Secret Treaties

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Secret Treaties
Studio album by Blue Öyster Cult
Released April 1974
Recorded CBS Studios, New York City, 1974
Genre Hard rock, heavy metal
Length 38:35
Label Columbia
Producer Murray Krugman, Sandy Pearlman
Blue Öyster Cult chronology
Tyranny and Mutation
(1973)
Secret Treaties
(1974)
On Your Feet or on Your Knees
(1975)
Singles from Secret Treaties
  1. "Career of Evil / Dominance and Submission"
    Released: 1974
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Rolling Stone (favorable)[2]
Robert Christgau (B)[3]
Martin Popoff 10/10 stars[4]

Secret Treaties is the third studio album by the American hard rock band Blue Öyster Cult, released in 1974.

Secret Treaties is regarded by many fans and critics alike as Blue Öyster Cult's best album. The album spent 14 weeks in the US album charts, peaking at No. 53.[5] It was declared gold by the RIAA in 1992.[6]

In 1975, a poll of critics of the British magazine Melody Maker voted Secret Treaties as the "Top Rock Album of All Time". In 2010, Rhapsody (online music service) called it one of the all-time best "proto-metal" albums.[7]

The cover, with art by Ron Lesser, depicts the band standing beside and sitting on and besides a German Me262 fighter aircraft; this scene is inspired by the song of the same name.

Many songs from this album found their way into BOC playlists over the following years, including "Career of Evil", "Subhuman", "Astronomy" and "Harvester of Eyes".

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Sandy Pearlman except where noted.

Side one
No. Title Lyrics Music Length
1. "Career of Evil"   Patti Smith Albert Bouchard 3:59
2. "Subhuman"     Eric Bloom 4:39
3. "Dominance and Submission"     Bloom, A. Bouchard 5:23
4. "ME 262"     Bloom, Donald Roeser 4:48
Side two
No. Title Lyrics Music Length
5. "Cagey Cretins"   Richard Meltzer A. Bouchard 3:16
6. "Harvester of Eyes"   Meltzer Bloom, Roeser 4:42
7. "Flaming Telepaths"     Bloom, A. Bouchard, Roeser 5:20
8. "Astronomy"     A. Bouchard, Joe Bouchard 6:28
Total length:
38:35
2001 CD remaster bonus tracks
No. Title Lyrics Music Length
9. "Boorman the Chauffer"   J. Bouchard J. Bouchard, Murray Krugman 3:13
10. "Mommy"   Meltzer Bloom 3:32
11. "Mes Dames Sarat"   Allen Lanier Lanier 4:07
12. "Born to Be Wild"   Mars Bonfire Bonfire 3:40
13. "Career of Evil" (single version) Smith A. Bouchard 3:00
Total length:
17:32

Personnel[edit]

Band members
  • Eric Bloom – lead vocals on tracks 1-2, 4, 6-8, 10-13, stun guitar, keyboards, co-lead vocals on track 5
  • Donald "Buck Dharma" Roeser – lead guitar, backing vocals
  • Allen Lanier – keyboards, rhythm guitar, synthesizers, second lead guitar on track 11
  • Joe Bouchard – bass, lead vocals on track 9, backing vocals, co-lead vocals on track 5
  • Albert Bouchard – drums, lead vocals on track 3, co-lead vocals on track 5


Production
  • Murray Krugman, Sandy Pearlman – production
  • Tim Geelan, Jerry Smith – engineering
  • Lehman Yates, Lou Schlossberg – recording
  • Bruce Dickinson – production (2001 remaster)
  • Thom Cadley – mixing on tracks 10 and 11 (2001 remaster)
  • Vic Anesini – remastering (2001 remaster)

Notes[edit]

"Career of Evil"[edit]

Lyrics to the lead-off track "Career of Evil" were written by future punk poetess Patti Smith, a longtime contributor to the band (and, at the time, the girlfriend of BÖC keyboardist and rhythm guitarist Allen Lanier). Smith co-wrote tracks for at least five other BÖC albums.

A few changes were made to "Career of Evil" on the Single version (which is included on the album's 2001 remastered edition). The vocals are different: only Eric Bloom is heard for most of the song, instead of Bloom and Albert Bouchard singing together. Also one verse was removed ("Pay me..." to "...kneeling in the rain"). Part of the bridge was changed also, presumably to make the song more acceptable to radio: "do it to your daughter" became "do it like you oughtta." The line, "I want your wife to be my baby tonight" was changed to "I want your life to be mine, maybe tonight".

"Flaming Telepaths"[edit]

There is a version of "Flaming Telepaths" without the music box intro on the compilation Don't Fear the Reaper: The Best of Blue Öyster Cult. The original version with the complete sound effects is on the collection Workshop of the Telescopes.

The psychedelic folk group Espers covers "Flaming Telepaths" on their CD, The Weed Tree in 2005.

Old CDs[edit]

There is a mastering error in the solo during the song "Cagey Cretins", which has since been corrected in the remasters.[citation needed]

Charts[edit]

Album[edit]

Year Chart Position
1974 Billboard 200 (North America)[5] 53
RPM100 Albums (Canada)[8] 54

Sales Certifications[edit]

Year Country Organization Sales
1992 U.S. RIAA Gold (500,000+)[6]

Accolades[edit]

Publication Country Accolade Year Rank
NME UK Albums of the Year[9] 1974 13
Dave Marsh & Kevin Stein U.S. The Best of the Album Chartmakers by Year: 1974[10] 1981 36
Kerrang! UK The 100 Greatest Heavy Metal Albums of All Time[9] 1989 22
Mojo UK Mojo 1000 - The Ultimate CD Buyers Guide[11] 2001 No order
Rolling Stone U.S. The 50 Coolest Records of All Time[9] 2002 47

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jurek, Thom. "Blue Öyster Cult Secret Treaties review". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2012-07-22. 
  2. ^ Miller, Jim (20 June 1974). "Album Reviews: Blue Oyster Cult - Secret Treaties". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2007-12-28. Retrieved 2012-07-22. 
  3. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Consumer Guide Reviews: Secret Treaties". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 2012-07-22. 
  4. ^ 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. 
  5. ^ a b "Secret Treaties Billboard Albums". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2012-07-22. 
  6. ^ a b "RIAA Searchable Database - search for Secret Treaties by Blue Oyster Cult". RIAA. Retrieved 2012-07-22. 
  7. ^ 10 Essential Proto-Metal Albums Referenced July 27, 2010
  8. ^ "Top Albums/CDs - Volume 21, No. 16, June 08 1974". Library and Archives Canada. 8 June 1974. Retrieved 2012-07-22. 
  9. ^ a b c "Blue Öyster Cult – Secret Treaties". Acclaimed Music.net. Retrieved 2012-10-25. 
  10. ^ "The Dave Marsh Lists". Book Of Rock Lists - Albums Of The Year: 1976. Rocklist.net. Retrieved 2012-03-30. 
  11. ^ "Mojo 1000 - The Ultimate CD Buyers Guide". Mojo. Rocklist.net. Retrieved 2012-10-25.