Been listening to a lot of Blue Oyster Cult lately. Specifically, the “black & white period” BOC, which is the first three albums – the real BOC. They followed with a great live album, which was essentially a review of the b&w period. Then they followed with Agents Of Fortune which was the transition album from the excellent, mysterious, fascinating BOC to the commercial, obvious, boring BOC. Then there was the album with Godzilla on it. Then they made about 10 more albums I don’t know or care about. (Kind of like the excellent early ZZ Top as compared to the boring beards and spinning guitars ZZ Top.)
I’ve always thought the debut album trails the masterpiece second and third albums, and I still do, but it’s been climbing lately.
But the reason we’re here is to highlight the genius of this track from the debut:
which uses the same lyrics as this track from Tyranny And Mutation. (Take note that Lamb does hint at Red And Black at the end.)
1) What other two almost completely different songs share the same lyrics (not counting traditional lyrics or something like that)? The only thing I can think of are the two Thank You songs from Sly Stone, although that’s not quite the same as this.
2) Buck Dharma sure is a helluva lead guitarist. I had kind of forgotten about him. He sounds like a country chicken picker amidst a hard rock symphony, but it definitely works. I gotta do a Steveslist of my favorite lead players sometime. Pretty sure BD would make the cut.
3) There’s nothing else quite like the early BOC. If you know something else that sounds a lot like it, do tell. I did listen to the classic first Captain Beyond album the other day and there are some similarities there. Both bands arrived at the same time so if someone was copying, I don’t know who it was.
4) Can’t go without mentioning the best BOC album, the third – Secret Treaties. It’s the highlight of their mystique. Can’t tell you how many hours I spent as a young teen looking over that album cover with the Nazi overtones, particularly the slaughtered German Shepherds in the snow on the back, trying to figure out what the hell the words were/meant. Who needed love songs?
5) The Minutemen loved early BOC and so do I.
These are pretty good, though as an old man, I prefer that ringing arpeggio style of “Don’t Fear the Reaper” and especially “Goin’ Through the Motions” and the later sound. interesing.
But, I totally agree about Dharma’s chicken pickin’ style, and yes, he could wail. But, I think the more he recorded and understood recording, and playing, the cleaner his sound became so that his early bluesy style evolved into that grand arena style. and, i don’t mean any of that as insulting. Dude could seriously play.
Just an observation.
These guys were my high school bar band, and I don’t think we knew until later how good we had it. Especially at the Setauket Jack in the Box.
That’s amazing, Peter. I will beg for stories at TOUT.