IAN ASTBURY - VOCALS
BILLY DUFFY - GUITAR
JAMIE STEWART - BASS, KEYBOARDS
MICKEY CURRY - DRUMS
(JOHN WEBSTER - KEYBOARDS)
(DEMO RECORDINGS: ERIC SINGER - DRUMS)
(TOURING MUSICIAN: JOHN SINCLAIR - KEYBOARDS)
(TOURING MUSICIAN: MATT SORUM - DRUMS)
For the next album, Stewart returned to playing bass, and John Webster was brought in to play keyboards. The band used Chris Taylor to play drums during rehearsals and record the demos, with future Kiss drummer Eric Singer performing during the second demo recording sessions. The Cult eventually recruited session-drummer Mickey Curry to fill the drumming role and Aerosmith sound engineer, Bob Rock, to produce. Recorded in Vancouver, Canada from October to December 1988, the Sonic Temple record went Top 10 in both the UK and the US, where it was certified Gold and Platinum respectively.
The band went on tour in support of the new album and new single "Fire Woman" (UK No. 15) (NZ No. 1), with yet another new drummer, Matt Sorum, and Webster as keyboard player. The next single, "Edie (Ciao Baby)" (UK No. 25) has become a regular song at concerts for many years.
In Europe, the band toured with Aerosmith, and in the US, after releasing another single "Sun King" (UK No. 42), they spent 1989 touring in support of Metallica before heading out on their own headlining tour later that same year. A fourth single, "Sweet Soul Sister" (UK No. 38), was released in February 1990, with the video having been filmed at Wembley Arena, London, on 25 November 1989. "Sweet Soul Sister" was partially written in Paris and was inspired by the bohemian lifestyle of that city. Released as a single in February 1990, the song was another hit in the UK, and reportedly reached number one on the rock charts in Brazil.
After playing a show in Atlanta, Georgia, in February 1990, the band's management told Astbury that his father had just died of cancer. As a result, the remainder of the tour was cancelled after a final leg of shows were performed in April. After the tour ended, the band were on the verge of splitting due to Stewart retiring and moving to Canada to be with his wife, and Sorum leaving to join Guns N' Roses.
In 1990, Astbury organized the Gathering of the Tribes festival in Los Angeles and San Francisco with artists such as Soundgarden, Ice-T, Indigo Girls, Queen Latifah, Iggy Pop, The Charlatans, The Cramps and Public Enemy appearing. This two-day festival drew 40,000 people, and inspired Lollapalooza, which started in 1991.
Also in 1990, a ten CD box set was released in the UK, containing rare songs from The Cult's singles. The CDs in this box set were all issued as picture discs with rice paper covers, housed in either a white box called "Singles Collection", or a black box called "E.P. Collection '84 - '90".
In 1991, director Oliver Stone offered Astbury the role of Jim Morrison in Stone's film The Doors. He declined the role because he was not happy with the way Morrison was represented in the film, and the role was ultimately played by Val Kilmer.