Blue Öyster Cult


Composed by Donald Roeser / Richard Meltzer

Song Review by

This sturdy, tongue-in-cheek rocker stands alongside "Don't Fear the Reaper" and "Burnin' for You" as one of the most popular items in the Blue Oyster Cult catalog. The lyrics pay affectionate tribute to the Japanese film monster that gives it its title: "Oh no/There goes Tokyo/Go, go, Godzilla." However, songwriter Donald Roeser also keeps the song true to Blue Öyster Cult's cryptically witty style by closing the song with the lines "History shows again and again/How nature points up the folly of man." The melody captures the bombast of old-fashioned monster movie music, building itself on a low-pitched instrumental hook that pushes the song along in a mock-ominous fashion. Blue Öyster Cult's recording pulls the song into heavy metal territory with a guitar-heavy arrangement that bursts out of the gate with a low-slung guitar riff worthy of Black Sabbath, then adds layers of higher, almost whining guitars over a militaristic drum beat from Albert Bouchard. It also adds in some fun production frills, like a phony radio announcement at the midpoint that warns listeners to run for cover in Japanese. The result is an amusing rocker that quickly became a radio favorite for the group, not to mention an instant part of their live set.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Spectres 1977 Culture Factory 3:40
Some Enchanted Evening 1978 Talking Elephant
Extraterrestrial Live 1982 Columbia 7:45
The Best of Blue Öyster Cult: Don't Fear the Reaper 1983 Legacy / Columbia/Legacy 3:42
Career of Evil: The Metal Years 1987 Columbia 7:49
On Flame with Rock and Roll 1990 Sony Music Distribution / CBS Special Products 3:42
Hot 'n Heavy 1991
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 3:43
Cult Classic 1994 SPV 3:43
No Image 1994
Various Artists
Risky Business / Sony Music Distribution 3:41
Live: The 70s 1995
Various Artists
JCI Associated Labels 4:03
Workshop of the Telescopes 1995 Columbia/Legacy 3:41
Metal Mania [Griffin] 1995
Various Artists
Direct Source / Direct Source Special 8:47
Revisited 1996 Gusto Records 3:43
Summerdaze 1997
Various Artists
CMC International
Don't Fear the Reaper [Priceless Collection] 1997 Collectables / Priceless Collection 3:43
Rock Anthems [K-Tel] 1998
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution
Super Hits 1998 Legacy / Columbia/Legacy 3:42
Freaks Come out at Night 1998
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 5:41
Classic Rock, Vol. 1 [Platinum Disc] 2000
Various Artists
Platinum Disc 3:42
Hard Rockin' Hits: 20 Original Recordings 2000
Various Artists
Madacy 3:43
Live Concert Rock Classics 2001
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 4:10
Tales of the Psychic War, Vols. 1-2 2001 Pilot 10:26
A Long Day's Night 2002 Sanctuary Records 8:44
A Long Day's Night [Video/DVD] 2002 Sanctuary
Heaven Forbid/Cult Classic 2003 Steamhammer 3:43
Mullets Rock! 2003
Various Artists
Epic 3:41
Then and Now 2003 Sanctuary 8:43
The Essential Blue Öyster Cult 2003 Columbia / Legacy 3:42
Are You Ready to Rock? 2003 Sony Music Distribution 3:43
Shooting Shark: Best of Blue Öyster Cult 2004 Sony Music Distribution 3:42
Extended Versions: The Encore Collection 2004 Collectables 8:43
Classic Rock, Vol. 1 2005
Various Artists
Platinum Disc 3:42
Singles Collection 2005 Columbia 3:41
Live [Direct Source] 2005 Direct Source 8:47
Collections 2006 Legacy 3:42
Dock Rock Presents: Classic Rock Weekend 2006
Various Artists
Sony BMG 3:44
Best of Blue Oyster Cult [Direct Source] 2006 Direct Source 8:47
Heavy Metal: The First 20 Years [Time Life] 2006
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:41
Alive in America, Pt. 1 2006 Renaissance Records 10:26
Live in America 2007 The Store for Music 10:26
Monster Party [KRB] 2007
Various Artists
KRB Music 3:43
Live [Sony/BMG] 2007 Sbme Special Mkts.
Heavy Metal [Box Set] 2007
Various Artists
Rhino 3:41
Heavy Metal Box [Rhino] 2007
Various Artists
Rhino 3:41
Discover Blue Oyster Cult 2007 Legacy 3:41
The Best of Blue Oyster Cult [Sony Australia] 2008 Sony BMG 3:42
Greatest Hits [Steel Box Collection] 2008 Commercial Canada / Sony BMG / Sony Music Distribution 3:41
Guitar Monster 2009
Various Artists
Madacy 3:42
Triple Feature 2009 Sony Music Distribution / Sony BMG / Sony Classics 7:45
Playlist: The Very Best of Blue Öyster Cult 2010 BMG / Sony BMG / Sony Music
Setlist: The Very Best of Blue Öyster Cult Live 2010 Columbia / Legacy 4:25
Classic Rock Roadtrip 2010
Various Artists
Sony Music Entertainment 3:43
Pure... Hard Rock 2011
Various Artists
Sony Music 3:42
Dont Fear the Reaper/On Your Feet or on Your Knees 2011 Allegro Corporation / American Legends 3:43
Original Album Classics [2012] 2012 Columbia / Sony Music
Rock Heroes 2012
Various Artists
Sony Music 3:43
The Complete Columbia Albums Collectiön 2012 Columbia / Sony Legacy 7:48
Original Album Classics 2013 Legacy / Sony Legacy 4:10
The Box Set Series 2014 Legacy / Sony Legacy 3:42
The 70s: Blue Öyster Cult 2014 BMG / BMG / Sony Music / Sony Music Entertainment 3:42
The Box Set Series: Hard Rock 2014
Various Artists
Epic / Legacy
Haynes Driving Anthems
Various Artists
Sony Music 3:42
The Music of Blue Öyster Cult Columbia / Legacy 3:43
blue highlight denotes editor's pick