CD Reviews

Blue Öyster Cult - 'The Columbia Albums Collection' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     July 15, 2013    
0.0 (0)
4207   0   1   0   0   0

Sixteen CD and one DVD set by legendary New York rockers Blue Öyster Cult.

Having seen a couple of these things floating around for bands I wasn't interested in, this sixteen CD and one DVD set by legendary New York rockers Blue Öyster Cult was a bit of a no-brainer for the bargain price, even though I already own all their albums on CD. I'm guessing that if you're interested in this then you already have most of it already and are already familiar with the music of Eric Bloom (vocals, guitar, keys), Donald 'Buck Dharma' Roeser (lead guitar, vocals), Allen Lanier (keys/guitar), Albert Bouchard (drums, vocals) and Joe Bouchard (bass, keys, vocals) so here's what you get...

'Blue Öyster Cult' (1972), 'Tyranny And Mutation' (1973) and 'Secret Treaties' (1974) are exactly the same as the remasters from a few years ago, complete with the bonus tracks, and charts the progression of the band from their hippy-ish 60s beginnings as Soft White Underbelly and Stalk Forest Group to the 'thinking-man's heavy metal band', even though they were always far too tuneful for that title. They also show the progression in Murray Krugman and Sandy Pearlman's production work, with 'Secret Treaties' sounding particularly good and benefitting from some thoughtful arrangements and a better sounding rhythm section. The best cuts from the three albums were always superb played live, so a brand new remaster of the live double LP 'On Your Feet Or On Your Knees' (1975) is an excellent way to round out the band's formative years.

The band's new-found pop-sensibilities and mainstream success of 'Agents Of Fortune' (1976) and 'Spectres' (1977) – with hit singles '(Don't Fear) The Reaper' and 'Godzilla' – are again the previously released remasters with bonus tracks, as is the live 'Some Enchanted Evening' (1978), complete with its seven bonus tracks and disappointingly dark live DVD. However, for most BOC fans it'll be the rest of the package that holds most interest, with new remasters of the remaining albums, albeit without bonus tracks. To try to take them to the next level they started to work with outside producers and write with some interesting outside writers, and for me it's the next sequence of albums that's perhaps the strongest, with the Tom Weman-produced 'Mirrors' (1979) and the Martin Birch-produced 'Cultosaurus Erectus' (1980) and 'Fire Of Unknown Origin' (1981), each featuring a sublime co-write with revered fantasy author Michael Moorcock for the outstanding tracks 'The Great Sun Jester', 'Black Blade' and 'Veteran Of The Psychic Wars'. All members wrote some standout tracks and 'Mirrors' and 'Fire..' in particular are maybe the pinnacle of the band's career along with the under-rated 'Spectres'.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

This website uses cookies to help us give you the best experience when you visit. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our Privacy Statement.

I accept cookies from this site

The first sign of a break in the strained relationship between drummer Albert Bouchard and the rest of the band happened during the recordings for the 'Extra-Terrestrial Live' (1982) double LP, with Bouchard appearing on just two tracks and drum tech Rick Downey taking over for the rest. Downey occupied the drumstool full-time for the 1983 opus 'The Revolution By Night', which I'd oddly dismissed for years as a two-track wonder (the Eric Bloom/Aldo Nova co-write 'Take Me Away' and Patti Smith/Donald Roeser song 'Shooting Shark'), only to re-assess it here as quite a strong album with a killer production job from the dearly departed Bruce Fairbairn. Lanier and Downey had departed by the time they recorded 'Club Ninja' in 1986, which despite a couple of dumb Bob Halligan Jr songs in 'Make Rock Not War' and 'Beat 'Em Up' (the same one recorded by Lee Aaron the previous year!) still had some interesting stuff. Coming to the end of their major label days, a complete about-turn saw both the Bouchard's and Allen Lanier return for the messy and cluttered concept album 'Imaginos', which had originally started life as an Albert Bouchard solo project and ended up being swamped by special guests and a host of badly arranged songs, including a re-recording of the 'Secret Treaties' classic 'Astronomy'. Here it sounds marginally better than the original CD but still far too busy for its own good.

That's fourteen discs and the DVD accounted for, one of the other two are a disc of rarities, which includes the whole of the 1972 'Blue Öyster Cult Bootleg' EP, some Soft White Underbelly recordings that are previously released, some unreleased demos for the 'Teachers' movie soundtrack and a bunch of the best songs from 'Mirrors' played live, which sadly sound a bit thin. The other disc is a compilation of excellent-sounding live tracks from various radio broadcasts from between 1980 and 1986, but it's actually a bit redundant as there's a link provided to download the four whole concerts that these are taken from, and all are worth hearing even though I could happily live without three more versions of 'Roadhouse Blues' and 'Born To Be Wild'. The 1986 show is the most interesting one for me as it includes rarely played songs like 'White Flags', 'Take Me Away', 'Dancing In The Ruins', 'Wings Of Mercury' and the superb 'Shadow Warrior', but the 1980 one has a chunk of 'Cultosaurus Erectus' and that's cool too.

All the discs are housed in replica cardboard sleeves so the box doesn't really take up that much space, and there's a nice booklet with a mini-biography and all the information about the records you will ever need. If you shop around online you can pick this up for under fifty quid, and for the lion's share of the band's discography (only the subsequent albums 'Heaven Forbid' and 'Curse Of The Hidden Mirror', poor live CD/DVD 'A Long Day's Night' and the 'Bad Channels' film soundtrack are the notable exceptions!), that's quite a bargain.

Phil Ashcroft

Share this on the web.

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.


Comments (0)add comment

Write comment

security image
Write the displayed characters


Member Login


<<  December 2019  >>
 Mo  Tu  We  Th  Fr  Sa  Su 
  2  3  4  5  6  7  8

Search Here

Shout Here

Latest Message: 2 days, 16 hours ago
  • Berny : @zom414: Fireworks Magazine #89 will be available at selected UK based newsagents on December 16th. The digital version can already be purchased in our Download Store.
  • zom414 : When's the next mag due for release?
  • Berny : @el nowy: Apologies for the delay in processing your order. Pls. check your mail!
  • el nowy : Hi, how long does it take for my download license to be available? I purchased it 3 days ago. Thanks!
  • Rocktopia Te : @l.thijs: Apologies for the delay, your digital copy can now be downloaded from your "My Downloads" section.
  • l.thijs : Hi Fireworks Magazine. I made a purchase on 10 nov and I paid by Paypall. I bought the #85 fireworks mag download for GBP3,50. But I didn,t receive anything. Please can you find out what's going on?
  • kazooba : I have digital versions of every issue from 27 thru 88, any way I can get issues 1 - 26 with cd's digitally?
  • Berny : @SeaDog57: The links are in the Fireworks menu. Have you tried scrolling down? Maybe your screen size is too small...
  • SeaDog57 : Berny; there are only links up to Fireworks 86. Which is kinda strange because i already downloaded CD 87 but i'm looking for the link to CD 88...Chris
  • Rocktopia Te : @Johns Band: Can you please contact us here: «email»
  • Johns Band : Fireworks Magazine 88 did not arrive by post. paid by PayPal. Any Suggestion.
  • Berny : @bpomper: Can you pls. contact the Rocktopia team here: «email»
  • bpomper : i found the problem..old email i can not access.i have tried to change it by editing my info but it wont allow. any suggestions
  • Berny : @bpomper: A reply was sent yesterday, We recommend checking your spam/junk mail to see if our message was filtered there. The magazine was already sent to your shipping address. Please let me know if you do not receive it within the next couple of days. Thanks for your patience!
  • bpomper : Thanks didnt of that. I still have not heard about fireworks 88 was it sent out. Thankyou
  • Rocktopia Te : @bpomper: For security reasons, we removed your previous message. Please do not post your private e - mail address. Many thanks for your understanding.
  • bpomper : Thanks for the reply. I see download but can you confirm that hardcopy was or is sent ou .thanks.the email i used is inder the contact me info of the website
  • Berny : @bpomper: Apologies for your troubles. Where did you send the email to? We haven't received anything. I will send you a longer reply via mail. Also, you can download the free CD from the "Fireworks" menu on top, but the CD links are only shown if you are logged in.
  • bpomper : 3rd email inquiring about my purchase of fireworks #88. i purchased on the 2oth of sept and today is the 24 with no response...paypal has taken the payment. should i have a down load of the cd for mu usa magazine. Looking forward to an answer
  • bpomper : hello i purchased fireworks #88 through paypal on9/23 and have not recieved an email from rocktopia. purchase is for a hard copy of the mag. should i have cd download instructions.when should i expect it
  • Berny : @Johns Band: I've just sent you an e - mail. Best regards, B.
  • Johns Band : I have ordered FM Live video and £1.99 taken from my PayPal account. How do I download video. Something gone wrong at processing with Fireworks. The links to report it do not work.
  • Berny : @kevinw01: Have you received the mail containing the donwload instructions? It seems as if you are downloading the bonus CDs from the "Fireworks" menu, those are meant for our readers in the USA and Canada whose copies do not come with the CD. I will send you a mail now. Thanks, B.
  • kevinw01 : I have ordered several issues of Fireworks but when I press the download button I only get a copy of the MP3 but not the PDF files. I have an iPad. Am I doing something wrong? Kevin
  • Berny : @ARONITY: Thanks for your order. As stated in the item's description, it can take up to three hours for your purchase to be processed. You should have received a mail containing the download instructions by now. Thanks for your patience!
  • ARONTY : Hi, Just ordered #88 pdf, Paypal show the payment, but no d/l link, please help..
  • Berny : @John: Pls. check your mail, this should have been sorted by now. Apologies for the delay!
  • johnmason : Hi. I paid for #88 and it doesn't show up in the licenses/Downloads and I never received any email telling me how to download it.
  • Rocktopia Te : Fireworks Magazine #88 is out now!
  • SeaDog57 : Thanks Berny got it

Only registered users are allowed to post

Follow Us


This website uses cookies to help us give you the best experience when you visit. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our Privacy Statement.

I accept cookies from this site