Ladies, Fish and Gentlemen: Blue Oyster Cult is more than you think

Blue Oyster Cult cover art

We cannot get enough of Blue Oyster Cult.

Their music offers something special. It mixes mysticism and science fiction with biker bars and the rock & roll lifestyle. Just check out the “Joan Crawford” video, if you’ll excuse the dated look.

For us, it’s the kind of music you listen to on a humid summer night, when there’s a feeling of boiling energy in the air. Energy, perhaps, from another dimension or an unknown god scheming to free itself from its eldritch shackles.

That, to us, harkens the real experience of Blue Oyster Cult.

The Curse of Blue Oyster Cult

The band has had its high points, that’s for sure. But nothing tops its low points, starting back when it was touring with Black Sabbath following Some Enchanted Evening, it seemed that Black Sabbath and Ronnie Dio were very much trying to knock BOC down a few notches. Then fans were reminded of the band’s unique nature via “Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” where ticket-scalper Damone famously snaps “NO (rolls eyes) … I don’t have any Blue Oyster Cult.”

The Blue Oyster Bar in the Police Academy movies did no favors for Blue Oyster Cult.
The Blue Oyster Bar in the Police Academy movies did no favors for Blue Oyster Cult.

Then through the mid-80s, Blue Oyster Cult was bashed a little bit indirectly in the Police Academy movies. In movie after movie, a pair of bootlicking cops would inadvertently enter into a notorious gay bar — the Blue Oyster Bar. While not exactly a reference to the band, it certainly sullied the name of the group, especially when you consider that this fictional bar was the leather-clad biker-style bar.

Another struggle followed the release of the controversial (to fans and the group itself) release of the album “Imaginos.” According to sources, the album essentially stole¬† the band’s name, and featured almost no creative input from the members. To this day, some fans are reviled by the polished nature of the record, and fume that it came about through a high degree of shenanigans by Columbia Records. (All that being said, we love this album. It’s very listenable to us.

(Also noteworthy, the band earned an out-of-nowhere mention in the novelization of “Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey”. Jump to the end of the article for a snapshot of the page.)

As all these minor troubles brewed in the background through the 1980s and into the 1990s, BOC was certainly at a low-point.¬† — Then they got hit with a whammy.

More Cowbell, please

Things suddenly turned around for the band on April 8, 2000. The legendary Saturday Night Live aired a sketch highlighting the band on that fateful day. It’s so good that it was named one of the best “Saturday Night Live” sketches ever by multiple sources. Of course, we’re talking about he “More Cowbell” sequence starring Will Ferrell and Christopher Walken.

We don’t disagree, it’s f*cking hilarious.

What started as insult was embraced by Blue Oyster Cult. They got the joke, and they let people have their fun.

More importantly, it reminded people to look at the group again. Less than a year later, the band released “The Curse of the Hidden Mirror,” a laid-back 11-track album. While it wasn’t well received at the time, it has since been re-reviewed and sports 3.5 out of 5 stars by AllMusic’s pro reviewers and 4 out 5 by listeners. You’ll find plenty of good track on “Curse.”

Nearly 20 years after that, Blue Oyster Cult literally made headlines with their most recent album — “The Symbol Remains.” A great record, and it’s packed full of callbacks to its best albums.

Blue Oyster Cult – Rock & Wrath

Through it all — controversy, criticism, ridicule and redemption –Blue Oyster Cult continues to deliver a unique voice to the hard rock world. Blue Oyster Cult equals unchecked intensity. It brings us an ethereal connection to hidden dimensions. It reveals a world where devious sorcerers pretend to be businessmen. Through them, we find a place that’s just one shattered mirror away from insanity. It’s about how the astral plane leaks into our lives — and only BOC can help.

Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey Novelization Blue Oyster Cult.
The “Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey” novelization honored Blue Oyster Cult as harbingers of the universal truth. Apologies for the mediocre image!


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