01. She Sells Sanctuary
02. Fire Woman
03. Lil' Devil
05. The Witch
07. Wild Hearted Son
08. Love Removal Machine
10. Edie (Ciao Baby)
11. Heart Of Soul
13. Wild Flower
14. Go West
15. Resurrection Joe
16. Sun King
17. Sweet Soul Sister
18. Earth Mofo
|Also known as||Death Cult|
|Origin||Bradford, Yorkshire, England|
|Genres||Hard rock, post-punk, gothic rock, alternative rock|
|Years active||1983–1995 |
|Labels||Beggars Banquet, Atlantic, Roadrunner|
|Associated acts||Southern Death Cult, Holy Barbarians, Theatre of Hate, The Doors, Sex Gang Children|
|Ian Astbury |
|Les Warner |
The Cult are an English rock band, formed in 1983. They gained a dedicated following in Britain in the mid 1980s as a post-punk and gothic rock band with singles such as "She Sells Sanctuary", before breaking mainstream in the United States in the late 1980s as a hard rock band with singles such as "Love Removal Machine". The band fuses a "heavy metal revivalist" sound with the "pseudo-mysticism ... of The Doors, the guitar-orchestrations of Led Zeppelin, and the three-chord crunch of AC/DC, while adding touches of post-punk goth rock". Since their earliest form in Bradford during 1981, the band has had various line-ups, and the longest serving members are vocalist Ian Astbury and guitarist Billy Duffy, the band's two songwriters.
After moving to London, the band released the album Love in 1985, which charted at #4 in the United Kingdom, and which included singles such as "She Sells Sanctuary" and "Rain". In the late 1980s, the band dropped their post-punk sound in favour of hard rock with their third album, Electric, and their fourth album, Sonic Temple, which enabled them to break into the North American market. By the early 1990s, the band was fraying behind the scenes, due to alcohol abuse and off-stage tensions, leading to a split-up in 1995. The band reunited in 1999 and recorded the album Beyond Good and Evil, and they reissued all of their albums in Asia and Eastern Europe in 2003 and Japan in 2004. In 2006, the band reformed again to perform a series of worldwide tours. In October 2007, the band released the album Born into This, on the Roadrunner Records label. According to a July 2009 interview with Astbury, The Cult may never release any more studio albums.
Southern Death Cult
The origins of the band can be traced back to 1981, in Bradford, Yorkshire, where vocalist and songwriter Ian Astbury formed a band called Southern Death Cult. The name was chosen with a double meaning, and was derived from the 14th century Native American religion, the Southeastern Ceremonial Complex or Southern Death Cult as it sometimes known, from the Mississippi delta area, but it was also a stab at what the band viewed was the centralisation of power in Southern England (including that of the music industry); there has long been a perceived notion of a North-South divide based on social, historic and economic reasons. Astbury was joined in the band by Buzz Burrows (guitar), Barry Jepson (bass) and Aki Nawaz Qureshi (drums); they performed their first show at the Queen's Hall in their hometown of Bradford on October 29, 1981.The band were at the forefront of a new emerging style of music, in the form of post-punk and gothic rock (then known as positive-punk), they achieved critical acclaim from the press and music fans very early on.
The band signed to independent record label Situation Two, an offshoot of Beggars Banquet Records, and released a three-track, triple A-side single, Moya, during this period. They toured through England headlining some shows on their own and also touring with Bauhaus and Theatre of Hate. The band played their final performance in Manchester during February 1983, meaning after only sixteen months the band was over. A compilation under the name The Southern Death Cult was released, this being a collection of the single, radio sessions with John Peel for Radio One and live performances - one of which was recorded by an audience member with a tape recorder.
In April 1983, Astbury teamed up with guitarist Billy Duffy and formed the band "Death Cult". Duffy had previously been in The Nosebleeds, Lonesome No More and then Theatre of Hate. In addition to Astbury and Duffy, the band also included Jamie Stewart (bass) and Raymond Taylor Smith (later known as Ray Mondo) (drums), both from the Harrow, London based post-punk band, Ritual. Death Cult made their live debut in Oslo, Norway in late June 1983 and released the Death Cult EP in July 1983, then toured throughout Europe. In September 1983, Mondo was deported to his home country of Sierra Leone and replaced by Nigel Preston, formerly of Theatre of Hate. The single "God's Zoo" was released in October 1983. Another European tour, with UK dates, followed later that autumn. To tone down the gothic connotations of their name, and to gain broader appeal, the band changed its name to "The Cult" in January 1984 before appearing on the (UK) Channel 4 television show, The Tube.
The Cult's first studio record was recorded at Rockfield Studios, in Monmouth, Wales in 1984. The record was originally to be produced by Joe Julian, but after having already recorded the drum tracks, the band decided to replace him with John Brand. The record was ultimately produced by Brand, but guitarist Duffy has said that the drum tracks used on the record were those produced by Julian, as Preston by that time had become too unreliable. The band recorded the songs which later became known as; "Butterflies", "(The) Gimmick", "A Flower in the Desert", "Horse Nation", "Spiritwalker", "Bad Medicine (Waltz)", "Dreamtime", "With Love" (later known as "Ship of Fools", and also "Sea and Sky"), "Bone Bag", "Too Young", "83rd Dream", and one untitled outtake. It is unknown what the outtake was, or whether it was developed into a song at a later date. Songs like "Horse Nation" showed Astbury's already intense interest in Native American issues, with the lyrics to "Horse Nation", "See them prancing, they come neighing, to a horse nation", taken almost verbatim from the book Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, while "Spiritwalker" dealt with shamanism, and the record's title and title track are overtly influenced by Australian Aboriginal beliefs.
On April 4, 1984, The Cult released the single "Spiritwalker", which reached #1 on the independent charts in the UK, and acted as a teaser for their forthcoming album Dreamtime. This was followed by a second single, "Go West (Crazy Spinning Circles)", that summer, before the release of Dreamtime in September; an album which reached UK #21, and sold over 100,000 copies in Britain alone. On July 12 1984, the band performed five songs live in the BBC Maida Vale 5 studio. Both before and after the album's release, The Cult toured extensively throughout Europe and England before recording another single, "Resurrection Joe" (UK #74), released that December. Following a Christmas support slot with Big Country, The Cult toured Europe with support from The Mission (then called The Sisterhood). Dreamtime was released initially only in Britain, but after its success, and as The Cult's popularity grew worldwide, it was issued later in approximately 30 countries.
Mainstream success (1985-1990)
In March 1985, The Cult recorded their fourth single, "She Sells Sanctuary", which charted at #15 in the UK charts. It re-entered the charts at #56 in September 1986, spending 41 consecutive weeks on the charts. The song was recently voted #18 in VH1's Indie 100. In June 1985, following his increasingly erratic behaviour, Preston was fired from the band. Big Country's drummer Mark Brzezicki was picked to replace Preston, who died in 1992. Brzezicki was also included in the video for "She Sells Sanctuary". The Cult recorded their second album, Love in July and August 1985. The band's music and image shifted from their punk-oriented roots to 1960s psychedelia influences. Love was a successful independent record, selling 300,000 copies in the UK, 500,000 copies in Europe, 100,000 in Australia, and eventually over 1.5 million copies in North America. To date, the record has sold over two and a half million copies worldwide.
From mid-1985 to 1986, the band went on a worldwide tour with new drummer Les Warner (who had previously played with Julian Lennon and Johnny Thunders). Two more official singles from the Love album followed; "Rain" (charting in the UK at #14) and "Revolution" (charting in the UK at #30). Neither of these singles charted in the US. Another single, "Nirvana", was issued only in Poland. The album version of "Rain", as well as the remix "(Here Comes the) Rain", were used in the Italian horror film Dèmoni 2. Once back in England, the band booked themselves into the Manor Studios in Oxfordshire, with producer Steve Brown (who had produced Love), and recorded over a dozen new songs. The band were unhappy with the sound of their new album, titled Peace, and they decided to go to New York so that producer Rick Rubin could remix the first single, "Love Removal Machine".
Rubin agreed to work with the band, but only if they rerecorded the song. Rubin eventually talked them into rerecording the entire record. The Cult's record company, Beggars Banquet, was displeased with this, as two months and £250,000 had already been spent on the record. However, after hearing the New York recording, Beggars Banquet agreed to proceed. The first single was released in February 1987, and the new version of the album appeared in April that same year as Electric, reaching #4 and outselling Love. The band toured with Kid Chaos (also known as "Haggis" and "The Kid") on bass, with Stewart on rhythm guitar. One more single, "Wild Flower", was released later in summer 1987. (A few tracks from the original Peace album appeared on the single versions of "Love Removal Machine", and "Lil Devil". The full Peace album would not be released until 2000, when it was included as Disc 3 of the Rare Cult box set.)
In the US, The Cult, now consisting of Astbury, Duffy, Stewart, Warner and Kid Chaos, were supported by the then unknown Guns N' Roses. The band also appeared at Roskilde Festival in Denmark in June 1987. When the world tour wound through Australia, the band wrecked £30,000 worth of equipment, and as a result they could not tour Japan, as no company would rent them new equipment. At the end of the tour the Electric album had gone platinum in Britain, and sold roughly 3 million copies worldwide, but the band were barely speaking to each other by then. Haggis left the band at the end of the Electric tour to form The Four Horsemen for Rubin's Def American label. Astbury and Duffy fired Warner and their management team Grant/Edwards, and moved to Los Angeles with original bassist Stewart. Warner sued the band several times for his firing, as well as what he felt were unpaid royalties due to him for his performance on the Electric album, resulting in lengthy court battles. The Cult signed a new management deal and wrote 21 new songs for their next record.
For the next album, Stewart returned to playing bass, and John Webster was brought in to play keyboards. The band used Chris Taylor to play drums during rehearsals and record the demos, with Kiss drummer Eric Singer performing during the second demo recording sessions. The Cult eventually recruited session-drummer Mickey Curry to fill the drumming role and Aerosmith sound engineer, Bob Rock, to produce. Recorded in Vancouver, Canada in October, November and December 1988, the Sonic Temple record gained multi-platinum status worldwide. The band went on tour in support of the new album and new single "Fire Woman" (UK #15) with yet another new drummer, Matt Sorum, and Webster as keyboard player. The next single, "Edie (Ciao Baby)" (UK #25) has become a regular song at concerts for many years.
In Europe they toured with Aerosmith, and in the US, after releasing another single "Sun King" (UK #42), they spent 1989 touring in support of Metallica before heading out on their own headlining tour later that same year. A fourth single, "Sweet Soul Sister" (UK #38), was released in February 1990, with the video having been filmed at Wembley Arena, London, on November 25, 1989. "Sweet Soul Sister" was partially written in Paris and was inspired by the bohemian lifestyle of that city. Released as a single in February 1990, the song was another hit in Britain, and reportedly reached number one on the rock charts in Brazil. After playing a show in Atlanta, Georgia, in February 1990, the band's management told Astbury that his father had just died of cancer. As a result, the remainder of the tour was cancelled after a final leg of shows were performed in April. After the tour ended in April 1990, the band were on the verge of splitting due to Stewart retiring and moving to Canada to be with his wife, and Sorum leaving to join Guns N' Roses.
In 1990, Astbury organised the Gathering of the Tribes festival in Los Angeles and San Francisco with artists such as Soundgarden, Ice-T, Indigo Girls, Queen Latifah, Iggy Pop, The Charlatans, The Cramps and Public Enemy appearing. This two day festival drew 40,000 people, and inspired Lollapalooza, which started in 1991. Also in 1990, a ten CD box set was released in Britain, containing rare songs from The Cult's singles. The CDs in this box set were all issued as picture discs with rice paper covers, housed in either a white box called "Singles Collection", or a black box called "E.P. Collection '84 - '90". In 1991, director Oliver Stone offered Astbury the role of Jim Morrison in Stone's film The Doors. He declined the role because he was not happy with the way Morrison was represented in the film.
Ceremony and the lawsuit (1991-1994)
In 1991, Astbury and Duffy were writing again for their next album. During the demo recordings, Todd Hoffman and James Kottak played bass and drums. During the actual album recording sessions, Curry was recruited again to play drums, with Charley Drayton on bass, and various other performers. Astbury and Duffy's working relationship had disintegrated by that time, with the two men reportedly rarely even in the studio together during recording. The resulting album Ceremony was released to mixed responses. The album climbed to US #34, but sales were not as impressive as the previous three records, only selling around one million copies worldwide. Only two official singles were released from the record: the explosive and Cult definitive "Wild Hearted Son" (UK #34, Canada #41) and "Heart of Soul" (UK #50), although "White" was released as a single only in Canada, "Sweet Salvation" was released as a single (as "Dulce Salvación") in Argentina in 1992, and the title track "Ceremony" was released in Spain.
The Cult's Ceremonial Stomp tour went through Europe in 1991 and North America in 1992. In 1991 The Cult played a show at the Marquee Club in London, which was recorded and released in February 1993, packaged with some vinyl UK copies of their first greatest hits release. Only a handful of CD copies of it were ever manufactured originally, however it was subsequently reissued on CD in 1999. An incomplete bootleg video of this show is also in circulation.
The band were sued by the parents of the Native American boy pictured on the cover of Ceremony, for alleged exploitation and for the unauthorized use of the child's image. This image of the boy is also burned in the video for "Wild Hearted Son". This lawsuit delayed the release of Ceremony in many countries including South Korea and Thailand, which did not see the record's release until late 1992, and it was unreleased in Turkey until The Cult played several shows in Istanbul in June 1993.
A world tour followed with backing from future Thin Lizzy drummer Michael Lee and bassist Kinley Wolfe, and keyboardist John Sinclair returning one last time, and the Gathering of the Tribes moved to the UK. Here artists such as Pearl Jam performed. The warm-up gig to the show, in a small nightclub, was dedicated to the memory of Nigel Preston, who had died a few weeks earlier at the age of 31. Following the release of the single "The Witch" (#9 in Australia) and the performance of a song for the 1992 Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie soundtrack entitled "Zap City", produced by Steve Brown and originally a B-side to "Lil' Devil", two volumes of remixes of "She Sells Sanctuary", called Sanctuary Mixes MCMXCIII, volumes one and two, and in support of Pure Cult: for Rockers, Ravers, Lovers, and Sinners, a greatest hits compilation which debuted at #1 on the British charts and later went to number one in Portugal, Astbury and Duffy fired the "backing band" and recruited Craig Adams (The Mission) and Scott Garrett for performances across Europe in 1993, with some shows featuring Mike Dimkitch on rhythm guitar. This tour marked the first time the band performed in Turkey, Greece, and the Slovak Republic.
The Cult (Black Sheep) (1994-1995)
With the same line-up still in place, the band released The Cult (also referred to as the "Black Sheep" record) in October 1994, produced by Bob Rock. Astbury referred to the record as "very personal and very revealing" songs about his life, with the subject matter ranging from sexual abuse at the age of 15, to the death of Nigel Preston, to his directionless years spent in Glasgow in the late 1970s. The record achieved little success, only reaching #69 in the US and #21 in the UK. Duffy remarked that he thought that the record wouldn't sell well due to the offensive lyrics. The record went to number one in Portugal also, but quickly dropped out of sight. The single "Coming Down (Drug Tongue)" was released with the band going on tour in support of the new album. Only one more single, "Star", was officially released with a live appearance on UK TV show The Word. "Star" began life in 1986 as "Tom Petty" and was recorded at the "Sonic Temple" demo sessions as 'Starchild", being dropped by the band during rehearsals. In 1993 the song was resurrected and was finally completed for the record in 1994 as, just simply, "Star".
When the band began the Beauty's On The Streets tour in winter 1994, they augmented the line up with James Stevenson on rhythm guitar. As with the Ceremony record several years earlier, no other official singles were released, but several other songs were released on a strictly limited basis: "Sacred Life" was released in Spain and the Netherlands, "Be Free" was issued in Canada and France, "Saints Are Down" was issued in Greece, but none of the songs gained much commercial success. During this tour, The Cult made their first ever appearance in Norway.
During the Black Rain tour of South America in spring of 1995, despite the fact that several more new songs had already been recorded, the tour was cancelled after an appearance in Rio de Janeiro in March, and the band split up citing unspecified problems on a recent South American tour. Astbury started up a garage band called Holy Barbarians a few months later. The band made their debut at the 100 Club in London in February 1996 and released their first (and only) record in May 1996, and toured throughout North America and Europe for the rest of 1996. The band started writing material for a second record in 1997, but the band was dissolved and Astbury began writing and recording a solo record. Throughout 1997 and 1998 Astbury recorded his solo record, originally to be titled Natural Born Guerilla, later called "High Time Amplifier". Ultimately the record remained unreleased until June 2000 when it was released under the name Spirit\Light\Speed. Astbury played one solo concert in 1999.
In November 1996, a number of CD reissues were released: the band's American record company released High Octane Cult, a slightly updated "greatest hits" compilation released only in the US and Japan; The Southern Death Cult, a remastered edition of the fifteen-song compilation CD; a ten-song compilation CD by Death Cult called Ghost Dance, consisting of the untitled four-song EP, the single "God's Zoo", and four unreleased songs from a radio broadcast; and a remastered repackaging of the Dreamtime album, containing only the ten original songs from the record in their original playing order and almost completely different but original artwork. Dreamtime Live at the Lyceum was also remastered and issued on video and for the first time on CD, with the one unreleased song from the concert, "Gimmick".
In 1999, Astbury and Duffy reformed The Cult with Matt Sorum and ex-Porno for Pyros bassist Martyn LeNoble. Their first official concert was at the Tibetan Freedom Concert in June 1999, after having rehearsed at shows in the Los Angeles area. The band's 1999 Cult Rising reunion tour resulted in a sold out 30 date tour of the US, ending with 8 consecutive sold out nights at the LA House of Blues. In 2000, the band toured South Africa for the first time, and North and South America, and contributed the song "Painted on My Heart" to the soundtrack of the movie Gone In 60 Seconds. The song was featured prominently and the melody was fused into parts of the score. In June, Astbury's long-delayed solo record was finally released as Spirit\Light\Speed, but it failed to gain much success. In November 2000, another authorised greatest hits compilation was released, Pure Cult: The Singles 1984 –1995, along with an accompanying DVD, which was later certified gold in Canada.
In November 2000, Beggars Banquet released 15000 copies of a six-disc boxset (with a bonus seventh disc for the first 5000 copies) titled "Rare Cult". The boxset consists of album out-takes, demos, radio broadcasts, and album B-sides. It is most notable for including the withdrawn "Peace" album in its entirety. In 2001, the band signed to Atlantic Records and recorded a new album, Beyond Good and Evil, originally being produced by Mick Jones of Foreigner, until Jones bowed out to tour with Foreigner. Astbury and Duffy co-wrote a song with Jones, an odd occurrence, as in the past, neither Astbury or Duffy would co-write their material. Bob Rock was the producer, with Martyn LeNoble and Chris Wyse as recording bassists, as Mike Dimkitch played rhythm guitar on tour, and Matt Sorum returning as drummer. Although Sorum has previously toured with the band on the Sonic Temple tour in 1989, this was the first time that he had recorded a studio album with the band.
However Beyond Good and Evil was not the comeback record the band had hoped for. Despite reaching #37 in the US, #22 in Canada, and #25 in Spain, sales quickly dropped, only selling roughly 500,000 copies worldwide. The first single "Rise", reached #41 in the US, and #2 on the mainstream rock charts, but Atlantic Records quickly pulled the song from radio playlists. Astbury would later describe the experience with Atlantic to be "soul destroying", after Atlantic tried to tamper with the lyrics, the record cover, and choice of singles from the record.
After the first single from the record, the band's working relationship with Atlantic was on paper only, with Atlantic pulling "Rise" from the radio stations playlists, and stopping all promotion of the record. The second single "Breathe" was only released as a radio station promo, and the final single "True Believers" was only on a compilation sampler disc released in January 2002 (after The Cult's tour had already ended). Despite "True Believers" receiving radio airplay in Australia, both singles went largely unnoticed, and both Astbury and Duffy walked away from the project. LeNoble rejoined the band for the initial dates in early 2001, and Billy Morrison filled in on bass for the majority of the 2001 tour.
The European tour of 2001 was cancelled, largely due to security concerns after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and the band flew back to the US to tour again with Aerosmith. But the eleven-week tour was considered by fans to be a disaster, as the band played only a brief rundown of their greatest hits. In October 2001, a show at the Grand Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles was filmed for release on DVD. After the tour ended in December 2001, the band took most of 2002 off, apart from a few shows in the US to promote the release of the DVD, with Scott Garrett and Craig Adams rejoining the band.
Second hiatus (2002-2004)
In late 2002, Ian Astbury declared the Cult to be "on ice" indefinitely, after performing a brief series of dates in October 2002 to promote the release of the Music Without Fear DVD. During this second hiatus, Astbury performed as a member of The Doors (later dubbed The Doors of the 21st Century, later still renamed D21c, and most recently known as Riders on the Storm) with two of the original members of that group). D21c was sued numerous times, both by Jim Morrison's family and by drummer John Densmore. Astbury supposedly started work on recording another solo album that would later become the backbone for The Cult's Born into This.
At the same time, Duffy was part of Coloursound with bassist Craig Adams and ex-Alarm frontman Mike Peters, then Dead Men Walking (again with Peters) and later Cardboard Vampyres. Sorum became a member of the hard rock supergroup Velvet Revolver. In 2003, all of The Cult's records were issued on CD, with several bonus tracks being issued on the Russian, Belarusian, and Lithuanian versions. These eastern European releases had many printing mistakes on the jacket sleeves and lyric inserts. In October 2004, all of The Cult's records were again remastered and issued again on CD, this time in Japan in different cardboard foldout sleeves. "She Sells Sanctuary" appeared in the 2002 video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, playing on rock station V-Rock.
Second reunion (2005-2007)
In 2005, the band reunited to prepare for the Return To Wild world tour in 2006, making their first live appearance in three-and-a-half years on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. Their lineup consisted of Astbury (vocals), Duffy (lead guitar), John Tempesta (drums), Dimkitch (rhythm guitar) and Wyse (returning as bassist). Their first stage show was held in March 2006 in San Francisco, California, at The Fillmore. The entire tour was recorded by Instant Live and sold after each show. In May, they did an eight date tour in Canada. Later that summer, they toured central and eastern Europe and played their first concerts in Bulgaria, Poland and Serbia. An eleven-date UK tour followed as well as several more dates in the United States, finishing with a South American tour in December. That year, Duffy began the band Circus Diablo with Billy Morrison, Sorum, Brett Scallions and Ricky Warwick (The Cult - Hollywood 2006, pictures by Sherry Lee). During these tours, the band occasionally played an extended set, including several songs the band had not performed in decades: King Contrary Man and Hollow Man, neither of which had no been performed since 1987; also, Libertine was performed approximately three times, for the first time since 2000, and Brother Wolf, Sister Moon, which was only performed one time since 1986 (for this particular song, the band played an abridged version which has never been performed before or since)
Astbury announced in February 2007 that he was leaving Riders on the Storm and returning to The Cult. He stated: "I have decided to move on and focus on my own music and legacy." The Cult was featured on Stuffmagazine.com's list of ultimate air guitar players. On 21 March 2007, it was announced that the band would be touring Europe with The Who. The first confirmed tour date was in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, in early June, with at least a dozen shows set to follow.
The band played a gig in London's West End at the CC Club on June 7 2007, along with nearly two dozen shows across continental Europe during summer. The tour also includes the first performance in Romania and Croatia.
Born Into This and beyond (2007 onward)
On 29 May 2007, the band signed a deal with major metal label Roadrunner Records. Their 8th studio album, titled Born into This was released on 16 October, and was produced by Martin "Youth" Glover, bass player for Killing Joke. Born into This was released as regular single disc and limited edition double disc, the second disk being a bonus 5-track CD holding the following tracks: "Stand Alone", "War Pony Destroyer", "I Assassin (Demo)", "Sound of Destruction (Demo)" and "Savages (Extended Version)". Prior to the album's release, the band played festival and headline dates, and supported The Who in Europe through summer 2007, with a US headline tour to follow. The band's appearance at Irving Plaza in New York City in early November 2006 was filmed and was released in 2007. The Cult New York City, issued by Fontana North and is The Cult's first high definition DVD release. Meanwhile, Astbury lent vocals on two tracks of the 2007 Unkle album "War Stories", one of them being the first single from the album, "Burn My Shadow".
The band performed a UK and European tour in late-February and early-March 2008. On March 24, they began their North American tour including a major 13-city tour in Canada. During September 2008, The Cult did a brief series of dates in the northeast United States, and they will tour in Brazil as part of the South American tour in October 2008. As of May 2008, according to The Gauntlet, The Cult are currently unsigned and no longer under contract with Roadrunner Records. In October 2008, it was announced that The Cult would headline the inaugural Rock 'n' Roll Marathon in San Antonio, to be run November 16, 2008. The Cult announced plans for a tour showcasing their 1985 Love album across the USA and then the UK in October where they will play at the Royal Albert Hall.
In a July 2009 interview with El Paso Times, Astbury stated that the Cult may never release any more studio albums. He explained:
There will be no new album. I don't think we'll ever see a Cult album. Albums are dead. The format is dead. iTunes destroyed albums. The whole idea of an album. Albums were established in the '70s and '80s and into the '90s, but they've been dead for a long time. Nobody buys albums. It's been proven. It's an arcane format, as much as the 78 rpm or writing sheet music for an orchestra. It's an old form and, for me, it's much more about if we have a great song we really believe in, then we'll record it and release it. For me, the idea of making albums is dead. The idea of spending a year and a half in the studio arguing over agendas and trying to fit into a format that's settled before we started the creative process (is unappealing).
Music critic Max Brevich of Grenarde Music Mag, cites their decision to retire from albums, also partly to do with there dwindling sales and poor reception to albums, with the band lacking a consistent fanbase, following their constant change in music styles.
- Dreamtime (1984)
- Love (1985)
- Electric (1987)
- Sonic Temple (1989)
- Ceremony (1991)
- The Cult (a.k.a. Black Sheep) (1994)
- Beyond Good and Evil (2001)
- Born into This (2007)