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Blue Öyster Cult - Tyranny And Mutation CD (album) cover

TYRANNY AND MUTATION

Blue Öyster Cult

 

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3.37 | 106 ratings

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AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
4 stars 7 Screaming Diz-Busteeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrss!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The classic line up of Blue Oyster Cult is undoubtedly Donald "Buck Dharma" Roeser, the extraordinary master of lead guitar, Eric Bloom, the brilliant visionary on lead vocals, stun guitars, and all synthesizers, Joseph Bouchard, wonderful on bass, and keyboards, Albert Bouchard, the powerhouse drummer, and Allen Lanier, a wizard on keyboards, and rhythm guitar. "Tyranny and Mutation" is a masterful album from 1973, that blows my mind every time I listen to it, and I have listened to it so much over the last week. It is consistently brilliant with incredible riffs and melodic beauty, every member of the band at their very best and most innovative.

It was released on vinyl under the Black and Red sides; the black being in your face proto metal riff rock, and the Red being more calm and melody driven. It begins with an astonishing song 'The Red And The Black' with Eric Bloom singing blues rock at a breakneck speed. The riffs are off the planet, and there is even a frenetic bass solo. The twin harmonised guitar leads are wonderful making this a magnificent start to this album.

'O.D.'d On Life Itself' has the same riff as The Hollies 'Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress' but it has enough variation in the song itself. This has a rocking blues rhythm that sounds a bit like early Kiss, who were a year away from their debut. There is a great lead break form Dharma and overall another BOC highlight, appearing on many of their compilations.

'Hot Rails To Hell' is also like Kiss, especially the riff, so BOC were clearly influential to Kiss. It is very heavy for the early 70s with some crazy lyrics; "burn ya' right out, burn ya' eyes out, blackened the eyes, speeding along like dynamite". The lead guitar smokes wonderfully and there is a dynamic coda with a cool 'Wipe Out' reference.

'7 Screaming Diz-Busters' is a 7 minute trip down memory lane for me as it is the first time I had ever heard the band. When I re-heard this I had chills all over me as I had heard this years ago live on a Metal show over 28 years or so! I did not know it was BOC playing at the time as the DJ did not say who it was. I had a live version from "On Your Feet or On Your Knees", but the studio version is a masterpiece. The riff is brilliant and changes constantly with a hard rock vibe. The lead break is mind blowing and the Hammond organ is killer. Allan Lanier absolutely slaughters this but those guitar licks of Dharma lift it to the stratosphere. One of the greatest BOC tracks I have heard. The lyrics are very creepy, with an extended coda "did you burn the light?"

The Red side begins with 'Baby Ice Dog' which settles into a straight hard rock riff. 'Wings Wetted Down' is pleasant with a beautiful lead break, and awesome bassline. The lyrics are sword and sorcery and then it merges into 'Teen Archer'. This has a moderate tempo, cool guitars, and wonderful vox. The riff is dynamic and the lyrics are about some chick with a bow and arrow; "all of the night, all of the day, she got she got, woah, she will, she will die!" The lead guitar and shimmering organ are sensational; quite a bright happy sound here, that's why this is the red side. The fast arpeggios on piano, and time sig change are augmented by a lead break, making this another gem. 'Mistress Of The Samon Salt (Quicklime Girl)' begins immediately and is rather a softer track, sounding like a melancholy Uriah Heep. There is a gorgeous organ, and screaming lead break.

That is one heck of an album but a real drawcard are the bonus tracks that are all mind blowing. On the Columbia/Sony Legacy remaster (2001) we have 4 more to drool over. 'Cities on Flame With Rock And Roll (live - previously unreleased)' is a raw live classic. Dharma is playing the roof off the stadium here. The new time sig is faster, dirtier and more exciting than the original version. 'Buck's Boogie (studio version - previously unreleased)' is a wondrous instrumental with an amazing fast guitar riff. '7 Screaming Diz-Busters (live - previously unreleased)' is a 14 minute eargasm of blinding riffs and dark atmosphere. The fret melting lead break is amazing and then Bloom begins dialoguing about how he met up with a sharp suited man and signed his name in blood to become a rock n roll star, and now CBS signed him up as a packt to the? gulp, is he serious? Another rocker selling his soul to the demon of rock, but one day he says I am coming to take u away after your career of evil. This is sinister stuff, and the freak out ending sends chills through me. 'O.D.'d On Life Itself (live - previously unreleased)' is as good as the studio version with a bad to the bone lead break, and supersonic riffing.

In conclusion, this is a treasure of the early 70s, every track is a gem and the album features some of the hardest rock of the 70s you are likely to hear along with Kiss, Deep Purple, UFO, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. This is perhaps the best studio album for Blue Oyster Cult in their early years; and this remaster is an absolute must for connoisseurs of rock. 4 stars for original album, 5 stars for the remaster - rounded off to 4.5 stars for this site.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 4/5 |

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