I spent a good portion of this Saturday immersed in a soundtrack of eclectic old school tunes, spanning more than a few genres … Pink Floyd, Talking Heads, Rush, LCD Soundsystem, The Damned, and even a little Daft Punk. But this time, I wasn’t spinning the tunes. I was guest to my co-workers’ tastes, which I’m totally cool with. I often like to hear what others have in their rotations. It offers insight into their artistic tastes, as well as provokes a few of my own. Consequently, this got me thinking about some old classics I’ve been meaning to post … and I’ve got more than a few of them.
So this evening, since it’s a little late, and I’m a wee bit tired, I’m going to dust off one of my old drafts, and get it primed for posting. So here goes … This track’s called “Love Removal Machine,” and comes from veteran Brit rockers The Cult. It’s an oldie from 1987, and it was the first single off their seminal album “Electric.”
“Love Removal Machine” remains a blistery blast of psychedelic rock ‘n roll. It often gets lumped in the ’80s hard rock or heavy metal categories. But it’s always been an alternative anthem to me, inspired by said genres, yet fueled by a different fire than say, sex, drugs ‘n rock ‘n roll. I remember when I first heard it. At this point, the Cult were mainly known as an indie rock outfit, slightly goth rock with hints of psychedelia. And then out of nowhere, along comes this hard driving, head banging charge, holding onto all those distinct past influences, while infusing it with a spiritual supersonic kick. It was quite the ear-opener.
Throughout their years, The Cult have always projected this shamanistic vibe, sometimes up-front, others more subdued, all conjuring mystic melodies with massive guitar riffs and epic solos. This track plays in the same spiritual sandbox, channeling karmic rhythms and paisley connections through all manner of influences … The Doors, Hendrix, Zeppelin, the ’70s, Native American culture, punk, goth, acid, mysticism and psychedelia. It’s not your typical rock, but it remains very much indebted to it.
This version of “Love Removal Machine” is called the “Peace Remix,” and it’s my preferred version. It’s just got a little extra kaleidoscopic kick to it, turning a great rock song into something a little more transcendentally layered. It’s got great licks, with Billy Duffy’s guitar solos weaving in and out of immensely listenable power drumming percussive drives. And it’s lyrics remain surreal and symbolic, seemingly stream of subconscious, yet focused sharply in Ian Astbury’s distinct vocal style.
There’s probably a lot more to say about it. But I’m tired and need to get some sleep. Gotta be back at work tomorrow bright and early. So if you’re still awake, or this finds you in the morning, try out The Cults’ classic flashback “Love Removal Machine (Peace Remix).” And be sure to listen to it loud. Enjoy!
“Love Removal Machine (Peace Remix)” from the 2000 album “Best of Rare Cult”
Original version from the 1987 album “Electric”
And here’s a little extra … The Cult performing “Love Removal Machine” at the Hollywood Palladium back in November of 2015. I had to dig through the archives for this one. But it’s well worth a view, despite being shot from a distance on an old iPhone.
The Cult perform Love Removal Machine @ the Hollywood Palladium on 11.20.15