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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Blue Öyster Cult

The Revolution By Night

Review by Gary Hill

Released in October of 1983, Revolution by Night was the 12th album by Blue Oyster Cult. The music on the album is definitely in the hard rock/heavy metal sort of genre, while showing many indications of more progressive leanings, both in writing and arranging. The lineup on this album was Eric Bloom, Joe Bouchard, Rick Downey, Allen Lanier, and Donald (Buck Dharma) Roeser, with several sidemen(most notably, Aldo Nova and Larry Fast).

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Track by Track Review
Take Me Away
A tale of a desire to be taken away by a UFO, this track is generally a nice hard rock/metal number, but contains a rather quirky and intricate instrumental break. This is definitely a BOC classic.
Eyes on Fire
Beginning with some substantial and lovely piano work, Eyes on Fire is good song of love and desire, and situations where both of those are found in different people. This is a solid track, although not really a stand out.
Shooting Shark
Another song which has come to be a Blue Oyster Cult standard, this one features a funky bass line, and a rather pleasing and somewhat minimalistic arrangement. This one is truly quite lovely at times, most of that loveliness being achieved with nicely layered keyboards and backing vocals.
Veins is a track of a man who is haunted by the question of "did I kill somebody?" Musically, this track is a hard rock number with some very nice keyboards and a tasty guitar solo. The intro and instrumental break are a bit reminiscent of Rush`s Moving Pictures era, while the ending draws quite heavily on the sounds of ELO.
Shadow of California
This track, well in the heavy metal mode, is a strong piece, although not really standing out that much from the rest of the album. Shadow of California is as close to a title track this album has, using the phrase "revolution by night" in the lyrics.
Feel the Thunder
A song about a band of ghostly motorcycle riders, this is a nicely spooky song. Considering that this album was released in October, this piece was probably quite appropriate for the season. This is literally a haunting number, both lyrically and musically. A hard rock song with some solidly progressive leanings which includes several references to Halloween, therefore making it a nice music choice for that evening. Lyrically, this track is more image oriented than shock oriented, though ("a fiery crash of chrome and steel was the beginning of the longest dream").
Let Go
Simply a good solid rock and roll tune, Let Go is kind of an anthem to the band, featuring the chorus "B---O---C", and is actually just a bit in the mode of the rock and roll type Alice Cooper song(the type of material that simply rocks without menace).
Dragpn Lady
This one just jumps in and starts rocking quite hard, before dropping back a bit for the verse of the song. Lyrically, this song is about a woman who "appears mysteriously" and "takes you by the heart". Musically a nice solid rock song, not really metal, but not really prog either, simply a competent rocker. Still, parts of the song do feature rather quirky arrangements.
Light Years of Love
This is a well-done rock ballad, lyrical your basic love song, with very unique lyrical imagery. "When we met, it was like a white hot star, the speed of light, between two hearts". The song really seems to touch the soul connection type of love which lives on from one life to the next, and serves as a rather satisfying conclusion to a very solid album.
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