Club Ninja

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Club Ninja
Studio album by
ReleasedDecember 10, 1985 (1985-12-10)
StudioBearsville Studios, Bearsville, New York
Boogie Hotel Studios, Port Jefferson, New York
Tallysin Studios, Syosset, New York
Warehouse Studios, New York City
ProducerSandy Pearlman
Blue Öyster Cult chronology
The Revölution by Night
Club Ninja
Singles from Club Ninja
  1. "Dancin' in the Ruins" / "Shadow Warrior"
    Released: October 1985
  2. "White Flags" / "Make Rock, Not War"
    Released: December 1985
  3. "Perfect Water" / "Spy in the House of Night"
    Released: February 1986

Club Ninja is the tenth studio album by American hard rock group Blue Öyster Cult, released December 10, 1985 in the United Kingdom and on February 11, 1986 in the United States. The album was intended as a comeback for the band, whose previous album The Revölution by Night failed to attain Gold status following the success of 1981's Fire of Unknown Origin and 1982's Extraterrestrial Live. Club Ninja sold more than 175,000 copies, falling well short of gold status again, and because of its high cost, Columbia Records executives deemed it a commercial failure.[1] The album was re-issued on compact disc on March 10, 2009, by Sony-owned reissue label American Beat Records, which had also reissued the band's 1988 album, Imaginos.

Club Ninja's first single, "Dancin' in the Ruins," was a minor radio and MTV hit. "When the War Comes Home" features a brief spoken-word introduction by radio personality Howard Stern, whose cousin was married to guitarist and vocalist Eric Bloom. The lyrics to "Spy in the House of the Night" were written by Richard Meltzer, originally based on his poem "Out of Smokes", which was published in his 1999 book Holes. The album was the band's last studio album with bassist Joe Bouchard.

Club Ninja is the only BÖC studio album not to feature keyboardist Allen Lanier. He was replaced temporarily by Tommy Zvoncheck, who'd previously been keyboardist for Aldo Nova's live band, for a Japanese tour by Public Image Ltd. and had already contributed to the initial recordings of Blue Öyster Cult's 1988 concept album Imaginos. The album also features new drummer Jimmy Wilcox, formerly of Rick Derringer and Scandal, who replaced Rick Downey. Wilcox remained with the band until 1987.


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic2/5 stars[2]
Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal7/10[3]
Sounds5/5 stars[4]

Edwin Pouncey, reviewing the album for Sounds, gave it a five-star rating, describing it as "a seemingly leaden slab of AOR which suddenly turns into gold in your hands", praising Sandy Pearlman's production.[4] Modern reviews are quite negative, with AllMusic calling Club Ninja a testimony of "Blue Öyster Cult's gradual disintegration" and "decline into musical anonymity".[2] Canadian journalist Martin Popoff judged the album the "least attached to the BÖC body of work, painfully constructed and baffling in its bad taste", showing a band struggling to update their sound to more "commercial avenues" without achieving the expected radio-friendly results.[3]

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
1."White Flags"Leggatt Bros.Eric Bloom4:41
2."Dancin' in the Ruins"Larry Gottlieb, Jason ScanlonDonald Roeser4:00
3."Make Rock, Not War"Bob Halligan, Jr.Bloom3:58
4."Perfect Water"Roeser, Jim CarrollRoeser5:31
5."Spy in the House of the Night"Roeser, Richard MeltzerRoeser4:23
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
6."Beat 'Em Up"Halligan, Jr.Bloom3:24
7."When the War Comes Home"Joe Bouchard, Sandy PearlmanJ. Bouchard, Roeser6:02
8."Shadow Warrior"Eric Bloom, Roeser, Eric Van LustbaderBloom5:42
9."Madness to the Method"Roeser, Dick TrismenRoeser7:25


Band members
Additional musicians
  • Sandy Pearlman – producer, management
  • Paul Mandl – engineer, overdubs editor, programming
  • John Devlin, Toby Scott – engineers
  • David Lucas – additional production
  • Brian McGee – mixing



Year Chart Position
1986 Billboard 200 (United States) 63[5]
Swedish Album Chart 41[6]


Year Title Chart Position
1986 "Dancin' in the Ruins" Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks 9[7]


  1. ^ Popoff, Martin (March 2009). "Club Ninja". Blue Öyster Cult: Secrets Revealed! (2 ed.). Toronto, Canada: Power Chord Press. p. 209. ISBN 0-9752807-0-8.
  2. ^ a b Ruhlmann, William. "Blue Öyster Cult - Club Ninja review". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2012-01-13.
  3. ^ a b Popoff, Martin (1 November 2005). The Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal: Volume 2: The Eighties. Burlington, Ontario, Canada: Collector's Guide Publishing. pp. 55–56. ISBN 978-1894959315.
  4. ^ a b Pouncey, Edwin (14 December 1985). "Blue Oyster Cult: Club Ninja". Sounds. p. 28. Retrieved 2018-09-17.
  5. ^ "Club Ninja Billboard Albums". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2012-01-14.
  6. ^ "Blue Öyster Cult – Club Ninja (Album)". Media Control Charts. Retrieved 2012-01-14.
  7. ^ "Club Ninja Billboard Singles". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2012-01-14.