Öyster Cult is a psychedelic/heavy metal
band probably best known for two songs: their 1976
single “(Don’t Fear) the
Reaper” from the album, Agents Of Fortune and their 1981
single, “Burning for You”, from Fire of Unknown
Origin. “Veteran of the Psychic Wars”, with lyrics penned by Michael Moorcock, appeared in the
soundtrack of the movie, Heavy Metal.
Two other well-known songs are “Godzilla” (1977)
from Spectres, and “Astronomy” (1973)
from Secret Treaties;
the latter was covered by Metallica on 1998’s
members of the band began to come together in the mid-1960s,
as a college band called “Soft White Underbelly”, at Stony Brook
University, a branch of the State
University of New York on Long Island, New
York, at the prompting of critic Sandy Pearlman. Pearlman was very
influential for the band, booking gigs, their first record
and using his poetry as the basis of many of their songs,
including “Astronomy”. The band changed its name to the Stalk Forrest Group
in 1968. One single was released on Elektra
Records under this name in 1969, though over one
album’s worth of songs was recorded. The name again changed to the Blue
Oyster Cult in 1970. (The name was suggested by Sandy; the
added later.) They became a successful heavy metal band during the 1970s.
At a time when the genre seemed tired and old-fashioned, Blue Öyster Cult
released records that combined powerful music and intelligent and funny lyrics.
They are still playing in the 21st century.
umlaut on the “Ö” in their name started the
trend for using the “heavy metal umlaut”
in band names. It was suggested to Pearlman by rock critic Richard Meltzer.
“BOC” have had a minor resurgence recently with two new albums, Heaven
Forbid and Curse of the Hidden Mirror, with sixteen songs written by
cyberpunk/horror novelist John Shirley.