Album Review: Blue Oyster Cult – Ghost Stories

Blue Oyster Cult

Album Review: Blue Oyster Cult - Ghost Stories
Reviewed by Patrick O'Reilly

Following their recent 50th anniversary best of the mighty Blue Oyster Cult have yet another new album to unleash on us, though this one is far from a regular release.

Ghost stories, a subtle little nod to both the rarity and age of these recordings and to the bands supernaturally tinged subject matter is the perfect title for this album. It comprises of material long sought after by fans of the band, namely rehearsal material and work in progress recordings from 1979 – 1983, with the exception of last track “If I Fell” from 2016.

These legendary lost recordings have all been gathered together by George Geranios, the band's long time audio engineer on analogue tape, transferred to digital audio and then demixed and remixed with the assistance of AI and made into the album you hear.

Album Review: Blue Oyster Cult - Ghost Stories

AI is a very controversial subject, especially in the world of music though I must say I was intrigued by the concept of this album and view this as a fascinating way to create new music. I don’t know whether it is my personal perception knowing it is AI that makes the music sound slightly unreal and mysterious, but it really does feel unnatural, but in a positive, fascinating way.

The music is a mixture of good old rock and roll, blues and prog with even a few covers included, in particular a blistering version of MC5’s seminal classic ‘Kick Out the Jams’ which has to be heard to be believed and is a highlight of the album, along with the haunting yet catchy ‘So Supernatural’

Is this a genuine Blue Oyster Cult album? In a way yes, though with a twist, and if you can get past the concept of AI assistance then you will find a thoroughly enjoyable and captivating experience.

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