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Sonic Temple

4.6 out of 5 stars 126 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 7, 2000
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 7, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Beggars UK - Ada
  • ASIN: B0000085N4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (126 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,494 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
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).
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Format: Audio CD
I'd forgotten about this LP until just recently. Yes, I'm showing my age kids - I used the term LP :). After I pulled this album out of my vinyl stash last month. I threw it on the platter and put the needle to it
In listening to it, I'm blown away how good it is over 10 years later. Truely great music is timeless and this album qualifies for this hands down. The album has no weak material on it. Once you get into "Sun King" and past "Fire Woman," you are on ride that makes you stay on till the LP is over. Bob Rock does a first class job in the production and Ian ;)... oh,how can the boy wail.
I purchased the CD last month because of it being remastered. In listening to the CD, I've appreciated how well this effort flows from stem to stern. It builds a mood and holds it tight. The CD with its seamless track list allows the flow and mood to really shine.
I would strongly recommend to anyone wanting to get into essential 1980's hard rock to snag this baby. All the notorious 1980's hairspray and glam is left in the dust here. This is an album that harks to the days with rock meant something. Check it out - its class all the way.
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Format: Audio CD
The Cult found themselves enveloped in a wave of expectations as they entered the studio in September of 1988. Their previous album "Electric" had been a surprise hit and subsequently earned them praise with the hard rock crowd starved for guitar licks from a Marshall turned up to 11. Interestingly, "Electric" had left fans of 1985's "Love" unsatisfied and wanting more of Billy Duffy's spacey, flanged guitar parts and Ian Astbury's gothic poetry. Therefore, The Cult had not one but two musical demographics to mollify in the autumn of 1988. Enter "Sonic Temple": a truly rich hybrid of gothic new-wave music and muscular hard rock riffing from a Les Paul. What is striking at first is how dynamic the album sounds; It isn't static like "Electric" and not quite as watery as "Love", thus it is it's own monster: A true product of The Cult and not their influences. Nowhere is this more evident than on the album's lead-off song "Sun King", where Astbury proclaims "This is where it all begins", only to be followed by an absolute explosion of sound from the guitars and rhythm section. Astbury's lyrics on "Sonic Temple" are intensely dynamic and range from sounding like a dog in heat to the introspective musings of Warhol scenester Edie Sedgewick. Billy Duffy also shines on "Sonic Temple", ripping out a few leads that would've impressed the shred crowd (particularly on "Sun King" and "Sweet Soul Sister"). His guitar sound is also much more textured than on "Electric" and has alot more width in the mix (undoubtedly because there is reverb on the guitar signal, unlike the super-dry Gretsch). What this all amounts to however is a well-produced hard rock album with alot of character and dynamics. You can forget about being pounded by the same tempo for 12 songs. I think this album should be considered one of the greatest of the 1980's. Period. Take a chance and try it yourself though.
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Format: Audio CD
In the summer of '88, a dozen of us went to see Metallica with special guests The Cult. Although I only knew "Fire Woman", I didn't hate them...but the croud did. Middle fingers, obscenities, and pure venom was thrown at them. And that's a shame, because I bought the album the following week to find out for myself why it was being praised to the skies in magazines, etc.
After one listen, I was hooked. Powerful and memorable riffs, Zeppelinesque tunes like AUTOMATIC BLUES and SWEET SOUL ASYLUM (BLACK DOG and KASHMIR), and great production by Bob Rock makes this the group's masterpiece. There's not one dog on this disc. The album really smokes when after SWEET SOUL ASYLUM, Ian Asburry launches into NEW YORK CITY (a blistering verbal scathing on the Big Apple) "...crashed the big apple...so I took a bite but she bit me back..." "Hell's Kitchen is a DMZ/I ain't never coming back." Next is the "Black Dog"-ish AUTOMATIC BLUES, and continues with the incredible SOLDIER BLUE that has a hook so powerful you'd have to be deaf not to tap your foot. Oh sure, this album was eclipsed by the Metallica phenomenon and the God-awful hair bands that now make up most of the discount bins. Yes, even lead singer Asburry was criticized for constant use of "Lil' Honey," "Sugar" and "Lil' Sista" (DO any of these women have names?) But those are pretty sorry criticisms for one of the best hard rock albums of the 80's.
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