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Blue Oyster Cult - Secret Treaties (1974)

Discussion in 'Album Reviews' started by Magic, May 31, 2017.

  1. Magic

    Magic Woman of the World

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    @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

    [​IMG]

    Tracklist:
    Career Of Evil
    Subhuman
    Dominance And Submission
    ME 262
    Cagey Cretins
    Harvester Of Eyes
    Flaming Telepaths
    Astronomy


    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 Nazism. 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!!!
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2017
  2. Speed King

    Speed King Rockin to the East & West

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    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!
     
  3. recgord27

    recgord27 Walking down a dusty road

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    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.
     
  4. Roger M

    Roger M Junior Member

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    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.
     
  5. Speed King

    Speed King Rockin to the East & West

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    Ditto! :grinthumb
     
  6. Vader

    Vader Sonic Surfer On The Sulfuric Sea Of Sound

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    Love this album. Great review , Magic.
     
  7. joker1961

    joker1961 Mother Earth Child

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    wow wee @Magic great review
     
  8. BikerDude

    BikerDude Senior Member

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    I love the black and white period.
    This being perhaps the best of the bunch.
    Astronomy was always a highlight of the live shows.
    Metallica did an awesome cover of it also.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgqDtU8BXf0
     
  9. BikerDude

    BikerDude Senior Member

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    Oops.
    Double posted for some reason.
     
  10. OldHippie

    OldHippie Resident Yooper

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    4024E6A5-4969-44A9-B621-1DFA56FE3ED9.jpeg I bought this album on a whim in 74. It just looked interesting. Well I fell in love with it on the first listen. Here’s my copy, a bit worse for wear but it still sounds great.
     
    Frands and Speed King like this.

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