Secret Treaties

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For the concept, see secret treaty.
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
Secret Treaties
On Your Feet or on Your Knees
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]
Robert Christgau (B)[2]
Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal 10/10[3]
Rolling Stone (favorable)[4]
Sputnikmusic 4.5/5 stars[5]

Secret Treaties is the third studio album by the American hard rock band Blue Öyster Cult, released in 1974 by Columbia Records. 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.[6] It was declared gold by the RIAA in 1992.[7]

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 called it one of the all-time best "proto-metal" albums.[8]

The cover, with art by Ron Lesser, depicts the band standing beside and sitting on and besides a German Me-262 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".


It is the only Blue Öyster Cult album that does not feature any track with lead vocals by guitarist Donald "Buck Dharma" Roeser.

While the LP cover has the band name in red (a darker red on the Japanese LP), on the CD it is in lime green.

Career of Evil[edit]

Lyrics to the lead-off track "Career of Evil" were written by future punk poet 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 songs 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".

"Career of Evil" was the inspiration for the title of the 2015 novel by the same name written by J.K. Rowling under the pen name Robert Galbraith.[9]

Flaming Telepaths[edit]

The compilation Don't Fear the Reaper: The Best of Blue Öyster Cult contains a version of "Flaming Telepaths" without the music box intro. 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.

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No. Title Lyrics Music Lead vocals Length
1. "Career of Evil"   Patti Smith Albert Bouchard Bloom, A Bouchard 3:59
2. "Subhuman"   Sandy Pearlman Eric Bloom Bloom 4:39
3. "Dominance and Submission"   Pearlman Bloom, A. Bouchard A. Bouchard 5:23
4. "ME 262"   Pearlman Bloom, Donald Roeser Bloom 4:48
Side two
No. Title Lyrics Music Lead vocals Length
5. "Cagey Cretins"   Richard Meltzer A. Bouchard Bloom, A. Bouchard, Joe Bouchard 3:16
6. "Harvester of Eyes"   Meltzer Bloom, Roeser Bloom 4:42
7. "Flaming Telepaths"   Pearlman Bloom, A. Bouchard, Roeser Bloom 5:20
8. "Astronomy"   Pearlman A. Bouchard, J. Bouchard Bloom 6:28
Total length:


Band members
  • David Lucas, 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)



Year Chart Position
1974 Billboard 200 (North America)[6] 53
RPM100 Albums (Canada)[10] 54

Sales Certifications[edit]

Year Country Organization Sales
1992 U.S. RIAA Gold (500,000+)[7]


Publication Country Accolade Year Rank
NME UK Albums of the Year[11] 1974 13
Dave Marsh & Kevin Stein U.S. The Best of the Album Chartmakers by Year: 1974[12] 1981 36
Kerrang! UK The 100 Greatest Heavy Metal Albums of All Time[11] 1989 22
Mojo UK Mojo 1000 - The Ultimate CD Buyers Guide[13] 2001 No order
Rolling Stone U.S. The 50 Coolest Records of All Time[11] 2002 47


  1. ^ Jurek, Thom. "Blue Öyster Cult Secret Treaties review". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2012-07-22. 
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Consumer Guide Reviews: Secret Treaties". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 2012-07-22. 
  3. ^ 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. 
  4. ^ 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. 
  5. ^ Davis, Robert. "Blue Öyster Cult Secret Treaties review". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved 2012-06-06. 
  6. ^ a b "Secret Treaties Billboard Albums". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2012-07-22. 
  7. ^ a b "RIAA Searchable Database - search for Secret Treaties by Blue Oyster Cult". RIAA. Retrieved 2012-07-22. 
  8. ^ 10 Essential Proto-Metal Albums Referenced July 27, 2010
  9. ^ Sims, Andrew (24 April 2015). "J.K. Rowling's third Cormoran Strike novel titled 'Career of Evil' arrives this fall". Hypable. Retrieved 9 June 2015. 
  10. ^ "Top Albums/CDs - Volume 21, No. 16, June 08 1974". Library and Archives Canada. 8 June 1974. Retrieved 2012-07-22. 
  11. ^ a b c "Blue Öyster Cult – Secret Treaties". Acclaimed Music. Retrieved 2012-10-25. 
  12. ^ "The Dave Marsh Lists". Book Of Rock Lists - Albums Of The Year: 1976. Retrieved 2012-03-30. 
  13. ^ "Mojo 1000 - The Ultimate CD Buyers Guide". Mojo. Retrieved 2012-10-25.