Album Review: Blue Oyster Cult – 50th Anniversary Live – First Night

Album Review: Blue Oyster Cult - 50th Anniversary Live - First Night
Reviewed by Patrick O'Reilly

There are legendary rock bands and LEGENDARY rock bands, Blue Oyster Cult definitely fall into the latter category, a real bona fide outfit of such magnitude and magnificence they defy description, and their music is immortal.

Blue Oyster Cult celebrated their 50th Anniversary with 3 very special sold out shows in NYC last year, yes that’s right, five decades of greatness! For these shows the band played one each of their first three albums per night, starting with the show which is immortalised in this recording, a play through of debut album Blue Oyster Cult with some classic songs afterwards as a bonus!!

This Live album is split into two discs, the first being the playthrough of the debut album and the second disc being the classic songs, so how do they sound?

First of all, CD1, Blue Oyster Cult the album in its entirety. This is a mainly fast tempo rock and roll album, upbeat but original and unique, a band creating themselves and just starting to realise the potential they have at their disposal. Transmaniacon MC opens up the set, roaring out of the gates, third track Then Came The Last Days of May is a highlight with a slower pace and more soulful than the tracks before it, it picks up pace through towards the end as part of a huge solo gets amped up and goes crazy. The obvious gem of the first discs is absolute banger Cities On Flame With Rock and Roll a stone cold classic rock and roll anthem that brings to mind Black Sabbath’s The Wizard which sees a moody main riff fighting alongside a jazzy piano backed chorus for control of your eardrums, it sounds brilliant on this album and truly reminds you why this is one of the greatest bands to ever walk the earth.

Album Review: Blue Oyster Cult - 50th Anniversary Live - First Night

CD2 is a bit more eclectic and varied, starting with another slice of classic rock and roll in Dr Music before the immensely popular anthem Burnin’ For You breaks out of the stereo and assaults the senses. Standout tracks on CD 2 include atmospheric ode to vampirism Tainted Blood which seeps with grandeur and emotion, beloved anthem of the Doom and Stoner Rock genres Godzilla which bristles with heavy riffing and cool licks and one of the defining songs in the entirety of Rock (Don't Fear) The Reaper, one of the most moving, catchy and emotional tracks ever written, featuring what in my humble opinion is the greatest guitar solo ever recorded.

Both CDs have a brilliant production, clarity of all band members is even and constant, the action never lets up and the classic songs keep on coming. As mentioned, the guitar solos of legendary lead guitarist Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser are incredible, transcendental and time bending., combined with the interesting lyrical themes, covering such topics as drug deals gone bad, occultism, motorbike gangs and giant lizards on the rampage in Japan they really make for dynamic and exciting musical experiences. If you are a fan of Blue Oyster Cult this album is a no brainer, if you are a fan of Rock and Roll then you will love it too, fans of any music should check it out though as there is really something for everybody here, and this is the true legacy of Blue Oyster Cult.

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