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SPECTRES

Blue Öyster Cult

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Blue Öyster Cult Spectres album cover
3.14 | 78 ratings | 17 reviews | 13% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential


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Studio Album, released in 1977

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Godzilla (3:42)
2. Golden Age Of Leather (5:52)
3. Death Valley Nights (4:08)
4. Searchin' For Celine (3:36)
5. Fireworks (3:11)
6. R.U. Ready 2 Rock (3:45)
7. Celestial The Queen (3:26)
8. Goin' Through The Motions (3:12)
9. I Love The Night (4:23)
10. Nosferatu (5:21)

Bonus tracks on Sony remaster (2007):
11. Night Flyer
12. M For Murder
13. Please Hold
14. Be My Baby

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Eric Bloom / vocals, guitar
- Joseph Bouchard / bass, vocals, guitar
- Allen Lanier / keyboards, guitar
- Donald "Buck Dharma" Roeser / lead and rhythm guitars, vocals
- Albert Bouchard / drums, vocals, harmonica

Guests:
- Newark Boys Chorus (2)

Releases information

LP Columbia CK 35019
CD Sony B000ECXV1E (2007)(remaster)

Thanks to andrea cortese for the addition
and to Joolz for the last updates
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BLUE ÖYSTER CULT Spectres ratings distribution


3.14
(78 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(13%)
13%
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(36%)
36%
Good, but non-essential (37%)
37%
Collectors/fans only (13%)
13%
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)
1%

BLUE ÖYSTER CULT Spectres reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by thellama73
COLLABORATOR Eclectic Prog Team
2 stars After their commercial breakthrough, Agents of Fortune, BÖC decide to stick with the same formula, leaning away from their heavy metal roots and towards pop. The results are, I suppose, predictable. What we have here is Agents of Fortune part 2, with few significant differences from its predecessor. Once again we have a major radio hit, the (admittedly fantastic) album opener Godzilla. But after that, the album just falls apart. The Golden Age of Leather? Searchin' For Celine? R U Ready 2 Rock? All forgettable nonsense. I Love The Night is rather a nice little tale of morbidity, and Fireworks is kinda cool, but I find it taxing to listen to the whole album at a stretch. Only recommended if you liked Agents of Fortune a lot.

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Send comments to thellama73 (BETA) | Report this review (#120295) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, April 30, 2007

Review by Andrea Cortese
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "History shows again and again how nature points up the folly of man!"

2nd quote: "The Golden Age of Leather may well be over, but the Golden Age of the Blue Öyster Cult is just beginning. They're as beautiful as a foot"  - Richard Riegel, Creem

With their fifth studio album to date, Blue Oyster Cult follow the footsteps of their top selling record Agents of Fortunes. Their so called "black and white period" is definitely gone but some sparkling moments are still here, together with the more commercial rock vein upon which all the ten tracks are builded up.

That's obviously the case of the funny opener "Godzilla" (penned by guitarist Donald "Buck Dharma" Roeser) and for the Lanier's tune "Searchin' for Celine" that reminds me, a little, of "True Confessions" featured in the previous album. On the other hand other songs are particularly interesting even though without the grandeur of their classic repertoire. The mighty "The Golden Age of Leather" and the fantastic "spectral" closer number by Joe Bouchard titled "Nosferatu". Two great tracks in the best Cult tradition. Other highlights are the soft "nocturnal" "I Love the Night" and "Fireworks". Worthy of special mention "Going Through the Motions" co-written by Eric Bloom and ex Mott the Hoople Ian Hunter.

Not enough to make of this album a beauty for prog listeners but a must have for fans like me who generally describe this work as one of their best at all.

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Send comments to Andrea Cortese (BETA) | Report this review (#123104) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Review by Queen By-Tor
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars After a huge commercial success it's hard to not stay commercial.

While definately not the same caliber of their former work the BOC are still a capable sounding band with this release. However, this is a softer sounding album, definately less heavy and more produced. The result is mixed, leaving some very good material mixed in with some more or less average tracks. In the end it's the slower, more thought out tracks that dominate the record, but others are worth mentioning as well.

The album starts out on a good note, GODZILLA is a good grinding track with a nice heavy riff. Moving on we get to the very well done GOLDEN AGE OF LEATHER, which, in all honesty, would be a better song without that horrendous intro. Anyways, it's a song with good progression and a nice instrumental breakdown. Next on the dockett is one of the album standouts, the haunting DEATH VALLY NIGHTS, which is a great track, a bit on the slow side, but after a few listens you can definately get into it. The next track worth mentioning is the all-too-short FIREWORKS, showcasing some exceptional vocals. Afterwords we come to the definately commercial R. U. READY 2 ROCK, which, besides annoying me by spelling the name like that, is a decent track, with no real high or low points. A couple more tracks pass that sound like the band is simply going through the motions until we reach the next standout, the exceptional I LOVE THE NIGHT. This is easily the best song on the album characterized by everything that made DEATH VALLEY... good, but, well, better.

When it comes right down to it this may have been where the BOC started their decline, but it is still a good album worth listening to, but definately not their best. 3 Stars, good, but not essential.

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Send comments to Queen By-Tor (BETA) | Report this review (#135384) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Review by Raff
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Much in the same vein as its predecessor, "Agents of Fortune", "Spectres" is however a much more consistent album in terms of songwriting. Though most of the compositions here could be superficially classed as AOR, they are solid, well-played tunes which will often stick in your mind for a long time. As other reviewers have already pointed out, the prog quotient is somewhat scarce, while the dictates of radio appeal seem to prevail. On the other hand, the songs possess for the most part a kind of sophistication that makes them interesting, even if not as challenging as, for instance, "7 Screamin' Dizbusters" or "Astronomy".

Though BOC can (and do) rock hard, they can also do melody as well as more celebrated bands. This is a constant of their output - the finely-crafted balance between melody, accessibility and full-on aggression. I find that particularly evident on "Spectres" - with the 'harder' side represented by two very different songs such as the fittingly crushing mid-tempo of opener "Godzilla", or the catchy, fast-paced "R U Ready to Rock?"; and the softer side by wistful, autumnal tracks such as "Fireworks" or "I Love the Night". The more radio-friendly direction taken by the band is instead embodied by pleasant, but ultimately forgettable songs like "Goin' Through the Motions" (co-written with legendary British songwriter Ian Hunter, formerly of Mott the Hoople), or "Death Valley Nights". However, it must also be said that BOC's take on AOR is quite unlike that of other, well-known US bands. Even when their songs are definitely easy on the ear, they always have a certain elegance about them that rescues them from descending into cheesiness.

The album's true highlights are to be found in two rather different compositions. "The Golden Age of Leather", an epic biker tale of heroism and death, boasts a very distinctive structure - a solemn, anthemic, a cappella introduction, followed by a series of time signature shifts culminating in a beautiful, haunting chorus. Album closer "Nosferatu" is instead a slow, dark, nocturnal tune, featuring that old mainstay of progressive rock, the mighty Mellotron.

As I have also stated in my "Agents of Fortune" review, there is little or no connection to prog to be found in this album - which doesn't mean it cannot be enjoyed by prog fans, especially if they keep their minds (and ears) open. Though "Spectres" is no masterpiece, it does have more than its share of good points, and is definitely a more cohesive effort than its predecessor. It is also a very pleasant listen for those days when 20-minute-long epics simply won't do. A solid 3.5 stars.

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Send comments to Raff (BETA) | Report this review (#161483) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, February 10, 2008

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Little by little, the quality of the BÖC albums is decreasing: from a peak with ''Secret Treaties'', the drop was obvious with ''Agent Of Fortune'' but not in terms of sales which probably led the band to some sort of willingness to re-create a copy of their previous album.

The overall mood is at times AOR-ish and can't move me at all (''Godzilla''). Fortunately, some very good hard-rocking tunes are also available: my fave from this work is by no doubt ''Golden Age Of Leather''. Although it holds all the archetypes and clichés of the genres, it is a very pleasant upbeat rock song with some fine vocals and a strong rhythmic all the way through.

The band is much more pop oriented and quieter now which sounds as an heresy in ''77 (''Fireworks', ''Goin' Through The Motions'' the poorest track from this offering IMO). They could have gone wilder and crazier instead, but they decided to head for another direction. Too bad.This leads to a rock ballad in the vein of ''Death Valley Nights''. It sounds as an average Alice Cooper tune.

But this is still OK though when compared to the funky ''Searchin' For Celine'' which is not at all my cup of tea. The New York Dolls oriented ''R.U. Ready 2 Rock'' is a funny and good old rocking track, which is fine after such a poor number.

There aren't no real great songs to be found here. Not too many blunders either would you say (although ''Celestial Queen'' does belong to this description as far as I'm concerned). But was this really what was expected from the band: a middle of the road rock album? I guess not. This album is fully radio formatted with most of the songs clocking under four minutes and the syrupy ballad ''I Love The Night'' is not truly thrilling to say the least.

I don't like this album very much to be honest. Too soft, too average to be worth more than two stars in my ranking.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#197082) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, January 03, 2009

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
4 stars After the mega sales of AOF, BOC did not resist to copy the formula, daring to improve on it slightly. If the previous album had a killer track that sold millions, Spectres duplicates the success with the monstrous (pun intended even if it is too easy) Godzilla, which really stands out as pure pop/rock gem, and is a much more understandable success than reaper was. But it is not all; indeed most of the tracks are simply of a better calibre than the previous effort, even if the whole thing does bear an almost-AOR-ish feel, compared to their earlier albums.

So, outside the opening Godzilla, the album continues with the excellent and complex Leather & Bike anthem of Golden Age, a track that has Judas Priest's Rob Halford drooling all over himself. Not of the same acabit, the hard-rocking Death Valley Nights is the last good song on the first side of Spectres, because after this come two softer songs which give the album its AOR aura: the funky Celine and the Calmer fireworks are just average, limit fillers.

Opening the flipside is one of the cheesiest and shameful attempts at writing a hit: R.U. Ready 2 Rock is not only all too evident and predictable (and a tad effective too), but it came quickly to open most concerts from that moment onwards. It's funny how some tracks should change names, especially when they're the filler-type, the catastrophically-named Going Through The Motions is probably the weaker track of the album. The fact that this song is sandwiched by two average tracks, the unremarkable Celestial Queen and the sleep-inducing Love The Night doesn't help either, but the album ends on a strong, dark, mellotron-filled Nosferatu track

Although most purists would tell you that Spectres is part of the wrong trilogy (the later-70's), I personally have a bit of a weak spot for it, especially when pitted against Agents or the lacklustre (pun intended) and upcoming Mirrors. Four strong songs and a b bunch average tracks, but no duds?. Even if I haven'r heard the bonus tracks of the latest reissue. I like Spectres enough to round it up to the upper star.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#227829) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
1 stars When Blue Oyster Cult included a song entitled Going Through The Motions on this album, they really weren't kidding. Spectres is one of the most unappealing collections of pop metal nonsense and soft rock schmaltz I have ever encountered. Not that pop metal or soft rock are necessarily a bad thing - no, what's fatal about this album is the fact that BOC simply give up. There's no enthusiasm perceptible, the songs are plodding and repetitive, and the album is clearly designed to cash in on the success of Agents of Fortune without making any effort to come up with the sort of compelling material the band used to. At least Don't Fear the Reaper had a decent guitar solo.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#555794) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, October 23, 2011

Latest members reviews

5 stars Spectres is the richest and most atmospheric album made by Blue Oyster Cult, and my personal favorite by them. I've followed this band for most of my life---I've seen them in concert twenty-one times, including what turned out to be the final reunion of all five original members--and never have all ... (read more)

Report this review (#1067009) | Posted by Zahler | Saturday, October 26, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I have seen some low ratings for this album and I just don't get why. I consider this to be the pinnacle of the career of Blue Oyster Cult. Everything is here- great riffs, solid musicianship, screaming solos, spacey lyrics, vampires, and a big Japenese lizard. What more can you ask for out of ... (read more)

Report this review (#273569) | Posted by mohaveman | Monday, March 22, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Even though this album is very polished and not what you would call a prog masterpiece, I have to agree with a lot of other reviewers that it is one of my favorite BOC albums that in it's highpoints, has really stood the test of time quite well. So, I'm tempted to rate it high since I love th ... (read more)

Report this review (#266734) | Posted by TCat | Wednesday, February 17, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars 'Spectres' has long been one of my favorite Blue Oyster Cult albums. It's a notch below 'Secret Treaties' in terms of consistent quality and heavy progressiveness... but it's much deeper and more cohesive than it's pale and thin predecessor 'Agents of Fortune'. The haunting and surreal album co ... (read more)

Report this review (#208134) | Posted by AdamHearst | Sunday, March 22, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars After the large sales of AOF BOC launches another good album SPECTRES; similar to AOF, but with a darker style, ghostly, mystical, making this album somewhat authentic in the sense of composition in music. Godzilla Become quickly along with the reaper the popular songs in the band, but beyond the so ... (read more)

Report this review (#196925) | Posted by JgX 5 | Friday, January 02, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Another rare member of the Spectres fan club here, probably my most played BOC album. I prefer this to their 'black and white' albums which have some great material but suffer from a rather thin and tinny-sounding production. Spectres has more of an AOR sheen than earlier efforts, but is a long ... (read more)

Report this review (#160279) | Posted by Drachen Theaker | Thursday, January 31, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I feelts i hade to write a rewieve to suport this album that i like very much seeing how low the rating is. This might be my second favorite BÖC album after Agents of fortunes, yes i am well awere of the 3 black and white period albums and they are all great, but i somehow prefere thise 2 album ... (read more)

Report this review (#160277) | Posted by Zargus | Thursday, January 31, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Well, when you are on a prog-related page and reviewing an album made by a hard rock band in the peak of their commercial success, you ought to know it won't be too proggy. :P So, if you approach this album with reasonable expectations, you will be pleasantly surprised for there is very strong ma ... (read more)

Report this review (#150607) | Posted by rogerthat | Wednesday, November 14, 2007 | Review Permanlink

2 stars BOC was a great band that never truly lived up to its potential. This album is the best example of that. Growing up, this album seemed to always be on my turntable, but returning to it many years later, I find it to be a mixed bag. Showcasing some of their strengths , 'Spectres' seldom lives up to ... (read more)

Report this review (#130549) | Posted by DantesRing | Saturday, July 28, 2007 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Here comes the same old problem with the "prog related" entries. Everybody expects to listen to prog, and a very good rocking album (like this one) ends up being much underrated because it doesn't sound like that. The Blue Oyster Cult are normally protagonist in heavy metal sites and forums, wid ... (read more)

Report this review (#129361) | Posted by paolo.beenees | Friday, July 20, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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