Houston Calling

All?s Fair in Love & War

March 26th, 2003 · No Comments

With all the talk about the war in Iraq, I thought I?d throw my hat in the ring with a discussion of two of my favorite albums from the Eighties, The Cult?s Love and U2?s War.


The Cult?s 1985 album, Love, stands today (in my humble opinion) as their greatest work. Sure, everyone by now has heard ?She Sells Sanctuary? done to death by cover band after cover band and even rock radio stations play the song on a regular basis. But this album?s charms lie not in that popular single but in the songs that never got any notice at all.

Songs like ?Brother Wolf, Sister Moon? and ?The Phoenix? are probably reasons the band was labeled as Goth in the beginning of their career. For me, they were heaven. And the songs ?Love,? ?Nirvana,? and ?Big Neon Glitter? are what first turned me onto this band when a friend of mine brought it back from a trip in 1985. We were immediately hooked into the voice of Ian Astbury?to this day, I consider him to be one of the best performers (The Doors 21st Century conglomeration be damned).

Of course, it wasn?t until 1987?s Electric that The Cult really got noticed?even more so with their 1989 follow-up, Sonic Temple. These, and subsequent albums, took the band in a different direction?sure, the lyrics were still there for the most part but their music was a lot heavier, and all of a sudden fans of Motley Crue and Guns?N?Roses were fans of The Cult. It didn?t make sense to me but I was happy for the band?s success. I am sure Sonic Temple is still standard fare at Date Rape Friday at frat houses across the USA.

But for me, it will always be Love that I think of as The Cult. It is an album I will never get tired of.


U2, a band everyone on the world has heard of by now, weren?t always dancing on 100-foot lemons and playing to the American masses at the Super Bowl. In 1983, the band was relatively unknown and was considered to be rather political. The plight in their homeland of Ireland was an obvious influence on the band?s lyrics, and the band made their stand with their music.

War?s standouts are ?Seconds,? ?Two Hearts Beat As One,? and the popular ?New Year?s Day.? Sure, it may a political album?but what?s best about it is that this is not a preachy political album. Nothing?s being shoved down your throat here. I can?t really say that about The Joshua Tree or their other albums.

Of course, there are songs from War that are still radio-friendly today (?New Year?s Day? and ?Sunday Bloody Sunday? are probably the most popular)?and I consider this to be a testament to both Love and War?s strengths.

Now Playing in my iPOD: Ride — Nowhere

Tags: Music