Secret Treaties

In 1974, Blue Öyster Cult released their third studio album, Secret Treaties. I’m reviewing it tonight because it’s got a song about New Year’s Eve. Which one? Well, there’s a story there…

A friend of mine once said, “Never read or pay too much attention to the lyrics of a Blue Öyster Cult song.” He was right. It’s best not to look too closely at the soft white underbelly of a BÖC song. They tend to… disturb… so I’ll let the seasonal reference pass since it might cause a listener to listen too closely to the song in question and then become… disturbed…

Early BÖC was all about science fiction, and this album delivers. It’s highly creative and inspiring in its own right. Two of the songs from this album (three if you count the reissue CD) have inspired short stories of mine, so I’ve got a candle burning for you, BÖC. You could say this album can really take me away. (Real BÖC fans are probably grinning from behind their sunglasses thinking about what it must have been like, back when it was past midnight in 1964…)

So enough of the inside references, I promise. This is Heavy Metal Rock and Roll, 1974 vintage. These guys don’t sing about girls and cars: they sing about ghouls and ME 262s. l listen to the regular album all the way through, but the bonus tracks on the remastered CD aren’t all winners. Since I originally bought the vinyl for the original 8 songs, I give it a 10, especially for “Astronomy,” the epic closer of the album. Originally, I thought about giving it a 9 because “ME 262” wasn’t long enough, but forgave them when I remembered I’ve got an extended live version from another album, On Your Feet or on Your Knees.

I’m telling you, kids, this is real Heavy Metal. The album titles don’t lie. Not all the tracks on Secret Treaties are high-velocity slammers, but the pacing works for the album and really sets a mood with expertise. It’s one of their finest releases and should be part of any serious rock fan’s collection.

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