Under The Radar: The Cult – Electric (1987)
Updated: Mar 25
Electric was the third album by The Cult and it was released in April 1987 as a follow-up to their commercial breakthrough record, Love, which spawned the hit singles Rain and She Sells Sanctuary.
It seems that the band was not satisfied with the sound put out with current producer Steve Brown so, they reached out to producer extraordinaire, Rick Rubin (Tom Petty, AC/DC, Red Hot Chili peppers, ZZ Top, Slayer) to sit behind the boards in order salvage their crucial follow up record.
Thankfully, Rick Rubin saw the strength in Ian Astbury’s voice and Billy Duffy’s guitar playing proficiency and made the band step away from their experimental, psychedelic, pop rock gothic sound to a more stripped down traditional hard rock sound.
In my opinion, that move really paid off. Electric is one of the most underrated hard rock albums to emerge during the 80’s. As most bands were toying with the digital format and drum machines in the mid to late 80’s, The Cult went for a more “live - in the studio” feel for this record. To me, this album sounds like Jim Morrison is singing along on an early 70’s AC/DC record! Ian Astbury’s huge voice was tailor made for this record. The minute Astbury starts singing, you take notice along with Billy Duffy’s riffs and solos that rival anything of that era.
Arguably, Electric reinvented rock music for a new generation. It took the feel and vibe of 70’s rock and tweaked/updated it for a new generation of music fans. Still, with all this, Electric doesn’t sound dated feel like it’s a caricature of a bygone era, it is simply ….Electric!.
I thought that Electric from The Cult brought back the swagger, loudness, grit and a live dirty sounding production that was missing from rock n’ roll by ‘87. To this day; Wild Flower, Lil’ Devil and Love Removal Machine still sound as invigorating as the day they were released.
In my opinion Electric from the Cult is an underrated rock record that should be placed along side albums like, Appetite for Destruction, Back In Black and The Black Album from Metallica. If you love rock n roll then you owe it to yourself to listen to The Cult’s third studio record Electric.