Feel Old Now: The Cult’s “Sonic Temple” Released 25 Years Ago Today

The Cult Sonic TempleOn April 10th, 1989 British rock band The Cult released their fourth album ‘Sonic Temple’. Continuing in the hard rock direction introduced on their previous album ‘Electric’, Sonic Temple features some of the band’s most popular songs, including “Fire Woman”, “Sun King”, “Edie (Ciao Baby)” and “Sweet Soul Sister”. Sonic Temple was the last album recorded with longtime bassist Jamie Stewart, who left in 1990, and the first to feature former Hall & Oates and then-current Bryan Adams drummer, Mickey Curry.

More varied than its predecessor, Sonic Temple finds The Cult trying several different metal styles, from crunchy Electric-era ’70s grooves and the fuzzy, noisy psychedelia of Love, to mellow ballads and commercial ’80s hard rock. Not all of the experiments work, as some of the songs lean toward ponderousness, but enough of them do to send Sonic Temple into the Billboard Top Ten, due to the exposure provided by the hit single “Fire Woman.”

Sonic Temple marked the first time the band worked with Bob Rock, who would later produce ‘Beyond Good and Evil’ and ‘Choice of Weapon’. The album reached the Cult’s highest chart position in the US, peaking at #10 on the Billboard 200 charts, and was certified Platinum by the RIAA in 1993. The album cover features guitarist Billy Duffy with his Gibson Les Paul, partially obscuring a picture of vocalist Ian Astbury. The back cover features bassist Jamie Stewart, and an additional illustration on the insert, from left to right, features Astbury, Duffy, and Stewart.

All tracks written by Ian Astbury and Billy Duffy.

Sun King – Sonic Temple (Remastered)
Fire Woman – Sonic Temple (Remastered)
American Horse – Sonic Temple (Remastered)
Edie (Ciao Baby) – Sonic Temple (Remastered)
Sweet Soul Sister – Sonic Temple (Remastered)
Soul Asylum – Sonic Temple (Remastered)
New York City – Sonic Temple (Remastered)
Automatic Blues – Sonic Temple (Remastered)
Soldier Blue – Sonic Temple (Remastered)
Wake Up Time for Freedom – Sonic Temple (Remastered)

Personnel

Ian Astbury – vocals, percussion
Billy Duffy – guitar
Jamie Stewart – bass guitar, keyboards
Mickey Curry – drums
Iggy Pop – backing vocals on “New York City”
John Webster – keyboards
Bob Buckley – string arrangement on “Edie (Ciao Baby)”
Engineered and mixed by Mike Fraser

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