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Blue Öyster Cult - Blue Öyster Cult CD (album) cover


Blue Öyster Cult


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3.35 | 160 ratings

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4 stars New York City: the capital of raw hysteria with an edgy attitude, not too many progressive bands come from this rebellious metropolis. I can only think of Dream Theater, off hand. The busy bizzy burg bred some odd rock characters, though: Dylan, Velvet Underground, NY Dolls, Lou Reed, Patti Smith, Talking Heads, Blondie, Television & the Ramones. But Blue Öyster Cult's 1972 debut album (together with the second Tyranny & Mutation and the brilliant follow-up Secret Treaties) exemplifies the sheer mania that permeates the Big Apple culture, where sanity often shacks up with delirium. Long hair, sex, drugs, bikes, rock n roll, RayBans and the whispered taboos ("Dominance & Submission", "She's as Beautiful as a Foot", "Career of Evil") are exhibited without restraint or even any fear of the reaper. This is noisy, gritty, perverse, psychedelic, degenerate, highly symbolic (the first 3 albums have cover art in black and white, use of the umlaut (Ö), the hooked cross symbol unjustly seen as neo-fascist and the fetish black leather tights) heavy rock music that transcended anything recorded at the time, creating a solid buzz in the USA , with England and France equally enthralled. Though perhaps a bit dated by today's hyper-polished standards, their style was so unique that it sounds still awesome now, to these ears anyway. Here are the Highlights: the opening thunderclap, "Transmaniacon MC", is a true Cult classic that needs high volume to truly appreciate the subtlety of raunchy rhythm guitars releasing liquid cascading leads courtesy of Don Roeser, vocalist Eric Bloom's schizoid tone, slyly espousing Sandy Pearlman's somewhat monstrous lyrics and the Bouchard brothers laying down a steady beat. "Then Came the Last Days of May" is a BÖC classic, a bluesy romp full of emotional charge and intensity, crowned by a splendid world class lead guitar solo that expresses the essence of the track. This has been on my all-time tunes list and will not disappear soon. "Stairway to the Stars" is no Stairway to Heaven, a faster-paced rocker than the Zep classic but a fine tune nevertheless, with some typical Cultian dramatic flair. "She's As Beautiful as a Foot" is another oddball gem that chooses rather uncommon fetish subject matter, at a time when whips, chains and dominatrixes where still very much in the underground/basement closet, delivering a short sweaty musical snapshot with some sizzling playing. "Cities on Flame with Rock n' Roll" is, as its name implies, a steamroller track that transcends the cartoonist imagery into a lumbering, guitar-heavy slab of unparalleled rock music.The album cover is a pure gem: a labyrinthine and seemingly eternal maze leading to a BÖC logo in the horizon, surrounded by starry space, all in Black and White, simply Brilliant. 4 buck dharmas
tszirmay | 4/5 |


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