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Blue Öyster Cult - On Your Feet or on Your Knees CD (album) cover


Blue Öyster Cult


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4.05 | 86 ratings

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4 stars I don't write reviews of bands that I have a personal history with, or have known personally, so this is a first. And will probably be the last.

Recorded live, Blue Oyster Cult's 1975 double album On your Feet Or On Your Knees magically and majestically captures BOC at the height of their "black and white album trilogy" powers (the eponymous debut album from 1972, Tyranny and Mutation from 1973, and Secret Treaties from 1974), and does something those three initial albums only hinted at. They rock out at full bore and showcase what a powerhouse BOC was on any given night in the early seventies. A feature truly hidden by the thin bass-shy production of those three albums.

On reflection, this album's production values are not top shelf in a few areas but it doesn't need to be. On Your Feet Or On Your Knees was recorded and (importantly) mixed clearly and is loud, detailed and full of energy. On Your Feet Or On Your Knees showcases the band's absolute definitive versions of Subhuman, Harvester of Eyes, Hot Rails To Hell, The Red And The Black, Then Came The Last Days of May, Cities On Flame and ME 262.

Eric Bloom's voice is stellar as is Donald "Buck Dharma" Roeser's electrifying lead guitar playing, which is an absolute clinic in splitting the deference between technical chops and melodic invention. Trying to listen to any song without focusing solely on his playing is often difficult even forty two years later.

Why this album never pushed BOC to the top the way that Frampton Comes Alive did in the seventies will always be a mystery to the band and it's diehard fans. But this live document exists for the initiated who knew "The Cult" and their brand of edgy heavy rock long before the cowbell jokes came after listening to a song about the Grim Reaper. Four stars.

SteveG | 4/5 |


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