Blue Öyster Cult – Cultosaurus Erectus (1980)

We’ve all heard “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper”, possibly hundreds of times in bars, pubs and on shitty “best-of” 3 disc rock music compilations. I’m pretty sure that “THE BEST Driving Album In The World, EVER no. 198234” even has it on there twice for good measure. But despite my over-exposure to their biggest hit, I had absolutely no knowledge of Blue Öyster Cult at all. Well, when I was in sixth form my teacher used to insist that Blue Öyster Cult secretly invented the heavy metal genre, but other than that, I knew nothing of them.

It was a random fluke then when my parents bought me this record as a present on their recent trip up to Birmingham. I don’t really know why, but I guess they saw a record shop and thought of me, which is nice. Being entirely unfamiliar with the Blue Öyster I immediately threw it on the deck and gave it a spin. And you know what, it ain’t half bad. I got a lot of spacey Hawkwind vibes from the cover, but the overall feel is a lot more rock and/or roll than Hawkwind. It holds that unique production sound of the early 80s, where the feeling and natural tone of most 70s records met awkwardly with the digital studio production of the future. The production is very clinical, and each instrument stands out perfectly, but at the same time it doesn’t lose much of the “olde-y worlde-y” charm. It’s quite the paradox!

None of the songs are anywhere near as good as the previously mentioned tune about the reaper, but the opening track “Black Blade” is a stormer, and track 3 “Divine Wind” is my second favourite. Side B is definitely weaker than side A, but “Deadline” is by far the worst song here. All in all, a nice experience but not something I’d run out and buy.

One bitchin’ poster.