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Blue Öyster Cult - Some Enchanted Evening CD (album) cover


Blue Öyster Cult


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3.34 | 59 ratings

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RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
3 stars Released just three years after BOC's first live album, On Your Feet or On Your Knees, Some Enchanted Evening comes across as somewhat of a disappointment in comparison to its masterful predecessor. Actually, as big a fan of the band as I am, I might even go so far as to say the best thing about this album is its cover, depicting an ominous Grim Reaper figure riding in a red-hued desert. The choice of artwork is not casual, since Some Enchanted Evening comes hot on the heels of BOC's commercial breakthrough, Agents of Fortune, with mega-hit Don't Fear the Reaper and its killer riff.

With an awesome live act like BOC, the album is not bad by any means, though it lacks the mixture of sophistication and aggression that characterises both On Your Feet... and 1981's Extraterrestrial Live. The original tracklist contains some of the band's more straightforward rockers, from the opening Are U Ready 2 Rock to the inevitable Don't Fear the Reaper, two covers (MC5's proto-punk anthem Kick Out the Jams, and The Animals' We Gotta Get Out of this Place), and one undisputed gem, the marvellous Astronomy (inexplicably left out of the previous live effort). The remastered edition, released in 2007, includes seven bonus tracks (mostly featuring the 'usual suspects', evergreen live staples of the band such as Harvester of Eyes and Hot Rails to Hell, plus the interesting instrumental 5 Guitars) - plus a live DVD of the band, which, while nothing exceptional per se, is probably the main draw of this package.

On the whole, Some Enchanted Evening captures the band at a time when they were finally experiencing commercial success, but also a bit of a lull in their compositional brilliance. The mid-to-late Seventies saw a drop in the overall quality of their releases, which would only pick up with Martin Birch's intervention on 1980's Cultosaurus Erectus and its follow-up, the splendid Fire of Unknown Origin. This album reflects this particular moment in the history of the band, when sheer energy could hardly fill in for the maverick genius of their 'black and white' trilogy.

In spite of its flaws, Some Enchanted Evening is still quite a lot of fun to listen to, though it comes with a word of warning to hardcore proggers. With the sole exception of Astronomy, it is mainly a hard-edged, classic rock album, with very little to offer in the way of complexity or sophistication. If you want to experience BOC at their best, get either (or possibly both) of their other live albums, or even the much more recent DVD, A Long Day's Night. Two and a half stars, rounded up to three for the wealth of bonus material on offer.

Raff | 3/5 |


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