Archive for Sandy Pearlman

Great Rock/Metal Albums of 1988: Blue Oyster Cult- Imaginos

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 23, 2022 by 80smetalman

Unfortunately for Blue Oyster Cult, they will be most remembered in the UK for “Don’t Fear the Reaper” and not for some of the great albums they put out. A quick sidetrack, the B.O.C. classic hit appears on just about rock compilation album I was given as a birthday or Father’s Day present. Anyway, the band’s 1988 album failed to gain any attention in the UK and not much in the US from what I’ve read, so it’s no surprise that it passed me by. Therefore, the task for me when listening to it was to determine is this a good B.O.C. album which slipped under the radar like “The Revolution By Night” or like “Club Ninja,” a decent album, I liked it, but was a commercial dud.

Another point of controversy in regards to “Imaginos,” was that many consider it not to be a proper Blue Oyster Cult album. After the iconic “Fire of Unknown Origin” the band went through a number of personnel changes. Originally, this album was meant to be a solo album from Albert Bouchard after he was fired from the band in 1981. He had started to make the album with the help of producer Sandy Pearlman but they ran out of money. To make a long story short, Pearlman went to the band’s label, Columbia Records, with the idea of making it a Blue Oyster Cult album, which is sort of what happened. With that said, the actual band had little playing time on it as many musicians were brought in, see below. Another reason why it’s discounted as a Blue Oyster Cult album.

Sandy Pearlman

After my mandatory three listens plus I’m listening to it as I write this, my verdict that it is an improvement from “Club Ninja.” What is striking is that the band goes full hard rock with the first three tracks. While the gainsayers accused them of trying to cash in on the heavy metal furor, I liked the power they brought to these tracks, especially “In the Presence of Another World.” I like the opening riffs and how the guitars kick in full metal right after culminating in a cool guitar solo. The song ends with the chanting “You’re master” behind some more guitar chords and a solid bass line.

Here’s another personal shock about “Imaginos.” “Astronomy” was released as a single and I’ll get to that one in a minute but when listening, I thought that “Del Rio’s Song” would have been the track released as a single. It sounds like the love child between “Dancing in the Ruins” and one of my all time favourite B.O.C. songs, “Joan Crawford.” It does have a cool guitar solo and I think the credits below reveal why.

Now we can come to the actual single. “Astronomy” is a good track, the second best on the album. It’s more in traditional Blue Oyster Cult waters where they combine the power of metal and progressive rock and make that sound which made them famous. However, like I said, it’s only the second best track on the album, the track before it, “The Siege and Investiture of Baron von Frankenstein’s Castle at Weisseria,” (say that title after a few drinks) takes the top spot in my view. The song just rocks and here’s a kicker, the vocals are done by one Joey Cerisano and he does a tremendous job on it. I’m surprised no metal band ever scooped him up after hearing this. The backing vocals are just as magnificent in support of Joey and the piano/guitar combination just make the song mind blowing. Please note who plays the guitar solo on the song as well. This isn’t a hidden gem, more of hidden diamond!

The remaining three songs are definitely more progressive rock but done in the traditional Blue Oyster Cult way. “Magna of Illusion” is the best of the three. Another interesting point behind the album is that Sandy meant it to be a concept album as the songs were based on a series of poems he had written. The story is on the Wikipedia page for the album and is an interesting read but the story doesn’t line up with the tracks, so I can’t call it a concept album. You just have to enjoy it for the music.

Track Listing:

  1. I’m the One You Warned Me Of
  2. Les Invisibles
  3. In the Presence of Another World
  4. Del Rios
  5. The Siege and Investiture of Castle Frankenstein’s Castle at Weisseria
  6. Astronomy
  7. Magna of Illusion
  8. Blue Oyster Cult
  9. Imaginos

Eric Bloom- vocals

Donald ‘Buck Dharma’ Roesser- guitar, vocals

Joe Bouchard- bass, keyboards, backing vocals

Alan Lanier- keyboards

Albert Bouchard- drums

Additional Musicians:

Phil Grande- guitars

Tommy Zvoncheck- keyboards

Kenny Aaronson- bass

Thommy Price- drums

Joey Cerisano- vocals

Jon Rogers- vocals

Jack Secret aka (Tony Geranios)- backing vocals

Shocking U- vocals on track 3

Guitar Orchestra of the State of Imaginos

Mark Beiderman- lead guitar on tracks 1 and 3

Kevin Carlson

Robbie Kreiger- lead guitar on tracks 7 and 8

Tommy Morrongiello

Aldo Nova

Jack Rigg

Joe Satriani- lead guitar on track 5

Note: The money Joe Satriani made from playing on the album allowed him to finance a great album which will be posted about in the not too distant future.

Should “Imaginos” be counted as a proper Blue Oyster Cult album? I’ll leave that to everyone else to decide while I just sit back and enjoy the album, especially as so many great guitarists play on it.

Next post: Chastain- The Voice of the Cult

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

To sign the petition to give Bruce Dickinson a knighthood, click the link: https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson?redirect=false

Compilation Album for 2016

Posted in 1980s, Death, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 1, 2017 by 80smetalman

Recently on Twitter, I commented that with all the great musical stars who passed on in 2016, that I wouldn’t put it past some morbid record producer to make a compilation album featuring all of them. One of my friends replied that with so many, it would have to be a box set and he’s probably right. Normally, I ‘m not a morbid person but I then thought, “Why don’t I come out with my own ideas for such an album?” Besides, if it was in the hands of some corporate record executive, their idea for the album would be totally different than mine, especially if the metal hating UK newspaper, The Sun, had anything to do with it.

In compiling such an album, I fear that had things been left to record execs, Jimmy Bain and Sandy Pearlman would have been left out totally. Jimmy would have been because he was only a bass player despite the fact that he played on all the greatest Dio albums. Sandy was simply a producer but without him, we would not have had some of the great albums delivered by both Blue Oyster Cult and The Clash. Use of semantics, the fact that Lemmy actually died in 2015, would have been used as an excuse to keep him off the album. I don’t do that because Lemmy’s death was the snowball at the top of the mountain which started the avalanche. Paul Kantner would have definitely been left out if the record producer was British but might have been included if they were American. After all, he did have a minor song writing credit on Jefferson Starship’s best known single, “Jane.”

Of course, I am tempted to exclude some too. I was never a big Prince fan. However, I didn’t hate his music. Whenever his songs came on the radio, I didn’t turn the volume up or down, nor did I change the channel. But credit where due, on the song I really like, he does shred a guitar fairly well and I remember in 1984, I fully endorsed his desire to play the role of Jimi Hendrix in a film about the guitar god.

George Michael is another problem. See, The Sun and other media have already been blubbering over how great an 80s icon he was. I can’t refute that. However, he wasn’t entirely the 1980s and the whole point of writing “Rock and Roll Children” and this blog was to rebut the belief that 80s music was entirely Wham, Michael Jackson and Boy George. We all know it wasn’t but George Michael stands as a symbol of my antagonism towards this warped view of the Golden Decade of Heavy Metal. So, I hope one can understand why I would be tempted to exclude him from my album. However, I am a better person than those at The Sun and not a corporate record executive, so I will allow one GM song onto my album. This song came out after his 1998 arrest in Los Angeles and was the springboard for a rather rude but funny joke.

Tribute Album to Musician’s Who Died in 2016

Lemmy

Lemmy

Motorhead

Motorhead

  1. Ace of Spades
  2. Killed By Death
  3. Iron Fist

175px-David-Bowie_Early

David Bowie

  1. Space Oddity
  2. Ziggy Stardust
  3. Mott the Hoople- All the Young Dudes

The Eagles

The Eagles

Glen Frey- The Eagles

Glen Frey- The Eagles

  1. Take it Easy
  2. Heartache Tonight
  3. New Kid in Town
  4. From Glenn Frey’s solo stuff:
  5. Smuggler’s Blues
  6. Sexy Girl

Jimmy Bain

Jimmy Bain

Dio

Dio

  1. Rainbow in the Dark
  2. The Last in Line
  3. Mystery
  4. Sacred Heart
  5. Sunset Superman

js

Paul Kantner- Jefferson Starship

Paul Kantner- Jefferson Starship

  1. Ride the Tiger
  2. Dance With the Dragon
  3. Stairway to Cleveland
  4. Planet Earth Rock and Roll Orchestra (Paul Kantner solo)

I never saw them but  Emerson Lake and Palmer were said to be amazing live!

I never saw them but Emerson Lake and Palmer were said to be amazing live!

  1. Lucky Man
  2. Fanfare for the Common Man

Sandy Pearlman

Sandy Pearlman

Blue Oyster Cult

Blue Oyster Cult

  1. Don’t Fear the Reaper
  2. Dancing in the Ruins

The Clash

The Clash

English Civil War

Prince

Prince

Let’s Go Crazy

George Michael

George Michael

Outside

Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen

Hallelujah

(I thought Leonard’s song would be the best closer)

True, my list would definitely be more metal oriented. That’s because most metal and rock acts would be passed over by a corporate record producer. Opinions will vary here and I know other songs would be chosen in place of the ones I have here, but if I had my choice. This is what it would be.

Happy New Year to all! Have a great 2017.

Next post: Suicidal Tendencies

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

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

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 4, 2016 by 80smetalman

220px-Blue_Öyster_Cult_-_The_Revölution_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.

Next post: Slayer- Show No Mercy

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

R.I.P Sandy Pearlman

Posted in 1980s, Death, Heavy Metal, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on July 28, 2016 by 80smetalman

Sandy Pearlman

Sandy Pearlman

This year 2016 continues to suck as another tragic rock and roll passing has come to light. This time it is former punk and metal producer Sandy Pearlman. Pearlman was responsible for producing such punk great as The Clash and rock/metal giants Blue Oyster Cult. His passing will be felt hard across both the punk and metal worlds. For more information about Sandy Pearlman click the link:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/arts/sandy-pearlman-producer-obit-1.3696441

R.I.P Sandy, you will be missed.