JC 35019 Spectres
Produced by Murray Krugman, Sandy Pearlman, David Lucas and Blue Oyster Cult
Released on November 1977
US CHART POSITION #43 . . . GOLD RECORD . . . UK CHART POSITION #60
Find it at GEMM
JC 35019 cover
[high resolution scan]
 

D escribing the music of BOC has always presented a challenge to me. If I’m unable to paint a clear picture of Spectres, however, I’m in good company. All Music Guide finds the effort “unable to follow through on the pop aspirations of the previous album,” whereas I’ve always felt Spectres was a better pop record than Agents of Fortune. Rolling Stone (in the tattered copy I have from 1980), refers to “Death Valley Nights” and “I Love The Night” as “bone-chilling anthems,” which suggests someone either needs a blanket or has a very dry sense of humor. The problem with Spectres, as I see it, occurs before even one note is played: the endless permutations of songwriters within (and without) the band. It begins like a joke but has no punchline: a group of guys walk into a studio, one’s got a great song about Godzilla, another about a lonely vampire, the bass player adds a cool surf song, the producer has lyrics for a rocker tailor-made for touring, and so on. In a sense, BOC had become to metal what The Eagles were to country music. Some of the old fire smolders in the guitar lines of Donald Roeser, and “Godzilla” is simply stunning, but it takes the unshakable faith of adolescence to accept these supernatural fairy tales without questioning the pedestrian rock arrangements they arrive in (the same kind of faith that wouldn’t tremble in the wake of Uriah Heep, I imagine). Not that I expect BOC to be the overlords of the Apocalypse anymore, but what they’re saying and what they’re playing are difficult for me to reconcile. Anyway, that’s my take on the album, which you can file away with all the other simple sharcoal renderings of we self-appointed pundits.

JC 35019 back cover
JC 35019 back cover

TRACK LISTING

  1. GODZILLA    (Donald Roeser)    3:41
  2. GOLDEN AGE OF LEATHER    (B. Abbott/Donald Roeser)    5:52
  3. DEATH VALLEY NIGHTS    (Richard Meltzer/Albert Bouchard)    4:07
  4. SEARCHIN' FOR CELINE    (Allen Lanier)    3:35
  5. FIREWORKS    (Albert Bouchard)    3:14
  6. R.U. READY 2 ROCK    (Sandy Pearlman/Albert Bouchard)    3:43
  7. CELESTIAL THE QUEEN    (Helen Wheels/Joe Bouchard)    3:24
  8. GOIN' THROUGH THE MOTIONS    (Eric Bloom/Ian Hunter)    3:12
  9. I LOVE THE NIGHT    (Donald Roeser)    4:25
  10. NOSFERATU    (Helen Wheels/Joe Bouchard)    5:22

    CD reissue bonus tracks
  11. NIGHT FLYER
  12. DIAL M FOR MURDER
  13. PLEASE HOLD
  14. BE MY BABY

CREDITS

ERIC BLOOM -- vocals, guitar
ALBERT BOUCHARD -- drums, vocals, harmonica
JOE BOUCHARD -- bass, vocals, guitar
ALLEN LANIER -- keyboards, guitar
DONALD (BUCK DHARMA) ROESER -- lead and rhythm guitars, vocals
Newark Boys Chorus -- vocals (2)
Shelly Yakus -- engineer, mixing
John Jansen -- engineer
Corky Stasiak -- engineer
Thom Panunzio -- engineer
Roni Hoffman -- design
Eric Meola -- photos
David Infante of Laser Physics Inc. -- photo assistance

return to BLUE OYSTER CULT discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US November 1977 Columbia LP JC 35019  
UK November 1977 CBS LP 86050 picture sleeve
JPN 1977 CBS LP 25AP-831 lyric insert
NET 1977 CBS LP 82371  
US   Columbia LP PC 35019  
NZ   CBS 2LP 241049 repackaged w. AGENTS OF FORTUNE
US   Columbia CD CK 35019  
NET   Sony CD 491628  
US February 13, 2007 Columbia CDX 96408 w. bonus tracks

 

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