Love Removal Machine

Album: Electric (1987)
Charted: 18


  • In our interview, The Cult front man, Ian Astbury, said this song "was like getting on your favorite motorcycle," adding: "I could sing about anything. That's just what came to me. Just the phrase came to mind. That's what it felt like, a love removal machine."
  • Astbury told us that AC/DC had a huge influence on this track: "We had Back in Black playing in the studio, as Rick [Rubin, producer] was listening to it every day. He was obsessed with it, no doubt. AC/DC definitely had an influence on that record. But 'Love Removal Machine' was that AC/DC influence where you're getting down to things in their very elemental form, instead of waxing lyrical and getting prosaic."
  • This was ranked at #47 on VH1's 100 Greatest Hard Rock Songs.
  • This song was originally recorded, albeit with a different arrangement, for Peace, an album that was scrapped by The Cult after they grew unhappy with its sound. After abandoning the album, the band left England for New York, where they met the legendary producer, Rick Rubin, who convinced The Cult to re-record Peace and re-title it Electric.
  • Many of The Cult's hits were based around the chords of D, C and G, including "She Sells Sanctuary," "Rain" and this track. Guitarist, Billy Duffy, told Record Collector: "I took a perverse pride from writing as many Top 20 singles as I did using the same three chords. AC/DC did it, Metallica did it."
  • Speaking with The, Astbury recalled the recording of the Electric album with Rick Rubin. "We sat down with Rick in a New York dorm room and he played us a Blue Cheer video," said the singer, "then asked, 'This is how I can see you guys sounding, more stripped back and direct. Do you want to do this?' Billy [Duffy, guitarist] and I looked at each other and said, 'Hell, yes! Definitely.'"

Comments: 1

  • Tom from Natick, MaThis is the best meaningless hard rock song ever. Billy Duffy was one of the greatest guitarists not very well known. Ass kicking riff and solos. Astbury had a voice even worse than David Lee Roth's but he could howl well enough to make this a classic.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

The Real Nick DrakeSong Writing

The head of Drake's estate shares his insights on the late folk singer's life and music.

Rupert HineSongwriter Interviews

Producer Rupert Hine talks about crafting hits for Tina Turner, Howard Jones and The Fixx.

70s Music Quiz 1Music Quiz

The '70s gave us Muppets, disco and Van Halen, all which show up in this groovy quiz.

Alice CooperFact or Fiction

How well do you know this shock-rock harbinger who's been publicly executed hundreds of times?

Taylor DayneSongwriter Interviews

Taylor talks about "The Machine" - the hits, the videos and Clive Davis.

Songs in Famous Movie Scenes: '80s EditionMusic Quiz

You know the scenes - Tom Cruise in his own pants-off dance off, Molly Ringwald celebrating her birthday - but do you remember what song is playing?