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Blue Öyster Cult - Tyranny And Mutation CD (album) cover

TYRANNY AND MUTATION

Blue Öyster Cult

 

Prog Related

3.38 | 116 ratings

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Andrea Cortese
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Well, I waited some time before trying to put in words my thoughts about this classic record. With my surprise I found only a review plus a pair of ratings without any comment. I think this album deserves more wide recognition and attention because of its fantastic atmosphere and compositions. Keyboards have a low profile here and will only erupts later with the following Secret Treaties. For now, you can enjoy the most exciting thinking-man-hard-rock!

Side a is titled "The Black" and is dedicated to the harder and darker pieces. On the other hand, side b (aka "The Red") features more introvert performances but not less exciting and intriguing. The fact is that their most famous numbers are all represented by side a of the album.

Tyranny and Mutations opens magnifically with the powerful and fast tempo "The Red and the Black" which is, for those who know the band already, the rearrangement of "I'm on the Lamb But I Ain't No Sheep" from the self titled debut. Now the band has turned into fast and furious tempo bringing the old tune a completely new sound and appeal. Great and hard.

"O.D.'d on Life Itself" is another highlyth. Probably their best effort with "7 Screaming Diz-Busters". Less shocking as a rock number but way more intelligent in structure and lyrics.

"Hot Rails to Hell" follows the formula of the strong opener delivering wild screaming guitar courtesy of Buck Dharma and an involving chorus.

Side b, as I said, is a little bit more introvert and, maybe, interesting. It features the first collaboration with Patti Smith on "Baby Ice Dog". Then "Wings Wetted Down" that perfectly describes the great improvement of the band's musicianship and songwriting respect to the previous album. The song's sad atmosphere really reminds me of "...an army of birds in the rain"! "Teen Archer" is on a similar vein while the closer "Mistress of the Salmon's Salt (Quicklime Girl" somehow brings back the harder side of the band, especially in the memorable opening guitar riff. Excellent.

The Columbia remastered edition includes also four interesting bonus tracks: a live version of the classic glory "Cities on Flame With Rock And Roll" and the studio version of the life favourite "Buck's Boogie", previously unreleased. Then, finally two live version from Tyranny and Mutation: an extended version of "7 Screamind Diz-Busters" and "O.D.'d On Life Itself". Not the best sound's quality but a good testament of the live appeal of the band in that early period.

Andrea Cortese | 4/5 |

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