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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 | 87 ratings

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3 stars Most progressive fans here agree that the Black and White period of the Blue Öyster Cult was their pinnacle and "Agents of Fortune" was a sort of a commercial sell-out. But before this album, and after the luscious "Secret Treaties", was this rousing live memento aptly titled "On Your Feet or On Your Knees", a wild and rambunctious depiction of their early "greasy" sound. The attitude is lewd and raunchy, lots of gritty guitars sawing away with "The Subhuman" starting off in a huff, Eric Bloom offering his trademark sarcastic New York vocals ("So Ladies, Fish and Gentlemen..") while handing over the spotlight to Don Roeser, arguably the most underrated rock guitarist of his era, who wastes little time in showing off his metal mettle on the fret board and a brief Allen Lanier synthesizer solo that pleases to no end. But as "Harvester of Eyes" kicks it up a serious notch, the mood becomes hotter and sweatier, veering almost into rock 'n roll realms with bubbling electronics , a typically funky vocal engaging the raging riffing guitars everywhere and a boogie finale with bopping bass and rampant soloing. The fire then gets really heavy with the blinding "Hot Rails to Hell", a whirlwind blitz, almost punkoid in structure that serves mostly to unnerve the delirious crowd even more , three guitars riffing away unfettered! Fun but not that proggy really, except for the solo guitar. The beat stays relentless with "The Red & The Black", more steamroller boogie rock 'n roll (almost sounding like the J.Geils Band) which segues almost immediately into "Seven Screaming Dizbusters" , another BOC torpedo honing in on the kill. Then we have the first 3 true gems here are all in a row, with first "Buck's Boogie" a near 8 minute romp featuring the illustrious Roeser displaying the chops that make him an underground hero. My fave BOC cut is next "Last Days in May" just blows me away both live and studio versions doing the trick. "Cities on Flame" is a classic Cult song and deservedly so (the cheering here is pretty intense), with a main theme that is just plain "rock 'n roll" swaggering with overt bellicosity and arrogance that actually comes across as fun. Buck unleashes more fret magic as expected. "Me262" is a rather wonky studio tune that thankfully is transformed here in a live setting into a huge 8 minute jam that must have been fun with all its stop/start settings, the triple guitar show must have been a sight to behold, the Bouchard brothers rather adept as a rhythm section here. "Before The Kiss" and "Maserati GT" are more boogie /rock 'n roll jam fests that just add to the occasion, part of the concert experience. The finale encore is the classic Steppenwolf anthem to bikers "Born to Be Wild" and they do the Pushermen proud with a rousing version that swerves, dips, hugs the road and chugs along threateningly, as it should. Hey, this is not the best live album, certainly hardly of interest to most proggers but fun to have anyway as a window into your typical dirty rock show in the mid 70s. It won't get you on your feet or on your knees, regardless of what Mr. Bloom says. 3.5 curved hooks.
tszirmay | 3/5 |


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