I got some good news back this week in regards to last weeks V02-max testing in the Brock torture chamber and, low and behold, I tested as “Superior”.
That’s right, bitches: S-U-P-E-R-I-O-R.
Of course, I’m fatter and with a higher body fat percentage over two years ago, meaning that fat is apparently my new secret weapon. I’m contributing that success on these regular interval sessions (well, that, and the apparent super youth-giving qualities of both Brimstone Brewing and Crave Local Fresh, but I digress). So I’m keeping on with that plan for sure with tonight’s 60 minutes of suffering and the ‘Electric‘ album by The Cult.
This is the last album I have in my archive of Cult albums so I figured I’m run the gauntlet on tonight’s workout making it three weeks of Ian Astbury & gang in a row.
‘Electric‘ was the follow-up to their commercial breakthrough ‘Love‘, released in 1987. The album equaled its predecessor’s chart placing by peaking at #4 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). The album marked a deliberate stylistic change in the band’s sound from gothic rock to more traditional hard rock. The album was featured in the book ‘1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die’ (I’m too lazy to look up what number).
The roots of this album lay in another album entirely, ‘Peace‘, in a series of sessions that the band found increasingly pressure-filled and fraught with tension. A chance meeting with Def Jam supremo Rick Rubin at an American awards ceremony turned out to be the charm, resulting in the saucy chest-baring stomp of this album. Rubin chucked all the old recordings for a series of new sessions, stripping everything down and essentially transforming Billy Duffy into the logical successor to AC/DC‘s Angus Young. Thankfully Ian Astbury decided not to become Brian Johnson, and while his macho yells can’t help being a bit cartoonish at times, he’s clearly having fun throughout.
Though both band and album caught a lot of flak for their perceived wallowing in dinosaur sounds and styles, the end result is still a fist-punching yelp of energy that demands to be heard at maximum volume in arenas, with a brusque punch in Les Warner’s drums to match Duffy’s power-chord action. ‘Love Removal Machine‘ is still the album’s calling card, another in the series of instantly catchy Cult singles. ‘Li’l Devil‘ is almost as worthy, while other cuts like ‘Wild Flower‘ and ‘King Contrary Man‘ would have sounded good in 1973 and sound just as good in a new century. There are a couple of missteps – ‘Peace Dog‘ starts good but ends up being what happens when The Doors are used as a model in the wrong way, while the version of the Steppenwolf classic ‘Born to Be Wild‘ should be taken out and shot.
Otherwise, an enjoyable and motivated pleasure for tonight’s spin from start to finish – even if Astbury does sing “plastic fantastic lobster telephone” at one point.
I almost fell off the bike laughing as I’d never noticed that particular line before. Or maybe I thought the complete ridiculousness of it was cool as fuck back in the day, whatever. Now?
I think it just sounds gay.
Regardless, this was likely the best Cult album to spin to by far and the intervals almost felt effortless…almost.