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BLUE ÖYSTER CULT

Prog Related • United States


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Blue Öyster Cult biography
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 too "soft", and "Spectres" was even softer! Others, though, found the diversity of thesongwriting on "Spectres" a pleasant...
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BLUE ÖYSTER CULT shows & tickets


  • Blue Öyster Cult + April Wine at Arcada Theatre, St. Charles, IL on 24 Apr 2015
  • Ramblin' Man Fair on 25 Jul 2015
  • Boston + Blue Öyster Cult + Shooting Star at Starlight Theatre, Kansas City MO on 30 Aug 2015
  • Blue Öyster Cult on 17 Oct 2015

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)

3.30 | 125 ratings
Blue Öyster Cult
1972
3.37 | 126 ratings
Tyranny And Mutation
1973
4.17 | 178 ratings
Secret Treaties
1974
3.07 | 131 ratings
Agents of Fortune
1976
3.21 | 92 ratings
Spectres
1977
2.26 | 72 ratings
Mirrors
1979
3.37 | 95 ratings
Cultösaurus Erectus
1980
3.56 | 104 ratings
Fire Of Unknown Origin
1981
3.03 | 54 ratings
The Revölution by Night
1983
2.29 | 44 ratings
Club Ninja
1986
3.75 | 70 ratings
Imaginos
1988
2.67 | 44 ratings
Heaven Forbid
1998
2.94 | 40 ratings
Curse of the Hidden Mirror
2001

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

3.88 | 53 ratings
On Your Feet Or On Your Knees
1975
3.32 | 45 ratings
Some Enchanted Evening
1978
4.02 | 41 ratings
Extraterrestrial Live
1982
3.00 | 10 ratings
Live 1976
1991
3.48 | 15 ratings
A Long Day's Night
2002
3.20 | 5 ratings
Extended Versions
2004

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

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

2.23 | 4 ratings
Career Of Evil: The Metal Years
1990
3.07 | 14 ratings
Cult Classic
1994
3.51 | 9 ratings
Workshop of the Telescopes
1995
3.96 | 4 ratings
Don't Fear the Reaper
1997
4.19 | 12 ratings
Don't Fear the Reaper: The Best of Blue Öyster Cult
2000
3.33 | 3 ratings
Are You Ready To Rock?
2003
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Singles Collection
2005
4.00 | 1 ratings
Collections
2006
3.00 | 2 ratings
Triple Feature
2009
4.06 | 6 ratings
The Columbia Albums Collection
2012

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

BLUE ÖYSTER CULT Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Tyranny And Mutation by BLUE ÖYSTER CULT album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.37 | 126 ratings

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Tyranny And Mutation
Blue Öyster Cult Prog Related

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

3 stars In the early 1980's, Blue Oyster Cult was proclaimed to be one of the heaviest bands among my friends who had older brothers who brought home heavy metal cassettes. After being blown away by Judas Priest, I bought 'The Revolution by Night' and heard that heavy rocking first track 'Take Me Away' but was disappointed with the rest of the album. In fact, after having purchased four BOC albums in my time and a compilation album, I have come to the conclusion that they were never really that heavy. Though original manager Sandy Pearlman wanted them to be America's answer to Black Sabbath, I think they are in a different league. BOC managed to incorporate heavy metal guitar riffs and solos it's true, but they just as easily shifted to boogie rock, blues-based barroom rock, and even naturally blended some more progressive tendencies sometimes all in the same song. Never really too metal; never exactly true prog. But during the 1970's, Blue Oyster Cult established themselves among the rock band elite.

While checking out proto-metal albums from 1969 to 1973, I decided to order 'Tyranny and Mutation' to see if there wasn't any really good example of early heavy metal. What I found was that most songs include some great heavy guitar sounds, riffs, and solos but never stay heavy throughout. There's often some more radio friendly verse that lightens the mood or perhaps a blues rock segment, some piano, etc. Furthermore, the vocal delivery of the various lead singers is often quite theatrical in a tough-guy-from-New-York-singing-about- science-fiction kind of way (English has no adjective for that). The music of BOC seemed more geared towards entertainment than head banging.

And therein laid the charm of the band's music. This was a point that I seemed to have missed all these decades. BOC were not about serious doom metal or hard rock. They were about science fiction, about ghosts and aliens, about fighter aircraft and urban legends. They were about rock, sometimes just feeling good hard rock, sometimes about heavy rock, sometimes about a progressive journey focused more on the story than the machinery that got you there. And this album has really begun to connect me to the music of Blue Oyster Cult.

Side one is the more rock and roll part of the album and side two the more progressive; however both sides lean toward the other at times. Some of the heavier riffs occur on side two in 'Wings Wetted Down' and 'Mistress of the Salmon Salt (Quicklime Girl)'. But 'The Red & The Black' and 'Hot Rails to Hell' give us the rock and roll approach of the band. Side one's closer, 'Seven Screaming Diz Busters' (love the title) crosses the rock and roll approach with the progressive side of the band. Overall, the album has a fair bit of variety. Having three or four lead vocalists and various external contributing writers also helps to make for an album that doesn't get stale.

One of the things that has really caught my attention with this album is the music composition. The band make good use of two guitars and use keyboards effectively when they deem it essential to the music. The drumming is also very clever and I find myself really following the drums in a number of the songs. Thank you, Albert Bouchard!

This is not a really heavy album but it has its heavy moments. It's not progressive like Yes or Genesis but it has its share of creative music composition. And once again, there is a certain charm to the vocal delivers that give it a theatrical feel. Blue Oyster Cult is about intelligent heavy metal with a sci-fi slant and with an attitude of artful pretense. Based on my appreciation for this album, I have now ordered three more classic albums with the confidence that I will enjoy them for what I know to expect this time. As a prog album this is not spectacular. However as a rock album this could well deserve nearly five stars.

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 The Columbia Albums Collection by BLUE ÖYSTER CULT album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2012
4.06 | 6 ratings

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The Columbia Albums Collection
Blue Öyster Cult Prog Related

Review by uduwudu

4 stars Contains all albums but for Curse of The Hidden Mirror and Heaven Forbid and the OST soundtrack, obviously these are the Columbia only releases.

First up, the remastering. The first three and the first live album have been remastered fro the last remasters with the same bonus material. The overall improvements are a less abrasive sonic effect compared to the rather inexpensive original productions from the LPs and CD issues.

Agents Of Fortune sounds the same as the latest remaster so I think it's really just the first ones that have had a sonic upgrade the others sound the same as the CD issues presumably BOC or Columbia consider all the other albums to be ok which they are really. Spectres has had a couple of issues this one and the one prior with the bonus material.

Imaginos sounds like it also had a minor facelift but that is it really, the only remastered album without bonus material. Presumably this might spoil the highly involved concept album effect. Now it may not have been remastered but it sourced from the original tapes rather than the post production master. Or maybe it's just me, one way or another it sounds fine, clear and punchy.

Slightly off topic. A good example of production generation > DC > remaster is Queen's A Night AT The Opera. The CD remaster and DVD annotated with Brian May's notes are taken form the original tapes yet the later reissue (in that box set) has not but use tapes 2 generations down. I've not heard that master - it is probably fine but a digital audio conversion (DAC) to hard drive is best from the master tapes. As Queen had already done this with Opera I don't know why they did not keep that master. I know some engineers and record companies are oath to use masters as the condition may be not the best now and fear of further deterioration or harm is borne in mind. I do hope some remastering to digital is done as analogue processing is fine for LP format but sounds boxy and less palatable on CD with the more sonic space available. This is probably why a lot of people think CDs sound less good than the LPs.

Back to BOC Some Enchanted Evening (1978) has the original material plus the new bonus audio all of which makes this new version an improvement on old versions - i.e. still a great live LP, CD but better with more material. Good stuff. on every original issue. Also included is the DVD Some Other Enchanted Evening in full glorious 1978 TV video recording glory, mono and the lovely TV picture. It's a good gig and fine enough but there is nothing to deceive anyone into thinking this is 21st Century. A period piece of the USA's finest ever rock band (!) ;) in action. This CD / DVD has also been issued as a standalone issue.

The 1982 ET Live sounds the same as the LP and CD master issued prior to this. As do Revolution By Night and Club Ninja. No extra material on these.

I've yet to download but there are four concerts. I already have the 1983 Pasadena FM broadcast now officially released - the ROIO sounds great - presumably why it managed to get released.

I'll update this review when I know I have the bandwidth available to download the concerts (four); this way I'll know whether they are "nasty" mp3 files (ok for mp3 player, PC playback but inadequate for CD quality due to so much data lost on this format). I hope the files will be flac format for back up and our own conversion to WAV or other playback format if required. I know it sounds a tad ungrateful of me to moan about the download format but I do like the best sound I can get. However we do get an idea...

...as you get 2 CDs worth of bonus material. The Best of the FM Broadcasts lets us hear a 1 CD compilation of the downloads (making my ingratitude worse by the good quality official bootleg sound). These sound like pre FM masters which are about the best source material you can get outside of the original mixing master tapes. It's all good news really.

There is another CD this one full of rarities. These two would seem to be exclusive to the box set. I anticipate future BOC anthologies to feature occasional rare and bonus material likely to be sourced from these CDs and the downloads. Also floating around but not part of the set is a sampler 40th anniversary promo CD which I "found and downloaded" - gotta have the rare BOC however it comes!

Now, appearance and packing. The CDs are more or less LP replica but for the white border on the card covers identifying them as from the box set, just the same as the ELO box set. The box is nice looking but also observed to be a little light - I think it is recommended for record companies to issue box sets in more robust packaging, it does not take too much, a bit of hard card and box with lid but this could be a lot worse. There is a booklet which I would have liked annotated with mastering generation and such like details. Some may like a replica of the booklets of previous CD issues, if so you are out of luck. however you get an appropriate essay of the contents and details of personnel and everything else. All perfectly acceptable to the box set consumer.

If you are a BOC fan you probably have this, or will have it and if so I thoroughly recommend, it's a blast. If you have the LPs and are happy with those fine but you may want to check this out anyway. e.g. I have OFOOYK on vinyl and compared it with the original CD issue - same master and audio A/B comparison showed the sound to my ears to be the same; not really surprising. This one is a punchier upgrade. it, er, rocks even harder. Plus you get the bonus material which given the first five studio albums, the 2 CDs of bonus material, the expanded Enchanted Evening plus DVD is pretty good value.

To the general fans which is to whom I would generally address my comments, you may want to try a compilation something like The Essential or Workshop of the Telescopes 2 CD sets which should give you an idea if you are unfamiliar with BOC or have only heard the FM staples Reaper, Godzilla, Joan Crawford and wonder what else. Just make sure it has Astronomy on your compilation. However if f you have good idea of what to expect and think about getting this set it is fine value. I paid roughly 4 bucks a disc, probably less once I've downloaded the concerts (4 more live albums of concert Blue Oyster Cult!) making the per capita cost less.

The live releases sound good. They are all mp3s from the BOC shop. My only grip is I can never have enough versions of Astronomy and there are none on these broadcasts. They sound like the pre FM edited tapes and are quick and easy to download.

Summary It sounds fine (better than some contemporary issues of individual CDs such as the first three), it's good value and should last your lifetime or more.

Ratings - excellent addition to a prog rock and hard rock collection. Classic? - pretty much, it's easy to give this a 5 star rating bearing in mind the remasters here (first 3 and the first live album) are exclusive to this box set. The bonus material on the first five studio releases are available outside this box but there are 2 CDs worth and the downloads currently exclusive to this. If the concerts were included as discs and the liner notes replicated I'd have to give it five stars. It may have cost a bit more though so cheers to BOC for helping the costs kept down for the consumer. Of course some albums are regarded higher than others so I'll allow for that group thought mis-perception. I feel really mean not giving it five stars... 4 1/2 really.

The box is CD shelf sized, no T shirts etc (I wouldn't have minded but I'm not really worried,little extraneous packaging keeps the box set to easy to store on the shelf size. It's unfussy, and good value.

And the music is awesome, thank you Blue Oyster Cult.

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 Agents of Fortune by BLUE ÖYSTER CULT album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.07 | 131 ratings

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Agents of Fortune
Blue Öyster Cult Prog Related

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars "This is the night we ride"

While I appreciate the 'black and white' trilogy of albums, I'm in the minority who feels the band made a huge leap with Agents. This certainly put off some fans who had grown accustomed to the band and didn't want change. Fleetwood Mac did this with Tusk and even Zeppelin gets some flack for Presence, both of which were excellent albums with a different feel than more popular predecessors (and may have been better than their predecessors). But few great albums inspire as much angst as this one and I've never understood why. Agents took more chances given their fanbase's love of Secret Treaties, so it was the exact opposite of "selling out". Because it happened to score a big radio hit it was accused of being something it wasn't-I honestly don't think they expected the Reaper phenom that occurred.

Agents is first rate devious fun all the way through. Dark and yet insanely catchy, the songs are full of the tongue-in-cheek playfulness and campy hard rock brilliance few other bands have combined so successfully. They almost stole a page in pizazz/showmanship from Freddie Mercury or Elton John, while maintaining their night-rider tough guy sound. From sampling different musical styles to borrowing Patti Smith's poetic touch, creativity was at an absolute peak. Yes a huge radio hit was born, yet the sinister stories concocted in the other tracks are just as appealing. Hard rock and 60s rock are sampled, pop harmonies are blended with great hooks and punkish attitude, and a certain haunting mixture of surf and film-noir soundtrack recall the way The Doors could be both dangerous and commercial. It's also more ebullient and colorful in the overall sound motif, a pleasant improvement. The keyboards have been more heavily integrated and each member seems to be standing out front, I wonder if this album was more collaborative in songwriting than previous work? Summer of Love is a giant sneer, the Reaper's dramatic middle interlude a most perfect expression of deathly fear. Vera Gemini seems the pursuit of dangerous love with Smith's superb co-vocal, while Morning Final's music has a mini-epic feel of narcotic hazed grandeur in a Steppenwolf like package. All the tracks have this captivating combination of the eerie with the cheerful, a contrast between lyrics and vocals with dynamic playing that supports both. It did have its fans:

"Agents of Fortune is a startlingly excellent album---startling because one does not expect Blue Oyster Cult to sound like this: loud but calm, manic but confident, melodic but rocking. One area of clear improvement is in the matter of lyrics; for the first time there is less emphasis on absurd, crypto-intellectual rambling and more of a coherent attack on a variety of subjects." -Ken Tucker, Rolling Stone, 1976

"It's still dark, mysterious, and creepy, and perhaps even more so, it's still rooted in rock posturing and excess, but gone is the nihilistic biker boogie in favor of a more tempered sound that gave Allen Lanier's keyboards parity with Dharma's guitar roar" -Thom Jurek, Allmusic

I love this album because of the remarkably high quality playing at every level put to music full of life and personality. No other album conjures as well the lights speeding by on a warm summer night, mystery, romance, adventures. Unlike the machismo of the first three albums there is a big dose of the feminine coming through in several tracks, perhaps the strong imprint of Patti Smith coming through on the boys. "Vera Gemini" is the highlight on an album full of them. Anchoring it all is the lead work of Buck Dharma and he has never played with more conviction than on Agents. On some YouTube comments I was reading, a gentleman posed the question "Ever noticed that Buck Dharma has never thrown away a solo in his life?" It was certainly true on this album, and every lead and rhythm part on this album, each guitar sound, are perfect. Agents of Fortune is not only the feather in the cap of BOC's career, but one of the best albums of rock's most iconic decade. I supposed that's enough gush but this album is on my top shelf---couldn't help myself.

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 On Your Feet Or On Your Knees by BLUE ÖYSTER CULT album cover Live, 1975
3.88 | 53 ratings

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On Your Feet Or On Your Knees
Blue Öyster Cult Prog Related

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars A live album recorded on the Secret Treaties tour, On Your Feet and On Your Knees captures the band at the peak of their powers. Although some of the extended soloing sections don't add a whole lot (especially when the band take an occasional left turn into blues rock) and the production isn't stellar, on the whole this is a high-energy affair with great renditions of material from the first three albums and some non-album pieces besides (the cover versions of I Ain't Got You - retitled Maserati GT here - and Born to Be Wild, and the jam Buck's Boogie). The three picks from the debut album are especially interesting here since they're given a thorough makeover, upping their energy and making them harder and somewhat more metallic than the studio versions, though at the same time I could have honestly done without the cover versions in favour of more material from Secret Treaties.

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 Mirrors by BLUE ÖYSTER CULT album cover Studio Album, 1979
2.26 | 72 ratings

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Mirrors
Blue Öyster Cult Prog Related

Review by betawave31

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 80s rock I tend to lean to a more polished sound. That out of the way I do not think Mirrors is their worst outing regardless of Sandy Pearlman not being involved its still worthy of the BOC catalog for 2 tracks In Thee and The Vigil which are strong both compositionally and musicianship wise. The engineering is cleaner, the stereo field is being used a bit more and I like the fact the keyboards come thru a little more in the mixes(I am impartial to keyboards hence the bias). Like all BOC I find there are tracks that are weaker than others and its rare I find ANY BOC albums consistent in the overall atmosphere and musical feel. I am not a fan of that pseudo 60s sound that they sometimes draw into there music and tend to feel they should stick to the hard rock with prog influences more than submitting themselves to "that" 60s sound. The funky clavinet line in Lonely Tears is actually refreshing regardless of the Stevie Wonder comparison. Overall this album is "different" and has some very nice tracks at least half of them are decent. Different isnt always indication of bad music after-all a band must take chances and stretching their sound albeit might not bring them a hit single but for some of us it shows the creative elasticity from within.

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 Heaven Forbid by BLUE ÖYSTER CULT album cover Studio Album, 1998
2.67 | 44 ratings

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Heaven Forbid
Blue Öyster Cult Prog Related

Review by Jzrk

3 stars I see many reviews here not thinking this was a good comeback album after 9 or 10 years off. I would disagree.This album has something about it that keeps me making the occasional listen many years after I bought it.I think the songs are good enough.Iwould have preferred a trip back to the early days,but this one has enough to satisfy the Cult fan in me.Had a track Like Godzilla or Burning For You been on this it probably would have had sold a lot.It has some shades of early BOC such as Hammer Down,I See You In Black,Damaged(love this track). Other tracks I really like but maybe a bit more radio friendly are Harvest Moon ,Cold Grey Light of Dawn,Still Burnin. Power Underneath Despair is ok.The remake In Thee is decent enough.X Ray Eyes and Live For Me are so so. Overall not a waste of money if you are a Cult fan is my best way if putting it.If you are looking for prog go elsewhere.I f you like some catchy rock tunes you could do a lot worse these days.It is a very classic rock album .

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 Spectres by BLUE ÖYSTER CULT album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.21 | 92 ratings

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Spectres
Blue Öyster Cult Prog Related

Review by Zahler

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 of the singers and songwriters in and connected to this band constructed more fantastical worlds than those found on Spectres.

The LP is not as heavy as their straighter, more obviously heavy metal albums (Fire of Unknown Origin and Cultosaurus Erectus), nor as quirky and off kilter as the first three releases, but I find it to be their grandest, saddest and most rewarding effort. Although some feel it is simply a commercial followup to Agents of Fortune, I find it to be superior in all departments and hugely cinematic.

In terms of progressive songwriting, The Golden Age of Leather is a marvel of instrumentation that drives through various landscapes of twin guitar harmonies, funky bass lines, plaintive leads, and rich the harmony vocals (one of the top strengths of this band). This tune compares structurally to Before the Kiss, A Redcap (from their debut), but has far, far better core ideas and is more haunting. Certainly one of their most adventurous songs ever. Fireworks, Celestial the Queen, and Death Valley Nights are three of the finest examples of harmony vocals in rock--on these tunes Blue Oyster Cult the rock band performs a bit more like BOC the studio consortium, bringing to mind tunes like The Raven by Alan Parsons Project or Dark Side of the Moon. These three BOC cuts are all gorgeous chorus tapestries.

Certainly, one can draw comparisons between the I Love the Night and Don't Fear the Reaper, but I've always preferred I Love the Night, which is more ethereal and haunting musically, if not lyrically, and has more tasty lead guitar by Buck Dharma, my favorite guitarist ever. (See his solo in the live version of Veterans of the Psychic Wars to see why...) And then there's Nosferatu--a haunting and forlorn masterwork that concludes the album with one of the two best songs ever recorded by the band. (The other is Astronomy.)

Unlike Secret Treaties, the debut, and Fire of Unknown Origin, Spectres did not grab me initially, when I first heard it as a kid. But--much like their similarly rich Imaginos album--Spectres reveals itself to those who spend time with it-- it is incredibly colorful tapestry of gothic, lonely, and obscure worlds.

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 The Columbia Albums Collection by BLUE ÖYSTER CULT album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2012
4.06 | 6 ratings

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The Columbia Albums Collection
Blue Öyster Cult Prog Related

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Superb value

Box sets are not for everyone, but when they hit you at the right time they can be fantastic. This one hit me at the perfect time. I have not owned BOC albums since the vinyl/cassette days and was about to begin buying some individual albums on CD. I noticed this box, which sports their entire Columbia output (from their debut through Imaginos) in one convenient and low price box. With some tasty extra goodies. So the timing was perfect. If you were just thinking of exploring BOC and don't own too much, this is one awesome way to get the show shebang for a cool price.

This is not a "frills" box set so much, rather, it concentrates on the music and value. Every album up through Imaginos is included, many which are expanded editions with bonus tracks, and most with brand new 2012 remaster jobs. Each CD comes in its own mini-lp style sleeve, albeit pretty low budget ones, nothing fancy. These are held by the practical sized box, CD sized, so it can fit right on your CD shelves. None of that oversized BS that takes up tons of room, nor lame digi-pak style holders or tight slip sleeves. Practical and smart, though slightly low budget to keep the price reasonable. And this is not just the studio stuff, it also includes their three live albums from this period as well.

Goodies includes two discs of previously unreleased material, one a "rarities disc" and the other a collection of radio performances. "Some Enchanted Evening" gives you not only the album but also a live DVD concert. The sound is pretty weak to be honest but it is still fun to watch for fans. The booklet is OK although certainly not the reason to purchase this...it gives you detailed track lists and credit, a short Lenny Kaye commentary, and some photos-pretty mediocre. The last goodie is the bonus coupon with a code that allows you a free download of four different BOC shows, one each from the years 1980, 1981, 1983, and 1986. I have not listened to these yet but these look great.

If you already have decent sounding editions of the albums you love, you probably don't need this. But if you don't have much this is a super way to instantly own good sounding editions of all of their classic albums for one fair price. I've really enjoyed reacquainting with this band I haven't listened to much since I saw them last, 30 years ago!

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 Secret Treaties by BLUE ÖYSTER CULT album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.17 | 178 ratings

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Secret Treaties
Blue Öyster Cult Prog Related

Review by GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer

5 stars It's not that often records hit the top, receiving five stars. Even more seldom is that the fact when bands like BOC are the receipients of these stars, since the band is an uneven one. They are alright but never all that great, except on Secret treaties which is one of the absolutely most fabulous albums ever made. From start to finish it's a glorious ride where prog and hard rock melt together perfectly, spiced with mysterious lyrics and great cover.

The songs are perfect. Each and everyone worthy of praise and though they present different approaches, somewhat, they belong together in a very cohesive way. BOC never sounded more heavy and furious than on Dominance and submission and more genious than on the great Astronomy. On Secret treaties BOC was struck by the divine, creating a masterpiece of extraordinary measures. Through the mystic (Subhuman), to metal (Dominance and submission), to rock'n'roll (ME262), to the epic, genuine prog (Astronomy).

Secret treaties is a must, as I see it. There are absolutely no letdowns of any kind. This is legendary stuff from a band that never reached the same heights agian nor before. Epic.

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 Tyranny And Mutation by BLUE ÖYSTER CULT album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.37 | 126 ratings

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Tyranny And Mutation
Blue Öyster Cult Prog Related

Review by Progosopher

2 stars The 1277 express . . . will burn your eyes out, but it's all right.

Tyranny and Mutation, the Black and the Red sides of the original vinyl might as well also be known as the Good side and the Bad side. The album gets off to a great start with The Red and the Black, a barn-burner if I've ever heard one, but hits its first snag with the next track, O.D.'d On Life Itself. It's an okay track, and has some good changes, but the basic rock n roll structure is always apparent. Now, I like basic rock n roll, Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, Little Richard are great and all that, but this is not what I want to hear from B.O.C. Hot Rails to Hell brings the music back up to par, and is followed by the great 7 Screaming Diz-Busters. So far so good. The Red side, however, is almost completely different. For sure, it is still clearly B.O.C. but the songs are so much lesser than the other. Putting the Good side up first may be a good marketing decision, but as a critical listener, I cannot help but be disappointed by the Bad side which comes next. I do not even want to name the songs since I almost never listen to them.

The bonus tracks redeem the CD version I have to some extent, but when this happens, it does not bode well for the original release. Of the four, two are live versions of tracks from the original album, something I wish the labels and bands would stop doing. I already heard the song once, I don't need to hear it again. These include my least favorite track from Side Good, O.D.'d and a sprawling 14 minute version of 7 Screaming Dizbusters, which I sometimes program to listen to rather than the studio version. In fact, one of the highlights of the whole package comes here when Eric Bloom describes his encounter with the devil who gets him to sign his NAME IN BLOOD so the band can become popular like Jeff Beck and Elvis Presley. A live version of Cities on Flame With Rock and Roll also appears. The performance is good, but the sound isn't, which is to be expected since such recordings were never meant for release but just for the band to document their live concerts. Here, it is just meant to fill space. The real highlight of the bonus tracks, though, is the original studio version of Buck's Boogie, a track familiar to fans who caught their live shows back in the day and those who have the official live release, On Your Feet or On Your Knees, and album I much prefer over Tyranny and Mutation. This studio version is great. I appreciate the way that it is not just an opportunity for Buck Dharma to rip licks, but that the piece requires serious performances by the whole band.

This album has its positive aspects. The sound is crisp and clean, if a little flat, while the band is still hungry for success. When they rock, they really rock. Eric Bloom's vocals dominate the recording and Buck Dharma provides some excellent lead guitar. Alan Lanier even gets some spotlight with his keyboards. Overall, the band sounds good, it is just that I wish the material was more consistent. So, we have three great B.O.C. classics, and a studio version of a concert favorite. This still comes out to the length of a single vinyl side ? actually less than twenty minutes But all of these tracks are found on the above mentioned official live release which also features a richer sound than the studio recordings here. As such, I cannot recommend Tyranny and Mutation very highly, but I will nominate it for best album title ever.

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