I just found a copy of “Secret Treaties” by Blue Oyster Cult that I didn’t even know I owned. Someone, presumably me, paid a buck for it at a local record store. That for me is one of the best reasons to own a turntable-getting shit on the cheap, and in such mass quantity that it might take years for my ears to catch up. I was so moved by my discovery that I smoked some resin that I stole from my band’s practice space(sorry bros!) through a 7/32″ deep well socket and put this bitch on.
You might know Blue Oyster Cult from the songs that get lots of classic rock radio play, namely “Don’t Fear the Reaper”, “Godzilla”, and “Burnin’ for You”. As is usually the case, rock radio left out all the good stuff. There is a lot more to this band than those songs, so let me tell you a little about “Secret Treaties”.
This is the third record from B.O.C, released in 1974. My favorite part of any record these guys have done are the song titles, and “Secret Treaties” certainly has that covered. The opening track, co-written with Patti Smith is called “Career of Evil”., and the winners just keep coming with “Subhuman”, and “Dominance and Submission”. Side Two has the highlight for me, a song fearlessly titled “Harvester of Eyes” that I would also consider to be the most “B.O.C.” sounding track on the album. On that topic, let me get into what that sound sounds like.
I hesitate to use the term protometal, mostly because it reveals how much of a music dork I am, but it is rather accurate. There are loads of great riffs with great guitar tones, lyrics leaning so heavily on fantasy that it makes you want to paint a Frank Frazetta on a van you don’t even have, and enough self-awareness to not take it too seriously. And let’s not forget, this slab only set me back a mere dollar, and I’m saying big win on this one.