|Produced by Martin Birch|
|Released on June 1980|
|US CHART POSITION #34 . . . UK CHART POSITION #12|
|Find it at GEMM|
|JC 36550 cover|
I never got around to playing with Mirrors, instead tracking down the mighty Cultosaurus Erectus next in my cultish affection, so the changes I’m about to describe likely occurred one album earlier. Mirrors reflected a radical change, as BOC bade adieu to longtime producers and original co-conspirators Sandy Pearlman and Murray Krugman in favor of mainstream rock producer Tom Werman (succeeded by Martin Birch on Cultosaurus). The intent apparently was to make BOC more palatable to the rock/metal masses by streamlining their sound: one melody for the verse, another for the chorus, consistent instrumentation from track to track, and so on. It’s not a bad idea by any means because previous BOC albums had so much unfocused energy that it worked against them. Cultosaurus Erectus maintains the same energy and quality from beginning to end, enabling listeners to focus on the lyrics, the riffs and the spooky settings without re-acclimating themselves to each song. Sure, longstanding fans might see in Cultosaurus Erectus a neutered creature leashed to the chain of an unworthy mainstream, but I’d rather keep company with a toothless monster of one consistent color than the piebald piranhas of the past. The clarity of Cultosaurus also casts the lyrics into sharper relief, and here the band honors their legacy. “Black Blade” is the very definition of literate rock, wherein author Michael Moorcock helps BOC bring two of his most famous creations (Elric and Stormbringer) to life. (If you haven’t read the Elric Saga, don’t waste your money on the expanded DVD edition of The Two Towers until you do.) “Fallen Angel,” “Monsters” and “Lips In The Hills” (the closest thing to a hit on here) also have what you’d look for in a standout BOC song. So this was never a question of selling out, but rather selling their original dark vision in a more palatable package.
|JC 36550 back cover||JC 36550 picture sleeve|
ERIC BLOOM -- guitar, keyboards & vocals
ALBERT BOUCHARD -- drums and vocals
JOE BOUCHARD -- bass and vocals
ALLEN LANIER -- guitar and keyboards
DONALD (BUCK DHARMA) ROESER -- guitars, bass, keyboards & vocals
Mark Rivera -- sax (2)
Martin Birch -- engineer
Clay Hutchinson -- second engineer
Richard Clifton-Dey -- front cover painting
Back cover photos and inner sleeve photos courtesy of The American Museum of Natural History
Paula Scher -- cover design
Don Kirshner -- very special thanks
return to BLUE OYSTER CULT discography
|REGION||RELEASE DATE||LABEL||MEDIA||ID NUMBER||FEATURES|
|US/CAN||June 1980||Columbia||LP/CS||JC/PCT 36550||picture sleeve|
|UK/NET||June 1980||CBS||LP/CS||86120||picture sleeve, poster|
The song "Black Blade" of course comes from Michael Moorcock's Elric Saga. If your fantasies lean toward the dark side, these tales of the weak albino Elric and the soul-drinking blade that makes him strong are the stuff of dreams. Since the intent here is to turn people on to more than music, click on the following to check out GEMM for used books in Moorcock's Elric Saga.
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