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Sonic Temple

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  • If you must buy one recording by The Cult, this is the one. I would give very few records 5 stars, but 1989’s ‘Sonic Temple’ is one of them. Emerging from the late 1980s era of glam metal and mindless dance music, this was the welcomed return of rock music – a perfect combination of the ethereal elements of The Cult’s major label debut, ‘Love’, and the bombastic rock of their sophmore outing, ‘Electric’. Of course, everyone knows “Fire Woman,” the record’s catchy jam, and “Edie”, the tribute to Warhol’s muse which defied the contemporary power-ballad circa 1989. All the familiar Cult themes are here – peace (“Soldier Blue”), Native American (“American Horse”), drug-culture (“Medicine Train”). But unlike their other efforts, this record is top-notch from start to finish – the Zeppelinesque “Soul Asylum”, the anthemic “Wake Up Time for Freedom”, and the manic “New York City” (with appropriate backing vocals by Iggy Pop) – putting the ROCK back into Alternative Rock with the help of producer Bob Rock (who would go on to produce Metallica’s eponymous and most successful record, as well as the new Cult album).

    Posted on February 24, 2010