Friday, 14 February 2014

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Monday, 26 November 2012

Live '81


This is a bit of a puzzling Radio show.
Firstly there's no venue or date from it. Upon intent listening there's also no mention at all in this short set where it may have been recorded. 

The introduction Radio announcer does say 'From the BBC here's BOC' but he has an american accent so I'm 99.9% certain that this was not taken from the so called BBC rock hour as the BBC only used 2 American presenters at this time (Kid Jenson and Paul Gambachini) and the voice is neither of them. 

In fact the BBC Rock hour changed it's name to 'In Concert' which was introduced by English Richard Skinner and the DJ voice is not him either so again it's highly unlikely that it's from the BBC, even though the official BOC site says it is.
And final 'proof' that this is NOT a BBC show is that Eric swears on the intro to 'Godzilla' and the BBC would NEVER have allowed the swearing let alone the 'F' word be broadcasted in 1981. It wasn't until 1985 that Madonna swore LIVE and there were so many complaints at the time, as it wasn't 'expected' from the BBC to allow this, so they had to issue a public apology.

So whilst we potentially part of the riddle solved we can establish that the existing cover artwork is not only crap but wrong.

So I've made my own yet again.
There is an amazing version of  '7 screaming Diz-busters' from this set which clocks in at over 15 mins. 
In it Eric explains in detail how he became a rock 'n' roll star and signed a deal with the devil.
So utlising the old Black Sabbath compilation artwork from 1978 seemed the only right thing to do!!


 Anyway we have a short set here which is either edited for Radio broadcast or was a support slot. I'm having trouble pinning the date down but i reckon from the song choice and the way certain songs are introduced, and that 'FOAUO' had just been released i'm going to go for sometime in June of 1981.And it's got Albert on drums. I do know however that's it's NOT from Bonds or Spit though.

Stellar quality here, just a few mistakes here and there but with the already mentioned extended '7 screaming diz-busters' and an extended '(Don't Fear) The Reaper' clocking in at over 7 and a half minutes, with an extended solo from Buck that is simply superb you can't go wrong.

If anyone does have any information on this show then please let me know and I can update this post and give you credit of course.

Try and get hold of this show, it's definately worth seeking it out.

Track listing:
1. ETI
2. Veteran of the Psychic wars
3. 7 Screaming Diz-busters
4. Joan Crawford
5. Burnin' for you
6. Godzilla
7. (Don't fear) The Reaper



Sunday, 25 November 2012

Club Ninja - Remastered 2012


Even though this is a Radio and Soundboard home for BOC, I will occassionally from time to time review or mention other Blue Oyster Cult stuff.

So I want to highlight on some official albums/tracks from time to time as well and as I've just reveiwed the radio broadcasts in the 40th anniversary box set which happens to also house every Columbia released album and remastered in 2012 then this seems as good a place as anywhere to start.

So I’m gonna put my neck out on the line here.
I never used to like this album. I remember it coming out and a friend bought it and we listened to it round at his house and I was gob smacked. It was so poppy and terrible.The cover artwork seemed almost childlike and just didn't work.
I’ve always regarded ‘Extra Terrestrial Live’ as the bands best ever album. Yeah I know that's a live album. so comparing these 2 was the ultimate chalk and cheese.



However I’ve recently started visiting the back catalogue again as I tend to do every once in a while. (First time was 1981, some 30 years ago!!)
Anyway I’ve been playing ‘Club Ninja’ so much recently and really have to announce to the world that this album is AMAZING. 
I feel guilty I didn't rate it way back in '85. Sure it’s not mega heavy but BOC’s studio strength was in their subtle tones. Buck is still all over this album like a rash though. It seems to me that the album has improved with age. I’m not going to go through all the songs. You’ve probably already played the album to death anyways over the years.

Track listing:
1. White Flags
2. Dancin' In The Ruins
3. Make Rock Not War
4. Perfect Water
5. Spy In The House Of Night
6. Beam 'em Up
7. When The War Comes
8. Shadow Warrior
9. Madness To The Method
 
But all that aside I will say that if you’ve NOT played ‘Club Ninja’ for a long time or if you’ve been swayed by the negative reviews over the years or if you’re wary cos Allen and Albert aren’t on it,   
Just cos there’s songs written by other writers on it, whatever the reason....Dig it out and just play it. The new re-master from the box set really does give this album what it needed.It's still not perfect but it has moved up so much in my estimation that I can honestly rank it now as definitely being in my top studio albums of BOC and also one of the greatest Rock albums EVER.
Even the cover artwork seems pretty cool now too.
I love this album.
There I said it!!!!

Friday, 23 November 2012

Complete Columbia 40th Anniversary box set

Please find my full review below. I am very impressed that Blue Oyster Cult have released this box set even though it could have held more interest for the Hardcore fan. 
If you don't want to know a full breakdown of this box set then please do NOT read this review as it does contain 'Spoilers'.

So even though this is an official release I do need to clear up somethings with regards to the Radio Broadcasts in here in particular.
Whilst many of us BOC fans have been waiting for the band to remaster the back catalogue properly I don't think anyone was expecting them to do it all in one go and put out a 17 album box set with 4 downloads.

Firstly I'm not entirely sure who this box is marketed/aimed at.
The causal listener will surely not be wanting to spend the amount required for this, and this amount of material may even be too much to handle for the casual listener. But is it aimed at the hard core BOC fan instead?

Unfortunately not. Because a lot of the 'rare' material has been widely available for many years, and the reason for that? Well apparently the record company don't have anything else they can put out? They simply can't find anything else!!

So onto what we DO have here.
Firstly you get all the albums remastered some with extra tracks,(the extra tracks cease from 1980 onwards mysteriously).
1 rarity disc and 1 Best of the broadcasts disc AND 4 shows to download from the website.
I'm not gonna focus on the regular albums here, I'm gonna save that for another time.

But I am going to focus on the 'rarites' disc, the Best of the Broadcasts Cd and the 4 shows.

So firstly albeit briefly we have the 'Rarities' CD.
Opening with tracks from the 'Commack' show of 1975 (with Black Oak Arkansas) which is already on this site could have been great but we only get selected tracks. This show was the first KBFH show and only 4 tracks were broadcast originally.
Only opener 'Stairway to the Stars' from that original broadcast is on this disc though with 'Dominance and Submission', 'Astronomy' and 'ME262' all criminally missed off. Instead we get 'Red and the Black', Bucks Boogie' and 'Cities on flame'. The quality seems to get worse on these tracks as well as the CD plays on.Each song sounding worse than it's predessor.'Bucks Boogie' for instance has a horrible hiss all over it'.
Whilst it is great that these tracks finally see the light of day it's HUGELY disappointing that with 4 downloadable shows there's no more material that was completely locked in the vaults.
To be honest I am very disappointed with this CD.
There's some tracks next apparently from 'Berkeley 1979' The crowd noise has been added on quite clearly. This is due to the fact that the band played a mini set 'before' the show that was videoed and this is simply the audio of that. It's been on youtube for years.Not exactly rare is it?

Special mention must go the 'The Vigil' from this 'set' as it's already been released on the hard to find 'Setlist album and this version is VERY good and probably the second best track on the whole CD, shame it's not really live though.
So what's the best track I hear you cry. Well after a few dull demo's (sorry, I can see why they were demos though) and a totally pointless mono version of 'Godzilla' we get the highlight of this disc a cover version! of 'The Beatles' 'I want you(She's so heavy)' from Abbey Road.

The band sound excellent on this ,so good in fact that you'd think they'd written it and played it for years. It's a great song and EVERY BOC needs to hear it.
It does raise one question though. If this was recorded on the date specified that means that this was taken from a show in Alabama that has NEVER seen the light of the day.It doesn't exist in trading circles in any quality. So why has only this one song been used for this disc? 


 The whole disc is rounded off with a very short spoken word by author Stephen King for the 'Imaginos' album that never till now, saw the light of day. It's ok, it is what it is.Does it make me want to play this CD again and again? Sadly No. Instead It'll be retired immediately after one play. Not good news.

So moving on...

The Best of the Broadcasts CD is just a compliation of the 4 download shows that come with the box set. So rather than focus on this CD I'm gonna delve a little bit more into the downloads themselves.

Firstly What a wonderful idea. 4 downloads of concerts from different years free when you get the anniversary box set.
So what are the shows? Are they any good? Are they previously unreleased?
So many questions and now...the answers.

Well..the shows for download are as follows:

San Francisco 1980
New York 1981
Pasadena 1983
Santa Monica 1986


 Each of these shows are already featured on this site in depth, so if you're trying to decide if these shows make it worth actually buying this set and shelling out a lot of cash I hope I can guide and inform you.

San francisco 1980.
This show is definately the pick of the bunch. Excellent sound quality and the complete concert. It's a winner. 
For a more detailed review and track listing etc this show is available on this site here .. San Francisco 1980

Next is New York 1981.
Unfortunately this is where things start going wrong. 
This particular version of the show is a travesty and really should not have been included in this set. Previously released on the 'Tales from the Psychic wars' this show is heavily edited from the original broadcast. Each song fades in and out (which is really annoying) and it's not the complete set either.
Seek out the FULL show not this version.
For a more detailed review and track listing etc of the proper show it's all available on this site here ..New York 1981

Pasadena 1983.
Another travesty of a show. Released before as disc 2 of the aforementioned  'Tales from the Psychic wars'. This show has the band going through the motions and is really not a memorable show even though it's been heavily bootlegged.
Sound quality is excellent of course but even that doesn't save it.
For a FULL review check here...Pasadena 1983

And lastly we have Santa Monica 1986.
A really good show this one, one of the best radio broadcasts out there in fact, that is again  criminally incomplete as was the original broadcast, and to be honest I've listened to my original copy of this and it actually sounds a fraction better than the released one. 'The version of 'Dominance and Submission' played on this tour was one of the best but unfortunately it's not on here, as no unbroadcast tracks get selected for this box set. 
Strangely enough another track which is not here is '(Don't fear) The Reaper' which I have on my version of the broadcast as the last track.
The original broadcast is here with an explanation of the inclusion of 'Wings of Mercury'. (Which is also on the Best of the Broadcasts CD). 
So for the FULL review check here..Santa Monica 1986

None of the 4 shows have been touched up, or remastered and unfortunately nothing extra added from the original broadcasts.

So what do you think? Personally I'm terribly disappointed overall with the shows. Sure if I had to pick 4 shows then yes 'San Francisco 1980' would be in there,but even the Santa Monica show from 86 as good as it is wouldn't make the grade as there are far better shows out there.
Whereas the shows selected for inclusion are overall pretty much lack lustre shows and the way they've been left heavily edited is a huge disappointment.

Instead we should have had the full show from the KBFH of 1980 from Poughkeepsie when the band were on fire and officially released 'Dominance and Submission' on 'ETL' from this broadcast.
Or how about the missing songs from the amazing Worcester 1982 gig that was also a radio broadcast. That show in particular was breathtaking.

I'd also like to know what happened to the shows used for the 'ETL' album. Philadelphia 1981,Florida 1981(full show) and Nassau New York 1981, they must exist in full form, why not chose them or the aforementioned unreleased show from Alabama in 1980 from where the 'I want you' Beatles cover was taken for the rarities CD or as they were a lot of radio broadcasts in 1981 why not utilise them?

Or even the complete set from the Hammersmith odeon from 1984 that was only broadcasted in edited version.
Looking through this site you'll see there are so many other options they could or should have chosen.
But if you don't have these now 'official' shows already and can't get hold of the original broadcasts (Most of which are available on the net with a bit of searching) then I'm guessing you may be happy with the shows.
They're not 'bad' as such, I mean it's Blue Oyster Cult' of course they're not bad but it's just a HUGE trick missed.
I can't/don't believe that betwen Eric,Buck and the record company more live shows were available to take from.

However on a positive note, overall the box set is extremely good value with all the albums in as well, you really can't go wrong especially if you don't have them already.
But if you're looking for something to help make the decision of you parting with your hard earned cash,something special, something never before released then I'm guessing these download shows and the Rarities and Best of the broadcasts CD's aren't gonna make you gonna throw your fist in the air and say a big 'Hell Yeah'.
The box set is good, the packaging is great and the quality of music is faultless, how could it not be it's BOC, but like I said at the beginning it's not for Hardcore fans looking for something special or something new but rather for completists only.

A real shame as it was such a good idea.









Sunday, 18 November 2012

Palm Springs, California 1993


Yet another show that is referred to as a soundboard which is clearly not. however the sound is pretty good for an audience and i've no other shows for 1993,so I've decided to include it in the blog. 
No cover art again so i made my own focussing on the rarely played 'Demon's Kiss' from the Bad Channels soundtrack.
Great setlist with a ton of classics in it and some golden oldies as well.Great show and worth hearing even though it's not essential.

Track listing:
CD1
01 Stairway to the Stars
02 Dr. Music
03 Dominance and Submission
04 Before the Kiss, A Redcap
05 E.T.I. (Extra Terrestrial Intelligence)
06 Demon's Kiss
07 Teen Archer
08 Joan Crawford
09 Cities on Flame
10 Still Burnin'
11 I Love the Night

CD2
01 This Ain't the Summer of Love
02 ME 262
03 Harvest Moon
04 Burnin' for You
05 Godzilla
06 Don't Fear The Reaper
07 Astronomy
08 Golden Age Of Leather
09 The Red and the Black

The accompanying video? Well it had to be,didn't it?




Saturday, 17 November 2012

Ventura, California 1995


Shocking cover artwork for this great sounding soundboard show. So as it's called 'Still Burnin' I've come up with a new cover-bootleg style of course.


One of Chuck Burgi's final shows (he left 4 days later).
Promoting the highly under-rated and brilliant 'Heaven Forbid' album.
Nice sound and the guys are rockin with this teriffic selt list.
The 90's weren't particularly kind to BOC and there's few decent shows around too so this one is a great one to have.


Track listing:
CD1
1.Stairway to the stars
2.Dr.Music
3.O'D on life itself
4.ETI
5.Before the Kiss(a Redcap)
6.See you in black
7.Take me away
8.Cities on flame
9.Astronomy
CD2.
1.In thee
2.ME262
3.Burnin for you
4.Godzilla
5.(Don't fear) The Reaper
6.Joan Crawford
7.Summer of Love
8.Red and the Black

I've attached the studio version of 'Still Burnin' to this post for obvious reasons.




San Juan,California 1995

Great artwork on this one.


This is a new years eve show from 1995 going into 1996.
It's labelled as a soundboard but I highly doubt it. If it is a soundboard then this must be a 5th generation or worst. Personally I think it's an audience, but due to the ambiguity I'll post it here.
Nice little setlist here still featuring the best 2 tracks off 'Heaven Forbid' and nice to see 'Lips in the Hills' resurrected as well.
Power cuts off in 'Dominance and Submission' with curfew broken I suspect.
But this really is one for completists only.


CD 1. 51:20
1. Intro(1:54)
2. Stairway to the stars(3:27)
3. Doctor Music(3:45)
4. O.D.’d on life itself(5:02)
5. E.T.I.(5:23)
6. Harvest Moon(5:32)
7. Before the Kiss(5:28)
8. See you in Black(3:26)
9. Joan Crawford(5:12)
10. Flaming Telepaths(6:21)
11. Cities on Flame(5:50)

CD 2. 49:56
1. Last Days of may(8:19)
2. Auld Lang Syne(3:18)
3. In Thee(4:06)
4. Lips in the Hills(4:17)
5. ME 262(3:26)
6. Burnin’ for you(4:59)
7. Godzilla(6:10)
8. Drum Solo(2:46)
9. Godzilla (reprise)(2:25)
10. (Don’t fear) the Reaper(7:32)
11. Dominance and Submission(2:38)


I've included a nice little version of 'Lips in the hills' here recorded about 2 weeks before the San Juan show.The sound quality is about the same on both shows.