Blue Oyster Cult

Blue Oyster Cult

Review score: 72%

Review Date: August 2014
Reviewer: Paul Jack
Source: Rock Hard Reviews
(www.rockhardreviews.com)

Amazon UK: Buy CD | Buy MP3 / Amazon US: Buy CD | Buy MP3

Witness the following evidence:

  • Umlaut in the band name
  • Mysterious symbol on the cover art (which we all know now is the alchemical symbol for lead, which is of course a heavy metal. But in the pre-internet days of 1972 such knowledge was occulded, almost occult even.)
  • Eponymous first album title
  • Mysterious lyrics inspiring esoteric imagery and much debate as to their meaning

No it's not Spinal Tap, it's Blue Oyster Cult.

Not really the American Black Sabbath, but something a little gentler on the ears and arguably a bit more imaginative and complex in their themes, Soft White Underbelly evolved into Blue Oyster Cult. (And let's not get into a Tony Iommi vs Buck Dharma showdown here people!)

Transmaniacon MC

BOC kickoff with Transmaniacon MC, early but not primitive heavy metal showcasing their guitar chops interwoven with cheery keyboards and a tale about a post-Altamont motorcycle club.

I'm on the Lamb But I Ain't No Sheep

On the run from Canadian mounted? Gentler tunes and smooth vocals in this early, slower paced version of what would become one of BOC's crowd pleasers, The Red and the Black. Nice.

Then Came the Last Days of May

My favourite number from the first Blue Oyster Cult album, a sad tale of the misadventure which befell three good buddies. A tale which is allegedly true, unfortunately. Last days of May would be a gentle chillout number were it not for the theme. Would make a good backing track for Sons of Anarchy.

Stairway to the Stars

Here's some proper big riff driven hard rock from the seventies. And came out not long after Led Zep's Stairway to Heaven. We wanna be a big and decadent hard rock, doncha know? Stairway to the Stars is, it cannot be denied, proper good hard rock and not at all sarcastic in the lyrics..?

Before the Kiss, a Redcap

A perfect example of Blue Oyster Cult delivering the hard rock goods. Evocative lyrics create pictures in your mind, imagine one evening you are watching the blonde girl and her antics at Conry's Bar. Good story, great rock music.

Cities on Flame with Rock and Roll

Could this be a deliberate attempt to tread in Black Sabbath territory and draw comparisons between the two bands? Cities on Flame is a perfect example of BOC music - heavy rock with dark and impressive lyrics, such as the 'gardens of nocturne, forbidden delights'. Cities on Flame is a hard rock classic from Blue Oyster Cult. Go listen!

Redeemed

Chrismassy, friendly, doggy fun. to end the Cult classic album on a high note.

Conclusion

Blue Oyster Cult's first album may not be their best, but it does whet your appetite for the rock music they were to produce a few short years later. All the key ingredients are right here, and Be Occult can really play them guitars good. See, I rite really good too. Seriously though, you should listen to this album because there is some impressive stuff hidden here. And try concentrating on those crazy, weird lyrical themes too, they might just spark up some crazy psychedelic, sixties poetry driven imagery.

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Track List (sans extras)

  • Transmaniacon MC
  • I'm on the Lamb But I Ain't No Sheep
  • Then Came the Last Days of May
  • Stairway to the Stars
  • Before the Kiss, a Redcap
  • Screams
  • She's As Beautiful as a Foot
  • Cities on Flame with Rock and Roll
  • Workshop of the Telescopes