They started as an ordinary psychedelic band on Long Island. But then their manager got the idea of making them loud and hinting at the occult in their lyrics -- and BOC was born.

Closer to pop than heavy metal, they had hits with "Don't Fear the Reaper" and "Godzilla," sung by lead guitarist Buck Dharma, and got moderate airplay on "hair music" radio stations. The band has gone downhill since the drummer and bassist left in the '80s, but they're still touring clubs around the U.S.A., and they've got a new album out for 2001!

Genre

American Heavy Metal, more cerebral than most.

Bio/History

"On Tour Forever," BÖC may be the original gratuitous umlaut metal band. Developed semi-artifically in the early 1970s by Columbia as an American version of Black Sabbath, they became the seminal American heavy metal band of the 1970s and 1980s. BÖC may be recognized by the infamous hook-and-cross “Kronos” logo (created by artist Bill Gawlick) on all albums and merchandise.

Th nucleus of the band began as Soft White Underbelly in New York. They were signed by Elektra Records on the strength of frontman Les Braunstein. Braunstein left SWU before the album was complete, and Elektra renamed the band Stalk-Forrest Group. Elektra got discouraged soon after, and dropped the band like a hot potato. Eventually they hooked up with Columbia, under manager Sandy Pearlman's new name, Blue Öyster Cult. And the rest is history.

Known for

Original members

  • Eric Bloom - vocals, rhythm guitar
  • Donald Roeser aka Buck Dharma - lead guitar
  • Joe Bouchard - bass ("Gimme some of that hot guitar Joey please!" - from Godzilla)
  • Albert Bouchard - drummer
  • Alan Lanier - keyboards, guitar. Responsible for the umlaut.

Discography

... and about 20 variant best of CDs, all with almost identical track selections.

Contemporaries and influences

Opened for Alice Cooper, from whom they learned much about staging live shows. Toured with Motörhead in the latter's formative years. Likely responsible for infecting Lemmy with umlauts. Toured with Black Sabbath on the "Black and Blue" tour (1980?), arranged when Sandy Pearlman managed both groups.

Collaborated with SF author Michael Moorcock on several songs, including Veteran of the Psychic Wars which appears in Heavy Metal (the movie and soundtrack).

Allen Lanier was involved with Patti Smith in the 1970s, she has a songwriting credit on Tenderloin from Agents of Fortune.

Personal stuff

First rock album I ever owned: Agents of Fortune on cassette. I also have Mirrors on 8-track!


The Album

Black and white 3D drawing by the artist "Galwick", introduced the band's infamous Kronos logo. Produced by Murray Krugman and Sandy Pearlman. Recorded at The Warehouse, October 1971. Album on Columbia Records.

The Tracks


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         MMMMMMMMM;   rMMMMMMMMM
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            MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM.  
              MMMMMMMMMMMMM,    
                  :rrr.         

The BÖC Kronos logo

This may be overkill, but one thing I haven't seen contributed to this node yet is the origin of the name "Blue Öyster Cult".  According to legend, it's an anagram of "Cully Stout Beer" (or perhaps "Cully Stöut Beer" would be more appropriate), a discovery made by Sandy Pearlman and Richard Meltzer at Blue Oyster Bay on Long Island.

It also anagrams to "Courtesy Bullet" and "Cruelty to Blues".

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