Friday, September 6, 2013

Career of (not quite as) Evil

Just because the "BOC Challenge" is finished, that doesn't mean there's no more Blue Oyster Cult in these parts. In fact, just the other day, I was listening to Secret Treaties, my favorite of their albums! Today, we're going to discuss an anomaly about the song "Career of Evil".

As you might remember, "Career of Evil" is one of the songs that made both my list and Kabuki's list in the Challenge. Here's a refresher as far as what it sounds like:

One of the bonus tracks on the remastered Secret Treaties is the single version of "Career of Evil". It is about a minute shorter, omitting the middle portion of the song. I expect this was more about reaching the magic "three minute mark" for 45s rather than an example of censorship. After all, there's plenty of censoring going on, too!

It's pretty well known among serious BOC aficionados that the line "I’d like to do it to your daughter on a dirt road" is altered to "I’d like to do it like you oughta on a dirt road" on the single version. However, I don't think I've seen people mention the change right at the beginning - "I want your wife to be my/Baby tonight, baby tonight" becomes "I want your life to be my/Baby tonight, baby tonight". Too subtle, perhaps? (And no, it doesn't really make sense. But the song's lyrics are rather impenetrable anyway.)

Apparently, there is some question over whether the lyric changes were accomplished via editing or re-recording. Well, why? I don't consider myself an expert, but it's pretty plain to my ears that the vocal tracks for the two versions of "Career of Evil" are completely different. The readings on "rubric scarab" and "You're mine for the taking" are noticeably at odds. Now, I suspect the MUSIC is the same, but the vocals are not. Even if the same person sings the same song, it's not going to sound exactly the same.

And in case you are wondering, I looked high and low on Youtube and could not find the single version of "Career of Evil" anywhere. Bothersome.

I rather suspect "Career of Evil" is going to be coming up again here in the not too distant future, but for wholly other reasons. Huh? Wait and see.


  1. Looks like you received your hint loud and clear. ;)

    That said, I never noticed that initial shift in the lyrics, I think because the first version I heard was the non-censored version. After that, I just thought the single version was garbled-sounding and didn't think overmuch of it.

  2. I've been playing it close to the vest! :)

    I think one of my comp. discs also has the single version. I only knew of the different lyrics from reading about them, as I had never noticed them prior to that. It also helped to have them back to back (playing the single, then having the album version come up with the CD on repeat).