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  • This album was grunge when the word still meant the sticky stuff you can’t get off the bottom of your shoe. When alternative music was still mired in heavy keyboards and weird hair, this album by the Cult came out of nowhere and still ranks as one of the most powerful guitar-rock albums of all time. This is the album I had been waiting to hear all through my high school years in the early to mid-eighties. I had forgotten about it until I saw Ian Astbury singing lead for the Doors on VH-1 yesterday. “Love” was so good that even the Cult could never match up to it. There isn’t a misstep on here musically. “Revolution,” “Nirvana,” and “She Sells Sanctuary” still send chills through me. Unlike the other ham-handed hair band rock of the 80s, Billy Duffy’s guitar work is just from another planet. Nothing moved me as much as this album until I heard the first notes of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” six years later. The Cult’s next album, “Electric,” was a major disappointment after this, what with Rick Rubin’s overly clean arrangements. “Sonic Temple” was better, but by then they had taken on more of the heavy metal element and less of the alternative. Nevertheless, “Love” is a shining moment.

    Posted on February 2, 2010