RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Blue Oyster Cult – The Essential Blue Oyster Cult
Legacy Recordings


Rating: B+

Okay, it is true that there a lot of BOC retrospectives on the market and, yes, this is yet another one. While it may seem like overkill, the bottom line here is that BOC is a great band and the market wants to find new ways to package their music.

If you own everything they have ever put out then this one won’t be all that interesting, aside from the completist/collector view point. If, however, you’re a newbie to this band, having heard only “Don’t Fear the Reaper” and you want to check out more, then this is a great place to start.

BOC are similar to strong coffee, the first taste can be overwhelming but once accustomed to the flavor, one craves more. Of the 31 songs included on this release, every one is a classic Blue Oyster Cult song – maybe not on FM radio, but definitely to BOC fanatics.
If you only know the Big 3 tunes, “Reaper,” “Godzilla” and “Burnin’ for You” then you’re in for a treat. Along with the Big 3, this collection includes “Cities on Flame with Rock and Roll,” “Stairway to the Stars,” “The Red and the Black,” “O.D.’d on Life Itself,” “Flaming Telepaths,” “Astronomy,” “This Ain’t the Summer of Love,” “I Love the Night,” “Goin’ Through the Motions,” “In Thee,” “Black Blade,” “The Marshall Plan,” “Veteran of the Psychic Wars,” “Joan Crawford,” “Shooting Shark,” “Take Me Away” and “Dancin’ in the Ruins.” Also included are live versions of “Buck’s Boogie,” “Hot Rails to Hell,” “Harvester of Eyes,” “Me 262,” “Born to Be Wild,” “E.T.I.” and “Roadhouse Blues.”

Blue Oyster Cult are among a handful of bands that will always be sought out by rockers who are discovering bands for the first time. Their music, lyrics and their presentation guarantee a certain fascination. This is one band that’s fans tend to be called to the music.
While this is yet another ‘best of’ one can’t argue that it is a damn good one.
By Jeb Wright