Blue Oyster Cult started in the late sixties. They originally formed as the Soft White Underbellies. Through the years they have undergone many changes in the band line up, but have more than compensated for it by the amount of rock they have provided to the masses. However, too many people have over looked BOC as a one hit wonder type band. They wrote three big songs which you can hear on the radio anywhere, but these three underestimate their true ability. Ranging from soft blues to hard rock and even a little pop, this band is the most underrated band of all time. I have personally seen BOC about fifteen times and every time they continue to bring awe to every stadium/club they play. Going through the motions to determine my favorite ten was quite difficult since they have so many great songs. Anyways….my top ten of BOC is as follows: 10. See You in Black, 9. Lips in the Hills, 8. Astronomy, 7. Joan Crawford, 6. The Red and the Black, 5. Me 262, 4. 7 Screaming Diz Busters, 3. After Dark, 2. Buck’s Boogie, and # 1. The Last Days of May.
1. #10. See You in Black is from Heaven Forbid which was released in 1998. That was almost a decade ago! How many people even know they are still writing new material? This is the first song on the cd and it rocks like only BOC could. It is very surprising to hear a double bass pedal on this song, but it adds to the rockingness. If you have not heard much from BOC since the seventies or so, check out this cd. Their newest cd entitled “A Long Day’s Night” is a live cd released earlier this year.
#9. Lips in the Hills is from Cultosaurus Erectus. This song is an instant classic rock song for those who have heard it. Donald Roeser/Buck Dharma cuts into the guitar solo and tears rock and roll a new one. No one can add more to a song than Buck….at least that’s my opinion.
#8. Astronomy was originally released on Secret Treaties, but I am sure you can find it on other albums because it is another big hit of theirs. This song probably became more popular after Metallica covered it, but even Kirk Hammett had to admit he couldn’t come close to Buck’s perfection during the guitar solo. This is more of a reality look into the abnormal from their view point. This as close to realism as it gets for BOC.
#7. Joan Crawford can be found on the Fire of Unknown Origin album. Good luck trying to catch this one live. I have only heard it live once. It was great. The story (at least what I think) behind this one is about an actress who was portrayed in older horror movies who comes back from the dead to haunt her daughter who actually wrote a book about how horrible of a mother she was. That is what you get when you back talk the dead.
#6. The Red and the Black is featured on Tyranny and Mutation. The album itself has great art work. The first side is the red while the second is the black. This is another instant classic rock song and also one of the most anticipated songs they play every time- at least every time I have seen them. Make sure you check this one out.
#5. Me 262 is from the Album Secret Treaties. I like to think of the BOC songs similar to this one as their signature series. Every band has a way to compose music. Well, some do. Anyways, BOC gives this song a rocking helluva time while dropping a little bit of a Queen feel in the backing vocals. I think this song is about a German war plane from WW1. Whatever the song is about it’s worth rocking out to.
#4. 7 Screaming Diz Busters is another from Tyranny and Mutation the red side. The song begins with a sinister sounding guitar and progresses into the BOC style. Buck really does a number on this one. The way the instruments collaborate to bring this song into perfection is genius- especially at the end when Eric Bloom grants each piece their own by describing which diz buster is which. Perfect rock and roll.
#3. After Dark is off of Fire of Unknown Origin. The song sounds a little new wave-ish with the keys imitating the guitar in the beginning, but still sounds excellent. This song is about a vampire. Some fans believe Alan Lanier (Guitars/Keys) might be one. If you listen to enough BOC, you will find many vampire songs. This band might be a little far fetched for the average rock and roller. But those who can dig it really dig it. This song posses enough energy to be a great punk rock song which is why I really enjoy it.
#2. Buck’s Boogie is a song from On Your Feet or on Your Knees. I am pretty sure this song is only a live song. This is one of my favorite live songs of all time because of how fast it moves. Buck Dharma is fast. He does not need to play this fast, but I think he does because it sounds good and maybe a little bit to show off. I am envious. The rhythm section of this song is kind of like a fast jazz/rock fusion. The solos are great and it will always be my second favorite live song. Second to….
#1. The Last Days of May is from the self titled release from 1972. The Last Days of May is about a bad dope deal down south. It is a sad story, it is a true story, and BOC gives this song the blues it deserves. This is the favorite song of many BOC fans around the world and I am no different.
That wraps up my favorite ten. If it were top twenty it would have been better, but still would have cut off too many songs. Blue Oyster Cult will tell you just about any story you would want to hear. They have been doing this for decades and have only gotten better at it. I wrote a lot of great things about Buck because he is my favorite living guitar player, but the other members are also great artists. Without the whole band the chemistry would be incomplete. To add to that, BOC had to replace a drummer and bass player within the past two years. I have seen both versions of the band and I must say the new additions really add a lot more energy to the show. If you think the original members are old you are mistaken, they do not believe in time and so it does not exist in their world. Blue Oyster Cult has the best live show around. Check them out because they are on tour forever!!!