Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography

BLUE ÖYSTER CULT

Prog Related • United States


From Progarchives.com, 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 forum topics / tours, shows & news


BLUE ÖYSTER CULT forum topics Create a topic now
BLUE ÖYSTER CULT tours, shows & news
No topics found for : "blue öyster cult"
Post an entries now

BLUE ÖYSTER CULT Videos (YouTube and more)


Showing only random 3 | Show all BLUE ÖYSTER CULT videos (2) | Search and add more videos to BLUE ÖYSTER CULT

Buy BLUE ÖYSTER CULT Music



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 Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

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

3.44 | 180 ratings
Blue Öyster Cult
1972
3.48 | 179 ratings
Tyranny And Mutation
1973
4.16 | 268 ratings
Secret Treaties
1974
3.22 | 186 ratings
Agents Of Fortune
1976
3.23 | 135 ratings
Spectres
1977
2.43 | 109 ratings
Mirrors
1979
3.48 | 138 ratings
Cultösaurus Erectus
1980
3.56 | 158 ratings
Fire Of Unknown Origin
1981
3.02 | 82 ratings
The Revölution By Night
1983
2.46 | 72 ratings
Club Ninja
1986
3.71 | 99 ratings
Imaginos
1988
4.00 | 1 ratings
Bad Channels (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
1992
3.06 | 21 ratings
Cult Classic
1994
2.86 | 64 ratings
Heaven Forbid
1998
2.99 | 63 ratings
Curse Of The Hidden Mirror
2001

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

4.05 | 79 ratings
On Your Feet Or On Your Knees
1975
3.43 | 69 ratings
Some Enchanted Evening
1978
4.01 | 59 ratings
Extraterrestrial Live
1982
3.13 | 16 ratings
Live 1976
1991
5.00 | 1 ratings
Tales of the Psychic Wars
2001
3.52 | 25 ratings
A Long Day's Night
2002
3.50 | 10 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
3.51 | 11 ratings
Workshop of the Telescopes
1995
3.96 | 4 ratings
Don't Fear the Reaper
1997
4.15 | 16 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
3.00 | 1 ratings
Collections
2006
3.00 | 2 ratings
Triple Feature
2009
4.39 | 8 ratings
The Columbia Albums Collection
2012
0.00 | 0 ratings
Rarities Vol. 1
2017
0.00 | 0 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
 Fire Of Unknown Origin by BLUE ÖYSTER CULT album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.56 | 158 ratings

BUY
Fire Of Unknown Origin
Blue Öyster Cult Prog Related

Review by friso
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Now here's a nice artsy classic rock album you should know about. 'Fire of Unknown Origin' is the eighties answer to the catchy tour the force 'Secret Treaties' album from '74. Blue Oyster Cult has always coined itself as a 'heavy metal' band - even naming a song on this album to the genre. I would however suggest that if Blue Oyster Cult were 'heavy metal', so would David Bowie, Spirit and The Who. On this album I hear a gentle poppy rock group that happens to have some strong ideas about songwriting and the accompanying sound pallets. The bass guitar is particularly articulated in the mix, the synth are a bit typical of its time, but mostly this is a fairly unsurprising continuation of the seventies sound of the band.

Listening to this album for the first few times I was quite surprised how nice it can be to be able familiarize oneself with a new record in such little time. The album's pace and early succession of winning songs like the the Patti Smith cover & title song, the pleasant enough radio song 'Burnin' for You' and the more melodic synth driven tunes 'Veteran of a Thousand Psychic Wars' and 'Sole Survivor' - all fine memorable songs. The before mentioned 'Heavy Metal' is the first weaker song, but the peeps en shrieks of chorussy guitars are a nice detail. On side two the band opens and closes strongly with 'Vengeance' and the very catchy and atmospheric 'Don't Turn You Back' - with again a leading role for the bass guitar of Joseph Bouchard.

The melodic synth-driven songs are - not surprisingly - the most interesting for listeners of progressive rock, but the album is a strong record in its entirety. If you enjoy albums like Deep Purple's 'Burn', The Who's 'Quadrophenia' or 'Sabbath Bloody Sabbath' chances are you will greatly enjoy this album as well. The artwork on my vinyl print of CBS is also worth mentioning. For a classic rock album this deserves four stars.

 Blue Öyster Cult by BLUE ÖYSTER CULT album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.44 | 180 ratings

BUY
Blue Öyster Cult
Blue Öyster Cult Prog Related

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars BLUE OYSTER CULT has its roots originating all the way back to 1967 when founder and guitarist Donald Roeser who would become better known as Buck Dharma started the first version of what would become BOC in the form of the psych-tinged jam band Soft White Underbelly which was centered around Dharma's guitar playing and would provide a BLUEprint for the mystical CULT to come. The band went through a few changes before finding its own voice. It would take singer Eric Bloom to replace the original frontman before the band started to cohesively gel around the more boogie rock blues based hard rock sounds they have become known for. At this stage the band took the moniker Stalk-Forrest Group and was discovered by rock theorist Sandy Pearlman who was always on the look out for sharp new talent for Elektra Records. After a brief stint in California and a short trip down a dead end street, the band that would become the BLUE OYSTER CULT came to fruition when keyboardist and rhythm guitarist Allen Lanier joined the team. It was he who contributed the band's more famous moniker that simulated the mystical occult demeanor that they were striving for.

After the failed California adventure, the BOC headed back to its native New York City where they spent 1971 fine-tuning a more heavy handed rock approach that kept a tad of the 60s psychedelia but according to Dharma the band was trying to become America's answer to Black Sabbath and while BOC could never even remotely be accused of ripping off the classic English band's style or sound in any possible way, BOC did however evoke a sense of awe with an interesting mix of occult philosophies, surrealism and heaviness that was rooted in a twin guitar dominated bluesy hard rock with some progressive touches along with an occasional slice of avant-garde. The band's self-titled debut album appeared early in January 1972 after being discovered by Columbia Records and while not exactly lighting the world on fire quite yet found enough support that many tours arose albeit with the unlikely parings of The Byrds and Mahavishnu Orchestra. Only the tour with Alice Cooper actually seemed like a legit fit but nevertheless with a strong batch of catchy tunes amplified and soaked in acid baths, BLUE OYSTER CULT hit hard from the getgo and continued to expand its new stylistic approach.

Having latched onto a unique sound fairly early, BLUE OYSTER CULT found the perfect balance between a more demented form of bluesy boogie rock as if a parallel universe version of a more psych-tinged Allman Brothers had seeped into our reality during the Montauk Project. Equally laced with a trippy guitar twang and the Godzilla power stomps that would define the BOC's rhythmic delivery, this eponymous debut cemented the band's later success in its nascent BLUEprints for future hits. "Cities On Flame With Rock And Roll" provided the first glimpse of the monster stomp guitar and drum rhythmic prowess that would later spawn such hits as "Godzilla" whereas "Screams" provided that haunting occult feel that took the twangy guitar sounds, a bit of psychedelic keyboard charm and super catchy vocal melodies that would pave the way for tracks like "Burning For You" and "(Don't Fear) The Reaper." Likewise Dharma showcased a rather eccentric psych-fueled blues guitar soloing style that is as distinctive as anything Jimmy Page, Brian May or Tony Iommi were cranking out on the other side of the pond.

BLUE OYSTER CULT's debut is a masterful mix of diverse sounds that the band made all their own. The heavy hitters of the bunch such as the two openers "Transmaniacon MC" and "I'm On The Lambe But I Ain't No Sheep" displayed the knack for capturing a traditional style of hard rock but adding heavy doses of surreality to the lyrics as well as the changes that took place within the individual tracks. Perhaps the most diverse is the rowdy heavy rock "Before The Kiss, A Redcap" which starts out somewhat like something the Edgar Winter Band were famous for in the early 70s but the track shifts into a series of melodic deliveries including a ska-fueled toe-tapping section with early rapped vocals which adds some serious skank and alternates with heavy guitar heft outbursts. The so-called thinking man's heavy metal band also graced the album with a few drug fueled slower trippy tracks. "Then Came The Last Days Of May," "Screams" and the most oddly titled song of all time "She's As Beautiful As A Foot" all showed a slowed down version of the band that focused as much on atmospheric as guitar based magic.

While "Cities On Flame With Rock And Roll" remains the album's most famous track for its Zeppelin meets Sabbath guitar stomps that gave the band its signature sound, there are several heavy unsung classics on this album including "Stairway To The Stars" and "Workshop Of The Telescopes" along with the two openers. Really the only track that doesn't sound like it fits in is the closing "Redeemed" which exhibits a rather odd sounding Grateful Dead style of country rock which as far as i'm concerned should've been nixed from the final mix as it sounds woefully out of place and could easily be inserted on Dead album's like "American Beauty" and nobody would even notice. All in all, BOC cranked out a smokin' hot slice of early hard rock of the early 70s. All the musicians perfectly played their parts and crafted their idiosyncrasies perfectly. The unique drumming style of Albert Bouchard perfectly suited the twin guitar wilderness provided by Buck Dharma and Eric Bloom while Bloom's vocals suited this hybrid of psychedelic rock and hard blues based rock perfectly. Not even their best album but this debut is without a doubt one of the essential classic BOC albums to acquire and savor. While the album didn't make BOC a household name at this point the album sold fairly well and allowed the band to delve further into the heavier side of their sound and would slowly jettison the more psychedelic touches or to be more precise diminish them.

4.5 rounded down

 Curse Of The Hidden Mirror by BLUE ÖYSTER CULT album cover Studio Album, 2001
2.99 | 63 ratings

BUY
Curse Of The Hidden Mirror
Blue Öyster Cult Prog Related

Review by TCat
Collaborator Eclectic Team

3 stars At the time that Blue Oyster Cult released their 14th album 'Curse of the Hidden Mirror', there were only three long-standing members left; Eric Bloom on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, who even though he wasn't with the band at the very beginning, he was on all of the albums; Buck Dharma who also shared vocals, but was known as the lead guitarist; and Allen Lanier on keys and rhythm guitar. The rest of the band saw a lot of line up changes. BOC also never really expected their 14th album to be their last one either, but, even though it was a decent album, it just didn't perform well, and they were dumped by their label.

The band, however, continued to tour and still continued to draw huge crowds. So, even though there hasn't been any new albums since this one, released in 2001, the band has been active. Unfortunately, Allen Lanier died in 2013, but Dharma and Bloom have remained in the band. Dharma and Bloom also co-wrote much of the music on the album, thus the general sound of BOC is there, but they also had help from Danny Miranda, who is the current bass player, and cyberpunk author John Shirley.

The album starts out with what is probably the best song on the album 'Dance on Stilts', which has the attitude and feel of some of the best BOC tracks, and the 3rd track also shows some promise with 'The Old Gods Return'. 'Pocket' was supposed to be the single, but it didn't sell very well even though the track is a really good song, in the same style as one of my favorites from the 'Club Ninja' album, 'Perfect Water'. The guitar solo in 'Pocket' is also really good, it's just too short. 'One Step Ahead of the Devil' is also one of the heavier BOC tracks, and was placed very well on the album as it served as a wake up call after the mellower 'Pocket'.

The problem is, is that after the first excellent track, the rest of the album tends to go down in quality, and the heart of the band just doesn't seem to be there. The tracks start to sound more and more alike as the album moves on, descending to a more MOR sound. There were some promising things happening on the first half of the album, but the downward spiral seems to continue on the 2nd half, where, except for a few great guitar solos, we are only left with mediocre and 'too perfect sounding' tracks. The spirit just doesn't seem to be there. The ideas seemed to be running dry, and the proof of that is the addition of older tracks like 'Out of the Darkness' which was written for the 1992 movie 'Bad Channels', but was never used, and 'Showtime' which was another unused track written and recorded for the album 'Cultosaurus Erectus', but was also unused then.

So, the album isn't too bad, it's just a bit too polished for me since I love the rougher sound of BOC the best. At the time of this release, many fans still expected that one album that would come out that would really recall the glory days of the band, maybe they could still pull off another 'Spectres', 'Secret Treaties' or even ''Imaginos'. But, with the label getting rid of the band, it didn't seem like we would ever really get a chance to find out for sure. But then . . . in 2019, it was announced that a new label had finally signed on for a new album. It won't be released until sometime in 2020, but maybe, just maybe, this will be the chance for the band to come back with a vengeance. We could only hope, and time will tell. After almost 20 years, my own personal hopes aren't up too much, but, you never know. I really want to be proven wrong on this one!

 Cultösaurus Erectus by BLUE ÖYSTER CULT album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.48 | 138 ratings

BUY
Cultösaurus Erectus
Blue Öyster Cult Prog Related

Review by TCat
Collaborator Eclectic Team

4 stars "Cultosaurus Erectus" was Blue Oyster Cult's 7th album. Released in 1980, it followed the very slick and polished album "Mirrors" which saw the band take a backward step towards strict commercialism. However, this album saw a return of BOC to their previous sound, which was a quick save for the band. Even with the more lackluster Mirrors album, after the release of Cultosaurus, the band continued to fill up the stadiums, and this album definitely helped to continue BOC's staying power. The first side of the album was much more progressive while the 2nd side leans toward the heavy rock anthems that the crowds were demanding, but there were really no big hits off of this album.

Starting with the amazing "Black Blade", we hear BOC at their progressive best. The track tells the story of one of Michael Moorcock's most famous characters Elric of Meinibone and his black sword Stormbringer. The lyrics are written from the point of view of the main character and boasts a track written in the style of a suite, with several main melodies, meter changes and styles. The track is one of the band's best and shows off their talents in a big way. "Monsters" continues this style with a track that also changes meter and style throughout, and this one-two punch of great album openers had the fans and the prog-heads excited.

The next track was a bit of a surprise, because it was the first time BOC had a flat out hard rocking blues track with a beat that sounded more like something from Black Sabbath or Led Zeppelin than it did BOC, but that was okay because the band got to prove that they deserved to be in the same class. After this, the album starts to sound more like the heavy rock sound of "Agents of Fortune" and "Spectres" with the heavy yet melodic tracks "Deadline", and "The Marshall Plan". Then "Hungry Boys", "Fallen Angel" and "Lips in the Hills" all have infectious rhythms and strong guitar and keyboard riffs that get into your head and stay there, the sound the public loved and demanded, and what they were famous for, giving their own unique brand of heavy rock that no one else seemed to be able to copy. The last track "Unknown Tongue" however, seems to follow the same rut that the band always falls into, most of their last tracks on their albums are quite weak, and this one also follows that pattern. However, with the liveliness returning and their memorable riffs and themes, the band came back to life with this album.

Maybe they might not be the heaviest metal band out there, and they may not also be the most progressive all the time, but I still love this band. They were always unique, a little off kilter, and the songs always tended to get stuck in your head. I always loved their strange darkness that was present in their lyrics, yet their music was catchy nonetheless. I remember being elated when this album came out, and they returned to their unpolished sound again, because that was always when they were at their best.

 Some Enchanted Evening by BLUE ÖYSTER CULT album cover Live, 1978
3.43 | 69 ratings

BUY
Some Enchanted Evening
Blue Öyster Cult Prog Related

Review by bilkaimra

5 stars Only 66 ratings? There are few live albums that enter the pure anthology of rock music like Some Enchanted Evening. Among such, in my opinion, one should consider Frampton Comes Live, Solar Music Live and Kraan Live. The reason this album deserves all praise is that each song, except for Don't Fear The Reaper, is far more inspiring and better played than their studio versions, especially RU Ready 2 Rock and Astronomy. I think that BOC here was at their inspirational peak and that they corrected certain weaknesses present on their previous live effort. Donald Roeser's contribution here is brilliant, and with his solo at Astronomy he put a permanent seal on BOC creativity and their outstanding role in what could be defined as an intellectual hard rock. Certainly the best album the band recorded ever.
 Cultösaurus Erectus by BLUE ÖYSTER CULT album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.48 | 138 ratings

BUY
Cultösaurus Erectus
Blue Öyster Cult Prog Related

Review by somtam

4 stars Cultosaurus Erectus was a big return to form for BOC, coming after three increasingly mixed albums where the band seemed intent on finding hit singles. The problem with Cultosaurus is it is rather lop- sided. The first four tracks (side A) are outstanding. Black Blade is one their career highlights, Monsters surprises and delights, Divine Wind is unnervingly relentless, while Deadline is a delightful tune with a lovely Buck Dharma solo. The remaining songs are weaker. The Marshall Plan is fun, Unknown Tongue is nicely twisted, Fallen Angel is decent though not their most memorable, Lips quite poor, while 'Hungry Boys' is just awful. 5 stars for the first half, 2.5 for the second half.
 Club Ninja by BLUE ÖYSTER CULT album cover Studio Album, 1986
2.46 | 72 ratings

BUY
Club Ninja
Blue Öyster Cult Prog Related

Review by TCat
Collaborator Eclectic Team

3 stars "Club Ninja" was the 10th studio album album released by Blue Oyster Cult. It followed on the heels of "Revolution By Night" which was not a commercial success, and the plan was that Club Ninja would be the album to bring that back to the band. Trying to obtain a heavier sound against the usual synths and keyboards that graced their other albums, this album mix the keys down a bit further and bring out the guitar sounds more than on the previous album. Some of the tracks also tried to bring in the more commercial friendly sounds of the hair bands that were running rampant around the time of this release, 1986. But, nevertheless, there are still some gems to be culled from this album, so it shouldn't be a complete wash out.

The album starts with two excellent BOC style tracks with some great, memorable hooks, namely "White Flags" and "Dancin' in the Ruins" which both are both accessible and more akin to BOC's past classics. However, this is followed up with a track that is less memorable and more arena rock friendly in "Make Rock Not War". Yeah, it's pretty cheesy. However, the next track is one of BOC's best ever. "Perfect Water" is a progressive classic and has a more complex sound along the lines of their more progressive work of the past. It is not really as guitar heavy as the previous tracks, but that is okay because some of BOC's best music is not always reliant on heavy guitars anyway. The tempos shift and the melodies are more complex. So, to this point, the album is sounding really good.

Unfortunately, we come into the part of the album that is either devoid of much personality and lean towards the commercial heavy metal or hard rock sound of the day. "Spy in the House of Night" is based upon a poem by Richard Meltzer, a music critic who had worked with the band in the past. The words are interesting, but there in nothing really memorable about the track. It took me a long time to get the melody to remain in my head, and now that I can pick it out before I hear it, it still has nothing about it that is interesting. This is then followed by "Beat 'em Up" which is a typical stadium rocker that raises the cheesy factor back up to 100. At least some of the band's more commercial songs previous to this were still great rockers, the more commercial songs on this album are frightfully bad and much lower than the bar set for the bands music. I mean lyrics like "You take a lickin and keep on tickin" and "You start rockin' when we start sockin'" just doesn't hold up to BOC lyrics from the past, but they do come right out of the hair metal era.

Things get a little more interesting after this though. "When the War Comes Home" has a better progressive edge to it and is co-written by Sandy Perlman who has written many BOC classics and also produced many of their albums. It starts with a rousing spoken word intro by Howard Stern, who was the cousin to Eric Bloom's (vocalist, guitarist) wife. The song has most of the band singing in unison, and the melody is not very memorable, but it has a nice guitar hook to it, it is more atmospheric, it has the ooga-chaka vocal that will help you remember it, and the ending, which emulates the sounds of machine gun fire and war sounds with the drums, guitars and synths is pretty great if you really listen to it. Talk about the use of tension and drama in music, this track is a highlight for me. I can imagine this track would do well in concert with a cool pyro-techniques and light effects. "Shadow Warrior" has a complex melody that takes some time to get stuck in your head, but it is actually a great progressive track with a terrific guitar solo stuck in there. The same can be said for the closer "Madness to the Method" which is a bit less of a rocker than the previous track, but is still a great progressive track nonetheless.

No doubt that this BOC album took some time to grow on me, because the hooks are not quite as obvious in some places, and in others, the songs are just too commercial. The music isn't quite as catchy as some of their past albums, however, not only is there a move to some more commercial songs, but there is also a move to more progressiveness here too. I don't really think this album is as bad as some make it out to be, I think it takes a little more time for some of the tracks to grow on you though. But, I do see this album as a step towards the excellent album "Imaginos" that would come next. Call me strange, but I find this album better than most, though at one time, I would have agreed with most saying that this was one of their worst albums. If you try to block the commercial tracks out of your head and give this one a better chance, I think most would agree that most of the tracks are actually good. I'll give it 3 stars, but I think it is closer to 3.5 stars and there are times when I would consider it 4 stars depending on my mood.

 Secret Treaties by BLUE ÖYSTER CULT album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.16 | 268 ratings

BUY
Secret Treaties
Blue Öyster Cult Prog Related

Review by mariorockprog

4 stars 4: The third album of Blue Oyster Cult, being the proggier effort by the band (as some reviewers said) and considered as their best album. The first song has a starting prog sound however doesnt evolve in something else, is a catchy hard rock song, but the lyrics are not so elaborated. In general, is a collection of really good songs, that apparently fan tell that have an history going about aliens and how they play with humanity. Musically, I considered it good, but nothing spectacular. I think I was expecting something more elaborated by its score, very little prog is found here, mostly regular rock songs with some interesting riffs. Is an interesting album, I think it would be enjoyable for a prog listener, but don't expect something proggier or elaborated.
 Tyranny And Mutation by BLUE ÖYSTER CULT album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.48 | 179 ratings

BUY
Tyranny And Mutation
Blue Öyster Cult Prog Related

Review by TCat
Collaborator Eclectic Team

4 stars One year and one month after the release of Blue Oyster Cult's debut album sees the release of their 2nd album "Tyranny and Mutation", February 1973 to be exact. With the same exact line-up as the first album, this time around we hear a lightening up of the music with more emphasis on bass, but a deepening of the band's mystique. The album this time is divided into 2 sections, side 1 being "The Black" and side 2 is "The Red". Sandy Pearlman this time writes the lyrics for 4 of the tracks and also co-produces with Murray Krugman. Most of the lead vocals (5 out of 8 tracks) are handled by Eric Bloom with 2 tracks sung by bassist Joe Brouchard and 1 track by guitarist Donald "Buck Dharma" Roeser.

"The Black" side features 4 up beat, guitar-heavy, hard rock tracks that are thematic in nature. Starting with some power chords and advancing into a quick tempo, this track starts things off with a fast paced heavy track. This song was actually released on the debut album as a much more low key track called "I'm On the Lamb But I Ain't No Sheep". This time the track is much more memorable with a better groove and tempo which at once draws your attention to the music.

"O.D.'d on Life Itself" uses a familiar rock riff somewhat similar to "Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress" by The Hollies, but the track itself is much better developed as it doesn't make that riff the focus of the song. It is a straightforward hard rock track with a sprinkle of psychedelic rock thrown in and a heart pounding guitar solo.

"Hot Rails to Hell" is the first track sung by J. Bouchard. At once, it is much more rousing than the previous track and more up beat. This was the only single released from the album, but it didn't do very well. Again, the central instrument is the guitar as are all four of the songs on The Black side of the album. This side ends with the longest track on the album "7 Screaming Diz-Busters". This track has more of a feel of the songs on the first album and is much more progressive with a more complex and changing melody and riff with some interesting meter changes. It is still driven heavily by guitar. It is also the best track on this half of the

The 2nd side, or "The Red" is much more progressive and experimental, and keyboards stand out more on this side. It starts out with "Baby Ice Dog" with lyrics written by Patti Smith who was J. Bouchard's girlfriend at the time. The song features a complex melody with less reliance on heaviness and guitars.

"Wings Wetted Down" is the second song sung by J. Bouchard and is more dark and evil sounding, yet it is also more ballad- like, but not exactly a ballad. It has a thick guitar riff, but the verses are driven by piano. The guitar solo is eerie sounding, yet the song is quite memorable.

"Teen Archer" was written by "Buck Dharma" Roeser who also does lead vocals. It was co-written by the other producer Murray Krugman. The melody itself is not really memorable and the track is one of the weaker ones on the album, but it does have a nice organ solo.

"Mistress of the Salmon Salt (Quicklime Girl)" is the final track on the album. It has a definite psychedelic and mysterious feel to it. The progressive leanings are obvious but it ends things a bit soft. BOC has not always chosen the best tracks to end albums with, but it is somewhat interesting at least.

Even though the production changes on this album helped to improve the sound of the band overall, it was more of a long- range improvement as this album seems a bit less interesting that the debut album. It may have something to do with the fact that they kept the fast and heavy tracks on one side and the more dynamic tracks on the second side. It probably would have served them better to mix things up a bit more. However, it isn't a terrible album, it is just a bit less interesting than the albums before and after it.

 Blue Öyster Cult by BLUE ÖYSTER CULT album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.44 | 180 ratings

BUY
Blue Öyster Cult
Blue Öyster Cult Prog Related

Review by TCat
Collaborator Eclectic Team

5 stars In January of 1972, the band Blue Oyster Cult released their first album. The band was originally called "Soft White Underbelly" and played mostly psychedelic music. When they "repackaged" themselves as a hard rock band in order to increase their popularity, they came up with Blue Oyster Cult, a name that they originally didn't like and also which comes a poem about aliens that control the fate of the Earth written by Sandy Pearlman. Pearlman would end up co-producing many of the band's albums and he would also write the lyrics to many of their songs.

Their first album would show the transition to a harder rock sound, but for their first 4 albums, they would have that psychedelic feel that remained a part of their harder rock, and it gave them their original signature sound. That sound is quite apparent in their first album which would go on to influence what were then future bands like Iron Maiden, Metallica, Fates Warning, and Celtic Frost to name a few, but it would also inspire the more recent subgenre of hard rock called Stoner Rock and bands like Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age, Umprhey's McGee, Widespread Panic and The Cult among others.

Every member of the band, except for Allen Lanier, would sing vocals on this album, but Eric Bloom was the main lead singer and sings all of the songs on this album except for the ones I mention in this review. This would give an excellent variety to the music. The music in the first 3 albums is a bit harder than what would come during the band's most popular days, but even then, it is not as heavy as most heavy metal bands. But even so, BOC was one of the most influential bands that started that genre. It was even said, in a review for the band that they were hard rock music for people that hate hard rock music.

The album starts off establishing their signature sound right away with "Trasmaniacon MC" which is about the Altamont Speedway Free Festival that took place on Dec. 6, 1969. This was a very violent festival where people actually lost their lives in a series of unrelated occurrences, and even The Grateful Dead, who was scheduled to appear, refused to come because of the news of the concert being violent. Even though BOC was not part of this festival, it was quite a famous occurrence at the time. The "MC" part of the title stands for Motorcycle Club.

"I'm on the Lam but I Ain't No Sheep" is inspired from a Captain Beefheart song called "Frying Pan". It was released several times by the band before they were known as Blue Oyster Cult and was recorded in different versions and tempos. The rhythm was sped up for this album. It is about a fugitive being chased through the wilderness by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. It was recorded again later with heavier guitars and released as "The Red and the Black" on the band's 2nd album. The song speeds up with a new bass line during the last instrumental section.

"Then Came the Last Days of May" is a softer, beautiful track performed in a more balled-like tempo. It is based on a drug deal gone bad where two friends were killed. It was usually played in concert as a vehicle to show off Donald "Buck Dharma" Roeser's guitar skills and also sung by him.

"Stairway to the Stars" is based off of the boogie style riff at the beginning of the track which drives the song forward in an up tempo. It is co-written by Richard Meltzer who is known as the first real rock analyst (or critic).

"Before the Kiss, a Redcap" has a definite progressive edge with the use of multi meters and tempos that switch from mid- tempo to a heavy boogie style bass line in the bridge. It also features a great instrumental section shared by guitar and organ. Lead vocals are by Buck Dharma. Redcap was the term for the barbiturate called Dalmane. Sandy Pearlman, one of BOC's lyricists witnessed the drug being passed between two lovers before they kissed in Conry's Bar according to Buck Dharma.

Next comes the slower, more psychedelic "Screams" which features processed vocals sung by bassist Joe Bouchard. Again this features changing tempos between the verses and choruses. The psychedelic feel continues with "She's As Beautiful as a Foot" which segues from the previous track marked by a short drum solo. This song also has that mysterious, almost evil sound that the band would become famous for.

Next is the ever popular fan favorite "Cities on Flame with Rock 'n' Roll". This one has Albert Bouchard, the band's drummer, on the lead vocals. It starts off using a version of the riff from Black Sabbath's "The Wizard" and is inspired by that song. It is one of the heavier songs on the album and has become a concert staple even in recent shows.

"Workshop of the Telescopes" is credited to all the members of the band and Sandy Pearlman. Again, we get the evil sounding vocals on this one and a more progressive sound. "Redeemed" is the last track on the original album. This was a song that was sold to the band from singer-songwriter Harry Farcas, who according to Wikipedia, now is an iridologist in Southern California.

In 2001, a CD reissue of the album was produced which added 4 bonus tracks that were demo versions that the band recorded as "Soft White Underbelly" in 1969. The tracks are "Donovan's Monkey", "What is Quicksand", "A Fact About Sneakers", and the rock and roll classic "Betty Lou's Got a New Pair of Shoes". For the most part, these are all decent tracks even though they are demos, and sound quite similar to the tracks on the original album. For BOC fans, it is a worthwhile find for these extra tracks.

While this album is not as polished as later albums would be (mostly after "Agents of Fotrune"), that is what gives the album its unique sound and is also a great attraction of the album. As a big fan of BOC, I consider this one of the band's definite staples. But it is also essential as a prog rock album that influenced many bands and still continues to do so. It is an excellent mix of prog, psychedelic and hard rock that keeps getting better everytime you listen to it.

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: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives