Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Blue Öyster Cult - Spectres (1977)

Blue Öyster Cult will forever be associated with their 1976 hit, Don't Fear the Reaper from their Agents of Fortune album. With that album the expectations for the band changed.

Spectres, the follow-up to Agents of Fortune finds a band straddling the line between metal and pop. Existing in the shadow of its predescessor, Spectres is sometimes overlooked much to the listener's detriment.

There is plenty of finely crafted music on this album. The scorching guitars are still there, the tight harmonies are there. And from the opening Godzilla (which became a staple of BÖC's live set) the band makes a very clear statement that they're still bringing to table all of the elements which fans had come to know and love about them.

While the album as a whole is up to the standards which the band had set for themselves on Agents of Fortune, it is a bit uneven. Goin' Through the Motions while catchy is trite and shows the band veering a little too far from the metal and a little too close to the pop for this listener's liking.

On the opposite end of the spectrum is the stirring and evocative ballad-- a love song, not for a lady, not for a pet, a deceased friend or family member, but for "the night." I Love the Night, is easily one of the, if not the best "slow song" in the band's otherwise uptempo canon. It's also one of the better songs on Spectres.

This is an excellent "mood" album and can best be enjoyed in candle or black light, subtle incense, and a pair of headphones. So, what are you waiting for, turn down the lights and TURN UP THE VOLUME.


Bar Bar A said...

Just looking at the cover of this album takes me back to another time and place. I can’t find my favorite song off the album “I Love the Night” anywhere online and my CD skips on that song so I can’t burn it. What’s a BOC fan to do? Thank you for this review. You are an connoisseur of so many fine books, movies and albums!

Amber said...

It's been quite a while since I've seen that cover ... or listened to the album, but it sure does bring back some memories. :)

You have a great blog. I have enjoyed reading some of your reviews and have to say I'm impressed!

Metal Mark said...

A lot of metal and hard rock acts that had existed in the earlier part of the decade were getting lighter or trying different styles by the late 70's. Alice Cooper, Kiss, Rainbow, Zeppelin and even Sabbath were part of this. I guess they felt pressure from pop and disco, but by 1980 hard rock and metal was coming back into style. I used to listen to BOC in high school some.

David Amulet said...

Nice review. BOC doesn't get enough credit for their influence on late 70s/80s hard rock.

Oh yes, and turn up the cow bell.

-- david

Anonymous said...

bar bar a
Here is the link:

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