Exposé Online banner

Blue Öyster Cult — Secret Treaties
(Columbia CK 85480, 1974/2002, CD)

by Mike McLatchey, Published 2015-07-09

Secret Treaties Cover art

McLatchey's Top Tier #4

If you track BOC back to their early days you can see their strong SF Bay Area roots, but by this point in their career all of the influences from those to Black Sabbath and King Crimson had been absorbed into a totally individual vision. This is cemented by an almost perfect sense of suggestion with the lyrics and overall concept, something conspiratorial going on, something slightly inimical, hinting at forbidden knowledge and wisdom. This is unified musically by the way the melodies incorporate modal scales, usually in Buck Dharma's classic guitar work. It's still rock and roll and relies just as much on the blues and all-out riffing, but the intelligence behind all of it is so assured and it never goes to extremes, nearly every song is instantly memorable. It's like weird fiction as music and it's no surprise that much of their touring dips from this album. It's an American classic rock masterpiece. And it might be the album that's stayed the longest on the entire list.


Filed under: Reissues, 2002 releases, 1974 recordings

Related artist(s): Blue Öyster Cult

Latest news

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart $amp; Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more

2017-09-06
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more

2017-08-22
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Tabula Rasa - Ekkedien Tanssi – Ekkedien Tanssi was the second album by this Finnish five-piece who created a type of mellow, melodic prog not unlike the music of Camel. Indeed, this album is comparable in both style and quality to...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues