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Blue Öyster Cult: The Singles Collection

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Album Review

This is useful, and confounding. This is truly a Blue Öyster Cult singles comp, but not in the usual sense. Over 20 tracks, it rounds up BÖC singles released all over the world, which keeps it from being just another best-of. For instance, take the final cut: "Astronomy." This is not the original released on Secret Treaties but the redone version issued on Imaginos issued in 1988 and a single distributed only in the U.K. and Holland. And so it goes with this thing. Many of these cuts were issued as singles in the United Kingdom, or in Japan ("Moon Crazy," "Flaming Telepaths") or Europe, marked by the inclusion of tracks like the live read of "We Gotta Get Outta This Place," released in Germany as a single, or "Fallen Angel," released in Spain. There are U.S. 45s here too, such as "Cities on Flame With Rock and Roll," and "Then Came the Last Days of May," "Godzilla," and "Hot Rails to Hell." Given that it is organized chronologically, it's even a more interesting listen given how other countries heard the band's radio strengths. Not essential by any means, but nonetheless curious and problematic in the best possible way, the BÖC Singles Collection should keep fans arguing for years.


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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