My love of this band goes right back to the formative rush of being 14 and finding out how essential music could be. The Cult to most were ‘The British Guns N’ Roses’. Never is that more evident than on 1989’s Sonic Temple. This was their stadium rock era. All the gothy trappings of Love and Electric have given way to leather trousers and Jim Morrison poses.
Edie (Ciao Baby) was a song enthralled to the New York art scene of the 1960’s. “Warhol’s darling queen Edie” is mythologised with “stars wrapped in her hair” and dogs laying “at her feet”. She’s Asbury’s muse now in hindsight just as she was Andy’s in the days of The Velvet Underground.
This is not something I could imagine Axl and Co pulling off.
There’s an acoustic version of this track with all the rock bombast stripped away. Duffy plays a twelve string acoustic and is accompanied by a string section. These days it can be found on the retrospective collection Rare Cult, back then it was a 12 inch extra track.
It adds a beautiful fragile dimension to the song taking Bob Rock’s cathedral of noise drum sound and those Les Paul shapes away from the song and replacing them with a string quartet.
The Cult are back together these days (as are most bands from that era) and breathing new life into these songs from another life. This one though, arranged this way, I’m kind of glad it’s fallen back into the shadows.
It’s a proper nugget laying hidden in the archives for the keenest of explorers to discover anew.