Blue Oyster Cult - Secret Treaties (1974)


Woman of the World
Apr 20, 2009
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Ohio, USA
@Speed King and myself are doing a few album review collaborations. It will be interesting to see how each of our opinions go on the albums.

Band: Blue Oyster Cult
Origin: USA
Album: Secret Treaties
Year: 1974
Label: Columbia Records
Genre: Hard Rock

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Career Of Evil
Dominance And Submission
ME 262
Cagey Cretins
Harvester Of Eyes
Flaming Telepaths

Album Background: This album is the one that brought BOC into the spotlight and ultimately into fame. However, it isn’t for the reasons you may think. There was a lot of bad controversy surrounding this album at its release in 1974, controversy which caused the album to be banned in other countries like Germany. Bad publicity can be extremely good!!!

First, look at the album sleeve front and back. It’s the ME 262, the first turbine engine warplane, invented near the end of World War II by the Germans. On the album there is a song called "ME 262" which has lyrics written from the perspective of a German fighter pilot shooting down Allied planes, along with other themes here and there , ie. "Career Of Evil", "Dominance And Submission", which world critics thought the USA boys were promoting ******. However, Eric Bloom is Jewish as well as a large portion of the production team. This album was a stab at black humor, nothing more.

To be completely honest, I had to get the transcripts of the lyrics to fully know what was being said in a few of the songs. Was this on purpose? I think it adds to the mystery that surrounded the album back in 1974.

My Opinion - I think this is the defining album for Blue Oyster Cult. It shows their song writing prowess and the power of their music. Secret Treaties is an ominous attack on hard rock that is mellotronic and beautiful. The lyrics of this album are not only perplexing, but inspirational as much as they are bizarre, the most bizarre lyrics of any of Blue Oyster Cult’s albums. The song “Astronomy” is the lyrical beginning to the Imaginos story, which Pearlman originally composed in the 1960’s. This is my favorite song on the album, this with the prequel Flaming Telepaths, led me to delve into the Imaginos album to get the full story.

The music on Secret Treaties is a melding of elegance, atmosphere, and power. The rhythm section of brothers Albert and Joe Bouchard pulsates and sways without missing a beat. Lead guitar, Buck Dharma, is not only fluid but fast and melodic, delivering a few stunning solos. Lanier’s organ and piano work takes the spotlight giving Secret Treaties a resonant harmony of unforgettable masterpieces.

Recommendation:……give it a listen for yourself!!!
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Speed King

Rockin to the East & West
Feb 4, 2014
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Back home, at Conry's Bar
Great review Miss Magic!, :grinthumb I can already see how our reviews will differ, yours is short and to the point,...I tend to throw everything but the kitchen sink at mine. As such, mine will take me a while to complete, as I just started writing it tonight. I do agree with everything you said about this album, I doubt you'll disagree with mine either, great minds think alike!


Walking down a dusty road
Aug 8, 2013
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Back in the saddle
Great review @Magic. Love this album for it's "dark humour" and sometimes obscure lyrics, great musicianship. They are a truly great band, especially their 70's albums.

Roger M

May 10, 2017
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Charlottesville, Va
Groimd Zero

This album is where I began my lifelong love of BOC. I still consider it one of their best edged out by Tyranny and Mutation. I think Astronomy is their masterpiece. Their first three albums along with On Your Feet...would stand against any band's entire catalog.

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