The Cult - Sonic Temple
After the goth and new wave-tinged “Love” and the stripped down rock of “Electric”, The Cult decided to go full on stadium on 1989’s “Sonic Temple”. And they succeeded gloriously. Everything about this album is bombastic and grandiose. Nobody other than the master of making everything sound larger than life - the legendary (and controversial) Bob Rock - could have produced this album. He was the perfect choice for a band that wasn’t ashamed to go all in. As important as Ian Astbury’s unique, powerful voice and ability to write wonderfully catchy vocal melodies are, my vote for MVP goes to Billy Duffy. He is an amazing guitarist. His riffs have bite, his leads are exhilarating, his flourishes always serve the songs and his solos are blistering yet tasteful. Plus he always looked like a true rock hero doing all of that. Yes, that’s important, too.