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Blue Oyster Cult: (Don't Fear) The Reaper seq Jeff Fountain

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  • Wild West
    Most excellent!!! Blue yster Cult is an American rock band formed in New York in 1967 and still active in 2008. The group is best known for three songs: The
    Message 1 of 1 , May 5, 2008
      Most excellent!!!

      Blue Öyster Cult is an American rock band formed in New York in 1967 and still active in 2008. The group is best known for three songs: The 1976 single "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" from the album Agents of Fortune, the 1981 single "Burnin' for You" from the album Fire of Unknown Origin, and "Godzilla" (1977) from Spectres. The band is a pioneer in heavy metal music both for its hard-edged musical assault and its use of sci-fi and occult imagery. They have sold over 14 million albums worldwide.

      The band originated out of an outfit called Soft White Underbelly in 1967 in the vicinity of State University of New York at Stony Brook on Long Island, New York, at the prompting of critic and manager Sandy Pearlman. Pearlman was very important to the band—he was able to get them gigs, recording contracts with Elektra and Columbia, and he provided them with his poetry for use as lyrics for many of their songs, including "Astronomy". Writer Richard Meltzer also provided the band with lyrics from their early days up through their most recent studio album. The band (with original lead vocalist Les Braunstein and bassist Andrew Winters) recorded an album's worth of material for Elektra Records in 1968. When Braunstein departed in early 1969, Elektra shelved the album.

      Eric Bloom (formerly the band's acoustic engineer) replaced Braunstein, and the band continued to perform as Soft White Underbelly. However, a bad review of a 1969 Fillmore East show caused Pearlman to change the name of the band - first to Oaxaca, then to the Stalk-Forrest Group. The band recorded yet another album's worth of material for Elektra, but only one single ("What Is Quicksand?" b/w "Arthur Comics") was released (and only in a promo edition of 300 copies) on Elektra Records. (This album was eventually released, with additional outtakes, by Rhino Handmade Records as St. Cecilia: The Elektra Recordings in 2001). After a few more temporary band names, including the Santos Sisters, the band settled on Blue Öyster Cult in 1971 and Pearlman got them signed to Columbia Records. (see "Band Name" section below for its origin).

      The Black & White years

      Their debut album Blue Öyster Cult was released in January of 1972, with a black and white cover designed by artist Bill Gawlik. The album featured the songs "Cities on Flame with Rock and Roll," "Stairway to the Stars," and "Then Came the Last Days of May". The album sold well, and Blue Öyster Cult toured with artists such as the Byrds, Alice Cooper and the Mahavishnu Orchestra.

      Their next album Tyranny and Mutation, released in 1973, was written while the band was on tour for their first LP. It contained songs such as "The Red and The Black" (an ode to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police), "Hot Rails To Hell", and "Baby Ice Dog", the first of the band's many collaborations with Patti Smith.

      The band's third album, Secret Treaties (1974) received positive reviews, featuring songs such as "Career of Evil" (also co-written by Patti Smith), "Dominance and Submission" and "Astronomy." As a result of constant touring, the band was now capable of headlining arenas.

      Commercial success

      The band's first live album On Your Feet or on Your Knees (1975) achieved greater success and went gold, and was followed up by one of their first platinum albums, Agents of Fortune (1976). It contained the hit single "(Don't Fear) The Reaper", which reached #12 on the Billboard charts. Other major songs on the album were "(This Ain't) The Summer of Love," "E.T.I. (Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence)," and "The Revenge of Vera Gemini." For the tour, the band added lasers to their light show, which they became known for.

      Their next album, Spectres (1977), had the FM radio hit "Godzilla", but its sales were not as strong as those for the previous album.

      The band then released another live album, Some Enchanted Evening (1978). Though it was intended as another double-live album in the vein of On Your Feet Or On Your Knees, Columbia insisted that it be edited down to single-album length. It became Blue Öyster Cult's most popular album, eventually selling over 2 million copies.

      It was followed by the studio album Mirrors (1979). For Mirrors, instead of working with previous producers Pearlman (who instead went on to manage Black Sabbath) and Krugman, Blue Öyster Cult chose Tom Werman, who had worked with acts such as Cheap Trick and Ted Nugent. However, the resulting album sales were disappointing.

      Pearlman's association with Black Sabbath was tapped for the next Blue Öyster Cult album, which resulted in Sabbath's Heaven and Hell producer Martin Birch being hired for the next Blue Öyster Cult record. The result was positive, with Cultösaurus Erectus (1980) receiving good reviews. The album went to #14 in the UK, but did not do as well in the U.S. One of the notable songs on the album was the song "Black Blade," which was written by Bloom with lyrics by sci-fi and fantasy author Michael Moorcock. The song is a kind of retelling of Moorcock's famous Elric of Melniboné-Saga. The band also did a co-headlining tour with Black Sabbath in support of the album, calling it the "Black and Blue Tour."

      Birch produced the band's next album as well, Fire of Unknown Origin (1981). The biggest hit on this album was the Top 40 hit "Burnin’ For You," a song Dharma had written with a Richard Meltzer lyric. He had intended to use it on his solo album, but he was convinced to use it on the Blue Öyster Cult album instead. The album went platinum, and contained other fan favorites such as "Joan Crawford" (inspired by the book and film Mommie Dearest) and "Veteran of the Psychic Wars", another song co-written by Moorcock. Several of the songs had been written for the animated film Heavy Metal, but only "Veteran of the Psychic Wars" (which, ironically, was not written for Heavy Metal) was actually used in the movie. After this album, Albert Bouchard had a falling out with the others and left the band, and Rick Downey (formerly the band's lighting designer) replaced him on drums.

      Decline and fall

      After leaving the band, Albert Bouchard spent five years working on a solo album based on Sandy Pearlman's poem "Imaginos." Blue Öyster Cult released a live album Extraterrestrial Live, then went to the studio for the next album, with Bruce Fairbairn as producer, the 1983 release The Revölution by Night. Its highest-charting single was "Shooting Shark," co-written by Patti Smith, which reached #83 on the charts. After Revölution, Rick Downey left, leaving Blue Öyster Cult without a drummer.

      The band re-united with Albert Bouchard for a California tour in February 1985, infamously known as the "Albert Returns" Tour. This arrangement was only temporary, and caused more tensions between the band and Bouchard, as he had thought he would be staying on permanently, which wasn't the case. The band had only intended to use him as a last-minute fill-in until another drummer could come on board, which resulted in Bouchard's leaving after the tour. Allen Lanier also quit the band shortly thereafter, leaving the band without a keyboardist.

      Blue Öyster Cult hired drummer Jimmy Wilcox and keyboardist Tommy Zvonchek to finish the Club Ninja album, which was poorly received, with only "Dancing In The Ruins" -- one of several songs on the record written entirely by outside songwriters -- enjoying minimal success on radio and MTV. The band toured in Germany, after which bassist Joe Bouchard left, leaving only two original members, Eric Bloom and Buck Dharma -- some referred to the band as "Two Öyster Cult" during this period. Jon Rogers was hired to replace Joe, and this version of the band finished out the 1986 tour. After the tour wound up that year, the band took a temporary break from recording and touring, its future uncertain.

      Imaginos and continued touring

      When Blue Öyster Cult received an offer to tour in Greece in the fall of 1987, the band sprang back into action. The new line-up contained founding members Eric Bloom, Buck Dharma and Allen Lanier, with Jon Rogers returning on bass, and Ron Riddle on drums. Columbia Records was not interested in releasing the Imaginos project as an Albert Bouchard solo album, so Pearlman arranged for it to be released in 1988 by Columbia as a Blue Öyster Cult album, with some new vocal and instrumental overdubs from Eric Bloom and Buck Dharma. The album didn't sell very well (despite a positive review in Rolling Stone magazine), and though Blue Öyster Cult did tour to promote Imaginos, promotion by the label was virtually non-existent. When Columbia Records was purchased by Sony Music, Blue Öyster Cult were dropped from the label.

      The band spent the next 10 years touring without releasing an album, though they did contribute two new songs to the Bad Channels movie soundtrack, released in 1992. Riddle quit in 1991, and was followed by a series of other drummers including Chuck Burgi (1991-1995, 1996-1997) John Miceli (1992 European Tour & filled in gigs in 1995-96) John O'Reilly (1995-1996) and Bobby Rondinelli (1997-2004). Jules Radino joined in 2004, and is the band's current drummer. Rogers left in 1995, and was replaced by Danny Miranda. Miranda left in 2004 - he is now the bassist for Queen + Paul Rodgers - and Richie Castellano replaced him.

      Allen Lanier retired from live performances in 2007, after not appearing with the band since late 2006. Castellano has switched to rhythm guitar and keyboards. (Castellano also filled in on lead guitar and vocals for an ailing Buck Dharma in two shows in 2005). Both Danny Miranda and Jon Rogers did short stints on bass in early 2007. In June 2007, it was announced that Rudy Sarzo (ex-Quiet Riot, ex-Ozzy Osbourne, ex-Whitesnake, currently of Dio) would be joining Blue Öyster Cult on bass for the remainder of the year.

      It has been confirmed that the band will be playing at the Sweden Rock Festival in June 2008. It has also been confirmed that the band will be playing at the Richardson Wildflower Festival in Richardson (Dallas) Texas in May 2008.

      CMC/Sanctuary years

      In the late 1990s, Blue Öyster Cult secured a recording contract with CMC Records (later purchased by Sanctuary Records), and continued to tour frequently. Two studio albums were released, 1998's Heaven Forbid and Curse of the Hidden Mirror from 2001. Both albums featured songs co-written by cyberpunk/horror novelist John Shirley. Another live record, A Long Day's Night and DVD (same title), followed in 2002, both drawn from one concert in Chicago.

      Blue Öyster Cult have since had a falling out with Sanctuary Records, and are currently without a record deal.

      Sony Legacy remasters

      In 2001, Sony/Columbia's reissue arm, Legacy Records issued expanded versions of the first four Blue Öyster Cult studio albums, including some previously unreleased demos and outtakes from album sessions, live recordings (from the Live 72 ep), and post-St. Cecilia tunes from the Stalk-Forrest Group era. In February 2007, the Sony Legacy remaster series continued, releasing expanded versions of studio album Spectres and live album Some Enchanted Evening, leaving the first live album On Your Feet Or On Your Knees still without the treatment. However, the liner notes for the second round of remasters differ from the photos and in-depth analysis of the first four releases, and did not include lyrics as the earlier releases had.

      Band name

      The name "Blue Öyster Cult" came from a 1960s poem written by manager Sandy Pearlman. It was part of his "Imaginos" poetry, later used more extensively in their 1988 album Imaginos. Pearlman had also come up with the band's earlier name, "Soft White Underbelly", from a phrase used by Winston Churchill in describing Italy during World War II. In Pearlman's poetry, the "Blue Öyster Cult" was a collection of aliens who had collected to secretly guide Earth's history.

      The addition of the umlaut was suggested by either Allen Lanier or Richard Meltzer. Other bands later copied the practice of using umlauts or diacritic marks in their own band logos (see Heavy metal umlaut), such as Motörhead, Mötley Crüe, Queensrÿche, and the parody band Spıal Tap, which, along with a dotless letter i, put an "umlaut" over the n (a symbol found only in the Jacaltec language of Guatemala and in some orthographies of Malagasy).

      The hook-and-cross logo is that of Kronos, the king of the Titans and father of Zeus in Greek mythology, and is the alchemical symbol for lead, one of the heaviest of metals. Sandy Pearlman considered this, combined with the heavy and distorted guitar sound of the band and decided the description "heavy metal" would be aptly applied to Blue Öyster Cult's musical sound. It was designed by Bill Gawlik and appears on all of the band's albums.

      Watch the real thing: www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5rW-YvYmUE

      Blue Oyster Cult: (Don't Fear) The Reaper

      All our times have come
      Here but now they're gone
      Seasons don't fear the reaper
      Nor do the wind, the sun or the rain..we can be like they are
      Come on baby...don't fear the reaper
      Baby take my hand...don't fear the reaper
      We'll be able to fly...don't fear the reaper
      Baby I'm your man...

      Valentine is done
      Here but now they're gone
      Romeo and Juliet
      Are together in eternity...Romeo and Juliet
      40,000 men and women everyday...Like Romeo and Juliet
      40,000 men and women everyday...Redefine happiness
      Another 40,000 coming everyday...We can be like they are
      Come on baby...don't fear the reaper
      Baby take my hand...don't fear the reaper
      We'll be able to fly...don't fear the reaper
      Baby I'm your man...

      Love of two is one
      Here but now they're gone
      Came the last night of sadness
      And it was clear she couldn't go on
      Then the door was open and the wind appeared
      The candles blew then disappeared
      The curtains flew then he appeared...saying don't be afraid
      Come on baby...and she had no fear
      And she ran to him...then they started to fly
      They looked backward and said goodby...she had become like they are
      She had taken his hand...she had become like they are
      Come on baby...don't fear the reaper

      Best regards,
      Dan West
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