Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


Prog Related • United States

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Blue Öyster Cult picture
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...
read more

BLUE ÖYSTER CULT Videos (YouTube and more)

Showing only random 3 | Show all BLUE ÖYSTER CULT videos (3) | Search and add more videos to BLUE ÖYSTER CULT


Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Blue Öyster Cult by Blue Öyster Cult (Vinyl, 1972 Columbia) BOC Vinyl LP USD $14.95 Buy It Now
BL 35019 1st Press Blue Öyster Cult-Spectres "Blue Oyster" label  USD $5.00 [0 bids]
8h 22m
NEW-SEALED! Tyranny and Mutation by Blue Öyster Cult (CD, Jun-2001 USD $10.80 Buy It Now 15h 5m
Blue Öyster Cult Agents of Fortune Sealed 24kt Gold Cd USA 1996 MFSL UDCD 1-697 USD $134.99 Buy It Now 16h 34m
Career of Evil: The Metal Years - Blue Öyster Cult (CD 1990) Excellent FREE Ship USD $5.99 Buy It Now 18h 18m
Blue Öyster Cult ?- Club Ninja CBS 26775 - 1985 USD $6.46 [0 bids]
18h 54m
Blue Öyster Cult - Bad Channels Soundtrack Double LP Vinyl 2014 Brand New USD $34.33 Buy It Now 1 day
THIN LIZZY - Jailbreak --- Patch / Def Leppard Blue Öyster Cult Uriah Heep USD $5.50 Buy It Now 1 day
Blue Öyster Cult: Fire of Unknown Origin (CD) Heavy Metal: The Black and Silver USD $8.08 Buy It Now 1 day
Blue Öyster Cult, Blue Oyster Cult - Blue Oyster Cult [New CD] Ltd Ed, Mini LP S USD $16.09 Buy It Now 1 day
Blue Öyster Cult, Bl - Don't Fear the Reaper: Best of Blue Oyster Cult [New CD] USD $7.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Blue Öyster Cult "Spectres" 1977 LP EX USD $10.00 Buy It Now 1 day
The Best of Blue Öyster Cult: Don't Fear the Reaper by Blue Öyster Cult CD USD $5.00 Buy It Now 1 day
The Curse of the Hidden Mirror by Blue Öyster Cult cd NEAR MINT CMC USD $51.25 Buy It Now 1 day
Blue Öyster Cult ?- Blue Öyster Cult LP US Reissue 197? Columbia USD $18.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Blue Öyster Cult ?- Astronomy 12" - 652985 6 - Ex USD $13.03 Buy It Now 2 days
The Blue Öyster Cult CD The Best Of : Don't Fear The Reaper Sony Records 1983 USD $5.87 Buy It Now 2 days
Career of Evil: The Metal Years by Blue Öyster Cult (CD, Feb-1990, Columbia (US USD $8.95 Buy It Now 2 days
Blue Öyster Cult, Mirrors, 1979 VINYL LP GOOD+ / COVER VG USD $4.01 Buy It Now 2 days
Rock Works (CBS, 1990) : Blue Öyster Cult, Meat Loaf, Hooters, Ja CD USD $4.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Blue Öyster Cult - Live Mutation 1973 - Live at The Rooster Tail - SRD1265 USD $9.99 [1 bids]
2 days
Blue Öyster Cult ?- Agents Of Fortune Vinyl LP USD $6.52 [0 bids]
3 days
Blue Öyster Cult 2016 Sealed Audiophile Audio Fidelity Hybrid Super Audio SACD USD $35.89 Buy It Now 3 days
Blue Öyster Cult Forbidden Delights LA 1981 2 X LP VINYL Back On Black 2015 NEW USD $19.55 Buy It Now 3 days
Blue Öyster Cult ?- Tyranny And Mutation / Secret Treaties: The Back To Black Co USD $24.99 Buy It Now 4 days
Blue Öyster Cult Agents Of Fortune Japan 1st CD 1987 28DP-1070 Very Rare USD $39.99 Buy It Now 4 days
Blue Öyster Cult - Workshop of the Telescopes (CD, Sep-1995, 2 Discs) OYSTER USD $9.99 Buy It Now 4 days
Blue Öyster Cult - Secret Treaties Europe LP /3* USD $25.99 Buy It Now 4 days
Mirrors (Blue Öyster Cult - 1979) 86087 (ID:14964) USD $10.00 Buy It Now 4 days
Blue Öyster Cult - On Your Feet or on Your Knees (CD, Columbia) The Subhuman USD $3.11 Buy It Now 4 days
Blue Öyster Cult - Agents Of Fortune - MFSL Ultradisc II 24kt Gold CD USD $69.99 Buy It Now 4 days
Blue Öyster Cult - Tyranny and Mutation (vintage vinyl album) BOGO $2 OFF! USD $13.00 Buy It Now 4 days
Cultosaurus Erectus by Blue Öyster Cult (CD, Sep-1988, Columbia (USA)) USD $9.99 Buy It Now 4 days
BLUE ÖYSTER CULT*, Agents Of Fortune USA 1st pressing LP [Don't Fear the Reaper] USD $16.99 Buy It Now 4 days
BLUE ÖYSTER CULT, Agents Of Fortune USA 1st pressing LP [Don't Fear the Reaper] USD $10.99 Buy It Now 4 days
Blue Öyster Cult - Mirrors S 86087 UK LP 1st Press 1979 Oyster USD $11.73 Buy It Now 5 days
Blue Öyster Cult - Live In New York '72 -10" Vinyl - Brand New Never Played MINT USD $36.52 Buy It Now 5 days
Blue Öyster Cult - Tyranny and Mutation (2001) - CD - USD $4.81 Buy It Now 5 days
Blue Öyster Cult - Live 1976 (Live Recording, 1991) USD $7.17 [0 bids]
5 days
BLUE ÖYSTER CULT On Your Feet Or On Your Knees USA 1st pr gate 2 LP oyster 1975! USD $29.00 Buy It Now 5 days
Blue Öyster Cult - Then and Now (CD, Mar-2003, Sanctuary (USA)) USD $15.99 Buy It Now 6 days
The Best of Blue Öyster Cult: Don't Fear the Reaper by Blue Öyster Cult USD $5.99 Buy It Now 6 days
Blue Öyster Cult ?- Some Enchanted Evening LP CBS ?86074 VG/EX+ USD $10.37 Buy It Now 6 days
Blue Öyster Cult ?- Don't Fear The Reaper: The Best Of Blue Öyster Cult USD $3.91 Buy It Now 6 days
Blue Öyster Cult ?- Secret Treaties (Columbia ?- KC 32858) Blue Oyster Cult USD $11.69 Buy It Now 6 days
Blue Öyster Cult ?- Deadline UK 7" Promo 1980 USD $3.90 [0 bids]
6 days
The Blue Öyster Cult ?- Tyranny And Mutation USD $16.00 Buy It Now 6 days
Then and Now by Blue Öyster Cult (CD, Mar-2003, Sanctuary (USA)) USD $19.99 Buy It Now 6 days
Secret Treaties [Bonus Tracks] [Remaster] by Blue Öyster Cult (CD, Jun-2001, Col USD $11.99 Buy It Now 6 days
Then and Now by Blue Öyster Cult (CD, Mar-2003, Sanctuary (USA)) BMG USD $15.99 Buy It Now 6 days
Live, Blue Öyster Cult, Nazareth, Good Live USD $6.99 Buy It Now 6 days
Spectres, Blue Öyster Cult, Good USD $7.98 Buy It Now 6 days
Some Enchanted Evening - Blue Öyster Cult (CD 1985) Live From 1978 Tour CD USD $8.99 Buy It Now 7 days
Blue Öyster Cult - Secret Treaties - Audio Fidelity Hybrid SACD AFZ5 246 USD $39.00 Buy It Now 7 days
Blue Öyster Cult ?- Shooting Shark CBS ?TA 4117 + STENCIL New UK 12inch Single USD $24.74 [0 bids]
7 days
On Your Feet or on Your Knees by Blue Öyster Cult (CD, 1989, Columbia (USA)) USD $7.05 Buy It Now 7 days
Blue Öyster Cult Career of Evil: The Metal Years CD 1990 - Complete USD $1.50 Buy It Now 7 days
8 days
Blue Öyster Cult ?- Cultösaurus Erectus USD $5.22 Buy It Now 8 days
Blue Oyster Cult - The Essential Blue Öyster Cult AUSTRALIA 2xCD NEW #20-1* USD $9.99 Buy It Now 8 days
BLUE ÖYSTER CULT - Agents Of Fortune < Japan 1976 GF LP w/ OBI & insert < NM USD $64.95 Buy It Now 8 days
Blue Öyster Cult - On Your Feet or On Your Knees (cassette) USD $2.00 Buy It Now 8 days
Blue Öyster Cult - Spectres (CD, 2007 Expanded Edition) LIKE NEW, NEVER PLAYED USD $4.25 Buy It Now 8 days
Blue Öyster Cult - Secret Treaties - Columbia KC 32858 1st Press - Astronomy USD $16.99 Buy It Now 8 days
The Blue Öyster Cult ?- Tyranny And Mutation - VG+ Vinyl LP Record USD $12.95 Buy It Now 9 days
Blue Öyster Cult - On Your Feet Or On Your Knees - Double LP Album - VG/VG USD $4.95 Buy It Now 9 days
Blue Öyster Cult Mirrors / Lonely Teardrops CBS 7783 UK 7inch CLEAR Vinyl Single USD $8.96 [0 bids]
9 days
Blue Oyster Cult - The Essential Blue Öyster Cult NEW CD USD $8.67 Buy It Now 9 days
Extended Versions: The Encore Collection by Blue Öyster Cult SEALED (26) USD $29.97 Buy It Now 9 days
Blue Öyster Cult - Career of Evil: The Metal Years (CD, Columbia) Beat 'Em Up USD $2.21 Buy It Now 9 days
Blue Öyster Cult : On flame with rock and roll CD USD $3.99 Buy It Now 9 days
Blue Öyster Cult - Secret Treaties [Bonus Tracks] [Remaster] (CD, 2001 Columbia) USD $6.86 Buy It Now 9 days
Blue Öyster Cult - Some Enchanted Evening / Japan LP / OBI / 1978 / 25AP 1142 USD $25.99 Buy It Now 10 days
Tyranny and Mutation by Blue Öyster Cult (CD, Jun-2001, BMG (distributor)) USD $8.98 Buy It Now 10 days
Blue Öyster Cult - Club Ninja - LP + Inner UK 1985 A-1 B-1 CBS26775 USD $13.03 Buy It Now 10 days
Blue Öyster Cult Blue Oyster Cult - Imaginos 2013 USA CD Mint #AF03 USD $19.99 Buy It Now 10 days
Agents of Fortune by Blue Öyster Cult (CD) Pre-Owned USD $1.99 Buy It Now 10 days
Bad Channels by Blue Öyster Cult Sealed Record Store Day Vinyl LP 33rpm USD $33.99 Buy It Now 10 days
Tyranny and Mutation by Blue Öyster Cult (CD, Jun-2001, BMG (distributor)) USD $13.00 Buy It Now 10 days
Blue Öyster Cult (Millennium) by Blue ™Öyster Cult CD SMM IMPORT MILLENIUM POP USD $8.49 Buy It Now 10 days
Blue Öyster Cult ?- Astronomy [RARE UK CD SINGLE CARD SLEEVE] NEAR MINT USD $11.53 Buy It Now 10 days
Blue Öyster Cult ?Some Enchanted Evening Sealed Vinyl Record Lp Album USA 1978 USD $54.99 Buy It Now 10 days
Blue Öyster Cult ?- Extraterrestrial Live USD $11.00 Buy It Now 10 days
Blue Öyster Cult ?- The Essential Blue Öyster Cult carl USD $7.13 Buy It Now 11 days
Blue Öyster Cult - Spectres LP VG+ JC 35019 Columbia 1977 USA Vinyl Record USD $13.00 Buy It Now 11 days
Blue Öyster Cult - On Your Feet Or On Your Knees 2 LP VG+ PG 33371 Vinyl Record USD $19.50 Buy It Now 11 days
Blue Öyster Cult Some Enchanted Evening Cassette! Black Sabbath Dio Alice Cooper USD $11.99 Buy It Now 11 days
Playlist: The Very Best of Blue Öyster Cult [Digipak] Blue Oyster Cu USD $17.99 Buy It Now 11 days
Blue Öyster Cult ?- Agents Of Fortune LP - 1976 - Columbia ?- PC 34164 - Rock USD $8.50 Buy It Now 11 days
Some Enchanted Evening - Blue Öyster Cult (CD 1985) Live From 1978 Tour NRMT CD USD $11.99 Buy It Now 11 days
BL 35019 1st Press Blue Öyster Cult-Spectres "Blue Oyster" label NM/NM~ J:VG+ USD $21.29 Buy It Now 11 days
Blue Öyster Cult [Remaster] by Blue Öyster Cult (CD, Legacy) USD $25.00 Buy It Now 12 days
Blue Oyster Cult Super Hits CD Album Blue Öyster Cult USD $5.28 Buy It Now 12 days
On Your Feet or on Your Knees by Blue Öyster Cult (CD, 1989, Columbia (USA)) USD $39.95 Buy It Now 12 days
Blue Öyster Cult - We Gotta Get Out Of This Place - 7" Record Single USD $13.03 Buy It Now 13 days

More places to buy BLUE ÖYSTER CULT music online Buy BLUE ÖYSTER CULT & Prog Rock Digital Music online:

BLUE ÖYSTER CULT discography

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

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

3.36 | 165 ratings
Blue Öyster Cult
3.46 | 166 ratings
Tyranny And Mutation
4.17 | 242 ratings
Secret Treaties
3.14 | 170 ratings
Agents Of Fortune
3.22 | 122 ratings
2.41 | 101 ratings
3.44 | 128 ratings
Cultösaurus Erectus
3.58 | 140 ratings
Fire Of Unknown Origin
3.01 | 76 ratings
The Revölution By Night
2.35 | 64 ratings
Club Ninja
3.72 | 91 ratings
3.04 | 19 ratings
Cult Classic
2.84 | 61 ratings
Heaven Forbid
2.97 | 57 ratings
Curse Of The Hidden Mirror

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

3.91 | 74 ratings
On Your Feet Or On Your Knees
3.34 | 62 ratings
Some Enchanted Evening
4.01 | 54 ratings
Extraterrestrial Live
3.13 | 16 ratings
Live 1976
3.51 | 22 ratings
A Long Day's Night
3.50 | 10 ratings
Extended Versions

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
3.52 | 10 ratings
Workshop of the Telescopes
3.96 | 4 ratings
Don't Fear the Reaper
4.15 | 16 ratings
Don't Fear the Reaper: The Best of Blue Öyster Cult
3.33 | 3 ratings
Are You Ready To Rock?
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Singles Collection
3.00 | 1 ratings
3.00 | 2 ratings
Triple Feature
4.39 | 8 ratings
The Columbia Albums Collection

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


Showing last 10 reviews only
 On Your Feet Or On Your Knees by BLUE ÖYSTER CULT album cover Live, 1975
3.91 | 74 ratings

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

Review by SteveG

4 stars I don't write reviews of bands that I have a personal history with, or have known personally, so this is a first. And will probably be the last.

Recorded live, Blue Oyster Cult's 1975 double album On your Feet Or On Your Knees magically and majestically captures BOC at the height of their "black and white album trilogy" powers (the eponymous debut album from 1972, Tyranny and Mutation from 1973, and Secret Treaties from 1974), and does something those three initial albums only hinted at. They rock out at full bore and showcase what a powerhouse BOC was on any given night in the early seventies. A feature truly hidden by the thin bass-shy production of those three albums.

On reflection, this album's production values are not top shelf in a few areas but it doesn't need to be. On Your Feet Or On Your Knees was recorded and (importantly) mixed clearly and is loud, detailed and full of energy. On Your Feet Or On Your Knees showcases the band's absolute definitive versions of Subhuman, Harvester of Eyes, Hot Rails To Hell, The Red And The Black, Then Came The Last Days of May, Cities On Flame and ME 262.

Eric Bloom's voice is stellar as is Donald "Buck Dharma" Roeser's electrifying lead guitar playing, which is an absolute clinic in splitting the deference between technical chops and melodic invention. Trying to listen to any song without focusing solely on his playing is often difficult even forty two years later.

Why this album never pushed BOC to the top the way that Frampton Comes Alive did in the seventies will always be a mystery to the band and it's diehard fans. But this live document exists for the initiated who knew "The Cult" and their brand of edgy heavy rock long before the cowbell jokes came after listening to a song about the Grim Reaper. Four stars.

 Cultösaurus Erectus by BLUE ÖYSTER CULT album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.44 | 128 ratings

Cultösaurus Erectus
Blue Öyster Cult Prog Related

Review by Humzahj

5 stars In my opinion this is one of the best Blue Oyster Cult albums, I'll proceed to give my opinion on each of the tracks: BLACK BLADE: Not only is this the strongest song on the album but it's also one of BOC's strongest songs, with a perfect mix of rock and roll guitar (showcasing one of Buck Dharma's greatest solos), Eerie progressive synth breakdowns, primitive sounding drumming and sci-fi lyrics this song balances high and low well, the chorus is very powerful sounding heavy whereas the verses have this quirky jumpy sound (even though the dark subject matter contrasts it). The solo sections (guitar then synth) fit in perfectly even though in theory it wouldn't seem to work, even the chords in the song are very strange, it would take a musical mastermind to compose it. MONSTERS: Arguably the second best song on the album, it's easy to imagine the creepy giant monster on the cover whilst listening to this track. Monsters is another musically complex song with a fun "slimy" sounding riff and prog-rock synthesizers, the real uniqueness comes in these well places jazz interludes, which helps make the song so strangely catchy. DIVINE WIND: A grim, angry (almost passive) sounding track with a slow tempo and a powerful riff, lyrically speaks about America during a controversial time with an tyrant from Iran (at least so I've been told) The song is one of the stronger tracks on the album and will leave the lines "If he really thinks we're the devil, Then let's send him to hell" engraved in your brain. DEADLINE: Lyrically it's an ok song, good vocals too. It's catchy but musically straightforward. except the lead guitar licks are very good. Overall it's an average BOC song, but compared to the rest of the album, it's one of the weaker songs. MARSHALL PLAN: Another song to prove the creativity of BOC, this is definitely a more light-hearted song on the album, it's mildly comical as well. The song plays out as a narrative of a boy who has his girl stolen from him at a Rock show and then he get's mad and figures if he picks up a guitar and becomes a rock star he'll get his girl back, so he succeeds, and at the end still doesn't get the girl, but hey "that's the way it goes, it's Rock and roll!" Musically this song is blessed with a very catchy and powerful chorus accompanied by soaring solos by Buck Dharma towards the end, also there is a very clever sample of the infamous 'Smoke on the Water' by rock-giants 'Deep Purple' HUNGRY BOYS: Lyrically straightforward rocker, musically it's a catchy rock song with a chorus made to be implanted in your brain. It's very enjoyable to listen to and the upbeat fast tempo helps to lift your energy. Good song, not the strongest 'cos it doesn't take enough risks or delve too deep musically, but for what it is certainly not a bad song. FALLEN ANGEL: Arguably the most upbeat song on the album, with Joe Bouchard on vocals, this song is a synth-driven song with an infectiously catchy vocal melody. It's a song about satan (I presume) in which case it's the happiest sounding song I've heard about the devil.. Anyways, it's a fun creative track, I enjoy it but it's not my personal favorite. LIPS IN THE HILLS: Catchy song, with a powerful chorus (the chorus reminds me somewhat of the little brother of the monstrous opening song 'black blade') the song is a straightforward rocker. This album has two of those, 'Lips' and 'Hungry Boys', both catchy fun songs that are easy to get into, but not strong enough to make or break the album. Lips in the Hills is a fun song lyrically and instrumentally and fits in perfectly to the album. UNKOWN TONGUE: To me this song musically isn't too memorable, it's alright, not bad. But lyrically this song fares better the lyrics are eerie and dark (reminiscent to the first three BOC albums). Overall good closer to the album, not my favorite or least favorite in the album though.

Overall in my opinion there aren't any bad songs on 'Cultösaurus' it all works, musically creative, lyrically fun, even the album cover art is great at investing an audience. This album is a must-hear, shame it didn't get the attention it deserved.

 Cultösaurus Erectus by BLUE ÖYSTER CULT album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.44 | 128 ratings

Cultösaurus Erectus
Blue Öyster Cult Prog Related

Review by Kaelka

4 stars If I were a film director with a big budget, I would make an adaptation of Moorcock's "Elric of Melnibone". It would end, of course, with the destruction of the old world through Elric's blowing of the Horn of Fate (having to kill his bestest friend Moonglum between the second and third blow to gain enough energy for the task). Then Elric would stand up on the new world he'd just brought into existence, only to see Stormbringer moving slowly through the grass like an extremely venomous snake, jumping at him and stabbing him to death before leaping towards the sky and the stars to the sound of a satanic laughter. Fade to black, and then as the words "The End" appear on the screen, the soundtrack would start playing the intro of "Black Blade". That's what comes to my mind every time I listen to this great album.
 Spectres by BLUE ÖYSTER CULT album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.22 | 122 ratings

Blue Öyster Cult Prog Related

Review by Prog Sothoth
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

3 stars Spectres is one of those albums that commences and ends in such a strong manner, but whoa there's some problems in the middle. Sort of like an undercooked burger, lookin' good and flavorful on the outside, but that pink core that reveals itself once you bite into it can make you sick if the cows weren't in stellar health. With their last album being quite a success, B.O.C. continued to fiddle around with genres while staying true to the rock attitude, but unlike their prior releases which had an average of one or two duds tops, for my ears Spectres drops at least a few butt-burritos.

"Godzilla" and "The Golden Age of Leather" provides a knock-out one-two opening punch. That Godzilla riff man, what a doozy! Catchy and fun as well, combining the monstrous themes and heavy riffing with a partytime chorus, this is what I'd call really killer camp. "The Golden Age of Leather" boasts some epic dynamic and tempo shifts while keeping the BOC biker mystique afloat, bolstered with some fluid guitar melodies over the driving rhythm section.

If the first two songs provide the rock and the leather, the last two tracks bring about the atmosphere and the creepiness with the same level of vigor. "I Love The Night", a love ode to a female vampire back when vampires were considered scary and bad news instead of misunderstood and sparkly, is a gorgeous haunting ballad. It amazes me that Buck wasn't singing more tunes per album at this point since that guy is golden...not the powerhouse of Eric Bloom, but his voice was made for hits, as "...Reaper" and "Burnin' For You" can attest. Anyways, Buck really shines here, and I rank this among the band's most effective songs in their career. Glorious. "Nosferatu" follows, keeping the vampire theme at full-stride with a nice blend of heavy rock and lush ambiance bearing a gothic nature. Another mini-epic, it's a gloomy yet punchy closer featuring some sweet keyboard chops.

Things are going to get dicey now. The production was okay, but lacked some of that Agents-style sharpness and I swear some of the songs sound a bit rushed. "Searching for Celine" is like this funky roller coaster on the verge of crumbling, the band sounding under duress trying to stay in time with each other. Only Bloom's vocal prowess and the unusual 'stalker' lyrics keep this from a total crash and burn. And maybe the guitar solo...Dharma's the man. I'll give "Death Valley Nights" credit as it sounds like the 'hangover song' to end hangover songs, right down to the drunken warbly vocals, but man give that song to Buck and it would have been far better. I first heard "R.U. Ready 2 Rock" on their live album Some Enchanted Evening, and maybe it's because I'm used to that live version, but the studio version here doesn't match up without the crowd noise and added meat to the guitars. "Goin' Through the Motions" is pure silly pop, but I'll give props to Bloom showcasing his sizable vocal range. The other two tracks, "Fireworks" and "Celestial the Queen", are real rough going. They actually bring pain to my chest when I hear them. They aren't openly terrible songs, but I find their attempts at a bigtime chorus yield horribly limp results and I want to bend over and wretch like the narrator of "Death Valley Nights".

The good still outweighs the bad by a fair amount, with the opening two and closing two songs being particularly ace, and rather necessary for anyone interested in exploring B.O.C. regardless of how prog-related or not prog- related they were at this junction known as Spectres. Who really cares anyhow?

 Agents Of Fortune by BLUE ÖYSTER CULT album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.14 | 170 ratings

Agents Of Fortune
Blue Öyster Cult Prog Related

Review by Prog Sothoth
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars There are albums out there in which a single song within it stands out so much from the rest of the tracks that it practically carries the rest of the album on its back while sometimes not even being a representative song concerning the band's style and general output. Agents of Fortune wound up being one of those albums, elevating the financial status of the band in the process. But what can I say...even I couldn't help but skip to that track back in the day; it was really something else and quite effective in conveying an atmosphere. It was only during subsequent listens when I realized there was more to this release than that one tune, and now I find the album as a whole as pretty fascinating, but yeah, that one defining hell of a track was quite a game changer.

But before I wax poetic about "Tenderloin", there's still the rest of the album to consider. First of all, along with an improved, clearer production, the band also ventured a lot more out of its comfort zone. The dark attitude was still there, but the branching out into occasional pop territory was a new exploration. Yet the album branches out into a lot of other things, resulting in an album that's almost schizoid in nature musically, held together by the strange unsettling undercurrent in the overall mood, lyrics and penchant for killer guitar solos.

Opener "This Ain't the Summer of Love" is actually cool as a cucumber with a heavy guitar tone kicking things off on the right foot. It's got the motorcycles, meanness and iconoclasm one would expect out of BÖC going by their prior three releases. Other heavy hitters include "E.T.I. (Extra Terrestrial Intelligence)", the lone cosmic number with a ballsy bluesy riff anchoring it before the chorus shoots the band out into space. It's one of those songs in which when I first heard it, I knew it was BÖC, because it sounds like no other band I can think of. It's a great number and could have fit right in with Secret Treaties or even the debut, but I'm glad it's here since I'm not sure those productions would have benefited the song. Then there's "Tattoo Vampire" which brings back some fiery Tyranny & Mvtation action while featuring seedy lyrics involving the urban underworld and its dark secrets. That's actually a running theme for a lot of these songs, with the album's lyrics exploring a city-life underbelly setting moreso than anything else I've heard in their catalog, and in a few cases it really works wonders.

Not so for "Sinful Love", which may be their worst song of their entire 70's output, although the guitar solo (as always) is great. In fact the solo is so good I think Buck Dharma wrote that solo first and as a joke the rest of the band built a real crappy tune around the lead track just to prank Buck. The fact that this song starts off side 2 instead of "Tattoo Vampire" is an actual travesty. "Debbie Denise" isn't the best thing ever either, being an ode to some girl who stands by her rockstar lout of a man, but it sort of works because Albert can really pull off that hungover warbly voice so well...could have been an authentic delivery.

I can't fault the other tunes really. "True Confessions" isn't great, but the Elton John/Rolling Stones mishmash comes off pretty cool and the slow fade out provides an excellent tension builder for the next song. Then there's also "The Revenge of Vera Gemini ", which is icy cool with a slinky swinging gait and Patti Smith's vocal contributions. Certainly one of the most memorable tracks on the album.

But now it's time for some "Tenderloin" baby. I always get this impression of a lavish hotel room with a red velvet couch, neon lights flickering through the window, sirens wailing outside, a wine glass with lipstick on the rim, lots of pills and other things on the table etc. Eric's vocal delivery is at once impassioned yet sinister, and the air of lavish decadence hangs all over this sort of proto-new wave thing. I can only imagine the amount of blow involved in the creation of the song, considering that it's also a main factor within the lyrics, which neither condemns nor praises the protagonists. "It's just like life, there's never quite enough." It's one of those epiphanies when I could wonder "Is this the best time I can see myself having?" "Doesn't it all go eventually downhill?" and other thoughts during a binge or something. Slick, sleazy and quite unusual for the band, it's kind of it's own thing. The other couple of songs I haven't mentioned yet are quite awesome too.

So despite the presence of "Sinful Love", a song so bad you'd have to be a pigeon to sing it, Agents of Fortune really turned out to be a grower for me to an extent that I think it was the right thing for the band to do at the time, not just economically, but creatively since there's too many interesting gems to glare at, plus the sheer variety is noble and not really detrimental after a few listens.

 Mirrors by BLUE ÖYSTER CULT album cover Studio Album, 1979
2.41 | 101 ratings

Blue Öyster Cult Prog Related

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.

 Heaven Forbid by BLUE ÖYSTER CULT album cover Studio Album, 1998
2.84 | 61 ratings

Heaven Forbid
Blue Öyster Cult Prog Related

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Shockingly good, catchy & heavy

It took me nearly two decades to finally listen to this album, because frankly, I don't expect much when it comes to new "hard rock" by the geezer set. Thus I tend to ignore albums by bands I feel should have retired gracefully, favoring to spend my time on more youthful artists. Most of the time this geezer apathy has served me well. This time, despite the horrendously bad album cover art, I was wrong.

If you love hard rock, this late 90s offering from Blue Oyster Cult, minus the Bouchards no less.... absolutely, certifiably, kicks ass.

And I mean it kicks ass in a way which pays homage to the much worshipped Black/White trilogy days. Not that it has the exact same aura of 1970s and young blood that those albums did. But it certainly has the "spirit" of those early albums. Geezer context notwithstanding, "Heaven Forbid" is HEAVY, riff-ragin', rowdy, energetic as hell, and....engaging, interesting, yeah that's has a pulse. It sounds like they cared. That is not always the case with 50 year olds trying to do what they did at 25. There are some repetitive verse/chorus/verse sections that give some credence to the "stock hard rock" formula charge but BOC has always had some songs like this-if they're done with passion and the song actually does rock and is fun, it is not a problem. This album has a couple tracks that are pedestrian but it has more of the kind of charm that keeps me coming back for more. The guitars have lots of growl and snarl, the overall production vibe is meaty and in-your-face.

There is groove to Heaven Forbid and the musicianship is as good as you'd expect, especially when Buck tears it up. There is mood, soul, and a little something special when Roeser's pop sensibility and melodic instincts make the material instantly enjoyable. The Bloom vocal tracks are heavier and rowdier while the Roeser-sang tracks a bit more reflective and diverse. "Harvest Moon" is a classic Buck Dharma song with an ethereal feel and soothing vocals, haunting and lovely. "Real World" featured funky acoustic guitar and gorgeous lead work. Some of the Bloom songs get close to Metallica intensity, very tight and gripping. The album leaves room for humor (listen to Buck's playful vocal on "Damaged") and unintentional homage-while Allen Lanier was just fine at the time of this album's release, his passing in 2013 makes the placement of a live "In Thee" a coincidentally beautiful closing number. Normally I'm not in favor of tacking on live stuff to a studio album but in this case it really fits and adds a feather to an album that surprised the hell out of me. In a good way.

This album has many low ratings with some reviewers talking about its failure in the context of "prog", which one need not consider when reviewing prog-related albums. Site Admin have changed the rating definitions for prog-related albums so that that no deduction for "prog quotient" is necessary or desired when reviewing the "related" section. The ratings definitions listed at PA all specify "rock" in lieu of "prog." So listen, love, and review all of our "prog related" titles as *rock* albums and quit worrying about the connection to prog.

Love, it makes strangers of us all / When we part oh, so thoughtlessly / Well, I'll wrap myself in cities I travel / I'll wrap myself in dreams / I'll wrap myself in solitude / But I wish I could wrap myself in thee

 Secret Treaties by BLUE ÖYSTER CULT album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.17 | 242 ratings

Secret Treaties
Blue Öyster Cult Prog Related

Review by Prog Sothoth
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars The "black & white" trilogy ends with the heralded Secret Treaties. A fine mix of hard rock with a nasty attitude and occult-inspired space rock, it combines elements of BOC's atmospheric debut with aspects of Tyranny & Mutation's aggression and adds a bit more of an epic approach to their material along with some progressive influences as well. It should not only be the band's finest hour, but my favorite as well.

Yet, it really isn't. I mean, it's great, but it could've been even better. Like the other two in the trilogy, Secret Treaties has its own style of production that doesn't do the music any serious favors. The debut was tripped-out reverb excess, the second had a razor sharp guitar but it was also raw and the drums lacked punch. With this album, the instruments are mixed better, but the overall tone is dull around the edges, particularly with the guitars. A combination of the bite that this album's predecessor had with the polish endowing the follow-up "Agents of Fortune", would have done wonders to sharpen up this release.

Opener "Career of Evil" is a cool start with Patti's creepy lyrics and a nice slinky groove, and the seamless shift to "Subhuman" is neat, but that song itself, while good on its own, in my opinion should have been placed later in the album. I just find it a bit tedious after the opener I guess. Things pick up with the next three tracks, which are all cool rockers with a bit of weirdness thrown into each of them. Afterwards, "Harvester of Eyes" and "Flaming Telepaths" really bring out the strange subject matter and prog elements begin slithering into their sound, culminating with "Astronomy", a spaced-out piano ballad that also rocks out in a catchy "hey!" fashion. Really an interesting and brilliant piece of rock music.

Without a doubt, no BOC fan should be without this recording in my opinion, and even though I wouldn't rank this as their finest hour, being part of the "black & white" trilogy practically makes it essential by default. I love their wild early years, and this release ends their trilogy on a suitably uncanny note with the last three tracks of this release.

 Cultösaurus Erectus by BLUE ÖYSTER CULT album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.44 | 128 ratings

Cultösaurus Erectus
Blue Öyster Cult Prog Related

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I have always loved the cover of this album since I was a kid. My friend's older brother had this on vinyl, and my interest in dinosaurs and science fiction art made this an easy eye-catcher.

Blue Oyster Cult were often said to be the American answer to Black Sabbath but I have never been able to hear that in the music. For this album here, they got Martin Birch as producer, who was already known for his work with Sabbath and Deep Purple's 'Machine Head' and who would go on to produce albums for Iron Maiden. BOC and Black Sabbath toured together, too, on what was called the Black and Blue tour. Still, the band doesn't sound at all like Black Sabbath. But they don't have to.

I'll admit it took me some time to get into this album. Having been sufficiently impressed with their first three albums and having a greatest hits album plus formerly owning two other later albums on cassette, I had more expectations from this one. I kept adding it to a playlist of albums to review and then taking it off again. Finally I decided to give it my full attention and I was pleasantly surprised in parts.

'Black Blade' is a song based on the writings of Michael Moorcock. It's hard rock pop with punk edge in parts and tells the story about an evil blade that possesses its bearer to kill. The story is a bit similar to the Heavy Metal movie theme where a mysterious green orb also causes otherwise gentle people to behave in a bloodthirsty manner. Incidentally, BOC were closely involved in the music soundtrack of Heavy Metal, and some of the songs would end up on their next release. There's some nice eerie music with creepy sound effects in the middle. One of BOC's classic fantasy sci fi type story telling songs, Eric Bloom's vocals are as usual full of passion. This is a great theatrical hard rock number with rhythm changes and synthesizer; like prog hard rock almost. The blade speaks at the end in metallic voice.

'Monsters' is next, and why didn't I notice this one right away? A hard rock track with an almost seventies danceable intro then suddenly goes jazz with sax and piano drums bass and no guitars. That fast boogie part contrasts great with the hard n' heavy part and then another jazz break. What are these guys trying to prove? Then an almost boogie rock prog section, after which the song slows down with some nice piano. A new melody is introduced. The chorus fast with piano bass drums and lead guitar. Seemingly seamless and well- crafted, the song wraps up with heavy hard rock bit but with added sax and groove. Great song!

'Divine Wind' is slow with piano, guitar and a hard bass but has a menacing pace almost. 'If he really thinks we're the devil / then let's send him to hell'. The music is steady and not varied like the first two tracks. Track three is a good spot for it. The backing female vocals sound a bit like heavier Pink Floyd.

'Deadline' is more pop with hard strummed guitar and synthesizer. Donald 'Buck Dharma' Roeser takes the vocals. Again, the music is minimalistic but the lead guitar adds colour.

'The Marshall Plan' is a story about young Johnny who goes to rock show with Suzie but sees her leaving with the band. Johnny decides to take up the guitar and become a rock star. The 'Smoke on the Water' riff sneaks in at one point, the original song recorded by producer Martin Birch. There's a spoken part which sounds a bit cheesy as Johnny talks about his plan to play heavy music. Don Kirshner's voice introduces the now successful Johnny. There's a fast, upbeat hard rock instrumental with lead guitar. The music has become more varied again. The story is a bit trite but it's a fun song.

'Hungry Boys' is a fast paced hard rock with piano and an electric drum break. It's a typical BOC fast boogie rock number. Drummer Albert Bouchard takes the vocals.

'Fallen Angel' features bassist Joe Bouchard on vocals. His singing is rough, almost a shout, but possess a very pop rock / hard rock sound. The synth-led melody is catchy, and the guitar solo like pop-sounding Kansas. The music reminds me of the Canadian pop-rock band, Prism.

'Lips in the Hills' brings us back to the exciting rocker ability of BOC and it was the first song to really grab my attention. Eric Bloom is back on vocals again. This is hard rock BOC! Nothing complex or overly simple, just guitar rock energy and fury with a one of the band's typical suspense story tales.

'Unknown Tongue' concludes the album. It's hard rock with piano and yet another almost horror suspense style story piece about what sounds like a slightly twisted young lady. There's a bit of pretty but horror movie- type piano. A good track though less involved than the first two.

While this is not my favourite Blue Oyster Cult album, it does typify what a BOC album sounds like: essentially a rock band with hard rock and heavy rock up front and occasional meanderings into traditional heavy metal and progressive trim where suitable. What is to be admired and liked is the band's ability to produce exciting and at times very interesting songs about aliens, ghosts, science fiction and the super natural. It's almost as if the members know not to take themselves seriously about their taking their work seriously, if that makes any sense. There's a tongue in cheek quality to the genuine sincerity they put into their entertainment. For that, I like them. But I wish this album had a few more memorable tracks for my taste.

 Tyranny And Mutation by BLUE ÖYSTER CULT album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.46 | 166 ratings

Tyranny And Mutation
Blue Öyster Cult Prog Related

Review by Prog Sothoth
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

5 stars That linear esoteric cover design drew me in, the same way that their debut did. It was like I was ready to join a cult. Instead of whistling away my life savings for mysterious spiritual enlightenment, I received eight really good songs for a much more reasonable price.

The opener, a reworking of the second track off their debut, absolutely explodes out of the gate with a far more razor sounding guitar sound than the blunted spacey tone of their prior release. The tempo is particularly fast for its time, like a proto-punk speedster featuring Bloom's vocals which still possess that youth-inflected snarl. I particularly enjoy the final minute or so when the band is really cooking up an instrumental storm. One of my favorites by BOC in general.

The truth is, this is probably the only album of theirs in which I completely dig every tune. My other favorite platters of theirs have at least one dud or so, but that's not the case with this puppy. Case in point, "Mistress of the Salmon Salt". Not a song that gets a lot of mention by BOC fans, but to me it's utterly brilliant, and lyrically one of the strangest, creepiest and fascinating of their repertoire. Is the 'Quicklime Girl' a serial killer/prostitute preying on sailors, a killer cultist, a necromancer, a deviant girl with a fascination for death? Enigmatic yet perfect for the music, which sways between hard rock riffs, quieter verses and atmospheric doom-rock passages complete with an organ solo. The morbid shamble of the music is quite effective accompanying the lines "The harvest of life, the harvest of death", again, with Bloom's serpentine delivery. A great finale to the album, residing on the LP's "red" side, deemed the more atmospheric half of the album.

Songs that are well known on T&M are given accolades for good reason. "7 Screaming Diz- Busters" begins with one of BOC's most memorable riffs (man what a doozy!) before launching into one of their most quintessential epics that meshes biker aesthetics and possible sexual references with blatant occultism; pretty much everything that freaked out my parents when I started getting into rock music. The song is also quite progressive musically, featuring no shortage of shifts in tempo as well as a strange array of soloing and keyboard usage. It's a true classic by the band, and some would say "Hot Rails to Hell" is as well, featuring Joe Bouchard's demented vocals and a rapid chugging pace. It's during songs like this though that the album's one flaw for me personally gets a bit more exposed, which would be the lack of a strong production. The guitars sound great, but a better presence of low-end and a heavier drum sound would have enhanced the power of the more aggressive cuts of this collection. It's a flaw I tend to overlook due to the strength of the material, and I've been loving this album for over 30 years.

When I mention that all of the songs here are among my favorites by the band, I mean it. "Baby Ice Dog" boasts jarring Patti Smith lyrics and grooves quite well while tweaking the standard 4/4 rhythms with some jazz-influenced breaks. the opening riff of "OD'd on Life Itself" recalls The Hollies' "Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress" (which in turn recalls CCR's "Green River" and so-forth) before spicing things up with some space rock ambiance and dark yet trippy lyrics. "Wings Wetted Down" boasts the most atmosphere, a moody piece and yet it brandishes a chainsaw guitar riff that keeps things from ever reaching ballad territory. An oddly structured tune in that sense, leaning into progressive territory. The sole number with Buck Dharma on lead vocals, "Teen Archer" is an absolute gem. With great guitar riffs and one killer 'feel-good' keyboard solo smack in the middle of this thing, it's also real catchy with its repetitive verses that sort of remind me of "Burnin' For You" in that specific sense. It's also quite an uptempo piece as well, showing that the "black" side of the album doesn't hold claim to all of the fast buggers.

To me this album is a masterpiece. It just clicked instantly and yet I somehow never overplayed it to the point of burnout through the years. I also know it's not for everyone, and maybe not the album to initiate the curious into what BOC has to offer, except maybe for those coming from an edgy rock/punk angle who's ready for some weird occult references and musical passages. Hell, maybe that's why I dig this album so much. It ain't prog, but the 'progressive' flair is there, enhancing the overall energy where "dusters dust becomes the sale and Lucifer, the light".

Thanks to raff for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives