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Blue Öyster Cult – Mirrors

05 Jan 2008 · 1 Comment

Mirrors is my pick for most-underrated BÖC album. It has a terrible rep, which I think is partly because it opens with “Dr. Music,” one of the worst tracks ever committed to tape by the classic lineup. (Discuss: are the harmonica squeals the kiss of death, or the synth-toms, or the faux-soul backing vocals, or the guiro/shaker breakdown, or simply the tacky lyric?). I’m also no fan of “Lonely Teardrops” — it’s way too bluesy for me, and Tom Werman’s unsympatico production style makes Ellen Foley sound too much like Pat Benatar. (He’s big on whooshy, effect-laden background vox is our Tom.)

But the 7 songs in between are mostly pretty good, and a few are better. “The Great Sun Jester” is the median of sci-fi author Michael Moorcock’s collaborations with the band; not as good as “Veteran of the Psychic Wars” but better than “Black Blade.” Allen Lanier’s “In Thee” and Albert Bouchard’s “You’re Not the One (I Was Looking For)” are two of BÖC’s most straightforward love songs — no one in either tune seems to be any kind of supernatural entity — but they’re also both melodically sturdy and surprisingly unclichéd. Werman’s bag of production doodads does less damage to the title track and “Moon Crazy,” than to “Dr. Music,” maybe in part because their lyrics are better. “I Am The Storm” has some very silly lines (and weird scansion in the chorus) but it’s catchy and I like it. The pièce de résistance for me is “The Vigil.” It’s a lengthy epic about (I think) extraterrestial visitors that even Tom Werman can’t sabotage; if I assembled my own BÖC best-of, it’d be a shoe-in.

Star rating: 2.56

Tags: 1979 · b · columbia · hard rock

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Flasshe // Jan 30, 2008 at 15:10

    I like “Lonely Teardrops”, campy as it is…

    no one in either tune seems to be any kind of supernatural entity

    Funniest thing I’ve read all month!

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