8 Songs, 38 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

For their second album, Long Island’s Blue Oyster Cult stepped on the accelerator and ramped up their multiple guitar attack with enough twisted boogie licks to make them sound like a southern rock band on methamphetamine. Yet underneath the band’s stock hard rock riffs linger a perverse love for the absurd. “The Red and the Black” is a slight tribute to Canadian law enforcement. “O.D’d on Life Itself” basks in the ambiguity of the live-fast-die-young set, while “Hot Rails to Hell” sounds on the surface like a trademark hard rock move with its churning rhythm guitars and harmonized, vibrato-laden chorus (a move that would be copied by heavy metal bands ad nauseum for decades without irony) but its lyrics are tongue-in-cheek and open to question. “Baby Ice Dog” clearly states: “They’d like to make it with my big black dog / but they just don’t know how to ask.” While Spinal Tap would parody many of the hard rock groups from this era – Uriah Heep, take a bow – Blue Oyster Cult were always knowingly savoring the irony, the power and the joke, in whatever order fancied them at the moment.

EDITORS’ NOTES

For their second album, Long Island’s Blue Oyster Cult stepped on the accelerator and ramped up their multiple guitar attack with enough twisted boogie licks to make them sound like a southern rock band on methamphetamine. Yet underneath the band’s stock hard rock riffs linger a perverse love for the absurd. “The Red and the Black” is a slight tribute to Canadian law enforcement. “O.D’d on Life Itself” basks in the ambiguity of the live-fast-die-young set, while “Hot Rails to Hell” sounds on the surface like a trademark hard rock move with its churning rhythm guitars and harmonized, vibrato-laden chorus (a move that would be copied by heavy metal bands ad nauseum for decades without irony) but its lyrics are tongue-in-cheek and open to question. “Baby Ice Dog” clearly states: “They’d like to make it with my big black dog / but they just don’t know how to ask.” While Spinal Tap would parody many of the hard rock groups from this era – Uriah Heep, take a bow – Blue Oyster Cult were always knowingly savoring the irony, the power and the joke, in whatever order fancied them at the moment.

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