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Blue Öyster Cult (Bonus Track Version)

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Album Review

Blue Öyster Cult's debut album provided the missing link between the heavy, blues-based rock of the late '60s and the bombastic heavy metal of the '70s and beyond. You could hear major influences like Steppenwolf, with its melodic, aggressive rock, the Rolling Stones (post-1965), and even boogie bands like Canned Heat in their sound. But BÖC streamlined the approach, picked up the tempo, overlaid the guitars, brought the rhythm section up in the mix, and de-emphasized the blues, giving the music a machinelike propulsion. Manager/co-producer Sandy Pearlman (who co-wrote five songs) and lyricist Richard Meltzer (who co-wrote two) may have seen the group as a vehicle for their "clever" (in fact, pretentious) lyrics, but in fact lead vocalist Eric Bloom was the weakest element in the band, and you couldn't make out much of what he had to say over guitarist Donald "Buck Dharma" Roeser's furious power chording. What you could seemed to express some sort of mythology — or demonology; future metal bands would fill their songs with just such half-baked philosophies. Blue Öyster Cult was not quite full-fledged heavy metal: the production was too compressed, the playing too light and energetic. But it was the sound of something new and different in the world of hard rock. [The 2001 CD reissue on Columbia/Legacy adds four previously unreleased demos from 1969, when they were known as Soft White Underbelly, including a cover of Bobby Freeman's "Betty Lou's Got a New Pair of Shoes."]


Formed: 1967 in Long Island, NY

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Blue Öyster Cult was the thinking man's heavy metal group. Put together on a college campus by a couple of rock critics, it maintained a close relationship with a series of literary figures (often in the fields of science fiction and horror), including Eric Von Lustbader, Patti Smith, Michael Moorcock, and Stephen King, while turning out some of the more listenable metal music of the early and mid-'70s. The band that became Blue Öyster Cult was organized in 1967 at Stony Brook College on Long Island...
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Blue Öyster Cult (Bonus Track Version), Blue Öyster Cult
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  • £5.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music, Arena Rock, Hard Rock, Metal
  • Released: Jan 1972

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