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BLUE ÖYSTER CULT

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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...
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BLUE ÖYSTER CULT Videos (YouTube and more)


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BLUE ÖYSTER CULT discography


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

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

3.41 | 183 ratings
Blue Öyster Cult
1972
3.47 | 180 ratings
Tyranny And Mutation
1973
4.18 | 274 ratings
Secret Treaties
1974
3.21 | 187 ratings
Agents Of Fortune
1976
3.37 | 137 ratings
Spectres
1977
2.60 | 108 ratings
Mirrors
1979
3.51 | 139 ratings
Cultösaurus Erectus
1980
3.69 | 158 ratings
Fire Of Unknown Origin
1981
3.10 | 82 ratings
The Revölution By Night
1983
2.51 | 73 ratings
Club Ninja
1986
3.86 | 97 ratings
Imaginos
1988
4.00 | 1 ratings
Bad Channels (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
1992
3.04 | 22 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)

4.04 | 79 ratings
On Your Feet Or On Your Knees
1975
3.46 | 72 ratings
Some Enchanted Evening
1978
4.00 | 60 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
4.61 | 9 ratings
The Columbia Albums Collection
2012
4.00 | 1 ratings
Rarities Vol. 1
2017
4.00 | 1 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
 Cultösaurus Erectus by BLUE ÖYSTER CULT album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.51 | 139 ratings

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Cultösaurus Erectus
Blue Öyster Cult Prog Related

Review by sgtpepper

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

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

 Some Enchanted Evening by BLUE ÖYSTER CULT album cover Live, 1978
3.46 | 72 ratings

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Some Enchanted Evening
Blue Öyster Cult Prog Related

Review by sgtpepper

3 stars The band confirms their instrumental and live quality without sacrificing the sophistication of their studio work. Guitar playing and drumming stands out in particular. You can see a couple of tracks as videos on Youtube which will only support the positive and professional live impression.

Those who bought the CD without bonus tracks like me will be complaining for having only 37 minutes of playing time which does not suffice to include major tracks from studio albums. Moreover, the time is marred by addition of cover track like "Kick out the jam" that leaves fans willing for more own material. For more casual listeners of BOC, both greatest hits are included on the CD. I am fan of their more progressive cuts so I feel happy about "Astronomy" at its 8 minutes. A good but non-essential album. Their previous live album from 1975 is rawer and importantly, longer.

 Spectres by BLUE ÖYSTER CULT album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.37 | 137 ratings

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Spectres
Blue Öyster Cult Prog Related

Review by sgtpepper

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

 Agents Of Fortune by BLUE ÖYSTER CULT album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.21 | 187 ratings

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Agents Of Fortune
Blue Öyster Cult Prog Related

Review by sgtpepper

3 stars Agents of Fortune was quite a departure from bold, ambitious, authentic and adventurous previous records. The band was maybe trying to get higher financial return while not losing their credibility. Guitars are still main element in the sound but better balanced by keyboards, which is not necessarily a bad thing. More polished sound is not only due to array of keyboards but also less pondering and less busy drumming. Vocals and compositional qualities remain high; progressive tendencies are almost gone but let's acknowledge small addition trumpet and saxophone. Instrumental parts in songs are still very pleasant. "Don't fear the reaper" is the most famous cut due to its easy going melody and catchiness but miles away from being their best song, I found the main section even a bit boring and simplistic but the middle section with keyboards and wailing guitar save the day. "E.T.I" finally brings some heavy riffing inside, it's a relatively slow song but thankfully enough for a great guitar solo. "Sinful love" is a prime example of band's updated sound with funkier more commercial appeal and more polished guitars. "Tatoo vampire" is a high-quality punk infected song and as heavy as it could get in 1976. "Tenderloin" is one of few songs where keyboards and bass dominate over guitars. "Debbie Denise" sounds like a love song and has a great melody including acoustic guitars, too. A nice addition to BOC discography.
 Secret Treaties by BLUE ÖYSTER CULT album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.18 | 274 ratings

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Secret Treaties
Blue Öyster Cult Prog Related

Review by sgtpepper

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

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

 Tyranny And Mutation by BLUE ÖYSTER CULT album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.47 | 180 ratings

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Tyranny And Mutation
Blue Öyster Cult Prog Related

Review by sgtpepper

3 stars The first concept album by Blue Oyster Cult of two dipols, as evidenced by colour side names, album name but less in its music. Playing got more refined, the sound developed - can you notice traces of punk that would emerge in a few years and slightly jazzy chord sequences that the band ventured in occasionally? Good old ingredients such as American late 60's spirit and creative arrangements remained in place. The first song is quite pondering, heavy; although chords may be simplistic, bass guitar playing and guitar duels are pleasant. The second song shows that harmonies are not a strange word in band's vocals. "Hot rails to hell" has an ominous riff and plenty of great guitar arrangements be it soloing, colouring or psychedelic textures. "7 screaming diz-busters" is an excellent progressive hard rock epic with jazzy introduction a la "Made in Sweden" and folky parts combined with rawer rocking ferocious playing. Apart from usual guitar tandem, advanced psychedelic organ pyrotechnics comes in. "Wings wetted down" has a great melody and slightly doomy riff. "Teen archer" is another classic metal sounding BOC track that still manages to sound warm thanks to vocals. The last track has an anthemic chorus and slight experimentation with guitar riffs. Highly recommended for all rock fans that like ambitious records.
 Blue Öyster Cult by BLUE ÖYSTER CULT album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.41 | 183 ratings

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Blue Öyster Cult
Blue Öyster Cult Prog Related

Review by sgtpepper

2 stars The debut album is a very impressive one and shows the playing and especially compositional maturity by all band members. You hear clever late 60's influence from both England and US, folk music, hard rock. Guitar playing is most memorable of all but vocals are also quite advanced. Well, what else could you expect from 3 guitars in the mix? Songs are memorable with good twists and hooks but do not reveal as much depth as on later albums. There is little for a progressive rock fans to get hooked to since it is a very good rock records without high sophistication. Recommended to band fans and rock admirers with open mindset.
 The Columbia Albums Collection by BLUE ÖYSTER CULT album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2012
4.61 | 9 ratings

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The Columbia Albums Collection
Blue Öyster Cult Prog Related

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

5 stars This is basically your one-and-done Blue Oyster Cult collection, spanning their entire career with Columbia Records from their debut album to Imaginos. (Yes, in theory they have produced some material since then... but none of it is particularly significant compared to their 1970s and 1980s work.) You get the studio albums, you get the official live albums, you get a nice rarities collection, you get Radios Appear: the Best of the Broadcasts (a collection of 1980s live material which is a decent fourth live album - early editions of the set came with a code to download a now-pulled collection called Harvester of Lives of four live shows, but these are just the shows from which the songs on Radios Appear were selected and you don't really need more than that single disc in terms of that material).

As far as the first five studio albums plus Some Enchanted Evening go, the editions you get here are the standard remasters that have been around for some time, with the same bonus tracks. Other albums are present in new remasters, giving them a long-overdue tidy up, but don't have bonus tracks (one suspects that much of the material which would have served as such ended up on the Rarities and Radios Appear discs anyway). All of this is served up in a selection of cute little cardboard LP sleeve replicas - which breaks some of the gatefold artwork in some cases, but eh, when the value's this good that's no big deal.

Even superfans will want this collection for the rare cuts on there - and those who are less keen on BOC but still enjoy them enough to want a selection of their albums will find there to be plenty to explore here. If you are going to do a cheap and cheerful collection of a big fat chunk of a prolific band's discography, this is how you should be doing it.

 Rarities, Vol. 2 by BLUE ÖYSTER CULT album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2018
4.00 | 1 ratings

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Rarities, Vol. 2
Blue Öyster Cult Prog Related

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
4 stars Originating in the Columbia Albums boxed set and then re-emerging in various configurations since (including a two- volume set), this Blue Oyster Cult rarities collection seriously cooks. In some versions including the bonus tracks previously appended to recent remasters of that albums from the debut to Spectres, it also includes some obscure live cuts and demos which would likely have made it as bonus tracks on the rest of their Columbia-era discography, had Columbia Records not just decided "Eh, toss 'em all in one box and call the job done".

This second volume of the set focuses on later phases of the band's career. There's some nice gems here which really tease out one's appreciation of neglected corners of BOC's discography, including the maligned Mirrors.

 Rarities Vol. 1 by BLUE ÖYSTER CULT album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2017
4.00 | 1 ratings

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Rarities Vol. 1
Blue Öyster Cult Prog Related

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
4 stars Originating in the Columbia Albums boxed set and then re-emerging in various configurations since (including a two- volume set), this Blue Oyster Cult rarities collection seriously cooks. In some versions including the bonus tracks previously appended to recent remasters of that albums from the debut to Spectres, it also includes some obscure live cuts and demos which would likely have made it as bonus tracks on the rest of their Columbia-era discography, had Columbia Records not just decided "Eh, toss 'em all in one box and call the job done".

This first volume of the set focuses on the earlier period of BOC's career.

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

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