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Blue Öyster Cult Mirrors album cover
2.66 | 141 ratings | 13 reviews | 4% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1979

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Dr. Music (3:14)
2. The Great Sun Jester (4:46)
3. In Thee (3:48)
4. Mirrors (3:45)
5. Moon Crazy (4:05)
6. The Vigil (6:25)
7. I Am the Storm (3:43)
8. You're Not the One (I Was Looking For) (3:15)
9. Lonely Teardrops (3:40)

Total Time 36:43

Line-up / Musicians

- Eric Bloom / lead vocals (1,2,7), guitar
- Donald "Buck Dharma" Roeser / lead guitar, lead vocals (3,4,6,9)
- Allen Lanier / keyboards, guitar
- Joseph Bouchard / bass, lead vocals (5)
- Albert Bouchard / drums, lead vocals (8)

- Mickey Raphael / harmonica (1)
- Jai Winding / strings (3)
- Ellen Foley / backing vocals (1,4)
- Genya Ravan / backing vocals (1,4)
- Wendy Webb / backing vocals (9)

Releases information

Artwork: Loren Salazar with Elliot Gilbert (photo)

LP Columbia ‎- JC 36009 (1979, US)

CD Columbia ‎- CK 36009 (1988, US)

Thanks to andrea cortese for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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BLUE ÖYSTER CULT Mirrors ratings distribution

(141 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(4%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(24%)
Good, but non-essential (37%)
Collectors/fans only (30%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

BLUE ÖYSTER CULT Mirrors reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by thellama73
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Way better than people give it credit for. Sure, it's pop, but so what? It's awfully fine pop if you ask me, with many shining moments. In Thee and You're Not The One I was Looking For are radio gold. The Great Sun Jester is a nice tracka=a and, I Am The Storm adds a touch of hard rock to the proceedings. The only thing that really bothers me about this record is the increasingly present vocals of the Bouchard brothers, which come across as overly whiny. They just don't have the voices for this type of music. Let Buck sing instead. Also, Dr. Music sucks a lot. Underrated!
Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars It's sad what record company pressure can do to brilliant (and somewhat naive ) musicians, case in point. Every progger agrees that the first 3 albums were jewels. RIP for ever. Agents of Fortune was very very ordinary and totally out of past context. Spectres was pretty ordinary as well. Guess what? Mirrors is another chapter in the same book. The only track that is remotely exhilarating is the 6 and a half minute "The Vigil", which has a simply wild and memorable Buck Dharma solo , blasting into life right after the bell rings. Get the song, save it, revel in it but chuck the rest. One song does not make an album.We are not popsters (who would accept such a crime), we are proggers needing extended and epic fixes, for God's sake ! You can't really help but to wave the azure oyster goodbye, as I did when I purchased my last BOC album- Los Imaginos. Since then, I gently return to Career of Evil and Dominance & Submission on Secret Treaties to get my kicks.

2 cracked reflections

Review by Andrea Cortese
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars After the great success of the band for studio albums such as "Agents of Fortune" and "Spectres", it was quite evident that the band had to chose their direction. Would they had turned into more commercial fields? or rather investigated and returned to the harder side they leave some years before?

Well, in Mirrors the contradiction is not solved. For a while it seems that they have forgotten their roots. In fact songs as "Lonely Teardrops" or "You're Not the One (I Was Looking For)" are way more commercial than anything before and "Doctor Music" seems to repeate the same formula of "Godzilla". Ok, I really like both, but the problem remains...they're far from being "high".

On the other hand, "The Vigil" and "The Great Sun Jester" bring the listener to a more comfortable area. Very good, people have to admit it. Unfortunately I do think that's not enough for giving the album a three stars rating. It's good, but perhaps the most commercial one until now. Gentle/hard rock it may not seems unfair, but its nature of transitional records cannot be denied. The following steps are generally regarded as classics. For now, if you want to listen to good pop-rock songs plus a pair of very good tracks, without having too much high expectations, well, you're welcome.

2,5 stars.

Review by Queen By-Tor
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Different.

It was in 1976 that Blue Oyster Cult [BOC] released their commercial hit ''Agents of Fortune'', fueled by the hit (Don't Fear) The Reaper. In a crazy, wish you were here kind of way, their next album, Spectres, was an album much in the same style, even a sister album of sorts. This saw the band leaving the heavy metal genre that they'd help to found, and their fans started to feel a bit left out, with songs like ''Fireworks'' in the place of something heavier, like ''The Red and the Black''. By 1979 many fans were likely hoping to get their rock back on when BOC went to release another album. When Mirrors came out... they would be disappointed. The album was even softer and more commercial than the last.

This does not mean, however, that the album is bad. With the ability of hindsight it's quite clear to see that BOC actually had something going here. Often accused of being bad pop music, Mirrors actually offers some quite catchy pop-rock that has some very progressive moments hidden away in it. Softer, yes, but it's still good.

The album opens with the heavy DR. MUSIC. While this sounds more or less like something made by Kiss, it's still a good rocker with a nice sing-along chorus. Those back up singers do get fairly annoying, though (but they will be there all throughout the album, so be prepared). Another good pop-rocker is the title track, MIRRORS. Though the singing girls in the chorus will definately throw off the average metal-head, this song's catchy riff and interesting lyrics will keep many a rock fan entertained. I AM THE STORM is another good rocker, even if it's speed changes are a little bit awkward. YOU'RE NOT THE ONE (I WAS LOOKING FOR) is a radio-friendly, wanna-be hit, but's still catchy none the less. LONELY TEARDROPS also deserves a mention, being likely the only time where the female backers actually contribute to the music.

What about music for the prog fan?

There's a couple great tracks here that border on prog, enjoyable for the prog-head. THE GREAT SUN JESTER is a great song with some excellent lyrics and melodies with some pretty piano thrown into the mix, great for any prog fan. THE VIGIL is likely where most prog fans will get their rocks off, though. More complex and aggressive than any of it's peers, this is a jump back in time for the BOC. Had they kept on going with songs like this they would have made... well, another ''Imaginos''. IN THEE is another song that's not quite as prog, but it's very nice and slow and cozy, a great pop love song that doesn't annoy the average rocker.

A very different album that's maligned, but rightly so. 2 stars, fans and collectors only. Prog-heads should likely start with the black and white era of the band, but people who liked Agents or Spectres will enjoy this one. Bad metal album, but a good rock album with some prog elements (if subtle).

Review by ZowieZiggy
2 stars Sometimes, the change in the musical style of a band is due to the line-up changes which affect the quality of their music. But there was nothing as such with the Cult. Their ''transformation'' is due to other elements.

Even if I wasn't a big fan of their music in the seventies (I was more influenced by UK music than American one), I have to admit that they released some pretty good songs and they released several good albums with ''Secret Treaty'' as highlight in their career.

This work is quite a different story, but the previous ''Spectres'' was already a down point in their discography. This one is a straight pop-rock album with little creativity. Radio-friendly (?) and formatted US music.

The BÖC relation with prog has always been very thin (if ever existing), but this one is even more alien to the concept. The nadir being the syrupy ''In Thee'' which is a complete PITA. But great songs don't belong to this work, unfortunately.

Below average basic rock tunes like ''Mirrors'' are just bearable: weak melody, average soloing, poor chorus etc. Actually, I don't feel like this album is underrated: it is just rated as it deserves: a very, very average rock album. No less, no more.

It only escapes the one star rating thanks to a couple of songs which are raising the level of this work. But let's not be too much excited about these, they are far from being masterpieces.

Take ''The Vigil'' for instance. A heavy blues-rock fully in accordance with the Purple Mark III mould. This piece of music is brilliantly illustrated by the very good work from Buck Dharma on the guitar (same comment for ''I Am The Storm'').

This album is totally dispensable. Two stars.

Review by b_olariu
3 stars Blue Oyester Cult was and is a band that for one reason or another I find them very enjoyble, no matter if they turned to be an almost pop group with this last releast of them fromthe '70's entitled simply Mirrors. While this album is far from what they offered in the early '70's this release is a good one , and only because here are some realy good tracks like:The Great Sun Jester - great piece and a special one for me even here they adopted a more commercial attitude than on previouses pieces, Moon Crazy - un uptempo piece with great choruses and The vigil , amybe the best piese musicaly speaking, great is the solo mayde by Dharma, the rest are between mediocre and ok. Not very much to add, just a pleasent album to me even if is almost nothing to offer for a prog listener, I will give 3 stars rounded. Not among the best BOC album but I think not the worst they ever done. Some spins worth from time to time.
Review by Raff
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
1 stars When "Mirrors" was released in 1979, the mighty New Yorkers seemed to have reached the nadir of their musical inspiration. Such an album would perhaps have been an achievement for other bands, but not for those who - just a few years earlier - had produced such masterpieces as "Tyranny and Mutation" and "Secret Treaties". Here, what we have is a mish-mash of lacklustre, trivial rock'n'roll numbers, poppy ballads, and a couple of tracks that, while undeniably decent, do not by any means reach the heights BOC had proved themselves capable of scaling.

"Mirrors" is a very big step backwards for the band, much more so than the often reviled "Agents of Fortune" and "Spectres" (which in my opinion is far better than its predecessor). For one thing, there is nothing that can be even remotely compared to "Don't Fear the Reaper" (which may be overexposed and all that, but it is nonetheless one hell of a song) or "The Golden Age of Leather". "In Thee" is a lame attempt at a romantic song, and album opener "Dr Music" sounds a bit too much like Kiss for comfort. The title-track has an almost disco beat, though Buck Dharma's solo rescues it from complete oblivion. It should also be noted that on a couple of songs the band make use of female backing vocals, which add a further dimension of radio-friendliness to the proceedings.

As already stated by my fellow reviewers, "Mirrors"' only real highlights are "The Great Sun Jester" (with lyrics by Michael Moorcock") and "The Vigil", which is also the album's longest track. The former, however, is the weakest of the three songs penned by the British fantasy and sci-fi author, and lacks the intensity and visionary grandeur of "Black Blade" and "Veteran of the Psychic Wars". On the other hand, "The Vigil", a slow-burning mid-tempo with a brief acoustic guitar intro, would not look out of place on the likes of "Secret Treaties": it features some remarkable guitar work, courtesy of the great Buck Dharma, and plenty of time changes for added interest. The brisk rocker "I Am the Storm" is also marginally more interesting than the bulk of the album, though somewhat uninspired.

After such an album, BOC seemed headed towards an unstoppable decline, at least as regards the quality of their output. Luckily, at the beginning of the new decade, through the help of legendary producer Martin Birch they managed to regain the brilliance of their earlier releases. "Mirrors" remains therefore a transitional album in the band's history, and on the whole a rather forgettable one. Only recommended if you are (like me) a long-time fan of the band, and feel the need to own all their records. As for everybody else , get the 'black and white' trilogy instead, or the two albums BOC released after this one - you will get to know them in all their glory.

Review by Sean Trane
1 stars 1.5 stars really, just because of two songs

Obviously running out of breath after the still-good Spectres, the group skipped a year in the one studio album per year rhythm, and to keep the fan fans waiting in patience by releasing the then-uncalled for live album of Some Enchanted Evening. So Mirrors came one year later than it should've, but obviously the extra-time was not what the band needed, but probably a good holiday. Released in 79 with the bland artwork we know, Mirrors is the lowest point in their first decade of recording artist.

Marred by disastrous backing vocals, the opening track Dr Music and the disco-footed title- track and the soppy would-be hit ballad In Thee are giving the tone on just how bad this will be. Most of the rest of the album is jut as bad, sometimes really unworthy of previous BOC albums, most of the remaining tracks feel like fillers, IF it wasn't for three tracks that would find space on much better albums. Indeed the Moorcock-penned The Great Sun Jester, first of a trilogy of collab with BOC, while Vigil is a step back in time with their early albums and I Am The Storm would be a credible filler on Treaties or even on the not-so distant Spectres. For the rest, Basta!! Please move forward, there is nothing more worthy of being seen heard or dissected. Clearly the group was on the verge of breaking down or make drastic changes, but the days of Pearlman as producer/assistant were clearly over. Best avoided, and if you ask me, even completionists should think twice before getting Mirrors.

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars I have to say that I am a big BOC fan, but I can't rate this album very high. Don't get me wrong, I find a lot of the songs here very enjoyable, but as a masterpiece of is very far from it. The songs are mostly commercial. The funny thing is, though, there are no memorable songs from a commercial standpoint. Most of the songs are radio friendly, but I bet there is not a single song on here that a casual listener would even recognize. Quite ironic.

Personally, I like most of the songs on here. There are plenty of great guitar solos on songs like "The Great Sun Jester", "Moon Crazy", I am the Storm", and "The Vigil". I love the acoustic sound of "In Thee" and the nice beat in "You're Not the One (I was Looking For)". But from a progressive standpoint, the only song that would be considered acceptable is "The Vigil". By the way, the one song I don't like here is "Lonely Teardrops" and unfortunately, it closes the album and this makes you feel like the sum of the parts aren't as good as the individual parts themselves. So, it is an enjoyable album, but just not a standout album and not one of their best.

Review by Warthur
4 stars The swing back around to heavier material was just around the corner, but there was a way to go yet before it arrived. Mirrors catches the Cult at the most extreme swing swing of the pendulum towards pop they'd air in the 1970s, and in that respect is something of a development of the sound of Spectres.

I Am the Storm even suggests, in a mild way, the sheer power the band used to take for granted in their classic days, but other songs such as The Great Sun Jester or In Thee present a gentler, harmony-oriented musical approach, and Doctor Music sounds like a KISS parody.

I didn't think much of this album at first, but it finally clicked with me when I realised what this was - as the title implies, this is Blue Oyster Cult in retro mode, using the slickest 1970s rock techniques to evoke the spirit of the 1950s. There's a classic rock and roll air to proceedings which increases as the album continues, and which has a certain charm to it all of its own - but to really embrace this you need to abandon any expectation of the band hitting the level of heaviness they displayed in their earlier works. From a hard rock or proto-metal perspective, it's disappointing - from a pop perspective, I'd say it's a strong improvement over Spectres.

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars No sacred cows down this stretch of road

If some BOC fans had their way the band would have simply rehashed their first three albums ad infinitum. Many seem to base every judgment about the band through the prism of those albums. Thank God the band didn't listen to them because it is their second trilogy of albums (from Agents through Mirrors) that expanded their legacy by providing some of the most refreshing and quality music of their long career. These albums do not tarnish their name as many believe, they enhance it, they add much to the diversity of sound that distinguished BOC from some of the other hard rock bands of the day. For a brief moment we were treated to some different shimmering stars of the BOC universe.

Looking back at the most loathed "Mirrors" and allowing it to stand on its own it is amazing how it closes their second trilogy with such class. This is a moody album at times (some darkness, some light), a perfect album for cruising the highway at dusk or dawn-and thus, managed near perfection in the album cover art. While not quite the devious masterpiece that "Agents" was, "Mirrors" at first sounds like a continuation of "Spectres" but there is a noticeable shift to sonically cooler places. This makes sense because this was BOC's "west coast" album, their only 70s album made in Los Angeles. To get even further from their comfort zone they chose a new producer, the legendary Tom Werman, who true to his reputation challenged the ingrained notions (and with one band member even the musicianship) of the band. While not perfect it is a delicious 70s rock album if one can forget about things like "how progressive" it was or whether it pleases the first trilogy purists.

"Mirrors" is for the Cult as "Cornerstone" was for Styx. Released just four months apart, both presented a version of their respective bands with earnest precision and pop sentiments encouraged. Perhaps the charge of chasing FM airplay is fair but who gives a [&*!#] when the results are such ear candy? These are talented folks who didn't miss the plate much in the 1970s. There are a couple of classics on Mirrors that rival their best. "The Great Sun Jester" is full of warm acoustic guitar and an almost Lindsey Buckingham-like attention to detail. "The Vigil" could sit anywhere on Agents or Treaties and hold its own. A great mysterious vibe with a multi-section song construction, beautiful harmonies and guitar solos. "You're Not the One" is an odd but fantastic track, sounding at times like The Cars and featuring a Kim Deal guitar sound which makes me laugh when I hear it. See if you can spot the part I refer to. "Moon Crazy" is pure pop shine but listen to the killer playing! "In Thee" is a sweet track from the late great Allen Lanier who may have been influenced by Patti Smith, I actually think her vibe did creep into a few BOC albums and improve them. Same with "Lonely Teardrops" which closes the album with a beautiful musical sunset, via the background harmonies, soft keys, and great guitar solo.

I'm the odd man out on this title, never a surprise, but I think it is great. If you can't let your hair down and just enjoy a catchy album once in a while, you're really missing out on part of the pleasure of music. Kudos to whomever in the BOC camp was responsible for engineering this sunny Los Angeles fork in the road. The sacred cows would return soon enough.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Well will start by saying I recently acquired the BOC box set and its introduced me to old and later recording I was not familiar with. Having grown up listening to Spectres, Fire of Unknown Origin, Revolution By Night etc some of the older earlier recordings didnt move me and being a victim of 80 ... (read more)

Report this review (#1174423) | Posted by betawave31 | Sunday, May 11, 2014 | Review Permanlink

3 stars From 1979, MIRRORS pales a bit compared to it's predeseccor SPECTRES, but is still a pretty good album. Good tracks are "Mirrors", Great Sun Jester", "In Thee", and "The Vigil" (an overlooked Blue Oyster Cult classic. There are weak filler tracks such as "Lonely Teardrops" but all BOC albums seem to ... (read more)

Report this review (#733593) | Posted by mohaveman | Friday, April 20, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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