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Music Review: Blue Oyster Cult – Setlist: The Very Best Of Blue Oyster Cult Live

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Legacy’s Setlist Series gathers live tracks from the career of eleven of rock and country’s enduring artists in order to create the perfect setlist.

I have now listened to a half dozen of the releases and some are more successful than others. Much of the material has been released on previous live albums and while it is nice to revisit, it has still been heard before. A great deal of the advertised unreleased material is different versions of well known tracks. Still if you do not own any or many live albums by such artists as Alabama, Blue Oyster Cult, Johnny Cash, Cheap Trick, Jefferson Airplane, Judas Priest, Kansas, Willie Nelson, Ted Nugent, Quiet Riot, and REO Speedwagon, this series is a good and fairly economical place to start.

Blue Oyster Cult was formed during the late sixties by guitarist/lead vocalist Eric Bloom and lead guitarist/vocalist Donald Roeser. They have remained with the band for 43 years. Other members during their classic period were keyboardist Allen Lanier, bassist Joe Bouchard, and drummer Albert Bouchard.

Their instrumental sound was hard rock to the core. Their vocals had a lighter sound which was a nice counterpoint. This combination enabled them to became and remain commercially popular for decades. The height of their popularity occurred during the late seventies and first half of the eighties with such albums asSecret TreatiesandAgents Of Fortune.Their two most successful singles, “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” and “Burnin’ For You” received massive radio airplay in their day.

Setlist: The Very Best Of Blue Oyster Cult Liveis a visit to some old and mostly familiar friends. Songs such as “R.U. Ready To Rock,” “The Red and The Black,” “7 Seven Screaming Diz-Busters,” and the always welcome “Cities On Flame,” are excellent examples of hard rock at its best.

There are three unreleased tracks. “Godzilla,” from a 1977 performance at Detroit’s Cobo Arena is not all that different from other live versions which have been around for awhile. The gem is a live version of “The Vigil” which I did not have in my collection. The live performance of the UK single “Flaming Telepaths” is also interesting.

All in all the music is consistently very good. Whether someone wants that music in this form is a decision for the buyer.

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