Great Rock/Metal Albums of 1983: Blue Oyster Cult- The Revolution by Night


After reading about the passing of former Blue Oyster Cult producer, Sandy Pearlman, I thought it would be a fitting tribute to the man if I posted about Blue Oyster Cult’s 1983 album, “The Revolution by Night.” Unfortunately, when I did a little research for the post, I discovered that Sandy did not produce the album. He did produce the band’s previous two albums, “Fire of Unknown Origin” and “Extra- Terrestrial Live” and that could be a reason why it doesn’t quite measure up to those two. That’s not just my opinion, it seems to be the opinion of many now and then. It has been widely felt that “The Revolution by Night” began a decade long era of mediocrity for BOC.

Sandy Pearlman

Sandy Pearlman

I remember seeing the video for the single “Shooting Shark” and not being very impressed. I admit, I expected something more along the lines of “Don’t Fear the Reaper” or “Godzilla” or even “Veteran of 1000 Psychic Wars.” “Shooting Shark” is definitely not anything like those classics. It’s possibly the closest Blue Oyster Cult has ever come to a ballad. In any case, the song was way to commercial for me back then. However, it did get quite a lot of airplay in 1983, something not common for a Blue Oyster Cult song. Having listened to it again, I find that it’s not as bad as I remember. Possibly owing to the fact that I am listening to the full seven minute version that appears on the album and not the shortened MTV version.

Technically, the rest of “The Revolution by Night” is pretty sound. There is nothing bad about the album at all. In fact, the musicianship is as done well and that includes newly acquired drummer Rick Downey who replaced the fired Albert Bouchard. The opener, “Take Me Away” does remind me of the Blue Oyster Cult I grew up loving. It is a good rock song. A better rock song, probably the hardest on the album is “Shadow of California.” It is my favourite track here. It also proves that the band didn’t abandon the formula that made them so great. “Feel the Thunder is a very good track as well.

Track Listing:

  1. Take Me Away
  2. Eyes of Fire
  3. Shooting Shark
  4. Veins
  5. Shadow of California
  6. Feel the Thunder
  7. Let Go
  8. Dragon Lady
  9. Light Years of Love
Blue Oyster Cult

Blue Oyster Cult

Eric Bloom- guitar, vocals

Donald ‘Buck Dharma’ Roeser- lead guitar, vocals, keyboards

Alan Lanier- piano, keyboards

Joe Bouchard- bass, guitars, vocoder, vocals

Rick Downey- drums

Additional Musicians:

Aldo Nova- guitar and synthesizers on “Take Me Away”

Randy Jackson- bass on “Shooting Shark”

Gregg Winter- backing vocal on “Eyes on Fire”

Marc Baum- saxophone on “Shooting Shark”

“The Revolution by Night” might have been a mediocre album for Blue Oyster Cult but there are so many bands out there who couldn’t sound as good as this album, even at their best. Maybe we should lay off BOC for this one because it’s not in any way a bad album.

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14 Responses to “Great Rock/Metal Albums of 1983: Blue Oyster Cult- The Revolution by Night”

  1. Ah! So this is the album with Take Me Away! Brant Bjork covered that song on the 10th anniversary edition of his first solo album Jalamanta, and only on vinyl. I had never heard it before, but I LOVED it. I love UFO-themed songs.


  2. So awesome Aldo Nova appeared on that album. I loved his music. I even got to meet him for like 2 minutes back around 1990. Nice guy. The Randy Jackson you have listed, is that Idol’s Randy Jackson? This wasn’t my favorite BOC album, but not bad.


    • I’m going to have to check it out to see if it is that Randy Jackson. I will be visiting Aldo Nova’s two albums in 1983 not too far down the line. I can’t do it too soon though because he’s not playing Bloodstock next weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is where they lost me in the ’80s. They had been one of my favorite bands for the few years before this but I never really got into it (other than the Aldo Nova track). When I got the BOC “Complete Albums” box set a few years ago I enjoyed it a lot more than I did three decades earlier, but it’s still not on the same level as their earlier classics.

    Great review, by the way.


    • Thanks Rich, I can see how they lost a lot of people in the 80s with this album. I definitely agree as just about every human who has listened to BOC, that their earlier albums where the best.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This was the last BÖC album I got excited for and bought new upon release (although I have eventually come to like a couple of the later albums after this one). At first listen, I also found it to not live up to the earlier stuff and pretty much set it aside. Listening to it now spurred by your review however, I’m finding it to be better than I thought. Take Me Away and Shadow of California are good ones, and I can’t help smiling along to Dragon Lady either.


    • I can’t either. It’s amazing how when you listen to an album you weren’t so keen on back in the day, it sounds better than what you remember. I put it down to the fact that I’m possibly mellowing a bit with age.


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