In 1999, Mobile Fidelity reissued Blue Oyster Cult's first two albums, Blue Oyster Cult (1972) and Tyranny and Mutation (1973) on a single 24-karat gold CD that was aimed at audiophiles. Hearing the albums back to back on the same disc, one is reminded how much crisper, tougher and sharper Murry Krugman and Sandy Pearlman's production was on Tyranny and Mutation -- it's a production that's more suitable for a heavy metal/hard rock band. But then, Blue Oyster Cult was never a band that played metal or hard rock exclusively. While "Cities on Flame" from Blue Oyster Cult and "The Red & the Black" and "Hot Rails to Hell" from Tyranny and Mutation are definitely metal and hard rock classics, no serious headbanger would argue that "Transmaniacon MC," "Stairway to the Stars," "She's as Beautiful as a Foot" and "Workshops of the Telescopes" are metal items. In fact, "Cities on Flame" is the only song from Blue Oyster Cult that really has anything to do with metal. But all of the songs, whether they're metal, hard rock or pop/rock, are certainly imaginative and creative. It's debatable whether or not BOC's first album was worthy of being included on a gold audiophile disc -- Krugman and Pearlman really didn't learn how to adequately produce the band until Tyranny and Mutation. Nonetheless, these albums contain some of BOC's best songs, and it's nice to have them on the same CD.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson