Exposé Online banner

The Blue Öyster Cult — Tyranny and Mutation
(Columbia CK 85481, 1973/2001, CD)

by Mike McLatchey, Published 2017-04-13

Tyranny and Mutation Cover art

There was always something a bit sinister, a bit weird, a bit occult, and a bit conspiratorial about Blue Öyster Cult and as a kid I just ate that up, in fact I'd guess BÖC probably had something of a major effect on what I read now too. I talked about Secret Treaties, my favorite, in an earlier tier but Tyranny and Mutation is probably a close second. I bought in on cassette as kid and listened to it frequently. For one thing, just like on their debut, these songs have fantastic and evocative titles and the young rebel in me loved the incendiary dark "Hot Rails to Hell," I seem to even remember fast forwarding to get to that some times. But really that whole first side is damn near perfect, some of the strangest, most menacing proto-metal out there. Side 2 seems to reveal BÖC's more ballad-prone side a little more, but in some ways it's even weirder, pointing quite a bit to some of the writing that would show up on their breakout record Agents of Fortune. Lyrically, thanks in part to Sandy Pearlman, BÖC was one of the greats — their stories were so perfectly placed as to not give away too much, but just enough to be evocative to light up the imagination and here they were just starting to really pick up speed with their imagery (not to disclude the iconic cover either) and mythos.


Filed under: Reissues, 2001 releases, 1973 recordings

Related artist(s): Blue Öyster Cult

Latest news

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Various Artists - Neu Konservatiw – I understand that God Mountain doesn't want to become known as a progressive rock label... but with non-album tracks included by bands like Tipographica and Koenji Hyakkei, as well as several...  (1995) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues