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The Cult – Electric (1987)

April 2, 2020

[Album 748/1001]

The rhythm guitar.

Is there a more underappreciated role in a band?

The lead singer & lead guitar share the 4-letter sequence ‘lead’ in their job descriptions.

The drums & bass are often described as being a cohesive unit, as the rhythm section (heck, there’s even a genre of music named drum ‘n’ bass)…

What about the rhythm guitarist?

Not to take anything away from Billy Duffy’s lead guitar work here but frequently on The Cult’s Electric, it is the rhythm guitar that drives the song.

Perhaps most notably on a couple of the singles: Love Removal Machine and Wild Flower.

Take out the rhythm riffs? The songs simply wouldn’t have worked as singles, maybe not even as album tracks; the rhythm part is that essential.

But like I said, not to take anything away from Billy Duffy…as he also supplied the rhythm parts here!


Untitled presentation (29)


I’ve learned I have ‘a type’ when it comes to Rock.

While I found much to like throughout the album, on the two aforementioned singles, The Cult did an amazing job of addressing each of the items of my Rock Song Wish List.

Killer rhythm riff, instant hooking listeners?  The_Cult-Electric_(album_cover)

Layered intro, ideally with a snare hit just before the downbeat?

Tambourine in chorus, to bring it up a notch (with bonus marks for hand-claps)?

Singer jumps to (or stays in) a higher octave in the chorus, also in the interest of notch-bringing up-ness?

And toss in a solid solo after a couple of choruses?

Yes please, to all of the above!


Verbalize the Positive

My personal favourite rhythm guitarist is Paul Langlois (The Tragically Hip).

Last Thursday, as a way of bringing Canadians together (while staying home & keeping physically apart), he led a terrific live sing-a-long of the hip song, Courage, from his front steps!

From → 1980s

  1. jprobichaud permalink

    I’d always liked what I had heard of The Cult but when I saw them at Bluesfest a few years ago, almost by accident, I was surprised at how many of their songs I actually knew!

    • I like that feeling at festival shows – I remember seeing a Glass Tiger set & being pleasantly surprised to be able to sing along with so many of the tunes!

  2. Now we are speaking my language Geoff! Lol
    Great pick and your right I always call Billy Duffy the King of Street Rock Riffs! Love that crunch at the beginning of Peace Dog. So killer and the mid part when they just jam it out when the drums go bonkers. Hell yes!
    One of my all time favs but you know that.

    Langlois is stellar on rhythm. I still laugh when me and Tbone caught the Hip at our University back in March of 90 and Langlois cigarette ash was as long as my arm and he was singing with it in his yap!
    God damn I wish there was iPhones back then. Gord had a thick beard and they opened with Crack My Spine Like A Whip and off they went.
    Awesome time.

    • Seeing them at Lakehead would have been amazing!
      Cheers, Deke – the King of the Street Rock Riffs is an apt description. Lil’ Devil had a nice lil’ street rock riff for sure.
      And best of all, I had it on while doing puzzles with the kids at home, so they’re getting an early Cult education!

      • The kids could chat Peace Dog Peace Dog Peace Dog!

      • I’ll see if I can get them doing the ‘talkin’ bout love’ backup vocals in Love Removal Machine!

  3. Brilliant!!! Can’t go wrong with The Cult!!

  4. Any band that adds a rhythm guitarist becomes a guitar-driven one.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. 1987 | 1001albumsin10years

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