Cult heroes: Five cult bands involved in actual cults!
2. Seals & Crofts – Baha’i Faith
Soft rock superstars Seals & Crofts were, for a brief spell, one of the most successful bands of the 70s. Jim Seals and Dash Crofts were originally members of Glen Campbell’s band in the early 60s. They broke off on their own and formed Seals & Crofts in 1969.
They specialised in supersoft ballads speckled with mandolin and violins, and luckily for them, they began plying their lightweight wares right around the early 70s singer-songwriter boom led by James Taylor. From ’69 to ’73, they scored with big, goopy hits that still play on classic rock radios to this day: Summer Breeze, Diamond Girl, We May Never Pass This Way Again, etc. Seals & Crofts had the tiger by the tail, and could have coasted into filthy-rich early retirement by ’75. Instead, they released Unborn Child, and tanked their career.
Somewhere along the way, Seals & Croft fell in with the Baha’i Faith, a 19th century religious sect that believes the figureheads of all major religions are merely the messengers of the true God, whoever he might be. Like most religions, the Baha’is frown upon anything other than traditional gender roles: homosexuality is out, and so is abortion, under any circumstances. This last bit became such a sticking point for Seals & Crofts that they decided to write a whole album about it. Naturally, their record label begged them to reconsider, but given their string of hits, they had considerable pull in the industry.
Thusly, in 1974, Unborn Child was, umm, born. It’s as ugly and awful as you think it is, and it essentially killed Seals & Crofts career as hitmakers. This did not shake their faith however, and to this day, if you go to see Seals & Crofts, you get the hits, and then you get a lecture on Baha’i faith. Fun.
Here’s Unborn Child. See how long you can last!
Bonus: Before the bullshit, there were some sweet soft rock jams.