The Cult are an English hard rock band who had their first success in the mid 1980s.
Lead by vocalist Ian Astbury and guitarist Billy Duffy (who are also the band's songwriters), the band evolved out of a number of early '80s incarnations and musical styles to release their first album as The Cult: Dreamtime in 1984.
Their second album Love from 1985 included the single "She Sells Sanctuary" which would go on to peak at number 15 on the UK charts. The band's next release Electric was produced by famed hit-maker Rick Rubin. It included the single "Love Removal Machine," and was their first to crack the US Top 40 in 1987.
The band's next release 1989's Sonic Temple was their major breakout, and featured the radio and video hit "Fire Woman."
The Cult's music has elements of heavy metal and psychedelia intertwined with lyrical themes that sometimes reference mystical shamanism and American Indian culture. Astbury's stage persona, as well as those song themes, are reminiscent of the iconic Jim Morrison and The Doors, but the early Cult's sound is much more guitar driven; imagine Morrison fronting late '80s U2 with somewhat crunchier guitar sounds ("She Sells Sanctuary"). As they became more of a straight ahead rock band the guitar tones morphed into hard rock verging on metal.
Frontman Asbury with shoulder-length black hair strutting his stuff while clad in a white shirt with ruffled front and cuffs and twirling the mic stand as guitarist Duffy provides hard rock distortion riffs, is an indelible image from late '80s videos by The Cult.
After an off and on period of inactivity through most of the '90s, The Cult reformed and released the album Beyond Good and Evil in 2001.
During another hiatus Astbury joined two surviving members of The Doors and toured as The Doors of the 21st Century for a period before once again The Cult was resurrected.
In 2012 they released the album Choice of Weapon.
The Cult's live shows feature the hits and deliver all the hard rock crunch and performance charisma that Astbury and Duffy are famous for.