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Blue Oyster Cult: Spectres (remaster)

Often looked at as the least attractive and least talented younger sibling to the monster Agents of Fortune, 1977's Spectres is actually quite strong on its own and holds up pretty well next to that breakthrough album. As SONY Legacy is slowly making their way through the catalog, this remaster is quite nice and a long time coming. All the original album cuts sound great, and there are four bonus tracks included, all songs recorded at the same sessions, and appearing here for the first time.

Making your way through this release, there really are a lot of intelligent, catchy, heavy rock tunes, some dripping with a dash of proggy atmosphere & texture, a little dose of "metal" here and there, but for the most part just very good rock music. Sure, the thing kicks off with the infamous "Godzilla", a snarling heavy rock beast that reminded fans that they could easily melt the speakers alongside Black Sabbath and Ted Nugent anyday. However, let's not forget the brash "Golden Age of Leather", or the super melodic "Death Valley Nights", complete with searing guitar licks from Donald 'Buck Dharma' Roeser. Spirited funk rock track "Searchin' For Celine" and the meditative rocker "Fireworks" both show the writing talents of Allen Lanier and Albert Bouchard, and the Eric Bloom/Ian Hunter penned "Goin' Through the Motions" is a great rock radio tune that surprisingly wasn't a smash hit. The heavy rocker "R.U. Ready 2 Rock" became a live favorite, and features crisp riffs from Buck and honky tonk piano from Lanier. "Celestial The Queen" is a grand & majestic tune that relies heavily on layers of vocals and Lanier's keyboard work. The last two tracks are quite interesting; "I Love the Night" is a tender piece written by Roeser, featuring his melodic vocals and an emotional guitar solo, while "Nosferatu" is a dark and mysterious piece about vampires, and comes pretty close to prog rock.

The bonus tracks are a mixed bag, but will be of great interest to fans. "Night Flyer" is a poppy rocker, "Dial M for Murder" features some snarling guitar work, an angry vocal from Bloom, and raging Hammond from Lanier, but "Please Hold" is pretty awful. The band's take on the Ronettes classic "Be My Baby" is suprisingly good, if a bit odd. After hearing these four songs, you'll realize why they were left off of Spectres, but it's great having them here so you can take in the entire session in one listen. Overall, this album might not be the immediate classic that Secret Treaties, Agents of Fortune, or Tyranny and Mutation are, but it comes close.

Track Listing
1. Godzilla
2. Golden Age Of Leather
3. Death Valley Nights
4. Searchin' For Celine
5. Fireworks
6. R.U. Ready 2 Rock
7. Celestial The Queen
8. Goin' Through The Motions
9. I Love The Night
10. Nosferatu
11. Night Flyer -bonus track
12. M For Murder -bonus track
13. Please Hold -bonus track
14. Be My Baby -bonus track

Added: May 21st 2007
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Blue Oyster Cult Website
Hits: 2065
Language: english

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