The Cult’s “Ressurection Joe” single came out at the end of 1984 and sonically it’s the midpoint bridge between their Dreamtime album of that autumn and what would come a year later with their more “classic rock”-styled longplayer Love, the album that broke the one time goth rockers into the big leagues.
“... a queasy, nervous, and frenetic combination of aggro epic and swampy funk, which remains an undeservedly forgotten highlight from the early ‘80s, topped only by the dramatic sweep of the later “She Sells Sanctuary.”
I’d have to agree. It’s easily one of their best, most memorable songs but it’s one that fell through the cracks for many fans more into their later harder-rocking albums like Love, Electric or Sonic Temple but less aware of the tribal/goth ‘Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee’ squat punk of their earlier incarnations as the Southern Death Cult and later just Death Cult.
Here’s the video for “Ressurection Joe” with Ian Astbury playing a voodoo-y Dickensian snake-oil salesman—his look perhaps pinched from Christopher Lee’s character in 1958’s Corridors of Blood named—ahem—”Resurrection Joe”—who is clearly up to no good. It says on the Wikipedia page that this video was unknown until the mid-90s when it was released on the VHS home video collection Pure Cult: The Singles 1984-1995, but I seem to recall that MTV was running this fairly regularly at the time when Love was first charting.
After the jump an amazing ‘Old Grey Whistle Test’ performance of “Ressurection Joe”