DREAMTIME (1984)


IAN ASTBURY - VOCALS
BILLY DUFFY - GUITAR
JAMIE STEWART - BASS
NIGEL PRESTON - DRUMS

The Cult's first studio record, Dreamtime, was recorded at Rockfield Studios, in Monmouth, Wales in 1984. The record was originally to be produced by Joe Julian, but after having already recorded the drum tracks, the band decided to replace him with John Brand. The record was ultimately produced by Brand, but guitarist Duffy has said that the drum tracks used on the record were those produced by Julian, as Preston by that time had become too unreliable.

The band recorded the songs which later became known as "Butterflies", "(The) Gimmick", "A Flower in the Desert", "Horse Nation", "Spiritwalker", "Bad Medicine (Waltz)", "Dreamtime", "With Love" (later known as "Ship of Fools", and also "Sea and Sky"), "Bone Bag", "Too Young", "83rd Dream", and one untitled outtake. It is unknown what the outtake was, or whether it was developed into a song at a later date. Songs like "Horse Nation" showed Astbury's already intense interest in Native American issues, with the lyrics to "Horse Nation", "See them prancing, they come neighing, to a horse nation", taken almost verbatim from the book Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, while "Spiritwalker" dealt with shamanism, and the record's title and title track are overtly influenced by Australian Aboriginal beliefs.


On 4 April 1984, The Cult released the single "Spiritwalker", which reached No. 1 on the independent charts in the UK, and acted as a teaser for their forthcoming album Dreamtime. This was followed that summer by a second single, "Go West (Crazy Spinning Circles)", before the release of Dreamtime in September; the album reached No. 21 in the UK, and sold over 100,000 copies in the UK alone. On 12 July 1984, the band recorded five songs at the BBC Maida Vale 5 studio for a Richard Skinner session. Both before and after the album's release, The Cult toured extensively throughout Europe and England before recording another single, "Ressurection Joe" (UK No. 74), released that December. Following a Christmas support slot with Big Country, The Cult toured Europe with support from The Mission (then called The Sisterhood). Dreamtime was released initially only in the UK, but after its success, and as The Cult's popularity grew worldwide, it was issued later in approximately 30 countries.

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