Blue Oyster Cult

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Agents of Fortune

Blue Oyster Cult - Agents of Fortune ©1976 Columbia
1. This Ain't the Summer of Love
2. True Confessions
3. (Don't Fear) the Reaper
4. E.T.I.
5. The Revenge of Vera Gemini
6. Sinful Love
7. Tattoo Vampire
8. Morning Final
9. Tenderloin
10. Debbie Denise

Without a doubt, 1976's Agents of Fortune is known primarily for its infamous single "(Don't Fear) the Reaper", a rightfully annointed classic rock song and one of the most memorable of the era. Thanks to the popularity of the song, Agents of Fortune achieved platinum sales. But as with much of my experience with the Blue Oyster Cult, once I scratch past the surface, I simply can't figure out what the hoopla about this band could possibly be.

The remaining nine tracks on the studio release are utterly forgettable compositions of dated mid 70s rock. This is not to say they're poorly performed or even bad by any measure, but they absolutely lack the impact of their more famous single. Generally with classic rock records, I listen and see if I can recognize songs that you've heard on the radio, eminating from people's car stereos or even the supermarket's in-house music system. Except for "(Don't Fear) the Reaper", these songs are head scratchers and ciphers. Nothing on Agents of Fortune even comes close to that single, nor could they. Unlike bands such as AC/DC and Motorhead, who were just getting going, Blue Oyster Cult presents themselves as mild mannered stadium rock with a slight tendency towards science fiction. Agents of Fortune offers very little besides moderately competent, dated 70s rock to discerning ears. This is never a bad record but it never even comes close to being a noteworthy classic of the era, offering one geniune nugget and a whole lot of disposable filler.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 08/2009

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