BLUE OYSTER CULT
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Ryan Maffei <email@example.com> (17.08.2002)
Expanding in all the right direction again, George! Aphrodite's Child, REM, Nirvana, Blondie, then this. Wonderful. Anyway, this record seems to be overlooked in light of all of the BOC's fluke radio hits as their most atmospheric and idiosyncratic release; it's a bizarre, dark-rock oddity/masterpiece, sort of like the bastard child of the Doors and Led Zeppelin. The production is kind of muddy, the lyrics are incomprehensible, but this is as close to engaging consistency as this Cult would ever get. A 9, * * * * 1/2, whatever.
Dan Miller <Dan.Miller@phs.com> (20.08.2002)
It's about time you got around to these guys! Blue Oyster Cult were originally billed as the "American Black Sabbath" - by the end of the seventies, both bands toured together under the banner "Black & Blue" (cool, huh?). Now the debut album here is not a metal album; rather it's a hint of what's to come. But what a great hint it is. Their second (or maybe third) best overall, and you gotta love the cover artwork! OK, so it really doesn't "kick ass" per se. Eric Bloom is the primary vocalist, but actually, four of the five members sing lead here, and that's what gives the album diversity and variety. Perhaps the whole thing's always been bogged down by the muddy production, but the new remastered version gives it a new clarity. My favorites are "Transmaniacon MC" and "The Last Days of May" (may be Buck Dharma's second-best-ever vocal performance) and "Cities on Flame With Rock and Roll" - likewise one of Al Bouchard's best vocal treatments - he doesn't sound so stoned or restrained here and makes this tune sound like a heavy-metal Cream. In fact, Al cites Black Sabbath's "The Wizard" and King Crimson's "21st Century Schizoid Man" as influences. Not sure I hear the latter, but the former is pretty obvious. Contrary to popular opinion, I dig Joe Bouchard's "Screams" - little acid-tripped-out spooky tune (actually it tells the story of how the former country bumpkin first came to New York). Now, while many hardcore fans don't seem to care for fetishistic "She's as Beautiful as a Foot," it's too unique and wacky not to like it. "Workshop of the Telescopes" is a psychedelic/sub-Latin workout that kind of doesn't fit - neither does "Redeemed," but at least as a closer it works well as a mood-lifter. True, "I'm On The Lamb But I Ain't No Sheep" is kind of pointless here, but it gets a rename and rewrite for the next album (Tyranny & Mutation) as a proto-speed-funk number. "Stairway to the Stars" is OK. The bonus tracks on the remastered CD are worthwhile, especially "Donovan's Monkey," recorded while the band was still called Soft White Underbelly. They should have re-recorded this for T&M - it would've fit right in.
ehrlich, jay <SNYB2706@Allstate.com> (29.07.2005)
first of all, blue oyster cults' first album is one of my favorite albums of all time...the cover is in black and white, and both front and back display artwork that looks INFINITE.......that alone is reason enough to love this album.....it also had a sticker that said Rolling Stone magazine named this the album to take to the proverbial desert album.....I remember thinking, "oh, sure.".. but I bought it, and DAMN, they were right.....Special note: "I'm on the lamb, but I ain't no sheep" is the BEST title ever, and the song is blusier than than this blueless cult would ever see fit to do again...it's La Grange by Z.Z. TOP BEFORE Z.Z.TOP EXISTED !!!!!!!!!!! and stairway to the stars has the line.."you can drive my motor car...it's insured to 30'000 thou....kill them all, if you will".................and hand claps by eric bloom himself, during the guitar solo, which is killer! ....no drum machines here, by god!! ...I personally never thought it muddy, just heavily atmospheric....of course , the rest is fantastic, and Chuck eddy fans will know that my description of the lamb and sheep song came from his book,"Stairway to Hell"...Gotta go !!!!!!!!!!!!!!