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Blue Oyster Cult

Some Enchanted Evening  Hear it Now

RS: Not Rated Average User Rating: 3.5of 5 Stars

1986

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At its most powerful, Blue Öyster Cult's second live album reestablishes the band's reputation as America's favorite technological dinosaur. Armed with truckloads of skull-crushing chords and scalding lead-guitar lines, the Cult at times here achieves the kind of intensity and rhythmic momentum that such wheelchair cases as Van Halen and Rush can only dream about. Though you could easily argue that Some Enchanted Evening is a premature and riskless venture (four of its seven selections are from the group's last two LPs), it's still a genuine pleasure to hear the band without the glossy production of Spectres, whose Alvin-and-the-Chipmunks harmonies simply weren't very funny.

More than anything. Some Enchanted Evening functions as a showcase for Donald "Buck Dharma" Roeser. Without his often breathtaking guitar work—his fingers fly up and down the neck with an ease and assurance that brings to mind Eric Clapton and Duane Allman—most of these songs (particularly "Astronomy") just wouldn't soar like they do. The Cult jumps headlong into the MC5's legendary "Kick Out the Jams" with the same agility and passion that carry the buoyant melodies of its own "R.U. Ready 2 Rock." But what really sticks in your head is the awesome power of this version of "E.T.I. (Extra Terrestrial Intelligence)," on which Roeser unleashes what has to be the best heavy-metal guitar hook since the explosion of the Hindenburg.

Though Some Enchanted Evening's professionalism shows up Blue Öyster Cult's first live record (On Your Feet or on Your Knees) as sloppy and almost unlistenable, the new album comes with its own disappointments. "Godzilla" plods as tiredly as any song on Kiss' Alive II, while the band's reworking of the Animals' "We Gotta Get Out of This Place" misfires completely. Whereas the Animals sang this life-or-death Sixties classic as if they had to get out of the dirty old heart of the city, the Cult's members merely sound like they'd like to. (RS 285)


MITCHELL SCHNEIDER





(Posted: Feb 22, 1979)

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