Blue Öyster Cult (album)

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Blue Öyster Cult
Studio album by Blue Öyster Cult
Released 16 January 1972
Recorded The Warehouse, New York, October 1971
CBS Studios, New York City, July–September 1969 (bonus tracks)
Genre Hard rock, heavy metal, blues rock, psychedelic rock
Length 36:48
Label Columbia
Producer Murray Krugman, Sandy Pearlman, David Lucas
Blue Öyster Cult chronology
Blue Öyster Cult
Tyranny and Mutation
Singles from Blue Öyster Cult
  1. "Cities on Flame with Rock and Roll / Before the Kiss (A Redcap)"
    Released: 1972

Blue Öyster Cult is the eponymous debut album by the American hard rock band Blue Öyster Cult, released in 16 January 1972 (see 1972 in music). The album featured songs such as "Cities on Flame with Rock and Roll", "Stairway to the Stars", and "Then Came the Last Days of May", all of which the band still plays regularly during its concerts. Despite positive reviews, the album failed to chart for some time before finally cracking the Billboard 200 on May 20, 1972, peaking at No. 172.[1] Blue Öyster Cult toured with artists such as The Byrds, Alice Cooper and the Mahavishnu Orchestra to support the album.[2]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[3]
Rolling Stone (favorable)[4]
Robert Christgau (B+)[5]
Martin Popoff 10/10 stars[6]

The album received a positive reaction from critics. Lester Bangs gave the album a generally positive review in Rolling Stone stating, "with the Blue Öyster Cult, New York has produced its first authentic boogie beast, and with any luck this one should be around for awhile [sic]" telling readers that "I don't think you should miss this album."[4] Circus wrote that "it could well be the album of the Seventies",[7] while Robert Christgau in The Village Voice called it "the tightest and most musical hard rock record since - dare I say it – Who's Next".[5] The record was named an honorable mention on IGN's list of "Top 25 Metal Albums"[8] and has been called "Heavy metal for people who hate heavy metal."[9]

Track information[edit]

"I'm on the Lamb but I Ain't No Sheep" The song "I'm on the Lamb But I Ain't No Sheep," about a fugitive pursued by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, was originally recorded in 1969 (when the band was known as Soft White Underbelly). It was again recorded at a much-faster tempo with much-heavier guitars as "The Red and the Black" for the band's next album, Tyranny and Mutation. The 1969 version was made available when Rhino released the Soft White Underbelly album on their Handmade imprint.[citation needed]

"Then Came the Last Days of May" "Then Came the Last Days of May" is based on a reportedly true story, when two friends were killed in a drug deal gone bad in the West. This song is occasionally played live as a showcase for Roeser's guitar soloing skills.[citation needed]

"Before the Kiss, a Redcap" Originally titled "Conry's Bar," "Before the Kiss, a Redcap" describes scenes from that real location. Guitarist Buck Dharma explains the title as originating in an event witnessed by lyricist/manager Sandy Pearlman in which the titular drug was passed between partners during a kiss. The term "redcap" was supposedly slang for a type of barbiturate;[10] however, "redcap" usually referred to the drug Dalmane.

"Cities on Flame with Rock and Roll" The song was written by Sandy Pearlman, Donald Roeser, and Albert Bouchard, and released as a single. Bouchard performed lead vocals, also singing from his drumkit in concerts. The riff was inspired by Black Sabbath's song "The Wizard", featured on their own self-titled debut album. It is a staple on their live shows. On live albums the name of the song is shortened to "Cities on Flame".[citation needed]

"Redeemed" "Redeemed" was written by singer-songwriter Harry Farcas, and sold to the band. Other band members are listed as authors, due to their input in the arrangement. "Sir Rastus Bear" was Farcas' pet Saint Bernard. Farcas is now an Iridologist in Southern California.[citation needed]

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Transmaniacon MC"   Sandy Pearlman, Albert Bouchard, Donald "Buck Dharma" Roeser, Eric Bloom 3:21
2. "I'm on the Lamb but I Ain't No Sheep"   Pearlman, A. Bouchard, Bloom 3:10
3. "Then Came the Last Days of May"   Roeser 3:31
4. "Stairway to the Stars"   Richard Meltzer, A. Bouchard, Roeser 3:43
5. "Before the Kiss, a Redcap"   Lanier, Pearlman, Roeser 4:59
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
6. "Screams"   Joe Bouchard 3:10
7. "She's As Beautiful as a Foot"   Meltzer, A. Bouchard, Allen Lanier 2:58
8. "Cities on Flame with Rock and Roll"   Roeser, A. Bouchard 4:03
9. "Workshop of the Telescopes"   Pearlman, A. Bouchard, Roeser, Lanier, J. Bouchard, Bloom 4:01
10. "Redeemed"   Pearlman, Harry Farcas, A. Bouchard, Lanier 3:51
Total length:


Band members
  • Bruce Dickinson – reissue producer
  • Vic Anesini – reissue mastering

Covers and appearances[edit]

"Transmaniacon MC" is featured in the video game Rock Band as downloadable content that may be purchased off of the system or downloaded from the Rock Band Metal Track Pack using a one-time use code.[citation needed]

A cover version of "Cities on Flame with Rock and Roll" was featured as a track in the music video game Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock. Additionally, the song has been covered by Church of Misery (on Master of Brutality), Iced Earth (on Tribute to the Gods) and 3 Inches of Blood (as a bonus track on Here Waits Thy Doom) Additionally, the song appears in the American television period sitcom That '70s Show, as well as its soundtrack.

Guitarist William Tyler performs a 2015 solo acoustic instrumental version of "She's As Beautiful As A Foot" on Aquarium Drunkard's "Lagniappe Sessions" page.


Year Chart Position
1972 Billboard 200 (North America)[1] 172


  1. ^ a b "Blue Öyster Cult Billboard Albums". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2012-11-04. 
  2. ^ Perry, Shawn (1997). "The Eric Bloom Interview". Archived from the original on 20 July 2007. Retrieved 2012-11-04. 
  3. ^ Jurek, Thom. "Blue Öyster Cult Blue Öyster Cult review". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2012-11-04. 
  4. ^ a b Bangs, Lester (30 March 1972). "Album Reviews: Blue Oyster Cult – Blue Oyster Cult". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 19 January 2008. Retrieved 2012-11-04. 
  5. ^ a b Christgau, Robert. "Consumer Guide Reviews: Blue Oyster Cult". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 2012-10-25. 
  6. ^ Popoff, Martin (October 2003). The Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal: Volume 1: The Seventies. Burlington, Ontario, Canada: Collector's Guide Publishing. ISBN 978-1894959025. 
  7. ^ "Blue Öyster Cult (Advertisement)". Rolling Stone (Straight Arrow Publishers, Inc.) (108): 11. May 11, 1972. 
  8. ^ Spence D. and Ed T. (2011-09-14). "Top 25 Metal Albums – Music Feature at IGN". IGN. Retrieved 2011-11-13. 
  9. ^ Buckley, Peter (2003). "Blue Oyster Cult (1972; CBS)". In Rough Guides. The Rough Guide to Rock. London, UK. p. 92. ISBN 1-85828-201-2. Heavy metal for people who hate heavy metal; sleek, primal rock and roll music, filtered through unsettling, if thrilling, images of Altamont, drug-dealing and murder. 
  10. ^ Swartz, John (10 December 2001). "BOC FAQ". Version 3.3. AOL. Archived from the original on 2002-02-06. Retrieved 2012-03-03.