Back in the day before the internet, I discovered rock bands through Sounds magazine. My album purchases then in the mid 70’s were live albums as they were more or less a greatest hits release.
So my first ever live album was On Your Feet Or On Your Knees, a double from Blue Oyster Cult in 1975, closely followed by Some Enchanted Evening in 1978. So fast forward to the present day and I’ve been blown away by Blue Oyster Cult- 45th Anniversary – Live In London, recently released by Frontiers Music Srl.
In 2017 they celebrated their 45th anniversary with a European tour that included a gig at the London 02 Indigo for the Stone Free Festival on June 17th. They played their self titled debut from 1972 in its original running order as well as some later classics and it was recorded and videotaped. It truly is a fans dream.
Given the chance to review it took me way back to being twelve again, especially as a lot of the debut is new to me. Matter of factly introduced from the stage as “Good evening London people. We are Blue Oyster Cult and we are very glad to be playing Blue Oyster Cult. Here we go”
Album opener ‘Transmaniacon MC’ is a full on snappy snare driven rocker, fueled by mesmerizing guitar work. Other highlights include the guitar overload throughout ‘I’m On The Lamb But I Ain’t No Sheep’.
A 10 minute run through of ‘Then Came The Last Days Of May’ is breathtaking. Its majesty is chilling. It seems like a lifetime as it ebbs and flows on multi tempo time changes and the solo that precedes the full on bass guitar heavy bombast garners vociferous crowd cheers.
‘Before The Kiss, A Redcap’ is all headbanging heaven, no more, no less. A hefty riffer with a barroom boogie midsection midway. The quirky titled ‘She’s As Beautiful As A Foot’ is a laid back number of hypnotic grooves.
‘Cities On Flame With Rock And Roll’ with its instantly memorable first verse still crushes all in its path and the lead guitar break is stratospheric!
‘Bucks Boogie’ is still the guitar work out to end all guitar work outs. It’s a seven minute bionic boogie but my attention didn’t waver at all throughout.
A seismic ‘Godzilla’ with THAT chorus precedes a monstrous seven minute ‘Don’t Fear The Reaper’, the only version you need, not the radio edit so you get to hear the full glory of the guitar solo.
Another nice little flashback comes from ‘Tattoo Vampire’, off the Agents Of Fortune album. It’s a short but sweet slice of rock and roll.
The album finishes with ‘Hot Rails To Hell, the heaviest track here. It’s full steam ahead for some guitar overload as it ends on “Goodnight everybody, goodnight O2 people. Thanks for coming!”
Album/DVD/Blu Ray track listing :-
I’m On The Lamb But I Ain’t No Sheep.
Then Came The Last Days Of May.
Stairway To The Stars.
Before The Kiss, A Redcap.
She’s As Beautiful As A Foot.
Cities On Flame With Rock And Roll.
Workshop Of The Telescopes.
(Don’t Fear) The Reaper.
Hot Rails To Hell.
Blue Oyster Cult band line up :-
Eric Bloom – Vocals/guitar/keyboards.
Donald ‘Buck Dharma’ Roeser – Guitar/vocals.
Richie Castellano – Keyboards/guitar/vocals.
Danny Miranda – Bass guitar/vocals.
Jules Radino – Drums/percussion.
At the time of writing my review, I heard the sad news of Martin Birch passing away. Amongst many of the albums he produced was Fire Of Unknown Origin. R.I.P Martin.
The album can be purchased via the link below.
Link to the band website.