything they put out I offer a word of caution because you are not going to like this post at all!
I had really enjoyed their previous two albums (Dreamtime - 1984 and Love - 1985) and was excited at the prospect of the third one coming out, especially after the release of the Love Removal Machine single, but...
After the success of their previous album Love, The Cult set up shop at The Manor Studios with Steve Brown producing what was to become their third album entitled Peace. With twelve tracks laid down the band decided they were unhappy with the sound and basically dumped it and went searching for a new producer to give them a fresher sound.
Rick Rubin offered to remix the song Peace Dog (Manor Session Version). Ian Astbury and Billy Duffy were so thrilled with the results (here's the Rubin Mix)  that they notified Beggars Banquet that were moving forward to re-record the entire album with Rick Rubin.
Rick Rubin brought a very different sound to the band. Beforehand they had been quite Gothic but in the hands of Rubin they were rebirthed as some kind of illegitimate sons of Led Zeppelin!
I was never totally convinced that playing Heavy Metal was really The Cult at their best. Love Removal Machine as the lead single for the album was totally mind blowing and one of their best singles ever (though She Sells Sanctuary might never be toppled!). There was such a difference between the Demo version, The Manor Session version and the final Rick Rubin version
The inclusion of a cover of the Steppenwolf classic Born To Be Wild was a bold move on their part or was it a bad move? The live version from the BBC Broadcast at Brixton Academy in 1987 I thought was absolutely wretched! It was almost like very poor Heavy Metal Karaoke! I can barely make it through the whole video these days! The album version was barely any better! Maybe I just have a real aversion to anyone other than Steppenwolf doing it and that's why I just can't connect with The Cult covering it.
As for the rest of the album...clichΓ©d, paint by numbers heavy rock! I can still hardly believe that the Lil' Devil single went higher in the charts than Love Removal Machine!

I pretty much gave up on the band after this one. Sonic Temple (1989) had Edie (Ciao Baby) as a single and that was pretty good but the album as a whole was on a similar path as Electric!

For many fans of the band today will be a celebration of the album, for me there is little to celebrate. At the head of this post I gave the album Four Stars, three and a half of them were for Love Removal Machine!

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