Blue Öyster Cult

ARTICLE ABOUT Blue Oyster Cult FROM SOUNDS, October 25, 1975

This band were on the verge of their big breakthrough at the time of this concert. Mr. Barton was not as impressed with the opening band…
Read on!


Concert review from Hammersmith

By Geoff Barton

Support act Lemmy`s Motorhead played the second worst set I`ve ever seen. The only past concert I can think of that surpasses it, in terms of musical ineptitude, was of course the same band`s first gig some while back at the Chalk Farm Roundhouse.
Blue Oyster Cult`s long-awaited British debut at Hammersmith Odeon on Sunday couldn`t have been further removed: far from careless and clumsy, the US band turned in the slickest, most professional, most finely honed `metal set` I have ever seen.
The Cult are a five piece: three guitars (mainly), keyboards and drums. The front line is shared more or less equally between unassuming lead guitarist Donald (Buck Dharma) Roeser and `stun` guitarist Eric Bloom.
Musically, they are excellent: overall, the concert made the band`s recent live album `On Your Feet Or On Your Knees` sound like a demo record.
All the Cult faves are there, and an enthusiastic audience knew it: `Od`d On Life Itself`, `Havester Of Eyes`. `Buck`s Boogie` (overlong, in retrospect, and featuring the only lowspot of the evening, a heavy handed drum solo) and the encore to end all encores – a triple dose of `Dominance And Submission`, `Hot Rails To Hell` and an awesome `Born To Be Wild`.
The effects were impeccable: flame shooting from Bloom`s fingertips, massed revolving strobes, diz-busting explosions and, during the five – count them, five – guitar showcase `ME 262`, enough dry ice smoke to make Bradford look like a Green Belt area.
To say that Blue Oyster Cult lived up to my expectations would not do them justice. To predict that, when they return to do more dates in November, they`ll have the country on its knees, would be no rash thing. Od`d on the Cult themselves.

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ARTICLE ABOUT The A-Z of Heavy Metal FROM SOUNDS (Part 2), April 26, 1975

Here I continue what I started in my last post. Hope you enjoy it. These are the bands that mattered in 1975 when they spoke about “heavy metal”. I guess most people don`t call many of these bands “metal” in 2019.
Read on!


Rock from `eavy to `umble or
The Sounds A – Z of Heavy Metal

Compiled by Pete Makowski and Geoff Barton


Babe Ruth

`Eek! `Screech!` Closely followed by a dull `clung!`

Bachman Turner Overdrive

Heavy Duty Rock. It all started when Randy Bachman left top selling Canadian band Guess Who. He wrote their hits (e.g `American Woman`) and eventually decided to try his hand at solo albums and producing. He got together with another ex-Guess Who member Chad Allen and his brother Rob Bachman to record an album `Brave Belt`. Reprise were interested in the product but wanted a band to go on the road and sell it. So C. F. Turner was added on bass to complete a roadworthy line up. Allen dropped out of the band before the release of the Belt`s second album, another Bachman, Timmy, joined on guitar. They recorded their third album and left Reprise to join Mercury, Brave Belt III became Bachman Turner Overdrive. After two moderately successful albums Timmy left to produce and was replaced by Great Vancouver guitarist Blair Thornton. Things began happening and by the time of the release of their third album – `Not Fragile` – they were big business. Their popularity has even spread here (You Ain`t Seen Nothin` Yet`, `Roll Down The Highway`). Their music combines all the excitement of the world`s leading rock bands, packaged neatly into one tight commercial bundle.

Bad Company

Probably one of today`s most popular `commercial` rock and roll bands. They`ve hit the jackpot from the start with their single `Can`t Get Enough Of Your Love` and album `Bad Co` and second time round their album `Straight Shooter` is selling well. Stable mates to those `eavy boys Zeppelin, Bad Co is half of Free, Paul Rodgers (vocals) and Simon Kirke (drums) – the others Paul Kossoff (unemployed) and Andy Fraser (new band just formed) – plus Mick Ralphs (guitar) ex-Mott, and former King Crimson bassist Boz Burrell.

Jeff Beck

Beck can be as vicious as the heftiest of metallurgists, soft as a pigeon`s tail feather, depending on his mood, or his band, of the moment. Compare `Cause We`ve Ended Now As Lovers` with the savagery of his playing on the likes of `Plynth` (on Cosa Nostra Beck-Ola`) and see what I mean. Neither the Yardbirds (in which Beck replaced Eric Clapton) nor the brilliant Beck Group with Stewart, Wood and Waller was exactly heavy metal, but both were vital influences on the bands that made up the first division, first generation of the emerging muscular metal groups. Beck later joined Beck, Bogert, Appice, and joined the ranks of those who had followed on the lead of the old Beck bands. As usual, the results were sometimes spectacular, sometimes very ordinary. Beck quickly outgrew his desire to out-heavy the opposition, and moved on to more melodic and intricate music.


`Is Bedlam the new Cream` asked one music paper, well not quite, but Bedlam did revive a thrashing rock sound that was reminiscent of the late Sixties into a 70s package – a definite British sound that never quite made it. The band was formed by ex-Jeff Beck drummer Cozy Powell who along with Dave Ball (guitar), his brother Dennis (bass) and singer Frank Aiello produced one album.

Black Oak Arkansas

The blond and bleached Jim Dandy Mangrum and Arkansan cohorts are the epitome of American raunch and roll. The band started about 13 years ago when they acquired their first bits of equipment from local schools, `they just got off probation a couple of years ago. Their success is the result of solid roadwork and an exciting live performance. On record they seem to lack that certain je-ne-sais-quoi. Their new guitarist, 20 year old So` Bean, could put a change to that.

Black Sabbath

Highly popular, originally black magic, now big league metal band, Sabbath are currently slightly more mature in approach than they were say, with their first three albums. `Warning` a track on their first album produced by Roger Bain is definitely recommended. Had a hit with `Paranoid`. Currently hibernating.

Black Widow

Came out at the same time as Black Sabbath but never quite made it. Their music was in the same genre and they took the whole Black Magic thing one step further by culminating the show with a mock sacrifice featuring chief witch Alex Sanders and his wife. Got a lot of scandal press coverage.

Blue Cheer

Probably the closest thing to a critic`s idea of a Heavy Metal band. This powerhouse trio were an American interpretation of the Cream and the Yardbirds? Their weapon was volume, energy and simplicity and in `67 they pioneered a style which has remained with us ever since. Their rendition of Cochran`s `Summertime Blues` was a Heavy Metal anthem, a classic, those bombastic powerchords, throbbing bass blues and battering percussion sent the message home. The original line up featured Paul Whaley (drums), Dick Peterson (bass) and Leigh Stephens (guitar). Stephens left the band to record some solo albums and was replaced by Randy Holden, this also marked the end of the band for most people. They never bettered their first two efforts `Vincibus Eruptium` and `Outside Inside`.

Blue Oyster Cult

Probably the most competent of recent American heavy bands. Undeniably derivative, the B. O`Cult are nevertheless great fun. Surrealist lyrics and Buck Dharma`s sizzling guitar are the two things that strike you immediately. Their current `On Your Feet Or On Your Knees` double album is the best live rock effort for years.

Edgar Broughton Band

From the Midlands, and regarded as outcasts even in their family life, `Them Broughtons` started a rock and roll band. They got famous for benefits and free gigs, for the People`s Music, for endless versions of tunes like `Out Demons Out` and `Freedom`, and they gathered an audience that included some of the most loyal and relentless head-shakers and shoulder-joggers known to the British concert hall. In some ways they were close to the Third World War kind of thing – Preachin` revolution if not violence – and they`ve had their share of busts and court cases. These days they`re more into mime and theatre than the star right heads – down – and – people`s – boogie number but the WEEMEENIT set is still strong and faithful.

Brownsville Station

“We`re just aiming for that great E chord in the sky”, says the Station`s outspoken guitarist / vocalist Cub Koda. It seems this bombshell trio found it. Their music is raucous punk rock, tight, jam-free. They scored with their teenage anthem `Smoking In The Boys Room` which also sold well here. Henry `H-Bomb` Weck (drums) and Michael Lutz (bass) completed the trio. So far they`ve had two hit albums in the States – `Yeah` and `School Punks`.


Loud three-piece Welsh band, first formed in 1968 when bassist Burke Shelley met one-time drummer Ray Phillips in a record shop. Their first album, released in July 1971, was produced by Roger Bain. Guitarist Tony Bourge pumps out a good bludgeoning riff, their numbers `Breadfan` and `Whisky River` are as good metal as you`ll hear anywhere. Phillips (now in a band called Woman) was replaced by Pete Boot (who has since joined Sweaty Betty) and the band`s current drummer is a guy called Steve Williams. Their fourth album `In For The Kill` just made the album charts last year. Their repertoire also includes numbers with eccentric titles: `Nude Disintegrating Parachutist Woman`, `A Crash Course In Brain Surgery` for example. Great stuff.





Beck, Bogert and Appice without Beck? Cactus were probably what Tim Bogert and Carmine Appice got together to flex their muscles before the formation of BB&A. Featuring Rusty Day (vocals), Jim McCarthy (guitar), they released three albums in this form between 1970 and 1972 then split. Another Cactus without the original core of the band (ie Appice and Bogert) appeared on the scene, which seemed a pointless excercise.

Climax Chicago

Out of the blues boom came a thousand bands, each one aping the city blues of America and few of them making big waves. Foghat were one (see below) and the Climax Chicago Blues Band, with the influences inherent in the name, were another. They played a lot here around 69/70, didn`t get very far, and eventually made a more than respectable living in America – easing off the blues pedal and doing that boogie-metal thing a bit more. Hence they dropped the `Blues Band` tag. It`s a familiar story.

Alice Cooper

Shockrock. The name was enough to confuse people. When Alice Cooper (alias Vincent Furnier) and his Detroit cronies (Glen Buxton, guitar, Michael Bruce, guitar, Dennis Dunaway, bass and Neal Smith, drums) appeared on the scene, no one was ready. They were so unpopular that their mass dejection inspired Frank Zappa to sign them onto his label – Straight. They released two albums, `Pretties For You` and `Easy Action` in `69, and they bombed miserably. It wasn`t until the band moved to Warners that they got the visuals of their act and the music together, this resulted with the classic `Love It To Death` album in `71, followed by US hit single `I`m Eighteen` which was proclaimed a contemporary to `My Generation`. Their show progressed from mere hangings to simulated mutilations as the years progressed, their music became more theatrical. They scored in this country with `School`s Out` in `72, followed by `Elected`. The band peaked with `Billion Dollar Babies` in `73 and retired from touring, and a year later they released `Muscle Of Love` which was the first album to receive mass appraisal on a musical level by the press. Again they remained static for a year, Cooper has returned with Lou Reed`s former band backing him and a new album and show (`Welcome To My Nightmare`). The rest of the original band, whose future with Cooper is still not definite, are in the process of recording solo ventures. Cooper`s antics have lost their initial controversial appeal. Although it`s equally theatrical, somehow it seems oddly normal in this day and age.


They came along at just the right time, they were (almost) the first, and they were magnificent. Three musicians from jazz, rock and R&B backgrounds who called themselves, and were, the Cream – the first genuine `supergroup`. In 1966 they came wailing out of nowhere with Jack Bruce howling `I Feel Free` and Eric Clapton doing things on the fretboard that most people figured was sleight of hand, while Ginger Baker`s restrained thunder provided an indespensable bottom. All of a sudden those twelve bar clichès were as viable as yesterday`s papers, and everyone craned their necks to see how long Cream could fly. It was 1966 the dawn of Flower-Power, `Revolver` had warped a good few minds and paved the way for further psychedelic excess, San Francisco was the new Liverpool, and Dylan had disappeared, for the time being at least. An audience and a generation of performers had grown through pop and wanted something more challenging. Cream gave it them in no uncertain terms. At the critical moment when pop was beginning to take itself seriously and call itself rock, along came three musical colossi, as it then seemed, who asserted without need of proof that you could play rock with all the passion and technical skill of any other music, and still create riotous excitement. Hendrix as an instrumentalist and Pete Townshend, for a while, were the only other people even in the running. Clapton, a blues purist until Hendrix opened his ears to flash and pyrotechnics, blossomed in Cream: on the old blues classics he wrought wondrous changes, and on Brown and Bruce`s originals he positively went into orbit. Bruce had a fluid lyrical bass style and a voice like a chilling gale. Baker, in the best performances he has given before or since, could even make a cowbell speak. `Fresh Cream` their first album, and the electrifying impact of their live performances revolutionised rock. They set the trend for extended soloing, which is fully explored in the live half of their double album `Wheels Of Fire`. A second album `Disraeli Gears` had appeared meanwhile containing classics such as the haunting `Strange Brew` and `Tales Of Brave Ulysses`. Tours of Britain and America followed and unanimous critical and commercial success. Then in 1969 always plagued by internal dissent, they broke up; Clapton to go to the abortive Blind Faith and then solo. Baker also to Blind Faith, then his ill-fated Airforce, and Africa for a long while before returning with the Baker-Gurvitz Army: Jack Bruce to various jazz outfits, and solo work again with poet Pete Brown`s lyrics, before a brief spell with Mountain`s Leslie West and Corky Laing, and now of course his new group with Carla Bley and Mick Taylor. For a while the Cream mantle fell upon Mountain who ploughed the Cream furrow until it was a highway. But Mountain were not alone; Cream made changes in rock that ensured it would never be the same again.


I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

This number of Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Frank Zappa, Gladys Knight, Women In Rock, Betty Wright, Steve Harley, Peter Frampton, Labelle, Peter Skellern, Ray Davies, Larry Uttal, Chris Spedding, Anne Murray, Sweet Sensation, Bernard Purdie, Mike Harding, Ronnie Lane, Yes.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

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ARTICLE ABOUT Blue Öyster Cult FROM SOUNDS, June 29, 1974

Mr. Makowski wasn`t too keen on B.Ö.Cs brand of heavy rock in 1974. Personally I find it a great album, but I can understand that it`s not to everyone`s taste.


Blue Oyster Cult: “Secret Treaties” (CBS 80103)

Record review by Pete Makowski

If Andy McKay is in search of Eddie Riff he might as well give up now – Blue Oyster Cult found him years ago. Yep, it`s the “The Nuremburg Rally`s Greatest Moments” from CBS`s answer to the SS… well, that`s if you take the Cult so seriously. Y`see they put this menacing image of being Gestapoids and play real evil music but I`ve heard stories that during warm ups they do numbers like “Hang On Sloopy” and that they`re old session pros. Well you can`t believe everything you hear, but this album makes me wonder how long this band are going to last. If they`re supposed to be America`s answer to Black Sabbath they might as well give up. It`s good meaty stuff but the overall effect is bland and uninspiring and this certainly doesn`t match up to standard of their first two releases. The best tracks are “Career Of Evil” and the rather odd “Flaming Telepaths”. I`m not really knocked out with the guitar playing provided by Donald (Buck Dharma) Roeser and Eric Bloom. Other tracks on the album are “Subhuman”, “ME 262”, “Cagey Cretins”, “Harvester Of Eyes” and “Astronomy”. I still think that Britain`s got the stranglehold on heavy rock.


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ARTICLE ABOUT Blue Oyster Cult FROM SOUNDS, March 3, 1973

The first of many Blue Oyster Cult albums got a “warm” welcome at Sounds. B.Ö.C didn`t let this stand in the way of fame and fortune and carried on to have a great career. By the way, I really don`t know why Mr. Hayman didn`t comment on the fantastic song title: “She’s as Beautiful as a Foot”. If ever there was a great song title….

Well, I`m off to Stockholm for a few days. Guess I will visit some record stores and otherwise have fun. See you around!


Album review:

Blue Oyster Cult
(CBS 64904)

By Martin Hayman

This is the much-vaunted American band composed, I believe, of rock and roll critics – and certainly championed by them as THE underground band. Its cult appeal has been carefully fostered, and if this is what happens when the men who write the reviews get behind the instruments, then I can only say: Back to your typewriters! It`s a dense, hard, riffy music without great finesse… but then finesse is not what punk-rock is about, I suppose. Lead guitarist Donald Roeser wails away over some powerful, churning rhythms from a thick, unsubtle rhythm section. There appear to be three guitarists and it all gets a bit overbearing at times, though really there are some nice touches – “Then Came The Last Days Of May” is based on a pleasing idea and when they tone it down, give each other some room, exploit the use of space a little, then the music becomes quite acceptable. “Redeemed” is nice, with more intelligent use of dynamics, but most of the rest is undistinguished, like trying to tell the difference between being hit on the head with a ten-pound hammer and a twenty-pound hammer – either way it gets to you. This album was recorded way back in October 1971, though it has only just been released by CBS, so I would imagine most of the people who wanted it would have it by now. I don`t want to give the impression that this is a rotten album – the playing never drops below competent, but it`s the competence of slightly outdated heavy-psychedelic rock or whatever, as indicated by the hippy-trippy name. Maybe it`s meant to be a bit of a joke, and as for the bit about the critics… actually they are probably all musicians doing the best they can, but there`s a score of British bands who have got albums out who can better this. Put it down to a White Elephant Craze.

Blue oyster

I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

This number of Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Darryl Way (Curved Air), Sounds staff analyse David Bowie, Nazareth, Steve Marriott, Average White Band, Elton John, Geordie, Status Quo, Slade, Stackridge, Peter Gabriel, Mike Heron, Jesse Winchester, Thin Lizzy.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

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A little while ago the number of visits to this blog passed 50,000. Thank you all for reading this and giving me motivation to continue to post these articles from long ago in a tribute to both artists and writers alike.
This blog is still a blog for the few, and what better way to celebrate than with an article that honours the cult that reads this blog with a band famous for attracting a cult of fans and even having the word “Cult” in their name?
Here`s to the next 50,000 visits!


Oysters swamped by unchained superlatives

The Blue Oyster Cult:
Agents Of Fortune

By Max Bell

I guess I`ll have to lay my cards down and say I always felt the Cult would produce a no-holds-barred stone masterwork befitting a band of individuals so obviously attuned to the spirit of the genre. “Agents Of Fortune” is the album in question.
After last summer`s European jaunt which resulted in previous advocates withdrawing their favours somewhat, much talk of lame stage act, failed evil aura – you remember – I waited apprehensively for the rebuttal from the East Coast`s only begotten sons of dizbuster acid rock into the here and now.
They are vindicated without apologies.
Perhaps the criticisms levelled at Pearlman`s troops was justified. I thought much of the sniping was at least constructive; so did they to the extent that at the second Hammersmith Odeon riot they`d removed the drum solo, cut the extraneous crowd-pleasing crap and concentrated on arching the hall with their battery of musical-cum lyrical genius.
It comes to mind that there are only a handful of bands merging the relevant influences of the last decade with the potential that increased sophistication in terms of instrumentation, volume, production mono makes feasible; on my turntable The Cult are more adept at keeping one clawed boot in the `60s while the other paw scrapes away at the dark core of today than any comparable outfit.
Their first monster set the scene and outlined the persona that “Tyranny And Mutation” turned into BOC`s thumbprint. The glove was down but there was no competition. “Secret Treaties” followed as `74`s sole legit H.M. classic (when another so called contender for the wreath dreams up a song as irresistibly mind boggling as “Dominance And Submission” come back and tell me).

The live album, which in retrospect is patchy, contained evidence at its best of the Cult`s manic soft white underbelly and their fearsome reputation as purveyors of the meanest, literally frightening dosage available in vinyl format.
With “Agents Of Fortune”, unbelievably, they transcend its predecessors. A solid blow to all those with wool in their ears sprouting off on the death knoll of rock `n` roll, either too unenlightened or culpably refusing to listen to the surfeit of superb music nestling under their noses in 1976.
The matter at hand. Without wishing to destroy your sense of discovery too much I`ll fill you in on the cover art work, something they always take care of with unequalled panache.
Out front a gent in evening dress card sharps four artefacts from the tarot pack that all bear on the inner material (recorded). Behind Lynn Curlee`s painting the spheres revolve, controlled by this ambiguous agent. I`ll leave the rest to your eager purchase and vivid imagination.
The harvest is immediately reaped on “This Ain`t The Summer Of Love”, which is the Cult recovering all angles in their changing moods of panic, cynicism and ultimate rock truth Eric Bloom handles the vocal with his customary nastiness: “Feeling easy on the outside, not so funny on the inside. Hear the sound pray for rain, `cos this is the night we ride. This ain`t the Garden of Eden, there ain`t no angels above, and things ain`t what they`re supposed to be, and this ain`t the summer of love.”
The song is distinctly moody – as in unpleasant. Donald (Buck Dharma) Roeser stalks off on a mesmerising guitar volley the equal of any of his own previous creations. At just 2.20 minutes this would make one hell of a single – incongruous maybe, but heavy in the unadulterated sense of the word.

Finally Allan Lanier makes his singing debut with a solo composition I first heard at the four-track stage in a London hotel room late last autumn. To mark the occasion Columbia have spelt his name right on the cover.
The number, “True Confessions”, is presumably about strained relationships a la the boy and girl school, particularly with both Lanier and Patti Smith being on the road almost permanently. Can`t think why they`ve kept Lanier`s writing and singing talents under wraps for so long because this is a further addition to the Cult`s stream of self-contained vignettes – without actually bearing too much on the overall direction of the album.
The Brecker Brothers` searing saxes tear off the piano motif while the incomparable Bouchard rhythm section drips alongside.
Just why these boys are so patiently manufacturing to a standard far removed from normal excellence is amply indicated on “(Don`t Fear) The Reaper”, a Roeser classic that will stand against previous examples of inspiration such as “Astronomy” and “The Last Days Of May.” It`s the longest cut on the album of unusually short songs but although the melody is beautifully to the point of hummable the number is pure muscle; no fatty tissue.
Of all the acceptable heavy exponents the Cult seems more likely to uncover a chord structure of this magnificence, and only Dharma could sing it with the appropriate delicacy.
Under the hypnotic guitar line Albert Bouchard and Bloom weave a subtle percussive off beat that tantalises until the vocal creeps insiduously in. The second chorus begins: “Romeo and Juliet are together in eternity,” the harmony accompanying is pure magic, just like Michael and The Messengers in fact.
Thereafter the Cult do not look back.


“E.T.I. (Extra Terrestrial Intelligence)” is outrageous. The Sandy Pearlman and Roeser team have here written chaos many times before and this kick in the face joins the ranks at the top. Synthesised voice guitar that destroys anything Joe Walsh or Jeff Beck have ever mangled out of said gadget, then the Rock King of the Finger Lakes spitting out the “Agents Of Fortune”, Balthazar, epic grande.
Lyrically it`s prime obscure Cult. Must be one of the Desdanova cycle that they`ve traced throughout their existance. Buck`s front line attack surpasses “Hot Rails” and the rhythm support is not to be tampered with.
Two points here. Firstly, I think “E.T.I.” may be one of BOC`S projected inclusions of the “Fire Of Unknown Origin/Mirror Of Illusion” project which Bouchard and Pearlman have been formulating as their coup de theatre. From what I heard last summer this will be an achievement on the level of Brian Wilson`s lost “Smile” tapes. Hope it doesn`t go the same way.
Secondly, this is the only song on the album composed by Pearlman. Whether this is politics or just the way it happened I don`t know. I do know that Pearlman and Cult are synonymous and that`s how they must keep it for maximum effect.
Conjecture aside, the lead break is severely demonic, a cities aflame blaze.
Both sides are arranged in total symnetry, two shortish songs build into the middle which in each case is the weightiest number lengthwise, then two more balanced finales arranged as penultimate movement and crescendo.

The block-buster on side one is Patti Smith`s and Albert Bouchard`s “The Revenge Of Vera Gemini.” Now Patti at the Roundhouse was a revelation, but I`ve always felt that “Career Of Evil” and “Baby Ice Dog” were the best things she ever wrote. And this joins them.
It`s a male/female dance duet and absolutely in the footsteps of James Douglas Morrison: “You are boned like a snake with the consciousness of a snake.”
If I could describe the effect this will have on you (which I can`t) then suffice to say it comes over like Shocking Blue locked in the next dimension. Ms. Smith even sings in tune, and for fans of her debut record there`s a clue as to her future: “No more horses, horses, we`re gonna swim like a fish”. Dharma peels off kerosene-doused licks and the ending resolves into deathly hush.
Side two opens with a couple of Bouchard and H. Robbins compositions, “Sinful Love” and “Tattoo Vampire” which are both archetypal fantasy domain Cult, totally bizarre, straightforward streamrolling lunacy. Keep a close friend near at all times, especially for “Tattoo Vampire” `cos it kicks off like a pack of skinned bats.
Quiet man of the band, Jo “The Bass” Bouchard, sings the medial cut, “Morning Final”, a murder on the subway with full grisly sound effects. Lanier`s organ and piano work is remiscent of early Ray Manzarek, a double-edged knife consistency so dense it`ll turn your emotions onto full tap.
This finishes with a hell bound train grinding to a screech upon which the doors open to reveal “Tenderloin”.

Now I expect The Cult to be different at all times but “Tenderloin” is a real departure. It`s another Allen Lanier ouvre. Bloom`s phrasing and the jazz blue note treatment is new ground: “I come to you in a blue, blue robe” and “I`m feeling hungry have another line” highlight Eric`s chilling delivery, the style I thought had reached fruition on “Secret Treaties” taken to a completely alternative conclusion. The keyboard on the third verse is masterful. On the other hand the closer, “Debbie Denise,” a Patti Smith poem from the “Witt” collection, is inexplicable. Bouchard produces a melodic melange so basically alien to the BOC image I`m not sure how they get away with it, but they do.
Getting down to the grits I`d call it a combination of Four Seasons counter part harmony rooted in the warm outerworld of vigilante tomboy Lesbian ballad with neo-Beach Boys bad vibration synthesisers to ice off the whole mixture. (Max!!!-Ed)
Bearing in mind that the lyrics are an adaption of a woman-to-woman situation, when you hear Albert sing “I’d  come here with my hair hanging down and she’d pin it up and softly smile. And I was rolling with my man” it becomes apparent that it takes these guys to carry off the near-maudlin and make it tasteful. The number is branded classic.
Listen, it`s no hyper-critical bullshit to say that “Agents Of Fortune” will elevate this band to the ranks reserved for the pioneers. BOC don`t plagiarise for their ideas but they have the mystique and menace peculiar to vintage American rockers. When all is said and done this is the Cult at their best. Buy it, turn it on loud and work it out. I haven`t come down yet.


I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Steely Dan, Helen Mirren, Rod Stewart, Sam Jones, Supercharge, Stevie Winwood and Stomu Yamashta, Average White Band, Dr. Hook.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to:
2. The offer should be 15 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.