the cult :: electric

The Cult - Electric

1987 | beggars banquet | produced by rick rubin

wild flower | peace dog | lil’ devil | aphrodisiac jacket | electric ocean | bad fun | king contrary man | love removal machine | born to be wild | outlaw | memphis hip shake


I could probably never complete a ‘desert island 5 discs’ because I could never pick 5 discs only. I can tell you however that THIS disc would be one of them. When I was still in high school I went to a month long architecture workshop at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. It was supposed to introduce students to the program as well as give them a glimplse of college life. We stayed in the dorms, had roomates, and generally learned what it was like to go to college as an architecture student.

Basically we spent most of the time playing frisbee and goofing off until about a few days before something was due and at that time we would lock ourselves in the lab, subsist on sugar and caffieine and work round the clock, sleep under our desks until the project was done and then turn it in, sleep for a day and start the process again.

I digress.

At this thing, there was some skater kid there who I’m pretty sure never went on to be an architect, and he had Electric on cassette.

Prior to my attending this workshop I think I was fairly sheltered. I think a few months prior, I was still playing with my Legos at home. I think I was listening to alot of Rush at the time. Course that’s really always been the case. Anyway – when I heard this album – it really blew my mind.

It was completely raw and unabashed – in a totally sexy way. I don’t mean that I was into Ian Astbury in a man on man love sort of way, but the music man…it made you want to go out and look for trouble – and not because you had nothing to do. This music made looking for trouble a legitimate pastime. It made you want to Rock. It made me want to play drums. It made you want to score chicks so you could bring them home and repulse them with your Cult records. For me it was an epiphany.

This is my 3rd Electric disc. The first two I carted around so much that the jewel boxes basically disintegrated and the discs themselves were so scratched about the only thing they were good for anymore was coasters – and damn fine – and hip – coasters they were. This one already has a few tracks that only play part of the time. Looks like I’ll have to start shopping for another copy.

I feel like I have to buy a used one though – I think Ian would want it that way. I want a disc that has seen some road wear, has some stories. That’s what the music says to me. It’s ‘this is us, these 4 guys, in a room, banging this shit out until it comes out of our pores.’ The band may tell you otherwise, but to me this is not a calculated record. This is ‘lets get this down, make sure it fucking rocks and then go out and take over the world with it.’ Fucking A.

I don’t think there’s a bad track on here, although the Steppenwolf cover is a little sketchy.

At one point I owned the entire Cult catalog, even the discs from back when they were ‘Southern Death Cult’ then ‘Death Cult’, and all the ones since then. I lost alot of the earlier stuff when someone broke into my car back at the Hostel and stole all my CDs. Bastards. They probably just threw the stuff away – after all, it wasn’t 311. Anyway, my point was that I think this may have been the Cult’s high point. Subsequent records have been good, but as my friend Andy is quick to point out, much too polished. I think I agree.

This record is gritty, dirty, bluesy, nasty, driving rock that grooves, played by guys that seemed completely on the edge at the time. In my mind a classic.

Oh, and if anyone out there can tell me what the hell the lyrics to ‘Aphrodisiac Jacket’ are all about, man that would be outstanding. I mean, I know ’em, I can sing the hell out of them, and I have, particularly if intoxicated – but I’ll be damned if they make a lick of sense.

Sittin’ on a mountain, looking at the sun
Plastic fantastic lobster telephone

Drive on baby, through the electric night
All the way sister, in the taxi of life

Cookin’ in the kitchen, insects on the bone
Hazy, lazy, dream world drippin’ on
Waitin’ for a time bomb, yeah, tick tick tick away
Somethin’ on the radio, yeah yeah, drip drip drip all day, yeah

Drive on baby, through the electric night
All the way sister, in the taxi of light
The sunshine glows, but nobody knows
The nighttime’s gone, keep drivin’ on, yeah

Aphrodisiac jacket
Napoleon machine gun
Livin’ on a subway, yeah yeah
From dusk till dawn, yeah

Push baby, push, push, push, yeah…

Sittin’ on a mountain, we’re looking at the sun
Plastic fantastic lobster telephone, yeah

Drive on baby, through the electric night
All the way sister, in the taxi of light
The sunshine glows, but nobody knows
The nighttime’s gone, keep drivin’ on

Indeed. Keep drivin’ on y’all.

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