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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

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octopus-4
Special Collaborator
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
3 stars I remember an article on a number of the comics magazine "Heavy Metal" in the 80s. It was about the relationship between Satanism and Rock. After chapters about the usual beatles, Led Zeppelin and so on there was a paragraph entitled more or less "Those who Satan took the piss for a ride" (I don't know if it's the right translation but I hope it gives the idea), and just below, a photo of a live gig of BoC.

The meaning is that even if the band can be considered one of the predecessors of the heavy metal and one of the first to have lyrics explicitly speaking of Evil, if we don't consider the Rolling Stones, they didn't have a big success. I think they have scored just one song in the US top 20 (Don't Fear The Reaper) in their whole career.

The band was featuring one of the most skilled rock guitarists of that time, Donald "Buck Dharma" Roeser, and Patti Smith was the girlfriend of Allan Lanier so she was used to hlep the band by composing lyrics (Career of Evil on this album) or singing (The Revenge of Vera Gemini on Agents of Fortune).

Said so, this debut is not very heavy. It's rock, sometimes hard, but it's strongly influenced by the acid generation. Guitar solos like the ones on Stairway to the Stars, or the intro of Transmaniacon MC can be called hard-rock but when they are not hard the connection with the New York's underground is evident: Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground, John Cale and so on.

A note for the swing section of "Before the Kiss a redcap". It's one of the first things that I've learned to play with the bass so I have a particular feeling for this song.

The album contains also "slow" songs with bizarre titles, like "She Was Beautiflul Like A Foot". This and "Screams" are the songs that I like less. Probably because when I bought this album I was looking for rock while those two songs are probably the most progressive together with "Workshop On The Telescope".

A mention goes to "Cities On Flame With Rock and Roll", the heavier track, the one that deserves to be defined as hard rock and another to "Redeemed" and "I'm On The Lamb But I Ain't No Sheep". Two songs very different but which represent a touch of the direction that BoC will take later.

Now the rating: It's not easy for me. I really love this album (and the three following ones) but I'm not sure that it's an excellent addition for anybody. They are not very seminal, as Deep Purple and Black Sabbath as well as Led Zeppelin and Uriah Heep were already around. I'd like to rate it with four stars, but honestly I have to stay on three to fit into the PA standards.

octopus-4 | 3/5 |

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