Friday, 30 January 2015

50 songs to take to my grave #25: She Sells Sanctuary

I have a feeling this one isn’t going to go down too well with some readers, but I include it with good reason. Whatever your feelings about the Cult, there’s something about She Sells Sanctuary that brings out my inner rocker. Oddly, it also brings out MrsRobster’s inner rocker too, and I never realised she had one!

It takes me back to a difficult period in my life – the late 80s – when I was struggling to ‘find myself’, whatever the fuck that means. I found a sanctuary from my troubles in music and a group of friends who were into rock and metal. We used to go to clubs when they had a Rock Night or where the DJ would play a few rock records for us between the awful bilge the masses craved. She Sells Sanctuary was one of my fave tracks during this period (although it had been released a few years before) and in some ways provided a soundtrack to the things I was going through.

  “The world drags me down.”

Indeed, it was dragging me down. My mum was falling ill and I was falling for someone very bad for me. Neither ended well.

  “I’m sure in her you’ll find sanctuary.”

As I said, music was my sanctuary so the ‘her’ in the lyrics was essentially personification of this wonderful art form I immersed myself in day after day.

Ultimately it’s just a great song, one of those that MrsRobster is more likely to turn up rather than down when it comes on in the car. And that, my friends, is about as high an accolade as it is possible to get. Not even the haters among you can outdo that!


  1. Mind you, I have nothing whatsoever against The Cult or indeed any of their previous incarnations. Surely they are not the best band in the history of the whole world ever, but they made some rather cracking tunes. Perhaps this weekend I'll even put 'Electric' back on the turntable, haven't done so for 15 years or so!

  2. This song is brilliant. No question. And can be relied on to rock a dance floor
    Swiss Adam

  3. There's something about She Sells Sanctuary and all The Cult's Steve Brown produced recordings that really work for me. I remember hearing Sanctuary in NYC's Limelight Club one night and it was so powerful blasting out of their mega soundsystem...That's stuck with me ever since.

  4. I had a remix of this one, called the Howling Mix I think. Had some wolves howling before the song started (and so the name). Use to love playing this full blast because it shook the dust off the speakers and it was a great mix.
    Have to go and listen to that version again now.

  5. Sure it's a total classic! The Cult were a great band. Never fully met there potential. Is there a more distinctive voice out there? Seems hard to believe now that they lumbered in the goth genre.

  6. Great song. Great album. And I really dug Ian's look during this phase of their career with his retro hippy dippy trippy threads!