Blue Öyster Cult, the Long Island band that helped to introduce a slightly satirical approach to the hard rock diaspora in the 1970s (along with the superfluous umlaut), will see four of its classic studio records reissued with the customary bonus tracks on June 26.
The sequence of reissues begins with the band's debut, Blue Öyster Cult (1972), and proceeds through Tyranny and Mutation (1973), Secret Treaties (1974) and Agents of Fortune (1976), which included the band's biggest hit, "(Don't Fear) The Reaper," which reached #12 on the Billboard singles chart in 1976.
BÖC's lineup during this stint featured guitarist Donald "Buck Dharma" Roeser, lead vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Eric Bloom, drummer/guitarist Albert Bouchard, bassist Joe Bouchard and keyboardist/guitarist Allen Lanier.
Unlike the lion's share of '70s arena rock groups, the band's brand of hard rock was sleek and considered, and its use of science fiction and horror imagery was oft employed in a most tongue-in-cheek fashion.
The quintet was aided in the latter regard occasionally by Patti Smith and gonzo rock scribe Richard Meltzer. Both contributed lyrics to the band Tyranny and Mutation included "Baby Ice Dog," the first song co-written by Patti Smith likely to have been heard by anyone outside of lower Manhattan in 1973.
Patti Smith guitarist and rock historian Lenny Kaye penned liner notes for each of the new editions, which include demos and live takes of FM radio classics such as "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" and "Cities on Flame (With Rock and Roll)."
The bonus tracks for each Blue Öyster Cult reissue:
Blue Öyster Cult:
- "Donovan's Monkey" (demo)*
- "What Is Quicksand?" (demo)*
- "A Fact About Sneakers" (demo)*
- "Betty Lou Got a New Pair of Shoes" (demo)*
Tyranny and Mutation:
- "Cities on Flame (With Rock and Roll)" (live)
- "Buck's Boogie" (studio version)*
- "7 Screaming Diz-busters" (live)*
- "OD'd on Life Itself" (live)*
- "Boorman the Chauffeur" (outtake)*
- "Mommy" (outtake)*
- "Mes Dames Sarat" (outtake)*
- "Born to Be Wild" (non-LP single) (studio version)
- "Career of Evil" (single version)
Agents of Fortune:
- "Fire of Unknown Origin" (original version) (outtake)*
- "Sally" (demo)*
- "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" (demo)*
- "Dance the Night Away" (demo)*
*Previously unreleased track