Whenever I see tributes to B.O.C. something gets me and I start smiling sarcastically. Maybe because most of them revolve around the classic albums of the 70s reaching up to (though exceptional, not so strong in songwriting altogether – I will explain what I mean, do not shoot), Fire of Unknown Origin, maybe because their discography after that is like it doesn’t exist … Anyway, weaknesses and love are not easily hidden, so I will write about the album that plays for the millionth time in my car and constitutes for a long time now, a real-life companion and along with 1988 ‘s Imaginos, their darkest work when it comes to sound.

Okay, after eleven years of recordings, a bunch of timeless classics, a (relatively) recent tour with Black Sabbath, in response to whom they were presented in the first place, Blue Oyster Cult was a household name. And the success of the previous album led them to look for a similar formula for the next one, so in November 1983 they released The Revolution by Night, without Albert Bouchard and producer Bruce Fairbairn instead of Sandy Pearlman (the man responsible for their sound, aesthetics, lyrics and overall success), who unofficially took over the mixing process.

I will not stand at the obvious hits of the album, ‘Take Me Away’ and ‘Shootin Shark’, their billboard numbers act as an evidence on their own (although the bass and saxophone in the latter is at least for a seminar). ‘Eyes of Fire’ is a wonderful number, erotically sung, paradoxically, by Eric Bloom, who, as a rule (sort of), took up the heavier songs of the band (though not always) and interprets in a unique way the lack and the desire for the loved one… In ‘Veins’ and ‘Shadow of California’ (especially in the latter), the band’s technique reaches exceptional levels, while they manage to keep the balance between understandable themes and inventive, almost improvisational changes (the cut in the middle in ‘Shadow of California’ and the return to the original theme, after a very inspired, climaxing jamming, for example) keeping in mind to serve the composition before and above anything else. The soundscapes are even darker in the heaviest song of the album, and my own favorite one, the awesome ‘Feel the Thunder’, where riffs and leads simply kill, while the next one, ‘Let Go’, a sudden change in the mood that you find only in a B.O.C album, is a dancing coolness where Eric Bloom informs you of the band’s potential (“you can be whatever you wanna be, you got the power, we got the key”). The outsider ‘Dragon Lady’ (can anyone else write such outsider, I wonder) is a pure Buck Dharma’s guitar and vocals business that wins you from the beginning while ‘Light Years of Love’ closes as a pretty relief tune a rather overrecognized gem from B. O. C.’s discography. OK, here there is no Joan Crawford or, more so, a Veteran of the Psychic Wars, but I think it’s a record based on his songs as a whole and not as units or hit singles (well, I prefer ‘Shootin Shark’ instead of ‘Burnin For You’ for instance, but I’m weird so…). This is a recipe that turned out to be successful on Fire of Unknown Origin, but it is on Revolution by Night that it was carried out in a better way, not to mention the next and (even more) the album after that. But we will talk about them in the future…