Best Blue Öyster Cult Album

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Contenderizer, your long post of yesterday sums up so much of how BOC and their reflexive vibe works for me that I want to send you a box of cookies. OTM OTM OTM.

Axolotl with an Atlatl (Jon Lewis), Monday, 20 February 2012 15:40 (2 years ago) Permalink

black Emanuelle did costume design for Troll 2 (Drugs A. Money), Monday, 20 February 2012 16:10 (2 years ago) Permalink

great posts by contenderizer, even if i disagree about agents of fortune, i love that album front to back

dave coolier (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Monday, 20 February 2012 16:37 (2 years ago) Permalink

I agree. At the time Agents was released, BOC had done nothing even remotely similar to "Debby Denise" or "True Confessions". 35 years on, I'm still not sure how to categorize these songs.

henry s, Monday, 20 February 2012 17:24 (2 years ago) Permalink

I like Spectres a whole lot more than Contendo. I agree Agents is a 'problem piece'-- that's part of its fascination of course. "This Ain't..." "...Reaper" and "ETI" are such overwhelming bullseyes and much of the remainder is this very weird folio of the kind of lame-cool dud-poet stuff you find on solo Lou Reed records. It might be their least 'band'-y record and their most 'buncha dudes all brought some songs'.

Axolotl with an Atlatl (Jon Lewis), Monday, 20 February 2012 17:40 (2 years ago) Permalink

idk I ride super-hard for "Vera Gemini" for one...

black Emanuelle did costume design for Troll 2 (Drugs A. Money), Tuesday, 21 February 2012 01:14 (2 years ago) Permalink

if it weren't for that tragically overlong, noodly breakdown, i'd add "ME262" to that list

B-b-but that breakdown features ALL FIVE Cultists playing guitar simultaneous!

Really think Spectres deserves more love. (Maybe their song-for-song hookiest, plus the ballads are great.)

Race Against Rockism (Myonga Vön Bontee), Tuesday, 21 February 2012 04:26 (2 years ago) Permalink

What Contenderizer wrote upthread is completely true to me too.
I can only add that the alien, unseizable feeling surrounding BOC was further amplified by what seemed to me their almost quintessential Americanness.
They have the same hazy, dream-like quality of those old 50's horror movies, always walking the fine line between the familiar and the utterly arcane, always evoking a fantasy world where cars, drive-ins, rock n roll, sorcerers and labyrinthine Gothic mansions could stay side by side.
I discovered Blue Oyster Cult around the same time I stumbled into Chrome, and both bands are for me like the perfect soundtrack of this dark, imaginary continent I thought it was America.

Marco Damiani, Tuesday, 21 February 2012 11:09 (2 years ago) Permalink

OK I'm no contenderizer (thanks for the great posts!) ... but while we're going all the way, has anyone fully fleshed out the punk rock/ BOC connections, and more importantly divined their meaning?

1. Patti Smith (obviously)

2. Alan Lanier reportedly rehearsed Marquee Moon with Television

3. One of the first issues of seminal punk zine Sniffin Glue has a conspicuously robust article on the Cult amidst run downs on downtown punk bands

4. in the early reviews (XGau I think) they are often received as a neo-nazi band -- I guess for ME262? -- which puts them in the company of the Ramones as Long Island/Queens Jews flirting with Nazi iconography.

5. there is some connection to Manic Panic too, but I can't seem to discover it.

broom air, Wednesday, 22 February 2012 03:53 (2 years ago) Permalink

Wasn't Aussie protopunk Iggy-worship band Radio Birdman influenced by the Cult as well?

sc∞psn∞dle (Drugs A. Money), Wednesday, 22 February 2012 04:53 (2 years ago) Permalink

Radio Birdman certainly made reference to BOC, yeah, with the title of their first LP being "Radios Appear". But I dunno, never thought of Birdman as a much of a "punk" band, they sound more like the Doors to me (not necessarily a bad thing either)

I'd say the fact that one of BOC's principal lyric-writers, Richard Meltzer, was in a little band called VOM is more significant

Stormy Davis, Wednesday, 22 February 2012 06:06 (2 years ago) Permalink

re the ramones comparison, in terms of lyrics and "attitude", i'd say that BÖC have something in common with both the ramones and the dictators. maybe the dolls, too (though to a lesser extent)? jokey, smart-assed, mildly transgressive, obsessed with lowbrow midcentury pop culture. there's kind of a geeky, boy's club vibe: monster movies, rock & roll, "girls", comic books, WWII, the radio. i'm tempted to add devo to that mix, but devo were much more aggressively subversive in their use of the same material, more critical of the consumer culture it represented. in that sense, devo seem more prescient about what punk would come to be in the late 70s and early 80s.

speaking of devo, though there's very little trace of "punk" in BÖC's sound, i've always heard something a bit devolved in "dominance and submission", especially during the breakdown with the "dominance...sub-MISSION!" call & response. there the nerdy alienation is so exaggerated it becomes alien, aggressive.

Little GTFO (contenderizer), Wednesday, 22 February 2012 06:38 (2 years ago) Permalink

that ties in with marco damiani's observations, which i found fascinating:

the alien, unseizable feeling surrounding BOC was further amplified by what seemed to me their almost quintessential Americanness.
They have the same hazy, dream-like quality of those old 50's horror movies, always walking the fine line between the familiar and the utterly arcane, always evoking a fantasy world where cars, drive-ins, rock n roll, sorcerers and labyrinthine Gothic mansions could stay side by side.

OTM, and what's fascinating about the band's "quintessential americanness" is that it's almost invisible to me. i notice their strangeness, of course, because it is strange, but i don't notice how closely that quality is tied to their americanness. i'm american myself, and to me, there's nothing unusual about that.

Little GTFO (contenderizer), Wednesday, 22 February 2012 06:43 (2 years ago) Permalink

lotta fascinating going on in that last post there

Little GTFO (contenderizer), Wednesday, 22 February 2012 06:50 (2 years ago) Permalink

has anyone fully fleshed out the punk rock/ BOC connections

Sandy Pearlman worked with The Clash as well didn't he?

Another weird thing about BOC, there can't be too many bands where the drummer is the best songwriter. In fact, there aren't too many bands where all the members get individual songwriting credits. Not to mention the multitude of outside lyric writers.

_~~_~~_~~_~~_~~_~~_~~_~~_~~ (Matt #2), Wednesday, 22 February 2012 10:08 (2 years ago) Permalink

The late Helen Wheels wrote lyrics to several of the Bouchard brothers' BOC songs ("Tattoo Vampire", "Sinful Love", "Celestial the Queen", "Nosferatu", "Fallen Angel"), and was also a pretty big NYC punk rock scenester in the late 70's.

henry s, Wednesday, 22 February 2012 11:36 (2 years ago) Permalink

Right -- Helen Wheels is the Manic Panic connection.

Excellent point about Devo. Dominance and Submission does indeed have that uptight/subversive vibe. BOC is not really subversive though as you say. Another thing that's interesting about the early reception of BOC is that XGau's reviews suggest that all of the iconography and imagery (sci fi, fascist, what have you) is originally taken seriously, but as of Agents of Fortune becomes part of a joke. I've always taken it the other way. It's with AoF that they become committed to the joke -- literally making "a career of 'evil,'" if you will.

And yes as mentioned much further above, Pearlman produced Give Em Enough Rope, which is why many diehard Clash fans don't like the album.

broom air, Wednesday, 22 February 2012 13:30 (2 years ago) Permalink

which puts them in the company of the Ramones as Long Island/Queens Jews flirting with Nazi iconography

^i think Bloom is the only Jew in the group. Then again, ME 262 is his song.

You're a notch, I'm a legend (Bill Magill), Wednesday, 22 February 2012 14:41 (2 years ago) Permalink

man these guys need a box set like the new judas priest one

unlistenable in philly (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Wednesday, 22 February 2012 15:32 (2 years ago) Permalink

i think BOC is deeply subversive but not in a "punk way"...my belief that they are the Steely Dan of heavy metal was somewhat vindicated by a pdf of the Popoff book i downloaded where Buck talks about the making of Cultosaurus Erectus and how he had gotten a Steely Dan songbook and was studying their "advanced" chords and stuff

dave coolier (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 22 February 2012 16:02 (2 years ago) Permalink

also FYI the Doors were punk

dave coolier (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 22 February 2012 16:02 (2 years ago) Permalink

gtfo

unlistenable in philly (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Wednesday, 22 February 2012 16:04 (2 years ago) Permalink

here's my case

i'm working on a theory that the doors literally invented punk and prog, check back for more later!

― the 500 gats of bartholomew thuggins (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, January 26, 2012 12:02 PM (8 minutes ago)

but basically:

i saw this interview with johnnny ramone and i thought it was interesting when the interviewer asked him about bands he liked, he said the Doors were the only good american band of the 1960s, said he worshiped them..

i know iggy idolized the doors too, so Johnny + Iggy = the founders of punk to me...

the doors had that darkness and artiness and also a real confrontational vibe that seems to prefigure punk in a lot of ways

at the same time, i can't imagine, for instance, the full on organ workout version of light my fire, with its jazz/classical aspirations, couldn't have been a major influence on the first-gen prog dudes like rick wakeman, ELP, yes etc

so the doors basically invented everything

― the 500 gats of bartholomew thuggins (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, January 26, 2012 12:37 PM (3 weeks ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

dave coolier (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 22 February 2012 16:09 (2 years ago) Permalink

Oh yeah, see the beginning of Legs McNeil's amazing "Please Kill Me" on how the early proto-punks were deeply influenced by the Doors. Also Patti Smith's new book.

broom air, Wednesday, 22 February 2012 16:18 (2 years ago) Permalink

i see the doors as having "invented" romantic gothiness in a rock context. can see why the darkness of that might have inspired a lot of punks, but i don't know that that = being punk. interesting idea, though.

i think BOC is deeply subversive but not in a "punk way"...

yeah, that's a good point. their subversion wasn't aggressive, direct, critical. more satire and displacement. helped build the strangeness i was talking about earlier (and the strangeness-in-familiarity that marco mentioned).

Little GTFO (contenderizer), Wednesday, 22 February 2012 16:20 (2 years ago) Permalink

I dig the Doors as proto-punk for sure, you can't hear "Gimme Danger" and not recognize Iggy was taking notes from J.M. but I'm kind of notoriously orthodox about genres I guess - your band does "Touch Me" with strings 'n' shit? then yall aren't punk imo*
*"in my orthodoxy"

unlistenable in philly (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Wednesday, 22 February 2012 16:21 (2 years ago) Permalink

right now i just got chills from "Live For Me" off of Heaven Forbid the 98 BOC album...it's about someones brother who was killed in a car accident, the chorus is a bit cheesy but it's got that crystal sad buck dharma verses

I dig the Doors as proto-punk for sure, you can't hear "Gimme Danger" and not recognize Iggy was taking notes from J.M. but I'm kind of notoriously orthodox about genres I guess - your band does "Touch Me" with strings 'n' shit? then yall aren't punk imo*
*"in my orthodoxy"

― unlistenable in philly (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Wednesday, February 22, 2012 10:21 AM (0 seconds ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

ha i'm the opposite really, like i see punk as a long-form narrative of the late 20th century, basically i see everything i like as punk: free jazz, weirdo hard rock, early hip hop, the doors, CCR, the stooges, PIL...like the byron coley/mike watt definition of punk

dave coolier (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 22 February 2012 16:23 (2 years ago) Permalink

So m@tt you've read the Popoff now? Thoughts? I'm wanting to buy it...

Axolotl with an Atlatl (Jon Lewis), Wednesday, 22 February 2012 17:10 (2 years ago) Permalink

nah not the book, i just found like one chapter of the book in PDF form somehwere, it was the chapter on the making of cultosaurus erectus, didn't seem like super well written but interesting and lots on inside details, think i'm gonna buy the e-book version...shit is way too expensive on ebay

dave coolier (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 22 February 2012 17:16 (2 years ago) Permalink

Yeah I'ma ebook it too, the $ goes right to the author it seems.

Axolotl with an Atlatl (Jon Lewis), Wednesday, 22 February 2012 17:20 (2 years ago) Permalink

just bought this cuz what the heck. 313 pages! never read popoff before...

Little GTFO (contenderizer), Wednesday, 22 February 2012 17:40 (2 years ago) Permalink

His Sabbath book is great.

You're a notch, I'm a legend (Bill Magill), Wednesday, 22 February 2012 18:24 (2 years ago) Permalink

or i should say "books", he had one that was full of memorabilia along with the text, plus one he called a "FAQ".

You're a notch, I'm a legend (Bill Magill), Wednesday, 22 February 2012 18:25 (2 years ago) Permalink

big "Never Say Die" fan, which means he's good with me.

You're a notch, I'm a legend (Bill Magill), Wednesday, 22 February 2012 18:25 (2 years ago) Permalink

listening to heaven forbid, it's not bad!

Whiney vs. (BradNelson), Thursday, 23 February 2012 16:51 (2 years ago) Permalink

OMG

the wild eyed boy from soundcloud (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 29 February 2012 16:28 (2 years ago) Permalink

Filthy McNasty's looks like a good place.

You're a notch, I'm a legend (Bill Magill), Wednesday, 29 February 2012 17:11 (2 years ago) Permalink

AGGRESSION UNCHALLENGED IS AGGRESSION UNLEASHED!

the wild eyed boy from soundcloud (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 29 February 2012 17:16 (2 years ago) Permalink

Thats such a beautiful fkin picture on so many levels

Axolotl with an Atlatl (Jon Lewis), Wednesday, 29 February 2012 17:20 (2 years ago) Permalink

america was such a beautiful country once :(

the wild eyed boy from soundcloud (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 29 February 2012 17:31 (2 years ago) Permalink

I miss the old Sunset Strip... That Secret Treaties billboard would have been across the street from the original Tower Records and a couple blocks down from Ben Franks.

Stockhausen's Ekranoplan Quartet (Elvis Telecom), Wednesday, 29 February 2012 19:06 (2 years ago) Permalink

Filthy McNasty's looks like a good place.

Yup. Filthy McNasty's eventually became the infamous Viper Room where River Phoenix, etc.

Stockhausen's Ekranoplan Quartet (Elvis Telecom), Wednesday, 29 February 2012 19:10 (2 years ago) Permalink

I probably would have liked it better as McNasty's

You're a notch, I'm a legend (Bill Magill), Wednesday, 29 February 2012 19:43 (2 years ago) Permalink

1 month passes...

Any NYC ilxorz wanna go see them at Bergen Performing Arts Center on the 21st?

Axolotl with an Atlatl (Jon Lewis), Sunday, 1 April 2012 15:45 (2 years ago) Permalink

i have tickets purchased to a slightly less upscale venue, but the cult nonetheless! (and also apparently they are suffering the indignity of opening for kansas)

Kansas & Blue Oyster Cult
(447)
Details: Kansas, Blue Oyster Cult
Ho-Chunk Gaming-WI-Dells
Baraboo, WI
Sat, May 19, 2012 07:00 PM

the penultimate prophets (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Monday, 2 April 2012 15:41 (2 years ago) Permalink

I can't tell you how happy I am seeing this thread in SNA again!

the guy was ugly human (loves laboured breathing), Monday, 2 April 2012 15:47 (2 years ago) Permalink

BÖC at the Ho-Chunk? That's like just up the road from me! (Leave before Kansas, get on down Hwy 12 before it gets too dark and arcane out there.)

@GracieLoPan #fyi (Display Name (this cannot be changed):), Monday, 2 April 2012 19:46 (2 years ago) Permalink

haha yeah what's Ho-Chunk like (best casino name ever!)...we actually are driving down from Minneapolis, about 4 hours, so we gotta couple double rooms at the casino itself and are just planning on getting tanked during Kansas and leaving if they are too lame...actually though Kansas has a surprising amount of original members (3/5)...though a little sad one of the greatest 70s rock bands has to open for one of the corniest

the penultimate prophets (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Monday, 2 April 2012 19:59 (2 years ago) Permalink

hope they play the emerald queen casino this time around. they did a year or so back, but i couldn't make it.

preternatural concepts concerning variances in sound and texture (contenderizer), Monday, 2 April 2012 20:15 (2 years ago) Permalink

also given the May 19th date we are hoping for a timely addition of "Last Days of May" to the set list!

the penultimate prophets (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Monday, 2 April 2012 20:21 (2 years ago) Permalink


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