The Cult

The Cult love to Love you, baby.

For four simple letters, The Cult had a devil of a time settling on its name. The Yorkshire-formed group's origins stretch back to Southern Death Cult, the band formed by American Indian-obsessed Ian Astbury. SDC found almost immediate success on the UK Goth circuit, but Astbury wanted to break out of the crypt and recruited a new band including onetime Morrissey bandmate (in the Nosebleeds) Billy Duffy. This one he called Death Cult, which didn't exactly help Astbury break out of the goth-rock ghetto. So he shortened it to The Cult, and the band's muscular and mystical hard-rock sound began to catch on. The group wouldn't attract American metalheads' attention until "Love Removal Machine" in 1987, but its 1985 album Love — which it performs front to back Sunday — and dorm-room anthems "She Sells Sanctuary" and "Rain" ended any sort of confusion about Astbury and crew's hard-hitting, vaguely psychedelic identity once and for all.

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