In 1972 Blue Oyster Cult released their debut album #172. I was only 12 at the time, so I don't remember this release, but in 1976 I finally bought the album. The thing that struck me about the album was the cover art by Bill Gawlik(he also did "Tyranny"), it looked so mysterious I had to find out what was underneath the art and on the vinyl. What I found out was part 60's hippiedom, pure hard rock fury and some great balladry. A few months after I bought this, "Agents Of Fortune" came out and the rest is history, I had to get everything by this band. So here are the highlights from Blue Oyster Cult's first album:
"Transmaniacon MC"- "Beers and barracuda, reds and monocaine". Buck welds a mean guitar here, about the concert by the Stones at Altamont. Great opening song.
"I'm On The Lamb But I Ain't No Sheep"- "Frontenac Chateau, baby I cross the frontier at ten". From the Stalk-Forrest days, more solid rock.
"Then Came The Last Days Of May"- "Sky bright, the traffic light, now and then a truck, and they hadn't seen a cop all day .. What luck". One of Buck Dharma's finest compostions, about a drug deal gone terribly wrong, gentle flowing tune, a top 10 BOC all-time song, Buck's guitar just resonates.
"Stairway To The Stars"- "You can have my autograph" Riff-rocker, a concert favorite in the early years.
"Before The Kiss A Redcap"- "So grab your rose and ringside seat". This is a great vampire song that ends side one, Bucks vocals and guitar are excellent, A favorite at college dorm parties, great bass by Joe Bouchard, has a country feel in parts, the organ by Allen at the end is great.
"Screams"- "Screams in the night, sirens delight". Spooky keys, a 60's feel, A great Joe Bouchard number.
goes straight into "She's As Beautiful As A Foot"- "It tasted just like a fallen arch". Great drums by Albert, just a sweet mellow tune, crazy song title but gives a F88k! One of Buck's simple guitar licks.
"Cities On Flame With Rock And Roll"- "My ears will melt then my eyes". This one gets played a lot on radio around here still, hard rockin' tune, a true BOC classic, great vocals by Albert, Allen and Buck shine here.
"Workshop Of The Telescopes"- "By Salamander Drake and the power that was undone". A full band composition, later a title for their 1995 2 CD very best of set, a solid rock piece, Buck's guitar sounds like it's going thru the desert with no end in sight.
"Redeemed"- "Sir Restus bear who'd ever believe". A great song to end the first album, country BOC, sounds like "Gil Blanco County" from their Stalk-Forrest days.
The bonus tracks are all songs they did demo sessions for Columbia records under the name Soft White Underbelly, of course they got rejected at the time. They sound a bit differnt than the Stalk-Forrest Versions also. All good stuff.
After this album they would release "Tyranny And Mutation" in early "73. A great band indeed.