Records That Made History

Blue Öyster Cult – Agents of Fortune

todayMarch 9, 2024 13

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Agents Of Fortune is the fourth studio album by American hard rock band Blue Öyster Cult, released on vinyl on May 21, 1976 by Columbia Records, produced by Murray Krugman, Sandy Perlman and David Lucas.

From 1972 to 1974, Blue Öyster Cult released three successful studio albums and toured constantly, attracting new friends, but the big commercial success came with 1975’s live recording “On Your Feet Or On Your Knees” and paved the way for the style of Agents of Fortune.

The record was a continuation of the first trio of records, but with a more commercial feel to their sound, making it the band’s first album to go platinum. Tracks such as “True Confessions”, “Morning Final”, “Tenderloin” and “Debbie Denise” included pop elements, with the participation of Randy and Michael Brecker on brass.

If ever there was a manifesto for 1970s rock, predating both the decline of explosive heavy metal and the excesses of progressive rock and the rage of punk rock, it’s none other than the album-opening song “This Ain’t The Summer Of Love”. The irony was that while the track itself was firmly on the hard rock side of the fence, most of the album was not.

BOC’s biggest single hit is here, with “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” reaching #12 on Billboard in the summer of 1976. Its riff was inspired by the music of the Byrds, but with members of band to have stated that it was too commercial for their style. “This Ain’t The Summer Of Love” was also released as a single, but failed to enter the Hot-100.

Another track on the record was “The Revenge Of Vera Gemini”, which drummer Albert Buschard wrote with Patti Smith, who at the time was in a relationship with the band’s keyboardist Allen Lanier. Smith recorded the track’s intro monologue, as well as his backing vocals.

The band never managed to approach the sales of “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” with another single, although 1981’s “Burnin’ For You” was their second and final Top-40 hit. The record entered the Top-30 in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, as well as the Top-10 in Sweden, with the British magazine NME including it in their list of the ten best albums of the year.

Through this excellent album I choose the track “Sinful Love”.

Tracklist

This Ain’t The Summer Of Love 2:20
True Confessions 2:55
(Don’t Fear) The Reaper 5:05
E.T.I. (Extra Terrestrial Intelligence) 3:43
The Revenge Of Vera Gemini 3:48
Sinful Love 3:28
Tattoo Vampire 2:40
Morning Final 4:14
Tenderloin 3:53
Debbie Denise 4:12

Written by: Dimitris Sigalos

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