Blue Oyster Cult – Tyranny and Mutation

Published on 8 March 2019 by

      Thom Jurek: On Tyranny and Mutation, Blue Öyster Cult achieved the seemingly impossible: they brightened their sound and deepened their mystique. The band picked up their tempos considerably on this sophomore effort, and producers Sandy Pearlman and Murray Krugman added a lightning bolt of high-end sonics to their frequency range. Add to this the starling lyrical contributions of Pearlman, rock critic Richard Meltzer, and poet-cum-rocker Patti Smith (who was keyboardist Allen Lanier’s girlfriend at the time), the split imagery of Side One’s thematic, “The Red” and Side Two’s “The Black,” and the flip-to-wig-city, dark conspiracy of Gawlik’s cover art, and an entire concept was not only born and executed, it was received. The Black side of Tyranny and Mutation is its reliance on speed, punched-up big guitars, and throbbing riffs such as in “The Red and the Black,” “O.D’d on Life Itself,” “Hot Rails to Hell,” and “7 Screaming Diz-Busters,” all of which showcased the biker boogie taken to a dizzyingly extreme boundary; one where everything flies by in a dark blur, and the articulations of that worldview are informed as much by atmosphere as idea. This is screaming, methamphetamine-fueled rock & roll that was all about attitude, mystery, and a sense of nihilistic humor that was deep in the cuff. Here was the crossroads: the middle of rock’s Bermuda triangle where BÖC marked the black cross of the intersection between New York’s other reigning kings of mystery theater and absurd excess: the Velvet Underground and Kiss ….  . By the LP’s end, on “Mistress of the Salmon Salt,” Bloom was being covered over by a kind of aggressively architected psychedelia that kept the ’60s at bay while embracing the more aggressive, tenser nature of the times. While BÖC’s Secret Treaties is widely recognized as the Cult’s classic album, one would do well to consider Tyranny and Mutation in the same light.’


Blue Oyster Cult – Tyranny and Mutation Tracklist

  1.  The Red & The Black
  2.  O.D.’d on Life Itself
  3.  Hot Rails to Hell
  4.  7 Screaming Diz-Busters
  5.  Baby Ice Dog
  6.  Wings Wetted Down
  7.  Teen Archer
  8.  Mistress of the Salmon Salt (Quicklime Girl)
  9.  Cities on Flame with Rock and Roll (Live)
  10.  Buck’s Boogie (Studio Version)
  11.  7 Screaming Diz-Busters (Live)
  12.  O.D.’d on Life Itself (Live)

Blue Oyster Cult - Tyranny and Mutation

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