Thursday, August 22, 2013

The BOC Challenge - Kabuki's Picks!

As promised in yesterday's Blue Oyster Cult-themed entry, I am happy to report that Kabuki's entry also went live on Aug. 21. In the interest of full disclosure, her post was written prior to mine, but I did not see it while putting together my picks. I thought it would be more fun that way. I almost scheduled mine for a time that would have put it later than hers, but I had no way of knowing that either.

Kabuki's post is just as much fun as I was hoping, because between the two of us, we only picked three of the same songs! Those were "Career of Evil", "Black Blade", and "Harvest Moon". The first two were not really unexpected, but the last genuinely caught me off-guard. Both of us only picked one post-80s song, and it was the same one! So check it out already!

Perhaps not surprisingly, three of Kabuki's other picks were in contention for inclusion on my list: "Veteran of the Psychic Wars", "Flaming Telepaths", and "Revenge of Vera Gemini". I was especially on the fence on "Flaming Telepaths" (the segue between it and "Astronomy" on Secret Treaties is a thing of beauty), but ultimately felt like I was perhaps favoring my top BOC album a bit too much. And if you doubt the excellence of Secret Treaties, check THIS out - between the two of us, we selected all but one track from the original LP.

My biggest delight in Kabuki's list is her total dark horse pick of the demo version of the original "Fire of Unknown Origin"! Not that it's a bad song - in many ways, I like this version of it better than the final one that appears on the album that shares its name. I just didn't see it coming, so my hat's off to her for digging really deep into the catalog for this!

As an addendum, there are a couple of songs that were strong contenders for me, except that I think they have been done more justice live than they were in the studio. One of those is "Perfect Water", which was included on the mostly disappointing Club Ninja. Buck Dharma had expressed his own dissatisfaction with the studio version, and the desire to revisit the song. The linked version is from 2003, and is to my mind far superior. The other is "The Vigil" (yet another alien encounters song!), which originally appeared on Mirrors. That version isn't bad at all, but frankly every live version I've heard has made me sit up and take more notice of it. Maybe you'll agree when you check out the concert recording from 2009 I've linked here.

Finally, I think Kabuki should get the last word in summing up quite succinctly how the two of us geek out over "Astronomy":

Favorite Line: All of it.


  1. Secret Treaties is a fine, fine album. There is no disputing that.

    I hadn't heard "Perfect Water" or "The Vigil" before, but I'm glad you linked to them! Oddly enough, I also think that "Harvest Moon" sounds better in concert recordings than it does on the album.

  2. Possibly their finest as a complete album?

    I'll have to point you in the right direction via e-mail on those. And you know, I completely agree with you about "Harvest Moon".