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Blue ÷yster Cult - Extraterrestrial Live CD (album) cover

EXTRATERRESTRIAL LIVE

Blue ÷yster Cult

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5 stars Blue Oyster Cult's Extraterrestrial Live album is truly a must-have for any fan of the band. With a great group of musicians heading this concert, every single song on this album is a highly enjoyable and high-energy performance. While definitely straying from the "Prog" label, this album still succeeds in being a great musical experience which gives it a very justified high-rating.

The expected material is all here - songs like "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" and "Burnin' For You," and an awesome version of Godzilla with a very entertaining intro (not counting the "Blip" of censorship). There are great rockers that roll right along like "Cities On Flame" and "The Red and The Black," along with other tracks that don't get much radio play these days. But the real treat comes with some great soloing and instrumentals - especially with the Cult's rendition of Roadhouse Blues (with Robbie Krieger of the Doors dropping in to play guitar), and a nice extended version of "Veteran of the Psychic Wars" (which was featured in the 1981 film "Heavy Metal").

Again, while not prog in any sense, Extraterrestrial Live is a Rock 'n Roll romp that will please the ears of any rock fan. - Highly Recommended

Music Fans: 5/5 Stars Prog-only Fans: consider it 4/5 Stars

Report this review (#118752)
Posted Tuesday, April 17, 2007 | Review Permalink
Andrea Cortese
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This album closes Blue Oyster Cult's classic years. Drummer Albert Bouchard is just gone, replaced by Rick Downey. Another live record after only four years. An intelligent move to capitalize the recent positive sales of Fire of Unlnown Origin. Isn't it?

By the way, if you are a fan of Blue Oyster Cult, this album is a must have. If you're not, then I tell you it's a very good one, close second after "On Your Feet or on Your Knees". The atmosphere of the 13 tracks is harder than anything before as the band make clear with the opener "Dominance and Submission" a classic from the Sectret Treaties album. Electric guiatr sound is king, here. Rough vocals follow with another highlight of the band "Cities on Flame (With Rock and Roll)". There is place also for a live version of "Veterans of the Psychic Wars" from theit then recent release "Fire of Unlnown Origin".

As usual in their live albums, another cover is played here, mayble the most memorable one: The Doors' "Roadhouse Blues" with the help of Robby Krieger himself on electric guitar. He later will take part to the ambitious project of Imaginos.

Excellent.

Report this review (#128602)
Posted Sunday, July 15, 2007 | Review Permalink
Raff
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Although it is not always rated as high as the first of BOC's live albums, 1975's "On Your Feet or On Your Knees", "Extraterrestrial Live" is to these ears one of the essential live efforts of the golden age of rock. Admittedly, when it was released the musical world was already in the throes of the Eighties' fad for anything electronic, poppy and danceable. On the other hand, those were also the years that saw the rise of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal - and many of the bands belonging to that movement saw BOC as the founding fathers of the kind of music they played.

Now, to call the legendary New Yorkers a heavy metal band seems to be definitely a bit of a stretch. Heavy they can be, and very much so, but always keeping melody and a certain complexity at the forefront. This comes across very clearly on this album, which offers a selection of songs from the band's then ten-year-long activity, with a particular emphasis on their latest album, the excellent "Fire of Unknown Origin" (released the previous year). "ET Live" is also sheer heaven for lovers of the electric guitar played with skill and taste - no pointless shredding here. The criminally underrated lead guitarist Donald 'Buck Dharma Roeser' is augmented by the contribution of vocalist Eric Bloom (on 'stun guitar') and keyboardist Allen Lanier, and there is also a guest appearance by former Doors guitarist Robbie Krieger on the stunning cover of the LA band's classic "Roadhouse Blues".

Though all the tracks are of a consistently high standard, there are some undisputed highlights. "Dominance and Submission" opens the album with a bang, its brisk, dynamic rendition somewhat accelerated in comparison with the original version on "Secret Treaties". Eric Bloom leads the dance, coaxing the audience into singing along to the supremely catchy chorus by stating that we know Poughkeepsie is serious about rock'n'roll. The already mentioned "Roadhouse Blues" is an extended, almost 10 minutes long jam, including another of Eric Bloom's prized raps, and some absolutely sterling guitar and keyboard work. "Godzilla" comes with an ominous spoken introduction, complete with sound effects reproducing the 'giant footsteps' of the titular, blown-up lizard; while the spacey Black Blade sounds even more powerful than the studio version on "Cultosaurus Erectus".

The real gem of this album, however, is the 8-minute-plus version of the marvellous "Veteran of the Psychic Wars" (twice as long as its studio counterpart), one of my favourite songs of all time. Besides the poignant, visionary lyrics by British fantasy writer Michael Moorcock, masterfully delivered by an inspired Bloom, the song boasts in its middle one of those guitar solos which can make you feel as if the instrument itself was 'singing'. The heavy, hypnotic drumming pattern, though simple in structure, is highly effective in adding further interest to one of the band's best compositions, and one of their proggiest.

Talking of prog, as the previous reviewers have already pointed out, there is little trace of it to be found here, with the exception of a few tracks. "ET Live" is nevertheless a great live album, full of all the rawness, the energy, the melodic potential and the songwriting ability of one of the seminal rock bands of the Seventies. Unless they hate hard-edged, classy rock with a passion, most prog fans will find this album a real joy to listen to. Very highly recommended indeed.

Report this review (#162968)
Posted Saturday, March 1, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars One of the few live albums that BOC has made in early '80s, we could say that is a compilation of all their Hits, but LIVE!, considering songs as:

Don `t Fear The Reaper, Godzilla (with a long version and a good intro) Joan Crawford and a cover from the most famous song of the Doors.

Noteworthy is the song Veteran of Psichic wars, with an extended guitar solo, just excellent.

BOC with this album really shows the talent of the band, giving all their best, not to note the difference in studio versions, the screams of Eric Bloom are excellent, with great passion and the guitar of "Buck" is great.

If you still do not know this great American band and want their classic hits at once. .. I recommend this album TO YOU., excellent

Cheers... 3.5 stars

Report this review (#196922)
Posted Friday, January 2, 2009 | Review Permalink
The Quiet One
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Mix late 70's AOR with early 70's Heavy Rock cleverness, and finally all this filtered via The Who's live power and you got Extraterrestrial Live(ETL)

After having seen the masterful cover-work on Raff's avatar, some time from now, I have been wondering how was the music of this so-said Heavy Rock band, with Prog leanings. I picked this one to introduce myself to B÷C, with no previous sample listen nor read any review about it, I really wanted to surprise myself, something that hasn't happen with previous purchases, due to previous listens from samples.

Anyways, here I have it, the majestic cover-work is even more majestic watching it physically. Though, did the music surprise me?

Well, the live album, unfortunately(or maybe fortunately) spans from their 70's gold years, to their later commercial leanings, making the album desequilibrated. However, fortunately, B÷C really knows how to perform live, pulling out every second of each song, with such energy and rage, which, whichever song it is being performed, a semi-pop one or a hard rock one, they both sound energetic and powerful, and you can really feel the live vibe, thanks to the awesome participation of the crowd in songs such as the classic Dominance & Submission, as well as in the powerful Cities on Flame, and finally in the excellent cover version of Roadhouse Blues, with Robby Krieger of The Doors, playing guitars in it!

Then there are some other great powerful songs like the 2 straight-forward rockers, Hot Rails to Hell, with it's great guitar solos, as well as the bluesy The Red and the Black, with it's unstoppable drum beat; also, there's the enjoyable heavy-pop song, Dr. Music, while having a cheesy chorus on the likes of Kiss' cheesy ones(Calling Dr. Love specifically), Dr. Music surprises you with a stunning Moog-solo, besides a heavy rockin' riff; undoubtley, mentioning Dr. Music, I also have to mention the other heavy-pop track, Black Blade, with again Kiss hints(well, only the intro actually, Rock & Roll All Nite), this one also has some synths presence, reminding me A LOT to Tom Sawyer's intro, however the song itself sometimes a bit too poppy, despite it's great guitar work. However the really worthy commercial-era song in here, are the last 3: Veteran of the Psychic Wars, which Raff has already described it perfectly, being one of her favorite songs, I'll just have to repeat, that the 3 minutes guitar solo, is simply stunning; then, E.T.I, with a heavy-rockin' riff foolin' you, leading to a soft, sweet, chorus, however highly worth the listen because of the whole energy the band dedicates to it, as well as in the classic, Don't Fear The Reaper.

Like I said in the begining, a bit desequilibrated this live album is, with a mix of their heavy rockin' classic stuff and their more cheesy, commercial stuff. However, this mix gives the album a great perspective of most of the band's career, which fortunately, even the poppy songs are played well, making most of them worthwhile. I would have really liked more of their classic so-called 'Black and White' era songs in here, but still I'm very happy with this purchase, so the question of, if the music surprised me, my answer is certainly yes.

If there's one good way of introducing yourself to a Hard Rock band, there's nothing better than a damn good live album like this one. 4 stars.

Report this review (#209330)
Posted Monday, March 30, 2009 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
4 stars This is about as far as this rock fan went into BOC's discography, even though I'd had stopped buying their albums since Cultosaurus, but managing to get the albums on loan, through fiends. And what a worthy double live this turned out to be, certainly better than On Your Knees (75) or Enchanted Evening (78), although the remastered version of this makes it better than ETL, but this is a very excellent album to own if you're a casual Cult fan. With a derivate of FoUO's artwork, this double collection is close to what's best if it hadn't forgotten the Treaties album.

However, even if he still appears on some tracks of this double Live collection, it is drummer Albert Bouchard's last appearance with the Cult for a while as I understand that it wasn't exactly of a mutual consent and the acrimony remains. No matter what, BOC will suffer from his absence, because they not only lost an excellent drummer (who had turned in a very fine performance on FoUO), but also a gifted songwriter. What is strange is that Brother Joe remained with BOC without making waves and Downey is just adequate replacing him behind the kit.

The first part of the album is the usual BOC selection of semi-classic BOC songs, including two from their latest. As is now obvious, BOC now plays with sound tapes/effects to make their live version sticks a bit more to the studio originals. The only thing special to signal is a 9-mins Roadhouse Blues cover with Doorman Krieger accompanying the band, but it's nothing worth the price of admission. Of a much better level is outstanding second disc, starting with an excellent and more aggressive version of Black blade. Moments later come the unstoppable Godzilla, complete with an excellent introduction a majorly fun opening bars. The crowd adores it, and so are we. Although cut by a short into parts drum solo, the song is almost 8-mins of pure fun. Following by a stupendous (and extended) version of Psychic Wars, the group is pilling the hits one after the other. What a pity that ETI is next, instead of Astronomy, because it's a bit of a let down and before wrapping it up with Reaper, we'd love to have seen their proggiest tune ever get such a choice place in the concert track list.

Although never a prog band, BOC had some real classic metal/rock hits that their career is difficult to overlook, and if one can say that that BOC is not essential to a proghead, the three classic live albums are a minimum that experimented rockers should/must have on their shelves.

Report this review (#230183)
Posted Thursday, August 6, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars I have always rated this band quite highly. They have in my views always done intelligent heavy rock with the exception from a couple of turkeys from the 1990s when they jumped on the heavy metal bandwagon. So it was with great expectations I put this album in my CD player.

I was in for a nasty surprise though. After the great two opening tracks Dominance & Submission and Cities On Flame, some turkeys enters the frame. AOR songs, no less. Hard AOR, I hasten to add. Bad AOR. OK, you get my drift. This is not the BOC I like. The album becomes a lot better at the end wit the classics ETI and Don't Fear The Reaper. But the damage has been done. This is a Dr. Jekyll & Dr. Hyde live album. From superb to abysmal. I hope the rest of the BOC albums I bought is better than this one. A very weak 3 stars.

3 stars

Report this review (#236277)
Posted Tuesday, September 1, 2009 | Review Permalink
Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Eclectic Prog Team
4 stars For the longest time, I contented myself to acquiring compilations and live albums to quench my thirst for the bands I enjoyed since money was never something I had much to spend. After buying a cheap compilation of Blue Oyster Cult songs (mainly to attain the radio hits), I became intrigued further, and not long later wound up buying this album (which I ended up benefiting from for only a short while since I let a friend borrow it and never saw it again). This is a vast treasure of live music on one convenient disc. The rhythm section is particularly strong on this one- Joe Bouchard's bass thunders through the riffs, stealing the spotlight in a few places, and the drumming from Rick Downey is hard-hitting, tight, and full of creative deviations (especially during a certain song about a terrifying beast that razes Japanese cities). Allen Lanier is the most understated member, but his introduction to "Joan Crawford" is brilliantly executed. If it was ever in any doubt, Donald Roeser is one of the most undervalued lead guitar players- every solo is blistering yet tasteful, but most importantly, exciting. Eric Bloom beefs up the performance in a number of ways, adding even more grit to his singing and keeping the crowd absolutely pumped. Robbie Krieger of The Doors joins Blue Oyster Cult on stage and the group performs a sizzling extended rendition of "Roadhouse Blues." "Black Blade" is a robust fusion of progressive rock and "spit-on-the-ground" hard rock, laden with organ, synthesizer, and plenty of crunchy guitar. "Godzilla" is introduced with an entertaining story and some noises from the titular character. "Veteran of the Psychic Wars" is a royal treat, and should please those seeking a more progressive edge. My personal favorite song from this band, "E.T.I. (Extra Terrestrial Intelligence)" is for the most part a faithful, if thicker version. "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" is given an upbeat and heavier makeover, with subtle clavichord in the backdrop. The stellar performance of the last four songs alone are worth incorporating this album into any rock collection, yet prior to that, there's fifty solid minutes of meaty, ghoulish rock and roll.
Report this review (#241361)
Posted Friday, September 25, 2009 | Review Permalink
snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Strong collection of BOC songs, played live in good time and right place! If you're not a BOC maniac or if you're newcomer, just take this album to learn everything you need about the band. If you will like it, you can search deeper, if not - just forget it!

The band plays intelligent hard rock ( to be honest ,far from progressive). But heavy and melodic songs both together with competent musicianship make this band attractive for wide listeners.

This album isn't one show record. Separate songs were recorded during 6 different concerts in different US locations during 1980 - 1981. I own Sony CD re-release with detailed booklet with full lyrics and recording information. Sound is only average, but good enough thinking about Mobile Recordings in early eighties.

Band is in a good form,music is played with energy. Really good example of hard rock.

Report this review (#252655)
Posted Wednesday, November 25, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars 78 minutes of Blue Oyster Clut live from 1982. This came out soon after they had peaked with SPECTRES and FIRE OF UNKNOWN ORIGIN. Their best times were in the past and they would soon lose members and drift into a slew of average albums in the 80's. This is a really good document of the middle years of BOC and is just a notch below their wonderful live album ON YOUR FEET OR ON YOUR KNEES. They do a cover of the Doors "Roadhouse Blue", which is tuypical of BOC live. BOC was getting ready for the synthesizers and canned music of the decade but live they could still "Kick Out The Jams".
Report this review (#749383)
Posted Saturday, May 5, 2012 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Culled from various concerts from the Cultosaurus Erectus and Fire Of Unknown Origin tours, Blue Oyster Cult's Extraterrestrial Live is a surprisingly adept blend of the band's past and then-present. Whilst not as ferocious as On Your Feet Or On Your Knees, it's still in an energetic hard rock style - the dark, murky early material gets a little pep in its step, and the more polished, poppier new material gets a little rawer and harder, and the result is that the two sort of meet in the middle to yield a setlist where decade-old material like Hot Rails To Hell sits naturally next to fresh fruit like Black Blade.
Report this review (#2343543)
Posted Wednesday, March 18, 2020 | Review Permalink

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