Continuing the saga of all the 12″ Singles I picked up at the big Metalocalypse sell at Noble Records, we are now on a 4 week run of singles from The Cult. First up was from the band’s 1985 album ‘Love’ with “She Sells Sanctuary” and then we took a look at the lead track and third single form the band’s 1987 album ‘Electric’ with the song “Wild Flower” and from that same album we did the song “Love Removal Machine”. And finally we are on “Fire Woman” written by Ian Astbury and Billy Duffy off their 1989 classic ‘Sonic Temple’. Like “Love Removal Machine”, this copy was still sealed, but since it wasn’t expensive and music should be listened to, it is no longer sealed and it sounds fantastic now that it finally gets to breathe and be heard. I could feel it sigh with relief when I broke the seal. I swear I heard it say softly…”thank you”.
This 12″ was a “Specially Priced Maxi-Single, whatever that means. The song “Fire Woman” was produced by Bob Rock and is the first song I think I really heard by them that made me take notice because when I did, I was hooked. The song is about a femme fatale who is fiery and hotter than hell. She might be a dancer the way the moves around like a flame or she is really wild and sexy…probably all of the above.
The 12″ Single has three songs. On the first side is the title track “Fire Woman”. It is the 10 minute LA Rock Mix. Side two has two the LP version of the song “Automatic Blues” and then the track “Messin’ with the Blues” which is not on the album so that is a treat.
“Fire Woman” (L.A. Rock Mix) is a 10 minute extended version of the song on the album ‘Sonic Temple’. And let me tell you, it does not feel like 10 minutes. It does have an extended opening, stretched out parts, sound effects thrown in and and extended ending, but it is all guitar and Billy Duffy has many great moments throughout. The drums are loud and pounding throughout and Ian’s vocals are something that grabs hold. It doesn’t detract from the heart of the song and is enjoyable all the way through. It was mixed by Billy, Mike Fraser and Jamie Stewart and they change things up enough to keep it interesting. Hell, some of the guitar work on it sounds a lot like Def Leppard and that is perfectly fine by me. I really wasn’t expected to like a 10 minute track, but I was wrong.
Side 2 kicks off with the kick ass song “Automatic Blues” which is the LP version so nothing new here, but who cares as the song is a pure rocker. As with most songs it is written by Ian Astbury and Billy Duffy. It is guitar driven and Billy can shred it like the best of them. Ian struts those vocals up and down the song and sings with a confidence unmatched by most. With Bob Rock at the helm, the band seemed to let loose and play like they never had before. This heavy blues track jumps out at you and grabs hold and doesn’t let go.
The next track was the previously unreleased blues song “Messin’ with the Blues”. It is less rocking and definitely all blues with harmonica and the blues slide guitar. Ian delivers the vocals in that traditional blues style and this is unexpected and so refreshing as well. The band pays tribute to a beautiful style of music that is the backbone of Rock & Roll. They mention a lot of blues great and even give a shout out to their producer Bob Rock. It sounds like the band is messin’ around in the studio and having a hell of a good time.
And there you have it. The final 12″ Single in the collection for The Cult. I had to end it with my favorite one “Fire Woman” as I needed to go out with a bang and this one is worth every penny. Grab this one if you get a chance as you get two great non-album tracks/mixes. Okay, now after spending time with these singles, I think it is time to go back to those albums and spend some time as well. Thanks for hanging around.