The Complete Columbia Albums Collectiön

by: Blue Öyster Cult

Blue Öyster Cult were among the very first American rock & roll maximalists. They pioneered an iconic multi-guitar hard rock sound that influenced countless acts after them -- most of whom never gave them credit for it. That said, they also understood the value of a pop hooks, state-of-the-art production, and the power of the imagination in their crafting of a sinister, mysterious image decades before black metal -- in person and on record -- and later welcomed the kitsch that came with it. They scored nine charting singles (including "[Don’t Fear] The Reaper"), two platinum, and four gold albums. To mark BÖC's 40th Anniversary, Legacy has created a monster box that includes all of the band's Columbia albums between 1972 and 1988, a disc of bona fide rarities, another of radio broadcasts, and a live DVD from 1978. While six of the band's first seven albums -- Blue Öyster Cult, Tyranny and Mutation, Secret Treaties, Agents of Fortune, Spectres, and Some Enchanted Evening -- were all remastered with bonus tracks, On Your Feet or on Your Knees (19751) and each subsequent album, including Some Enchanted Evening, benefit here from having been completely remastered in 2012 from analog sources. These include the criminally underappreciated, nearly apocryphal Imaginos, the group's final record for Columbia that took eight years to record. It reunited BÖC with producer/lyricist Sandy Pearlman and features guest spots from the Doors' Robby Krieger, Joe Satriani, and Patti Smith (credited as "Shocking U"). The rarities disc includes unreleased performances of "Stairway to the Stars" (1975), "Dr. Music," "The Great Sun Jester," "In Thee," "Mirrors" (1979), a 1975 rehearsal demo of Joe Higgs' "Steppin' Razor," a live mono version of "Godzilla" from 1977, a cover of the Beatles' "I Want You (She's So Heavy)," from 1980, three demos intended for the soundtrack of the film Teachers, Stephen King's spoken word intro for Imaginos and "I'm on the Lamb But I Ain't No Sheep," one of two Soft White Underbelly demos. (There are other live cuts and demos that have been compiled in various places as well.) The Best of the Broadcasts contains performances between 1980 and 1986. In actuality that may not be the very best (there were earlier ones that were superior but they may have been boots), but what's here rocks (check "7 Screaming Diz-Busters"). The live DVD that accompanies Some Enchanted Evening (entitled Some Other Enchanted Evening) has to be seen to be believed. For those who thought BÖC past their live prime at this point, this disc contains indisputable evidence to the contrary. Each album is packaged in an individual cardboard sleeve with -- where applicable -- its original artwork. The booklet features a liner essay by rock historian and Patti Smith Group guitarist Lenny Kaye. In other words, The Complete Columbia Albums Collection makes definitive the case for BÖC as one of the truly innovative legends of hard rock. ~ Thom Jurek

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