Oyster Cult, BOC, or even Soft White Underbelly; it doesn't matter
what name you know them by, or that
you know them at all, I have personally seen this band 60 maybe 70
times and I never get tired of it.
They are always entertaining but if you get lucky and catch them on
one of their magic nights. Stand Back !!!!! It will be a show you
will never forget
This band has been around for forty years and they still rock.
Always pushing the limits of fusing the genres of sci-fi, fantasy,
horror and heavy metal, Blue Oyster
Cult has a sound that is timeless. No, they aren't heavy metal by
today's standards, but their style of guitar driven themes back in
the late 1960's and early 1970's, with songs like Hot Rails To Hell
and Dominance And Submission, set the tone and foundation for
heavy metal. They were true pioneers.
Blue Oyster Cult has always has been
intimate with their audiences when they perform live, as well as
relying heavily on improvisation in their instrumentals, which has
been a major influence on many rock
bands over the years.
During the forty year span, and several band member changes,
Blue Oyster Cult has remained true to
their voice. No compromise. Straight out Rock
Step inside the chamber, hear the tumblers roll, fear nothing (not
even the reaper), for this is nothing but pure pleasure to hear.
was 1967, near Stony Brook University in Long Island New York, that
Rock promoter/critic Sandy Pearlman
urged the band's formation. Originally named Soft White
Underbelly (a term Winston Churchill used to describe Italy
during WWII), the band was able to get club dates and minor
recording deals with the help of Pearlman.
Over the next three years the band went through a variety of name
changes, as well as a change in lead singers. The original singer,
Les Braunstein, fit in well with the band's improvisational style
will playing live and it was his impression upon Elektra Records
executives that landed the band's first record deal. Elektra saw
Braunstein as the East Coast's answer to Jim Morrison. It was during
the first recording session that the band realized a problem with
Braunstein's direction. He was zigging while the band was zagging.
When the band got back from the sessions, they settled on a new name
and, because Braunstein abruptly quit, found a new lead singer in
their midst: the group's sound man, Eric Bloom. Bloom gave the band
a more Rock And Roll feel as opposed to
the Psychedelic, West Coast road that Braunstein was driving them
down. As for a new name, they finally settled on
Blue Oyster Cult, a title to one of
Pearlman's poems from his Imaginos collection. Although, the
band kept the Soft White Underbelly name in their hip pocket
to use as a pseudonym when playing small clubs during the 1970's and
In 1972, Blue Oyster Cult released its first
studio album, Blue Oyster Cult.
The song of note on that album was Cities On Flame With
Rock And Roll. A song that has been
covered by several artists over the years.
1972 and 1975,
Blue Oyster Cult released 3
albums, two studio and one live album.
Tyranny And Mutations, released
in 1973, was an album that was born out
of songs that were written while the
band was on an almost constant touring
schedule. During this era of touring,
the band was the "opener" for a wide
variety of acts (ranging from the
Mahavishnu Orchestra to Alice Cooper,
which opened their eyes to a certain
flaw the group had to overcome.
The flaw was the lack of showmanship and
stage presence. BOC began to hone their
live skills as well as shed the garments
of the earlier incarnations of the
combo. They set out to make a heavy
album and they most certainly succeeded.
In the process, they also fulfilled
their new recording company's wishes;
Columbia Records had their 'Stateside
Blue Oyster Cult released
Secret Treaties in 1974, an album
that is said to be the best
heavy metal recording of the
1970's. This album garnished much
critical acclaim which was the gateway
BOC needed to gain popularity across the
With fame on the rise due to Secret
Treaties, the band began to
'Headline' shows and their first live
album was recorded and released in 1975.
The album, titled On Your Feet Or To
Your Knees gave the world a real
look at what the band had transformed
into. They covered Born To Be Wild
and you can feel the crowd's
enthusiastic reaction to Eric Bloom's
intimacy. Also, Donald 'Buck Dharma'
Roesser's lead guitar talents are really
evident, because live is live and there
ain't no hiding.
Cult rode a great wave between 1976 and
1983, starting with the Agents Of
Fortune album and ending with The
Revolution By Night. In that span
they released six studio albums and two
live albums. The live album Some
Enchanted Evening is the groups best
selling recording to date, giving
testimony to their great live shows. One
track, a cover of Roadhouse Blues,
gets almost as much airplay as their
most recognizable song, Don't Fear
Agents Of Fortune was the band's
'Step Up' album. The tour that
supported the album featured a freestyle
laser show that was as much of a part of
their on stage personae as the band
itself was. Among other uses, the single
color light would be shone off of giant
mirror balls or strapped to Bloom's
wrist to accentuate his fist thrusts
into the air. The laser show had to be
stopped eventually due to a lawsuit by
one concert goer who claimed vision
damage from the laser.
Don't Fear The Reaper was a
product of this album. The song was
shrouded in controversy as some mistook
the lyrics to be a call for teen suicide
when they actually were just speaking
about a love that lasts forever and an
urge to seize the day.
Regardless of what the perceived
meanings of the lyrics were, Don't
Fear The Reaper climbed to number
twelve on Billboard's charts and the
album was voted as one of the Top 10
rock albums of 1976.
The next album came in 1977, and was
recorded between gigs on the road. The
album, Spectres, produced another
mega hit in the song Godzilla, a
rather hard but playful song about the
creature that crushed Tokyo so many
times. Spectres featured crisp
writing and polished sound. The band had
been together long enough to really gel,
both on stage and in the studio.
In 1978, Some Enchanted Evening
was released. Originally desired by the
band to be a double disc release,
Columbia pared it down to one disc. No
matter, the album went platinum in no
time. The live set let everyone know
that BOC was still the Kings Of The Hall
with their opus performances of
Astronomy and Don't Fear The
Reaper, not to mention the
rollicking cover of Roadhouse Blues.
The Famous Cheeseburger
Guitar Exact Replicas Available From Ed
Sandy Pearlman was put aside as producer
for the 1979 Mirrors studio
release. Tom Werman, who had previously
worked with Cheap Trick and Ted Nugent
was brought into the studio as producer
with results not being up to the band's
previous efforts. Although the song
In Thee placed in the top
one-hundred on the American charts, the
album overall was a disappointment to
the band, the fans, and the critics.
The general consensus was that the album
went a bit too far down the Pop road.
Pearlman once again figured in the Blue
Oyster Scene. He had been hired as Black
Sabbath's stage manager and convinced
Martin Birch, who had produced Sabbath's
Heaven And Hell album to work
with BOC on their next project. Coupled
with Birch and the failed experiment
with Mirrors, the band was ready
to get back to being themselves and quit
trying to produce a hit. The result was
1980's critically acclaimed
Cultosaurus Erectus. The record was
a hit with both critics and fans as it
reached number 14 on the U.K. charts.
What's more, the band felt good about
the project and working with Birch. They
felt like they were once again on top.
time the album was released, Pearlman
was managing BOC again. Being manager to
both Blue Oyster Cult and Black Sabbath
gave Pearlman a unique idea. Since BOC
needed to tour to promote their latest
effort, why not put both bands on the
road together. Here's the hook; The
bands would alternate headlining, not
"we do half the tour as headliners and
you guys get the other half", no, they
alternated EVERY night. The concept of
the Black And Blue tour paid off
as the fans loved it and the resulting
concert video was a huge success.
Birch signed on as producer for the
bands next album. In 1981 BOC released
Fire Of Unknown Origin which was
a result of a fury of songwriting due to
the band being asked to contribute four
songs for the movie Heavy Metal.
Burning For You was the big hit
from that effort, reaching number forty
on the U.S. charts, as well as one of
the songs, Veteran Of The Psychic
Wars, actually being used in the