Archive for Agents of Fortune

Great Rock/Metal Albums of 1981: Blue Oyster Cult- Fire Of Unknown Origin

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, soundtracks, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 31, 2014 by 80smetalman


Of the four artists who made the transition from hard or glam rock in the 1970s to heavy metal in the 1980s, at least in the minds of non-believers, Blue Oyster Cult’s album “Fire of Unknown Origin” is the one album that didn’t pass me by unnoticed. Once again, I have the marines to thank for that, pulling barracks security watch on the graveyard shift on a Saturday night. I also have to thank the radio station WXQR in Jacksonville, North Carolina for their Saturday Night Six Pack show where six albums were played in their entirety starting at midnight on Saturday nights. Old age, I said all this when I visited the Danny Joe Brown Band, but yes, it was here where I got to first listen to this great album, (and I do mean great) from Blue Oyster Cult.

First, I can now certainly reassure my fellow blogger Heavy Metal Overload that the track “Veteran of 1000 Psychic Wars” is the same on this album as it is on the soundtrack to “Heavy Metal” and a good track it is. “Burning For You” is the single from the track and I mention this because it appears on a compilation album I bought five and a half years ago and I was glad that it was any other B.O.C. song than “Don’t Fear the Reaper.” I think I have that song on at least three compilation discs. It’s still a good jam nonetheless.

If someone was to listen to just the opening and closing tracks on “Fire of Unknown Origin,” they may be tempted to think that Blue Oyster Cult had gone a bit progressive rock. The keyboard intro on the title track may give that feel and “Don’t Turn Your Back” almost sounds like a lounge act track, that is until it unleashes what is in my mind, the best guitar solo on the album. However, in between them is some great hard rock tunes like the two I’ve already mentioned, “Sole Survivor” and “Heavy Metal, The Black and the Silver.” That is taking nothing away from the tracks “After Dark” and “Vengeance, the Pact.”

Some of you are screaming inside about the one track I haven’t mentioned yet and that is because I’m saving the best for last, at least I think so. Blue Oyster Cult has a reputation for writing quirky songs and none can be quirkier than “Joan Crawford.” First, I love that piano intro, it gives me goosebumps every time I hear it and the lyrics: “Policemen hide behind the skirts of little girls” and the first line of the second verse, “Catholic school girls throw away their mascara.” Pure genius. Saying that, I still prefer the live version of this song but you will have to wait till I visit that live album in 1982 to find out why.

Track Listing:

1. Fire Of Unknown Origin

2. Burning For You

3. Veteran of 1000 Psychic Wars

4. Sole Survivor

5. Heavy Metal, The Black and the Silver

6. Vengeance, The Pact

7. After Dark

8. Joan Crawford

9. Don’t Turn Your Back

Blue Oyster Cult

Blue Oyster Cult

Eric Bloom- lead vocals

Donald Buck Dharma Roeser- lead guitar, lead vocals

Alan Lanier- keyboards

Joe Bouchard- bass

Albert Bouchard- drums, percussion

I have always considered “Fire of Unknown Origin” one of the best Blue Oyster Cult albums. For me, it marked a genuine attempt to return to the glory days of albums like “Agents of Fortune.” I leave you all to debate if it how well it does but for me, it came pretty close. Besides, it did get me through that graveyard shift that Saturday night.

Next post: Kiss- Music From, “The Elder”

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Great Rock Albums of 1979: Blue Oyster Cult- Mirrors

Posted in 1979, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 4, 2012 by 80smetalman

220px-BOC_Mirrors Like with Aerosmith’s “Night in the Ruts” album, 1979 featured an album from Blue Oyster Cult, which doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. When most people think of albums by this iconic band, the ones they will usually point out are “Agents of Fortune,” “Fire of Unknown Origin” and “Extra Terrestrial Live.” These are all great classic albums and I am in no way taking anything away from them, it just seems unfortunate that “Mirrors” doesn’t seem to get any mention at all. This is a shame because for me, it is a damn fine album.

I knew the opening track, “Dr Music,” from the live album mentioned above. When I refamiliarized myself with the album, this song came back to me straight away and has stuck in my head to the point that I’m still singing the chorus two days later. Of course, “Dr Music” isn’t the only good track on “Mirrors.” The tracks “The Great Sun Jester,” “I Am the Storm” and “The Vigil” also stand out for me too. This doesn’t take away from the rest of the album as it is a good hard rocking album that typifies what you would expect when you hear Blue Oyster Cult.

Track Listing:

1. Dr Music

2. The Great Sun Jester

3. In Thee

4. Mirrors

5. Moon Crazy

6.  The Vigil

7. I Am The Storm

8. You’re Not the One

9. Lonely Teardrops

Blue Oyster Cult

Blue Oyster Cult

Eric Bloom- stun guitar, lead vocals

Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser- lead guitar, lead vocals

Alan Lanier- keyboards, guitar

Joe Bouchard- bass, lead vocal on “Moon Crazy”

Albert Bouchard- drums, lead vocal on “You’re Not the One”

It has been said that the reason for the lack of success of “Mirrors” is that they tried a more glossy, commercial sound with this album. Yes, I do admit that its sound isn’t as dark as many of their other albums but I think it is still a good listen and definitely underrated. 

Next post: Bob Dylan- Slow Train Coming

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Great Rock Albums of the 70s: Blue Oyster Cult- Agents of Fortune

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 15, 2011 by 80smetalman

When I first heard of the band Blue Oyster Cult, it was in the religious world where everyone there was describing them as Satanic. The name Blue Oyster Cult gives the impression that if you listen to any of their albums, you will immediately start sacrificing chickens, goats and virgins on the altar of Beelezebub. Of course, it doesn’t help when the first big single is entitled, “Don’t Fear the Reaper,” but it was that song that got me listening to them. Although Blue Oyster Cult have a number of other singles and many great albums, it is this song which the rock and metal world identify them with. Proof of this is I have a number of rock compilation albums and the song appears on at least three of them.

Although “Don’t Fear the Reaper” is the song that thrust the band and this album, “Agents of Fortune” into the spotlight, the entire album is brilliant and puts Blue Oyster Cult into the category of one of the great metal influences. Songs like “Extra Terrestrial Intelligence” and “Tattoo Vampire” also make the album great. In fact, all of the songs in my metal opinion make this album.

Track Listing:

1. This Ain’t the Summer of Love

2. True Confessions

3. Don’t Fear the Reaper

4. Extra Terrestrial Intelligence

5. The Revenge of Vera Gemini

6. Sinful Love

7. Tatto Vampire

8. Morning Final

9. Tenderloin

10. Debbie Denise 

Blue Oyster Cult:

Eric Bloom- guitar, percussion, vocals

Albert Bouchard- drums, percussion, harmonica, vocals

Donald “Buck Dharma” Roesser- guitar, synthesiser, vocals

Joe Bouchard- bass, piano, vocals

Alan Lanier- guitars, keyboards, bass, vocals

Apart from great albums such as this one, Blue Oyster Cult have always been known for being a fantastic live act. One of the major regrets of my life is not having been able to see them in concert. This is probably why I have the main characters in Rock And Roll Children lament over the fact they didn’t see them open for Rush. I only have great albums like “Agents of Fortune” as a consolation.

Next Post: Alice Cooper- Welcome to My Nightmare

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