Don't Fear the Reaper: The Best of Blue Öyster Cult
"Sure, ""(Don't Fear) The Reaper,"" ""Burnin’ for You,"" and of course ""Godzilla,"" are awesome tunes, but those classic rock megahits have unfairly eclipsed other songs in Blue Öyster Cult's canon of brilliance. ""Cities On Flame With Rock and Roll"" from BÖC's eponymous debut was obviously inspired by Black Sabbath's ""The Wizard"" with its dark melodies, menacing lyrics and sinister guitar riffs, but lead guitarist Buck Dharma takes roads less traveled by Sabbath's Tony Iommi as he traverses into the kinds of bastardized blues riffs that only Jimmy Page could pull off. The guitars get brighter and the tempo faster on ""The Red & the Black"" from 1973's Tyranny and Mutation, sounding like an upgraded take on the punchy biker rock heard from early '70s proto metal bands like Dust or Leaf Hound. Things get delightfully weird with ""Flaming Telepaths"" from 1974's Secret Treaties as BÖC lay literary lyrics over a pulsing piano that supports dueling guitar and synthesizer riffs. They glam it up à la Queen (or a wit that recalls Mott The Hoople) on ""Joan Crawford"" from 1981's Fire of Unknown Origin proving themselves perpetually unpredictable in style, yet dependable in keeping their rock ‘n’ roll interesting, innovative, catchy and fun."