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Blue Öyster Cult - Agents Of Fortune CD (album) cover


Blue Öyster Cult


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3.23 | 205 ratings

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Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Things ain't what they used to be... isn't it funny when artists sum up reviews in their own songs?

Blue Oyster Cult's most commercially successful album in hindsight was the start of the epitaph that would eventually become the band's own grave, but it's great none the less. The album always draws flak from critics and fans alike while the same fans and critics praise the grounds that this alum walks on. It certainly is a monumental album from one of it's time, thanks in no small part to the colossal hit (DON'T FEAR) THE REAPER. While this one song did more for the band than anything else they'd done before or previously could ever do for them it did certainly spin them in a totally different direction, perhaps creating a sense of abandonment from the fans. All of this aside, the music from the album is what's on trial now, so lets get right into it.

Starting on the same heavy metal note that they'd so generously helped to develop over the 70s, THIS AIN'T THE SUMMER OF LOVE is a true rocker. Like many songs on the album, it is fairly simple in structure and lyrics, something strange for this thinking man's rock group. It's counterpart (The Red to Summer's Black) TRUE CONFESSIONS is a bit more complex in structure, but just as short and still fairly simple. These two songs are really just the intro to the album, and work fairly well together to introduce the album as a whole.

THE REAPER is next on the list and there's not too much to say about it. This is a brilliant song that can be found in Top Lists hanging around with Stairway To Heaven. Definitely the band's masterpiece song, a perfect combination of soft vocals, catchiness, darkness and a wicked guitar solo somewhere in the middle. Truly a classic and an essential track, and almost progressive, really.

The album starts to rock from here, back to the routes, but with more complex melodies. ETI is a great song with an excellent riff, while THE REVENGE OF VERA GEMINI follows closely in structure and sound. MORNING FINAL is another good track with some cool melodies, as is TENDERLOIN, despite some of the flak it takes sometimes.

There are a few weaker number on the album, these are the ones that definitely point to a more commercial direction for the band. SINFUL LOVE has some cool piano and guitar, but the backing vocals on the chorus are a tad annoying, not to mention that the chorus itself was none too strong to begin with. TATTOO VAMPIRE is an alright song that's, again, too simple and too short with nothing too fantastic to comment about. DEBBIE DENISE is a decent ballad-esque song with an interesting story that's a bit too slow for the album and not a terribly wonderful closing track.

In the end, this is the album that got the cult a bit confused with themselves. Spectres and the ultimate commercial album, Mirrors would follow this one, and never again would the band attain such success off one album. This album is good for the fans of the Black and White period of the band, but it's not their best album by a long shot. Still good, this album is a 3 for prog fans. Classic rock fans and metal fans alike will likely want to see this album given a 4.

So, let's see...

ProgArchives rating: 3/5 - A good album, but not necessary for your progressive music collection. I do recommend that you buy it for at least (Don't Fear) The Reaper, Morning Final and ETI.

Everyone else: 4/5 - Excellent addition to the rock and roll goers collection. Nice and heavy with hints of commercialism that gives it an interestingly melodic sound while still sounding raw in some tracks.

Queen By-Tor | 3/5 |


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