Blue Oyster Cult was another of my favorite bands as a teenager and, along with Black Sabbath, was one of the first heavy metal bands. The first album I bought was Agents of Fortune. While they had released three earlier records, this was the one that crashed through the door to commercial success for the band.
The album’s first single, “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” just missed the U.S. Top 10 in the summer of ’76, hitting #12, and the album sold, in large part, based on that one song.
From the Byrds-inspired main riff to the mid-song eruption, it was unlike anything else on the radio at the time. This classic riff was one of the first I learned to play on the guitar.
Don’t Fear The Reaper (Live 1976)
Over time, of course, “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” not only became a genuine rock classic but gained another lease on life via the infamous “more cowbell” skit on Saturday Night Live.
Godzilla, from their next and fifth album Spectres, was one of the bands more popular songs, but neither it nor any of the other songs on that record ever made the charts. However, Godzilla did have a very long life on Classic Rock radio
Godzilla (Live 1977)
Blue Oyster Cult continued to be a great concert draw but did not strike big pay dirt again until 1981, when they released the album Fire of Unknown Origin with its smash hit, Burning For You. Burning for you hit #1 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Chart.
Burning For You (Live 1981)
Blue Oyster Cult was one of the few American rock bands that were making videos when MTV launched in 1981. The single version of Burning For You was released in July that year, and when MTV went on air on August 1, they were happy to put it in rotation since they wanted to push a rock format but had little to choose from. Thanks to exposure on MTV, the song rose in the charts, reaching #40 in October.
Bone up on some great American Rock and Roll
As we’re sitting at home, one way to keep from going stir crazy is to check out some of the fantastic Classic Rock music produced during the 60s, 70s, and 80s.
I do a lot of that when I need a break from working on my next book!
Montagnard is in the hands of my editor and will be out soon!