The Cult are a British rock band formed in 1983. Before settling on their current name in January 1984, the band performed under the name Death Cult, which was an evolution of the name of lead singer Ian Astbury’s previous band Southern Death Cult. They gained a dedicated following in the United Kingdom in the mid-1980s as a post-punk/gothic rock band, with singles such as “She Sells Sanctuary”, before breaking into the mainstream in the United States in the late 1980s establishing themselves as a hard rock band with singles such as “Love Removal Machine” and “Fire Woman”. Since the initial formation of Southern Death Cult in Bradford in 1981, the band have had various line-ups; the longest-serving members are Astbury and guitarist Billy Duffy, who are the band’s two songwriters.
After moving to London, the band released their second album Love in 1985, which charted at No. 4 in the UK and included singles such as “She Sells Sanctuary” and “Rain”. On their third album, Electric (1987), the band supplemented their post-punk sound with hard rock; the polish on this new sound was facilitated by producer Rick Rubin. Their fourth album, Sonic Temple (1989), proceeded in a similar vein, and these two albums enabled them to break into the North American market. It was also during this period that The Cult relocated to Los Angeles, California, where the band are currently based.
The Cult released two more studio albums ‒ Ceremony (1991) and The Cult (1994) ‒ before breaking up in 1995, due to internal conflicts. The band reunited in 1999 and released their seventh album Beyond Good and Evil two years later. After going on hiatus in 2002, they returned in 2006 to perform a series of worldwide tours, and have since released three more studio albums: Born into This (2007), Choice of Weapon (2012) and Hidden City (2016).