Now this is long overdue… The story here is that in October 1986, when goth-minded British rockers The Cult began recording their third album, Peace, with Love producer Steve Brown at the helm, the initial sessions were unsatisfying and scrapped in favour of new recordings made with über-beard Rick Rubin, the most transformative producer and A&R ever. In a nutshell, the songs originally sounded like the previous album, 1985’s Love. While that was an excellent record in its own right, the atmospheric new songs meandered all over the place in the Love style and didn’t really represent progress. It’s understandable, then, that Rubin was brought in, saying – and this is verbatim, quoted at the time – that he didn’t want any more “pussy jangly guitars”. The album, retitled Electric, sold in massive quantities and, bingo, everybody was happy.
If you’re into both Love and Electric, and even Sonic Temple, but didn’t already get it as part of the Rare Cult boxed set or on the B-sides of the Electric singles and The Manor Sessions EP, Peace will be a revelation. While all of the songs that are also on Electric sound very different, like something from Love but with even more atmosphere, the original versions of such songs as “Peace Dog,” “Aphrodisiac Jacket,” “Bad Fun,” and especially “Electric Ocean” are noticeably improved over the Electric versions, while “Love Removal Machine” and “Wild Flower,” while very different, are just as good. Even cooler, Peace includes a clutch of tracks — “Love Trooper,” “Conquistador,” “Groove Co.,” and the masterful “Zap City” — that didn’t get rerecorded, but should’ve. Only “Outlaw” seems to be improved by Rubin’s raw production, but even in the context of Peace it works well.
Peace is an invaluable addition to The Cult’s catalogue, and a must-have for most fans, especially of their Love album.