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Blue Öyster Cult - Secret Treaties CD (album) cover


Blue Öyster Cult


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4.17 | 233 ratings

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RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
5 stars The third chapter of BOC's so-called 'black-and-white trilogy' is rightly seen by many as the band's finest hour. Indeed, though during their long, venerable career the mighty New Yorkers have released a number of good albums, none of them are as solid and consistent as "Secret Treaties" - which vies with its predecessor, "Tyranny and Mutation", for the title of best ever BOC effort.

While the somewhat boring, lacklustre "ME 262" (the plane depicted on the cover) is widely held to be the weakest track the album, and "Cagey Cretins" is a catchy but ultimately inoffensive tune, the closing trio of songs raise ST to stellar levels once again. "Harvester of Eyes" boasts some of the most chilling lyrics ever written by the band (which is no mean feat), and an hypnotic, synth-laden tune; while "Flaming Telepaths" sounds like a skewed, pitch-black love song. However, "Astronomy", with its wistful piano intro, powerful, almost operatic musical crescendo, and cryptic, thought-provoking lyrics, is surely the defining track of the album, and one of the band's highest moments.

The 2001 remastered edition of ST contains three unreleased songs (quite pleasant, but not on a par with the rest of the disc), plus the single version of "Career of Evil", and BOC's cracking take on Steppenwolf's legendary "Born to Be Wild" - probably the best cover of the song among the many available so far. However, as good as those bonus tracks may be, they are just the icing on a cake that is already extremely tasty as it is.

Though "Secret Treaties" may be seen as more hard-rock than prog, it is definitely one of the classic albums of the Seventies - intelligent, well-crafted, passionate music performed by a unique band at the top of their game. Approach with an open mind, and you'll be rewarded.

Raff | 5/5 |


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