Electric (The Cult album)

Electric is the third album by British rock band The Cult, released in 1987.[3][4] It was the follow-up to their commercial breakthrough Love. The album equalled its predecessor's chart placing by peaking at number four in the UK but exceeded its chart residency, spending a total of 27 weeks on the chart (the most successful run for an album by The Cult).[5]

The Cult-Electric (album cover).jpg
Studio album by
Released6 April 1987
LabelBeggars Banquet, Sire
ProducerRick Rubin[2]
The Cult chronology
Sonic Temple
Singles from Electric
  1. "Love Removal Machine"
    Released: 16 February 1987
  2. "Lil' Devil"
    Released: 20 April 1987
  3. "Wild Flower"
    Released: 27 July 1987

The album marked a deliberate stylistic change in the band's sound from gothic rock to more traditional hard rock. Rick Rubin, the producer on Electric, had been specifically hired to remake the band's sound in an effort to capitalize on the popularity of hard rock and heavy metal in the 1980s. The album was featured in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

In 2013 the album was re-released as a double CD set under the title Electric Peace, with one disc featuring the originally released album and the second containing the entire Peace album recorded during the Manor Sessions.


After the breakthrough success of their second album, Love, the Cult began working on a follow-up with producer Steve Brown. In the summer of 1986, they recorded twelve tracks at the Manor Studio in Oxfordshire. These recordings, which came to be known as the Manor Sessions, were to make up a new album, tentatively entitled Peace. However upon completion of the recording sessions, the band decided that they were unhappy with the sound, and began to look for a new producer.

The band went on to choose Rick Rubin, who was known for producing albums for hip hop artists and thrash metal band Slayer. These new recordings, with a slightly different track-list and running order, became the album that was released. Engineer Tony Platt recalled that Rubin used AC/DC as a benchmark for the album's sound:

Rick Rubin was recording the Cult in Studio A and we [Platt and the studio engineers] stood in the airlock just outside the studio. A snatch of Highway to Hell would get played and then a snatch from Back in Black and then a snatch of Led Zeppelin, and we thought, "What the hell's going on there?" [A studio assistant] said, "Well, he's getting the guitar sounds from Back in Black, the drum sound from Highway to Hell and the voice sound from Led Zeppelin!" Literally, as he was mixing he was getting a guitar sound on the Cult and then comparing it directly with the guitar sound that he wanted to get from Back in Black. The same with all the other instruments.[6]

Although all twelve of the Manor Sessions tracks were initially scrapped, four of them would turn up as B-sides to singles from Electric. A further five of them appeared on a limited edition EP, and with the release of Rare Cult in 2000, the rest of the unreleased Steve Brown-produced tracks were made available, albeit in a limited edition format. They were finally made available on a mainstream release in 2013 as part of the Electric Peace release.

Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [7]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide     [8]
The Village VoiceB+[9]

Rolling Stone wrote that "despite the hovering shades of Zeppelin, Bon Scott and others, Electric does more than pilfer bygone metal mayhem. It swaggers, crunches and howls, all right, but it does so with irreverence (not surprising with raunch expert Rick Rubin behind the board)."[10] Trouser Press wrote: "As sensually gratifying as it is cornball retro-moronic, Electric can lay claim to one of history's worst versions of 'Born to Be Wild.'"[4]

Track listingEdit

All songs written by Ian Astbury and Billy Duffy, except where noted.

  1. "Wild Flower" – 3:37
  2. "Peace Dog" – 3:34
  3. "Lil' Devil" – 2:44
  4. "Aphrodisiac Jacket" – 4:11
  5. "Electric Ocean" – 2:49
  6. "Bad Fun" – 3:33
  7. "King Contrary Man" – 3:12
  8. "Love Removal Machine" – 4:17
  9. "Born to Be Wild" (Mars Bonfire) – 3:55
  10. "Outlaw" – 2:52
  11. "Memphis Hip Shake" – 4:01

"Manor Sessions"/Peace track listingEdit

Electric arose from the sessions for the unreleased Peace album. Electric featured several rerecorded songs from the Peace sessions. Tracks 1, 2, 5, 6 and 10 below first appeared on The Manor Sessions EP in 1988. Tracks 7, 8, 9 and 11 were issued as B-sides to singles from Electric in 1987. The full Peace album was not released in its entirety until 2000, when it was included as Disc 3 of the Rare Cult boxed set. In 2013, the Peace album was released as part of a two-disc set alongside Electric, under the title Electric Peace.

  1. "Love Removal Machine" - 5:16
  2. "Wild Flower" - 4:10
  3. "Peace Dog" - 5:09
  4. "Aphrodisiac Jacket" - 4:25
  5. "Electric Ocean" - 4:13
  6. "Bad Fun" - 6:24
  7. "Conquistador" - 2:53
  8. "Zap City" - 5:15
  9. "Love Trooper" - 3:55
  10. "Outlaw" - 5:07
  11. "Groove Co." - 4:13


The Cult


Year Chart Position
1987 BPI UK Album Chart 4
The Billboard 200[11] 38
Cash Box Charts[12] 17


  1. ^ Westhoff, Ben (6 December 2011). "Chuck Klosterman's Favorite Hair Metal Albums". LA Weekly. Retrieved 4 March 2021.
  2. ^ Prown, Pete; Newquist, Harvey P. (22 June 1997). Legends of Rock Guitar: The Essential Reference of Rock's Greatest Guitarists. Hal Leonard Corporation. ISBN 9780793540426 – via Google Books.
  3. ^ Thompson, Dave (22 June 2000). Alternative Rock. Hal Leonard Corporation. ISBN 9780879306076 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ a b Robbins, Ira; Fasolino, Greg. "Cult". Trouser Press. Retrieved 22 June 2020.
  5. ^ David Roberts, ed. (2006). British Hit Singles and Albums. Guinness World Records Limited. p. 129. ISBN 978-1904994107.
  6. ^ Engleheart, Murray; Durieux, Arnaud (2009). AC/DC: Maximum Rock & Roll: The Ultimate Story of the World's Greatest Rock-and-Roll Band, p. 387. New York City: Harper Collins. ISBN 978-0061844539.
  7. ^ Raggett, Ned. "Electric – The Cult". AllMusic. Retrieved 22 June 2020.
  8. ^ Considine, J. D.; Skanse, Richard (2004). "The Cult". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. pp. 203–204. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  9. ^ Christgau, Robert (2 June 1987). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. New York. Retrieved 11 August 2012.
  10. ^ Schwartz, Robin J. (2 July 1987). "The Cult: Electric". Rolling Stone. New York. Archived from the original on 15 April 2008. Retrieved 8 January 2012.
  11. ^ "The Cult's 'Sonic Temple' at 30: Revisiting The Watershed Album". Billboard. 10 April 2019.
  12. ^ "CASH BOX MAGAZINE: Music and coin machine magazine 1942 to 1996". worldradiohistory.com. Retrieved 14 December 2020.