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Blue Öyster Cult - Blue Öyster Cult CD (album) cover

BLUE ÖYSTER CULT

Blue Öyster Cult

 

Prog Related

3.28 | 112 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
1 stars A Cult on flame with Rock And Roll

Being a major fan of both Queen and Black Sabbath, I am always more than a bit puzzled when I hear people comparing these bands with their supposed American counterparts Styx and Blue Öyster Cult. Maybe America did not have more relevant bands for comparison at the time, but counterparts they are certainly not! In order to find relevant British/European counterparts to American bands such as Styx and Blue Öyster Cult we will, I believe, have to look far outside the boundaries of Prog (Related) and Heavy Metal; The Sweet might be a more valid counterpart to Styx and maybe the German Hard Rock band Scorpions might be a more valid counterpart to Blue Öyster Cult!

To my ears, the two first albums by Blue Öyster Cult are pure Rock 'N' Roll and Hard Rock, plain and simple. I find no Heavy Metal or Prog in these albums. As it says in the liner notes 'Albert had designed the crunching guitars of Cities On Flame With Rock And Roll after Sabbath's The Wizard, but there was as much Motor City Boogie and Rebel Boogie as English midland crunch.' And indeed, this particular song with 'Rock And Roll' in its title is ironically one of the least Rock 'N' Roll and the one that comes closest to the British Heavy Metal sound. However, it is a rather pale imitation of Black Sabbath. Overall, I think that Blue Öyster Cult had more in common with fellow Americans Alice Cooper than with British Heavy Metal or progressive rock (I even prefer many Alice Copper albums over this). The songs are all between just under three minutes and just under five minutes in length and leave very little room for any interesting chord progressions or interesting musical ideas.

But let us not dwell too much on the style of the music and move on to the quality of it. I find these Rock 'N' Roll/Hard Rock numbers rather weak in terms of memorable melodies or riffs as well as in interesting musical ideas. After hearing this album, I remember nothing about it. I'm not saying that this music is badly performed or executed; just that it leaves no lasting impression on me whatsoever.

The lyrics are often very silly with titles like She's As Beautiful As A Foot and I'm On The Lamb But I Ain't No Sheep. It is clear that Blue Öyster Cult had a completely different mindset compared to their British so-called counterparts. Is this a parody of heavy Rock? It is toward the end of the album with Workshop Of Telescopes and particularly Redeemed that Blue Öyster Cult turns in their most interesting compositions of this debut with some sparse keyboards and acoustic guitars. But it is too late to save this album from the lowest rating. The best thing about this album is the intriguing cover art.

SouthSideoftheSky | 1/5 |

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