THE CULT (1994)
 


IAN ASTBURY - VOCALS, (ACOUSTIC) GUITAR
BILLY DUFFY - GUITAR
CRAIG ADAMS - BASS
SCOTT GARETT - DRUMS
(TOURING MUSICIAN 1994/1995: JAMES STEVENSON - RHYTHM GUITAR)
(TOURING MUSICIAN 1993: MIKE DIMKICH - RHYTHM GUITAR)


The band released The Cult in October 1994, produced by Bob Rock. The self-titled 'Cult' album is commonly referred to as the 'Black Sheep' album by fans of the group. Astbury referred to the record as "very personal and very revealing" songs about his life, with the subject matter ranging from sexual abuse at the age of 15, to the death of Nigel Preston, to his directionless years spent in Glasgow in the late 1970s.

 

The record achieved little success, only reaching No. 69 in the US and No. 21 in the UK. Duffy remarked that he thought that the record wouldn't sell well due to the offensive lyrics. The record went to number one in Portugal also, but quickly dropped out of sight. The single "Coming Down (Drug Tongue)" was released with the band going on tour in support of the new album. Only one more single, "Star", was officially released with a live appearance on UK TV show The Word. "Star" began life in 1986 as "Tom Petty" and was recorded at the "Sonic Temple" demo sessions as "Starchild", being dropped by the band during rehearsals. In 1993 the song was resurrected and was finally completed for the record in 1994 as, just simply, "Star".

When the band began the Beauty's On The Streets tour in winter 1994, they augmented the line up with James Stevenson on rhythm guitar. As with the Ceremony record several years earlier, no other official singles were released, but several other songs were released on a strictly limited basis: "Sacred Life" was released in Spain and the Netherlands, "Be Free" was issued in Canada and France, "Saints Are Down" was issued in Greece, but none of the songs gained much commercial success. During this tour, The Cult made their first ever appearance in Norway.

        

During the Black Rain tour of South America in spring of 1995, despite the fact that several more new songs had already been recorded, the tour was cancelled after an appearance in Rio de Janeiro in March, and the band split up citing unspecified problems on a recent South American tour. Astbury started up a garage band called Holy Barbarians a few months later.

The band made their debut at the 100 Club in London in February 1996 and released their first (and only) record in May 1996, and toured throughout North America and Europe for the rest of 1996. The band started writing material for a second record in 1997, but the band was dissolved and Astbury began writing and recording a solo record. Throughout 1997 and 1998 Astbury recorded his solo record, originally to be titled Natural Born Guerilla, later called High Time Amplifier. Ultimately the record remained unreleased until June 2000 when it was released under the name Spirit\Light\Speed. Astbury played one solo concert in 1999.

In November 1996, a number of CD reissues were released: the band's American record company released High Octane Cult, a slightly updated "greatest hits" compilation released only in the US and Japan; The Southern Death Cult, a remastered edition of the fifteen-song compilation CD; a ten-song compilation CD by Death Cult called Ghost Dance, consisting of the untitled four-song EP, the single "God's Zoo", and four unreleased songs from a radio broadcast; and a remastered repackaging of the Dreamtime album, containing only the ten original songs from the record in their original playing order and almost completely different but original artwork. Dreamtime Live at the Lyceum was also remastered and issued on video and for the first time on CD, with the one unreleased song from the concert, "Gimmick".