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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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4 stars I believe I was already familiar with Don't Fear the Reaper by the time I bought this on vinyl through my sister's record club sometime in the latter 70s. I didn't really know what I was getting myself into, but I had heard the band was good. In fact, after listening to this off and on for 30 years, I will venture to say they were probably one of the best U.S. bands performing at the time. The album starts off with the relatively mild Subhuman, one of those songs that sounds like it is about to end when it winds itself up again. I always like that. This is one of my favorites from the album. But that relative mildness soon disappears and the album goes into full-on Cult heaviness with Harvester of Eyes. It is ironic that both these songs feature prominent keyboards, something not found that frequently on the rest of the album. BOC had always been a guitar band, as the inner sleeve and gatefold photos demonstrate. Buck Dharma's excellent leads really stand out. There are a few softer moments, such as The Last Days of May, a great song, and the occasional on stage banter (mostly quiet interludes), but as most people have noted, this album rocks. The song structures and lyrics are always imaginative and the band performs like a well oiled machine. They stretch out frequently for some top-knot interactions and solos. Most songs clock between five and eight minutes. Some complain about the sound, and even though a little unbalanced, I much prefer it to the clean-but-sterile sound of their prior studio recordings. The live setting brings out the power of the music. So, if you are like me and you like the early BOC music, but not the recordings, this would be a good place to turn, even if the seminal Astronomy is nowhere to be found. Nominations: Best Album Title; Best Onstage Banter: "I know Lucifer so well I call him by his first name. I say, Hey Lou!"
Progosopher | 4/5 |


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