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According to music critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine, the band fuse a "heavy metal revivalist" sound with the "pseudo-mysticism ...

of the Doors [and] the guitar-orchestrations of Led Zeppelin ... 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.

To tone down their name's gothic connotations and gain broader appeal, the band changed its name to "the Cult" in January 1984 before appearing on the (UK) Channel 4 television show, The Tube.

Songs like "Horse Nation" showed Astbury's intense interest in Native American issues, with the lyrics to "Horse Nation", "See them prancing, they come neighing, to a horse nation", taken almost verbatim from the book Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, while "Spiritwalker" dealt with shamanism, and the record's title and title track are overtly influenced by Australian Aboriginal beliefs.

On 4 April 1984, the Cult released the single "Spiritwalker", which reached No.

It was also during this period that The Cult relocated to Los Angeles, California, where the band are currently based.

The band reunited in 1999 and released the album Beyond Good and Evil two years later.

21 in the UK, and sold over 100,000 copies in the UK alone.

On 12 July 1984, the band recorded five songs at the BBC Maida Vale 5 studio for a Richard Skinner session.

Big Country's drummer Mark Brzezicki was picked to replace Preston, and was also included in the video for "She Sells Sanctuary".

The Cult recorded their second album, Love in July and August 1985.

The band recorded the songs which later became known as "Butterflies", "(The) Gimmick", "A Flower in the Desert", "Horse Nation", "Spiritwalker", "Bad Medicine (Waltz)", "Dreamtime", "With Love" (later known as "Ship of Fools", and also "Sea and Sky"), "Bone Bag", "Too Young", "83rd Dream", and one untitled outtake.

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