“Setlist: The Very Best Of Blue Oyster Cult – Live” by Blue Oyster Cult

Artist: Blue Oyster Cult
Title: “Setlist: The Very Best Of Blue Oyster Cult – Live”
Label: Sony Music
Release Date: 7/13/2010
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 3.5

Even though I was never much the study of their musical teachings, it is without question that The Blue Oyster Cult is, and has remained one of the most influential of all the Hard Rock acts out there. For decades the team supreme of the bands lineup in Donald “Buck” Dharma and Eric Bloom have entertained the masses with some really excellent tunes. If you grew up during the glory days of radio Rock then you are well aware of the band based on tunes such as “Godzilla” and “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” being staples in almost every deejays rotation. Those amazing times for Rock acts are gone in terms of the amount of this kind of music that was at one time very easily enjoyed and now the best place to hear it is either on satellite subscriptions or internet feeds – the times they are indeed ‘a changing. BOC was known for having a very powerful live show in terms of their musical makeup and since they were never a band based on tricks; this was the most important aspect that one would go into a show knowing when this band was on their evening’s agenda. As with the many other “Setlist Live” compilations, this release takes what is believed to be the crème de la crème of the bands gigs and gives you a number of the tunes in one simple place. They are also presenting a couple of tracks that were never before heard by the public and in this particular albums case those tunes would be “The Vigil” and “ME 262”. Some of these albums found me thinking that based on the bands overall impact that they should have been a double or expanded in some fashion by an online connection and this is especially the case when it comes to a band that has over forty years worth of material.

Unless you are someone that is a diehard follower of the band and thereby a completist insofar as the term is used this might only be something that you use an online medium to fill in the blank on the unheard tracks and not much more. While this might be a relatively strong sampling of what BOC is all about and could totally rally some new troops to their cause, I had to say that the omission of the classic “Burning For You” is a heinous offense to a listener like me. Yes this tune is played to death on conventional radio wherever that happens to play Rock nowadays, but for me this was a very special song that calls to mind a part of life where less drama and tests were to be found. Having it be bypassed just made me grumble a little bit. I did love having a killer version of “Godzilla” and “Reaper” but I don’t think that there are many Rock fans alive who don’t appreciate those songs. These are nice releases to own in some sense for those listeners that really enjoy live material as opposed to studio releases so if you are a music aficionado like that then by all means check into this edition of the “Setlist Live” series. There are plenty of them available and many more to come to service that particular Jones. The band still tours today but has gone through a number of lineup changes since its inception and now only finds Bloom and Dharma from the original players still holding down the musical fort. The last time I caught them they had bassist Rudy Sarzo from Quiet Riot/Whitensnake and more holding it all down. Interestingly enough, Quiet Riot has also been given a “Setlist Live” CD of their own but views about that are to be found in another review altogether. Stay tuned.

About The Setlist Collection: These releases are packaged in what is termed Eco-Friendly cardboard sleeves and that means there is not much to the actual package and hence less impact on the environment. It opens like a book, and the CD fits neatly into a slot. There is a single photo and some track listings but to see more you need to put the CD in your computer. Doing this offers the buyer a PDF of the booklet that gives you a couple of additional photos and some liner notes about the track selection. There is also a complete discography listing and each reference leads you to the Sony online store so you can make a purchase. They also offer up “recommended selections” should you have some additional interest in what they are releasing. I liked this but felt with the use of the online side that a few secret tracks could have been offered and perhaps more photos as well. They are very reasonably priced.

Track Listing:
1. R.U. Ready To Rock
2. Cities In Flame
3. The Red And The Black
4. Godzilla
5. Screaming Diz-Busters
6. (Don’t Fear) The Reaper
7. Harvester Of Eyes
8. Black Blade
9. The Vigil
10. Flaming Telepaths
11. Guitars
12. ME 262

Official Website: http://www.blueoystercult.com

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