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Blue Öyster Cult - Extraterrestrial Live CD (album) cover


Blue Öyster Cult


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4.00 | 64 ratings

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The Quiet One
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Mix late 70's AOR with early 70's Heavy Rock cleverness, and finally all this filtered via The Who's live power and you got Extraterrestrial Live(ETL)

After having seen the masterful cover-work on Raff's avatar, some time from now, I have been wondering how was the music of this so-said Heavy Rock band, with Prog leanings. I picked this one to introduce myself to BÖC, with no previous sample listen nor read any review about it, I really wanted to surprise myself, something that hasn't happen with previous purchases, due to previous listens from samples.

Anyways, here I have it, the majestic cover-work is even more majestic watching it physically. Though, did the music surprise me?

Well, the live album, unfortunately(or maybe fortunately) spans from their 70's gold years, to their later commercial leanings, making the album desequilibrated. However, fortunately, BÖC really knows how to perform live, pulling out every second of each song, with such energy and rage, which, whichever song it is being performed, a semi-pop one or a hard rock one, they both sound energetic and powerful, and you can really feel the live vibe, thanks to the awesome participation of the crowd in songs such as the classic Dominance & Submission, as well as in the powerful Cities on Flame, and finally in the excellent cover version of Roadhouse Blues, with Robby Krieger of The Doors, playing guitars in it!

Then there are some other great powerful songs like the 2 straight-forward rockers, Hot Rails to Hell, with it's great guitar solos, as well as the bluesy The Red and the Black, with it's unstoppable drum beat; also, there's the enjoyable heavy-pop song, Dr. Music, while having a cheesy chorus on the likes of Kiss' cheesy ones(Calling Dr. Love specifically), Dr. Music surprises you with a stunning Moog-solo, besides a heavy rockin' riff; undoubtley, mentioning Dr. Music, I also have to mention the other heavy-pop track, Black Blade, with again Kiss hints(well, only the intro actually, Rock & Roll All Nite), this one also has some synths presence, reminding me A LOT to Tom Sawyer's intro, however the song itself sometimes a bit too poppy, despite it's great guitar work. However the really worthy commercial-era song in here, are the last 3: Veteran of the Psychic Wars, which Raff has already described it perfectly, being one of her favorite songs, I'll just have to repeat, that the 3 minutes guitar solo, is simply stunning; then, E.T.I, with a heavy-rockin' riff foolin' you, leading to a soft, sweet, chorus, however highly worth the listen because of the whole energy the band dedicates to it, as well as in the classic, Don't Fear The Reaper.

Like I said in the begining, a bit desequilibrated this live album is, with a mix of their heavy rockin' classic stuff and their more cheesy, commercial stuff. However, this mix gives the album a great perspective of most of the band's career, which fortunately, even the poppy songs are played well, making most of them worthwhile. I would have really liked more of their classic so-called 'Black and White' era songs in here, but still I'm very happy with this purchase, so the question of, if the music surprised me, my answer is certainly yes.

If there's one good way of introducing yourself to a Hard Rock band, there's nothing better than a damn good live album like this one. 4 stars.

The Quiet One | 4/5 |


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