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Blue Öyster Cult - Some Enchanted Evening CD (album) cover


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3 stars This is the weakest of the three live albums recorded during BOC's prime, released to give the band a break from their incessant touring chedule. It's been re-released this year with a DVD included. The album itself is no great shakes, containing some uninspiring covers and many songs that were featured on the two other live records. The new edition doubles the length, making for a more attractive package, although purely for the music, Extraterrestrial Live or On Your Feet or On Your Knees are much better purchases. I was more looking forward to the DVD with great anticipation- BOC in all their glory in 1978! I was a bit disappointed, however. The footage is great to have, but the sound is bootleg at best. I've acquired bootlegs that sound a lot better, in fact. Such sound issues on DVD have happened before, as in the case of the BJH Caught Live DVD, but I was more inclined to be forgiving in that case, since that was done by a smaller company. This release, however, is a Sony Legacy DVD. Do they really expect us to believe that with all their financial resources, they could not have done a better job of restoring the sound and picture from this film? It can be done, as the excellent Led Zeppelin DVD demonstrated.

Nonetheless, the DVD does make for a decent package, and any footage of Buck Dharma from the 70s is welcome. Despite the muddy sound, the extended version of Astronomy, with lasers flashing in the background, is awe-inspiring. Roeser is definitely the second most underrated guitar hero of of the 70s (after the great Bill Nelson, of course).

If you love the BOC, you should get this, but be warned, the album is not the best of their live work, and the DVD may be a bit of a letdown, despite the historical value of the footage.

Report this review (#119547)
Posted Tuesday, April 24, 2007 | Review Permalink
Prog Folk Researcher
2 stars I see that Blue Öyster Cult has reissued this live recording as a double-disc remaster recently. While I’d be interested to see the DVD portion, this one will probably have to wait (until probably never) to get upgraded in my collection from the original one-disc version.

This was released to take the place of touring for the band in 1978, as they had been doing that nearly non-stop for most of the mid-seventies. It’s not what I would call a bad live album, but it’s not really good either. The sound quality on the original is a bit uneven, clear for the most part on the early tracks but by the time “Godzilla” rolls around the mixing engineer seems to have had some problems controlling the bass, and the overall quality suffers a bit from a slightly flat high-end.

On the other hand the song selection is pretty good except for the first two tracks which are generic stadium-rock concert staples but nothing you’re likely to want to play at home or in the car.

This version of “Astronomy” is my favorite just because it has a slightly raw quality for the vocals, and Buck Dharma is dead-on with his guitar. This is a really underappreciated track from the band, lost in the glare of the much more familiar “(Don’t Fear) the Reaper” and “Godzilla”.

And speaking of ‘Reaper’ (have I mentioned that song is my cell phone’s ring tone?), this version is actually the first one I remember hearing as a teenager. Living in the western U.S. at the time, we weren’t all that familiar with east-coast bands who didn’t tour in our area, and of course because Al Gore hadn’t invented the internet yet so the only thing we knew about music was what we picked up at Musicland and on King Biscuit. Come to think of it, these guys probably played on King Biscuit, but I don’t remember it.

The rest of this album is only so-so at best, and it’s also quite short at less than forty minutes. Mostly for those two reasons I’d have to say this one is only for collectors. If you really want a good live Cult album, pick up the 1982 ‘ET Live’ instead. It has most of these tracks with better sound quality plus several more, and has a killer version of “Roadhouse Blues’ featuring Robbie Krieger. This one is a two-star by comparison.


Report this review (#126629)
Posted Saturday, June 23, 2007 | Review Permalink
Andrea Cortese
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Here I have to second Bob's opinion. This is not a bad live album but certainly it's not the one I would recommend of Blue Oyster Cult. Maybe my judgement could be wrong, especially after the recent remastered version that features a dvd section with the wild performences on stage from the end of the seventies. Well, that has to be great, I presume. I will check it for sure.

On about the traditional album: it obviously was thought, planned and released to follow the than recent big success of album such as "Agents of Fortune" and "Spectres". It's not a case that it came only three years later from the first one. From this point on both "Don't Fear the Reaper" and "Godzilla" are part of any live show of the band.

Sound's quality is good and finally there is "Astronomy" in the tracks' selection. A special mention goes to the opener "R.U. Ready to Rock" from the Spectres album which is more better than the original studio version, more dynamic and with a nice synth work by Allen Lanier.

All in all a decent work that lack in comparison with the previous live glory "On Your Feet or on Your Knees" and the next excellent "Extraterrestrial Live".

To be noticed also, despite the short track selection, two covers "Kick Out the Jams" (MC5) and "We Gotta Get Out of this Place" (Animals).

Report this review (#128564)
Posted Sunday, July 15, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Released just three years after BOC's first live album, On Your Feet or On Your Knees, Some Enchanted Evening comes across as somewhat of a disappointment in comparison to its masterful predecessor. Actually, as big a fan of the band as I am, I might even go so far as to say the best thing about this album is its cover, depicting an ominous Grim Reaper figure riding in a red-hued desert. The choice of artwork is not casual, since Some Enchanted Evening comes hot on the heels of BOC's commercial breakthrough, Agents of Fortune, with mega-hit Don't Fear the Reaper and its killer riff.

With an awesome live act like BOC, the album is not bad by any means, though it lacks the mixture of sophistication and aggression that characterises both On Your Feet... and 1981's Extraterrestrial Live. The original tracklist contains some of the band's more straightforward rockers, from the opening Are U Ready 2 Rock to the inevitable Don't Fear the Reaper, two covers (MC5's proto-punk anthem Kick Out the Jams, and The Animals' We Gotta Get Out of this Place), and one undisputed gem, the marvellous Astronomy (inexplicably left out of the previous live effort). The remastered edition, released in 2007, includes seven bonus tracks (mostly featuring the 'usual suspects', evergreen live staples of the band such as Harvester of Eyes and Hot Rails to Hell, plus the interesting instrumental 5 Guitars) - plus a live DVD of the band, which, while nothing exceptional per se, is probably the main draw of this package.

On the whole, Some Enchanted Evening captures the band at a time when they were finally experiencing commercial success, but also a bit of a lull in their compositional brilliance. The mid-to-late Seventies saw a drop in the overall quality of their releases, which would only pick up with Martin Birch's intervention on 1980's Cultosaurus Erectus and its follow-up, the splendid Fire of Unknown Origin. This album reflects this particular moment in the history of the band, when sheer energy could hardly fill in for the maverick genius of their 'black and white' trilogy.

In spite of its flaws, Some Enchanted Evening is still quite a lot of fun to listen to, though it comes with a word of warning to hardcore proggers. With the sole exception of Astronomy, it is mainly a hard-edged, classic rock album, with very little to offer in the way of complexity or sophistication. If you want to experience BOC at their best, get either (or possibly both) of their other live albums, or even the much more recent DVD, A Long Day's Night. Two and a half stars, rounded up to three for the wealth of bonus material on offer.

Report this review (#207804)
Posted Thursday, March 19, 2009 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
4 stars This second live album was a bit surprising as it came fairly soon after On Your Knees, but this was only a single album, so it was exaggerating either. And it wasn't redundant either since it concentrated on Treaties, Agents and Spectres. Such a pity it was so short, though. Armed with an unrelated artwork (especially for a live album), this album is a bit overlooked upon, since most Cult fans took it as a waiting bait, when they were expecting another studio outing after Spectres, which would be terribly deceiving (Mirrors), but that's another story.

One of its major flaws was that it was clear and so obvious this was an assemblage of live tracks coming from different sources, so much that it seemed more of a "Best Of Live" than a "real live album". Indeed the different live takes sound so different from one track to the next, that it takes the magic out of a live album like Purple's Made In Japan or Genesis' Seconds Out, when all the material was taken from two or three days' gigs. Opening with the extended but built-for-that-purpose RU Ready t2 Rock, the album doesn't forget the deliciously superb Astronomy (lacking so much in the previous Live album) then gives us the 1-2 punch or Godzilla and Reaper, before giving us the60's anthem of Get Outta This Place (Animals) and Kick Out The Jams (MC5), this last one being a strange twist of fame since Patti Smith was dating Eric Bloom and ended up marrying MC5's leader.

Recent reissues have this album going double with a bunch of bonus tracks that would've added been almost redundant to then-fans (four tracks are present of the previous live and one is redundant with this one), but they actually allow this proghead to buy at least one Cd from the Cult, provided I listen to them first.. Personally, if you're not a big fan (like me) of BOC, provided the bonus tracks are of good sound quality, this expanded live album might just be all you'll need (with maybe the exception of Telepaths) in your shelves.

Report this review (#227716)
Posted Tuesday, July 21, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars How on earth is this album little more than 3 stars. This is one of the most fantastic live albums ever created, the performance is perfect, and there is so much energy and emotion. The album is short but sweet, and the setlist is really good - with fantastic cover versions of "We Gotta Get outta this Place" and "Kick out the Jams", but the highlight is Astronomy. Absolutely fantastic track, much better than studio version, the solo is killer.

If you like classic rock at its best, get this now. IT IS NOT PROG (probably the reason for its low rating) but I had to review it to give it a better rating. It deserves better - this is one of the best rock albums of all time.

Report this review (#253243)
Posted Saturday, November 28, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Only 66 ratings? There are few live albums that enter the pure anthology of rock music like Some Enchanted Evening. Among such, in my opinion, one should consider Frampton Comes Live, Solar Music Live and Kraan Live. The reason this album deserves all praise is that each song, except for Don't Fear The Reaper, is far more inspiring and better played than their studio versions, especially RU Ready 2 Rock and Astronomy. I think that BOC here was at their inspirational peak and that they corrected certain weaknesses present on their previous live effort. Donald Roeser's contribution here is brilliant, and with his solo at Astronomy he put a permanent seal on BOC creativity and their outstanding role in what could be defined as an intellectual hard rock. Certainly the best album the band recorded ever.
Report this review (#2238260)
Posted Monday, July 15, 2019 | Review Permalink
4 stars Released at a time when BOC were increasingly blending pop hooks into their occult proto-metal quagmire on their studio albums (with Agents of Fortune being an iconic example of this approach and Spectres perhaps being their most pop-inclined, mellow, and least heavy album since their debut), Some Enchanted Evening proved that there was still fire in the belly of the Cult, with the band offering a hard and heavy runthrough of the material in question.

This is a rare example of an album where the bonus tracks on rereleases are just as good - in this case, you want to go for the edition which includes the extra seven tracks (in effect a whole extra live album) from around the same era. There's also a bonus DVD - Some OTHER Enchanted Evening - offering a video of a live show from the same era, though the audio on this one is notably a big step down from the main album.

Report this review (#2343542)
Posted Wednesday, March 18, 2020 | Review Permalink
3 stars The band confirms their instrumental and live quality without sacrificing the sophistication of their studio work. Guitar playing and drumming stands out in particular. You can see a couple of tracks as videos on Youtube which will only support the positive and professional live impression.

Those who bought the CD without bonus tracks like me will be complaining for having only 37 minutes of playing time which does not suffice to include major tracks from studio albums. Moreover, the time is marred by addition of cover track like "Kick out the jam" that leaves fans willing for more own material. For more casual listeners of BOC, both greatest hits are included on the CD. I am fan of their more progressive cuts so I feel happy about "Astronomy" at its 8 minutes. A good but non-essential album. Their previous live album from 1975 is rawer and importantly, longer.

Report this review (#2403937)
Posted Wednesday, May 20, 2020 | Review Permalink

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