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BLUE ÖYSTER CULT

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Blue Öyster Cult biography
Founded in 1967 in Long Island, N.Y., USA (as Soft White Underbelly) - Hiatus 1986-1987 - Still active as of 2017

Hailing from NYC, the members of the band that was to become BLUE ÖYSTER CULT (BÖC for short) began to come together in the late 1960s, as a band called "Soft White Underbelly"; then changed into "Stalk-Forrest Group" in 1968. The name BLUE ÖYSTER CULT probably came from a 1960s poem written by manager Sandy Pearlman, though there are different versions of the story. It was part of his poetry, later used more extensively in their 1988 album "Imaginos". In Pearlman's poetry, the "Blue Oyster Cult" was a collection of aliens who had to secretly guide Earth's history. The addition of the umlaut above the vocal "o" was suggested by either Allen Lanier or Richard Meltzer. Other bands, such as Motörhead and Queensr˙che, later copied the practice of using umlauts or diacritic marks in their own band logos. The band's logo is the alchemical symbol for lead, one of the heaviest of metals. Pearlman considered this, combined with the heavy and distorted guitar sound of the band and coined the description "heavy metal" to describe BLUE ÖYSTER CULT's music.

Nicknamed 'the American Black Sabbath', or 'the thinking man's hard rock band' BÖC released their self-titled debut album in 1972. Its striking black-and-white cover prominently featured the now famous hook & cross symbol which the band adopted as their logo, and one of their most famous tracks to date, "Cities on Flame (With Rock and Roll)". Their second album, "Tyranny and Mutation", was built on the first album's basis, but moved towards harder (The Black side) and richer sounds (The Red side). After that, the band aimed to make an album with more emotional impact for their third outing. When "Secret Treaties" was released in 1974, it gained critical acclaim, and it's still now by many considered their "proggiest" effort of the Seventies, with such songs as "Astronomy" and "Flaming Telepaths". The lyrics to "Career of Evil" were written by punk icon Patti Smith, whose collaboration with the band lasted several years, since she was the girlfriend of keyboardist Allen Lanier.

Then came "Agents of Fortune" (their first gold record) that contained their most famous track ever, "(Don't Fear) The Reaper", which reached #12 on the US Billboard charts. For its follow-up, "Spectres", the band tried to come up with an even better record; however, for a lot of hardcore fans "Agents." was t...
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BLUE ÖYSTER CULT Videos (YouTube and more)


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BLUE ÖYSTER CULT discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

BLUE ÖYSTER CULT top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.42 | 199 ratings
Blue Öyster Cult
1972
3.48 | 196 ratings
Tyranny And Mutation
1973
4.16 | 293 ratings
Secret Treaties
1974
3.23 | 204 ratings
Agents Of Fortune
1976
3.37 | 151 ratings
Spectres
1977
2.64 | 120 ratings
Mirrors
1979
3.52 | 154 ratings
Cultösaurus Erectus
1980
3.72 | 177 ratings
Fire Of Unknown Origin
1981
3.10 | 95 ratings
The Revölution By Night
1983
2.52 | 86 ratings
Club Ninja
1986
3.82 | 111 ratings
Imaginos
1988
2.00 | 1 ratings
Bad Channels (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
1992
2.98 | 23 ratings
Cult Classic
1994
2.89 | 73 ratings
Heaven Forbid
1998
3.04 | 75 ratings
Curse Of The Hidden Mirror
2001
3.38 | 25 ratings
The Symbol Remains
2020

BLUE ÖYSTER CULT Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.05 | 86 ratings
On Your Feet or on Your Knees
1975
3.46 | 79 ratings
Some Enchanted Evening
1978
4.00 | 64 ratings
Extraterrestrial Live
1982
2.88 | 16 ratings
Live 1976
1991
1.00 | 1 ratings
Tales of the Psychic Wars
2001
3.48 | 27 ratings
A Long Day's Night
2002
3.10 | 10 ratings
Extended Versions
2004
1.00 | 1 ratings
Forbidden Delights LA 1981
2015
3.33 | 3 ratings
45th Anniversary: Live in London
2020
1.00 | 1 ratings
iHeart Radio Theater N.Y.C. 2012
2020

BLUE ÖYSTER CULT Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

BLUE ÖYSTER CULT Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.14 | 5 ratings
Career Of Evil: The Metal Years
1990
3.46 | 12 ratings
Workshop of the Telescopes
1995
3.88 | 6 ratings
Don't Fear the Reaper
1997
4.08 | 19 ratings
Don't Fear the Reaper: The Best of Blue Öyster Cult
2000
3.26 | 4 ratings
Are You Ready To Rock?
2003
1.00 | 1 ratings
The Singles Collection
2005
2.00 | 2 ratings
Collections
2006
2.83 | 3 ratings
Triple Feature
2009
4.55 | 11 ratings
The Columbia Albums Collection
2012
3.90 | 2 ratings
Rarities Vol. 1
2017
3.90 | 2 ratings
Rarities, Vol. 2
2018

BLUE ÖYSTER CULT Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Cities on Flame with Rock and Roll
1972
0.00 | 0 ratings
Hot Rails to Hell
1973
0.00 | 0 ratings
Career of Evil
1974
5.00 | 1 ratings
(Don't Fear) The Reaper
1976
0.00 | 0 ratings
This Ain't the Summer of Love / Debbie Denise
1976
0.00 | 0 ratings
Goin' Through the Motions / Searchin' for Celine
1977
5.00 | 1 ratings
Godzilla
1977
0.00 | 0 ratings
Mirrors / Lonely Teardrops
1979
0.00 | 0 ratings
In Thee
1979
0.00 | 0 ratings
Fallen Angel
1980
0.00 | 0 ratings
You're Not the One (I Was Looking For)
1980
0.00 | 0 ratings
Here's Johnny (The Marshall Plan)
1980
5.00 | 1 ratings
Burnin' for You
1981
0.00 | 0 ratings
Blue Oyster Cult Live
1982
0.00 | 0 ratings
Take Me Away
1983
5.00 | 1 ratings
Shooting Shark
1983
0.00 | 0 ratings
Perfect Water
1985
0.00 | 0 ratings
White Flags
1985
5.00 | 1 ratings
Dancin' in the Ruins
1986
0.00 | 0 ratings
Astronomy
1988

BLUE ÖYSTER CULT Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Symbol Remains by BLUE ÖYSTER CULT album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.38 | 25 ratings

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The Symbol Remains
Blue Öyster Cult Prog Related

Review by MrMan2000

4 stars Yeah, if you had Blue Oyster Cult putting out one of the best albums in their entire catalog after nearly 20 years of silence and at 50 years(!) past their original album on your 2020 bingo card congratulations! I had no idea these guys were even making music, let along releasing a full-length album. More importantly the "band" features original key member Eric Bloom and Donadl Roeser and long-time member Richie Castellano.

Everything that has made BOC is here:

1. riff-heavy proto-metal 2. groovy pop-laden, mid-tempo rockers 3. bizarro sci-fi-tinged lyrics that somehow make no sense but also make cogent commentary on society today

Honestly, it's shocking how good this album is. Favorites include conspiracy-rocker Edge of the World, mega-shuffle Train True, sinister The Aldhemist and classic BOC rocker The Return of St. Cecilia.

But it's Stand and Fight that truly shines. A no-holds-barred, heavy metal rocker (think Cities on Flame heavy riffs) combined with an anthemic chorus and cool instrumental section that bludgeons the listener while simultaneously making us stand and raise our fist. Seriously, no band 50+ years into their career has a right to be making music this heavy.

A truly shocking and surprisingly enjoyable release that fits proudly amongst the band's best in their mammoth catalog.

 The Symbol Remains by BLUE ÖYSTER CULT album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.38 | 25 ratings

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The Symbol Remains
Blue Öyster Cult Prog Related

Review by mohaveman

3 stars It's been a long time, I believe 19 years since the last album from BOC. But they are finally back with THE SYMBOL REMAINS. There are 14 songs on this release, and, like most of their recent efforts, it is very hit and miss. I have always been a huge fan of BOC going back to their early "progressive" heavy albums and even through their more commercial albums from the 80's. While they are not all great, there was always enough meaty songs to make up for the ones to skip. Even albums like CLUB NINJA have some great tunes. With this current release the Cult has given us a mixture of excellent tunes, good tunes, and a few that I just can't get myself to find interesting. "Box in my head" is pure Buck Dharma and brings back memories of many earlier Buck tunes. I enjoy "Nightmare Epiphany", and "Tainted Blood" (another vampire BOC song to add to things like "Nosferatu", as well as "The Alchemist". I have issues getting into the more rocky, bluesy numbers like "Florida Man" and "Train True". So, this is not a stellar album like "Imaginos", "Secret Treaties", or "On Your Feet or On Your Knees" but it contains enough gems among the lesser pieces to rate 3 stars. No matter what, it's fantastic to hear something new from a classic band...
 The Symbol Remains by BLUE ÖYSTER CULT album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.38 | 25 ratings

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The Symbol Remains
Blue Öyster Cult Prog Related

Review by Heart of the Matter

3 stars Nothing to proclaim, but also nothing to complain about this album. It has everything one have learn to expect from the Cult: Thunderous riffs, like the one in the opener. Effective (yet distinctive) vocal harmonies introducing a welcomed dose of strangeness, like in "Box in My Head". And, of course, the tasty and unmistakable electric guitar soloing by their long-time leader, Buck Dharma, like in "Tainted Blood".

The songs may not be the best among their considerable catalog, but certainly they are fine material, strong both in composition and execution: hard rock with a touch of creepy weirdness (never indulging in glam excesses, nevertheless, listen to "Nightmare Epiphany").

A good album to consider.

 Bad Channels (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) by BLUE ÖYSTER CULT album cover Studio Album, 1992
2.00 | 1 ratings

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Bad Channels (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Blue Öyster Cult Prog Related

Review by Kelder

— First review of this album —
2 stars First review of this "Blue Öyster Cult" album!!!

Alright, first things first: this is not a BÖC album. It's a soundtrack and it's not even by BÖC... Half of the record are instrumentals recorded by BÖC for the movie Bad Channels. The other half are songs recorded for the movie which also feature in the movie, played by the bands that also perform the songs in the movie. So there's actually only 2 songs by BÖC on this album. It's obvious the BÖC name was used for commercial reasons.

The instrumentals are pretty good when you hear them during the screening of the movie. The movie itself is really cheesy and not recommended to watch. When listening to the score itself it's pretty boring and it basically sounds like some good ideas that last 30 to 60 seconds. So I can't really think of anybody that wants to hear these instrumentals outside of the movie.

The other half of the record consist of 11 songs performed by 6 bands. The bands also perform the songs in the movie except BÖC and the Ukelalians (which is not a real band). Here's a list of how eclectic this album is:

BÖC: classic rock, hard rock Joker: glam metal Fair Game: heavy metal, hard rock (features Ron Keel as singer, remember him?) Sykotik Sinfoney: alternative rock DMT: grunge Ukelaliens: polka

Like I already stated there's only 2 BÖC songs... So what about them?

Demon's Kiss: standard rock song with simple chord-progression and some cheesy horror lyrics

The Horseman Arrive: great stomping cock rock with mysterious dark lyrics. This is the kind of song what BÖC was know for in the '70s. It has that eerily feel of Reaper mixed with the stomping of Godzilla. Great!

Conclusion: do not buy this album is you are not an extreme BÖC fan like myself. The score music is boring and sounds like some short ideas that need more work. The songs on the album only feature 2 BÖC songs in which one is pretty standard and totally forgetable. If you are into glam metal, the songs by Joker and Fair Game are not bad at all. Overall, this album only contains 1 great BÖC songs: The Horseman Arrive. Is it that good that you should want this album? No. Is it a bad album? No, not bad it just lacks consistentcy. I would say it's just for collectors/fans only (a BÖC fan like myself).

 Cultösaurus Erectus by BLUE ÖYSTER CULT album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.52 | 154 ratings

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Cultösaurus Erectus
Blue Öyster Cult Prog Related

Review by sgtpepper

3 stars The band return to a good and convincing shape after two below average efforts. This album is a best marriage between older hard rock/rock, adventurous trips to prog-rock/jazz-rock and radio friendly AOR. The band delivers no fillers, decent compositions and seems to be getting the creative peak again. Songs are not only well composed but also thoroughly developed to admire arrangements and finesse that BOC got so renowned for.

"Back blade" is a strong opener with Hammond and hard rock guitars. The chorus is a bit cheasy but the middle section with organ sounds mysterious and perfectly recreates the spirit of BOC. Using vocoders spoils the good feeling a bit. "Monsters" is a monster track and total highlight with hard-rock riffs followed by jazz saxophone moments which is very progressive. These two breathtaking tracks by followed by bluesy and ominous "Divine wind". "Deadline" has a futuristic bass line and 80's synth texture, a nicely updated sound. "Hungry boys" is a radio-friendly new wave song that still manages to feature a fast guitar solo. "Fallen angel" captures my attention by shouting vocal and ARP accolades. The last two tracks return to the 70's BOC territory: from hard rock to a lighter rock'n'roll. A fresh breeze of music and one of the band peaks.

 Some Enchanted Evening by BLUE ÖYSTER CULT album cover Live, 1978
3.46 | 79 ratings

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Some Enchanted Evening
Blue Öyster Cult Prog Related

Review by sgtpepper

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.

 Spectres by BLUE ÖYSTER CULT album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.37 | 151 ratings

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Spectres
Blue Öyster Cult Prog Related

Review by sgtpepper

3 stars Godzilla is a trademark song full of catchy riffs and easily readable note, far from the usual complexity of BOC. Fortunately, not too much is sacrificed to give away this radio-friendly song. Guys have matured significantly with their vocal harmonies and that is one of the highlights. I prefer other songs on this album that have a bit more substance which are still up to BOC standards. "Golden age of leather" has excellent vocal harmonies and good drum fills, a good energetic song. "Death valley nights" reminds us of a harder edge that BOC previously had but "R U Ready 2 Rock" still beats it with simple but effective riffs and elaborate vocals. "Fireworks" has focus on well matching vocals and catchy melody - remotely the chords remind of "Don't fear the reaper". "Goin' through motions" could be attributed to a R&B/Soul artist and BOC did a great job by arranging it in the way. "Nosferatu" is the only song that has hints of prog-rock ambitions due to its guitar/drum complexity and multiple changes in the song. Let's also mention mellotron. All elements brought to the BOC perfection, a track to get addicted to.

 Agents Of Fortune by BLUE ÖYSTER CULT album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.23 | 204 ratings

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Agents Of Fortune
Blue Öyster Cult Prog Related

Review by sgtpepper

3 stars Agents of Fortune was quite a departure from bold, ambitious, authentic and adventurous previous records. The band was maybe trying to get higher financial return while not losing their credibility. Guitars are still main element in the sound but better balanced by keyboards, which is not necessarily a bad thing. More polished sound is not only due to array of keyboards but also less pondering and less busy drumming. Vocals and compositional qualities remain high; progressive tendencies are almost gone but let's acknowledge small addition trumpet and saxophone. Instrumental parts in songs are still very pleasant. "Don't fear the reaper" is the most famous cut due to its easy going melody and catchiness but miles away from being their best song, I found the main section even a bit boring and simplistic but the middle section with keyboards and wailing guitar save the day. "E.T.I" finally brings some heavy riffing inside, it's a relatively slow song but thankfully enough for a great guitar solo. "Sinful love" is a prime example of band's updated sound with funkier more commercial appeal and more polished guitars. "Tatoo vampire" is a high-quality punk infected song and as heavy as it could get in 1976. "Tenderloin" is one of few songs where keyboards and bass dominate over guitars. "Debbie Denise" sounds like a love song and has a great melody including acoustic guitars, too. A nice addition to BOC discography.
 Secret Treaties by BLUE ÖYSTER CULT album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.16 | 293 ratings

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Secret Treaties
Blue Öyster Cult Prog Related

Review by sgtpepper

4 stars One of BOC masterpieces where their talent and skills soar to the sky. Compositionally, these folks are miles ahead many other hard rock bands. Finesse in arrangements and music palette are astonishing. For prog-based fans, this is the album to dig into even though only remotely related to pure prog-rock, ambitions, sound and concept following point to some prog-rock influence in this album. The album is lighter than two previous albums. The first track is one of the most known BOC songs with melodic guitar lines, organ and killing melody. The second track is surprisingly light but there are other things to compensate: I like the part where the singer sings like Dylan and drums become more dynamic. Extensive guitar duett paired with electric piano are appeal to me. "Dominance and submission" sounds more like being from the first heavier albums with simple chords, it is as close to traditional hard rock as it can get. The song to hear when driving. Give nod to the drummer and his often changing rhythmics. "ME 262" is a straightforward rocker with metallic riffs while "Cagey Cretins" is notable for its vocals, shouting and multilayered but also harmonies. The end is marked by two highlights that have progressive hints. "Flaming telepaths" features background harmonies and a synth solo but equally good piano licks! "Astronomy" is one of the most ambitious song by BOC, the sound reminds me of acoustic Led Zeppelin or Uriah Heep. Keyboards. Killer riffs and melodies with ample guitar soloing provide enough fun until the end. Mellow parts with organ/piano give additional complexity.

A great album and the only pure excellent addition to prog rock music collection by BOC.

 Tyranny And Mutation by BLUE ÖYSTER CULT album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.48 | 196 ratings

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Tyranny And Mutation
Blue Öyster Cult Prog Related

Review by sgtpepper

3 stars The first concept album by Blue Oyster Cult of two dipols, as evidenced by colour side names, album name but less in its music. Playing got more refined, the sound developed - can you notice traces of punk that would emerge in a few years and slightly jazzy chord sequences that the band ventured in occasionally? Good old ingredients such as American late 60's spirit and creative arrangements remained in place. The first song is quite pondering, heavy; although chords may be simplistic, bass guitar playing and guitar duels are pleasant. The second song shows that harmonies are not a strange word in band's vocals. "Hot rails to hell" has an ominous riff and plenty of great guitar arrangements be it soloing, colouring or psychedelic textures. "7 screaming diz-busters" is an excellent progressive hard rock epic with jazzy introduction a la "Made in Sweden" and folky parts combined with rawer rocking ferocious playing. Apart from usual guitar tandem, advanced psychedelic organ pyrotechnics comes in. "Wings wetted down" has a great melody and slightly doomy riff. "Teen archer" is another classic metal sounding BOC track that still manages to sound warm thanks to vocals. The last track has an anthemic chorus and slight experimentation with guitar riffs. Highly recommended for all rock fans that like ambitious records.
Thanks to raff for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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