Thursday, October 17, 2013

Blue Öyster Cult - The Revölution By Night

Hailing from Long Island, New York, Blue Öyster Cult had a strong run during the 1970’s. By 1983, though, the albums were more spaced out with the sound of the band changing for the times. This month marks the thirtieth anniversary of The Revölution By Night, their ninth studio album. It charted at number 95 in the UK and number 93 on the US Billboard Album chart back in 1983.

The line-up for the group for this record was Eric Bloom (guitar and lead vocals), Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser (lead guitar, keyboards and lead vocals), Allen Lanier (keyboards and piano), Joe Bouchard (bass, guitars and vocoder) and Rick Downey (drums).

Side one opens with “Take Me Away”. As the second single, it went to number 11 on the US Mainstream Rock chart. It was co-written by Bloom and Canadian rocker Aldo Nova, the latter whom also played guitar and synthesizers on the track. The song touches upon the idea of extraterrestrial abduction, mentioning strange lights in the sky and the men in black.

“Eyes on Fire” reveals the hidden feelings of a guy who is love with a woman who sees him just as a friend.

The first single was “Shooting Shark”; it peaked at number 97 in the UK, number 83 on the US Billboard Hot 100, and number 16 on the US Mainstream Rock chart. The album version clocks in at over seven minutes in length and features Randy Jackson on bass and Marc Baum on saxophone. The lyrics to this tale of a troubled relationship were based on a poem written by Patti Smith.

“Veins” goes down a darker corridor as a man finds himself in a state of confusion of his recent actions.

Side two starts with “Shadow of California”, a grim and gritty rocker about the omnipresent specter of the freeways all around Los Angeles. The title of the album comes from the final verse of this song.

“Feel the Thunder” continues the block about the road. This ominous track tells a tale of drinking and driving on Halloween.

“Let Go” was the B-side to the second single. This up-beat track features a catchy, motivating mantra. It was co-written by Bloom, Roeser and English rock legend Ian Hunter.

The B-side to the first single was “Dragon Lady”.

The record closes with the ballad “Light Years of Love”.

While I had the two singles on a Blue Öyster Cult compilation, most of The Revölution By Night of night was fairly new to me. I was not listening to as many straight rock albums back in my early college days. Despite that, I found it to be an enjoyable listen and have earmarked it for a possible download in the very near future.

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