A Soul Shaken FLASHBACK VIDEO: THE CULT – “Love Removal Machine” (‘Electric’ / 1987)
The Cult – Electric is available @ iTunes.
by Walter Price
1987 was one of those fabulously transitional years in music. Post-punk was giving way to more popularized ‘modern’ rock, moody synth-pop was being surpassed by trashy FM radio fare and rock n’ roll was getting hairy. And no one would bat an eyelash if your floorboard was littered with an array of cassettes by The Smiths, Whitesnake, U2, and Dinosaur Jr.
The Spring of ’87 got heated up when The Cult came out swinging with a new sound with their powderkeg of an album ‘Electric’. Guided by a legend in the making Rick Rubin, this collection was less far-out goth-psych like their first two releases. And it was great watching mainstream America finally getting their ears on this dynamic outfit. And by the looks and sounds of it back then, The Cult was poised to be one of the biggest rock bands of all-time. And in certain circles they are.
Unfortunately, or fortunately, Guns N’ Roses would release ‘Appetite For Destruction’ in the Summer and, in my opinion, it took away some of the momenta that Ian Astbury and company had been building. But we’ll save that debate for another time…
The first single from ‘Electric’ was a real barnburner. “Love Removal Machine” is a stripped-down rocker bordering on current at the time, 80s metal. A hard-rock anthem for the ages. Which brings us to the classic video. Directed by Storm Thorgerson, the clip was a ‘live’ stage performance with all the goofy (or fun) trappings of the 80s. Highflying leaps, hair tossing, beer can destruction and a moment of synchronized moves from Billy Duffy and Jamie Stewart.
“We had Back in Black playing in the studio, as Rick [Rubin] was listening to it every day. He was obsessed with it, no doubt. AC/DC definitely had an influence on that record. But ‘Love Removal Machine’ was that AC/DC influence where you’re getting down to things in their very elemental form, instead of waxing lyrical and getting prosaic.” – Ian Astbury
Back in the day, I seriously watched this clip hundreds of times. I didn’t know or care how brilliantly dated it be one day. All I knew then and still know in 2019 is, ‘Electric’ and The Cult are forever in my top ten.