Weekend Musical Break: Blue Oyster Cult

Part of the joy of This is Spinal Tap is that the songs are as good as they are. They are as self-important and cheesy as it needed for the satire of the film, but they also work in the context of the milieu presented by the film, and as actual songs in the musical genre they’re satirizing.

This is, in this context, the difference between ‘satire’ and ‘spoof’. Spinal Tap is not a spoof, and loves the culture it’s poking fun at even while it’s doing so – you can see the joy in the actors’ performances even while they are acting ludicrously. It does not hold it in contempt as Epic Movie does to its subject matter.

I’m a great fan of Progressive Rock (of which you’ll see a lot in this ongoing segment,) and last week’s ‘Stonehenge’ is very much a crack at that subgenre of rock. I’m sure there’s a musical act that you think of when you watch that scene from the movie; I always think of Blue Oyster Cult, one of my favorite bands, and one which created a lot of epic, glorious, pompous songs. Today’s entry is one of their biggest hits, and far less self-indulgent than ‘Veteran of the Psychic Wars’ or ‘The Great Sun Jester’. But even when BOC was doing these operatic epics, they never lost sight of the fact that the songs they were performing were basically cheesy and overwritten, and thus a sense of humor, sometimes grim, pervades them. They wrote a song about a zombie Joan Crawford, for heaven’s sake, to say nothing of the one about Godzilla.

Oh, and yeah… this is the one with the cowbell.

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3 responses to “Weekend Musical Break: Blue Oyster Cult

  1. BOC is my favorite band. Just the other day, I was thinking of a good autumn set for them. Starting with Harvest Moon, of course, and then moving on to Damaged, The Old Gods Return, I Love the Night, Astronomy, and Shadow of California. They have so MANY different styles, it’s really hard to pin just one thing on them. But aside from some missteps *cough*Club Ninja*cough*, they always rocked.

  2. BoC was a HUGE part of my life
    My first concert I ever saw? BoC
    I learned to play drums using the straight forward BoC rhythms (I could play most of the songs from Cultosaurus Erectus and Fire of Unknown Origin)

    I saw BoC 4 times in my life, and had a career as a musician for 3 years of my life (yes…my only job) thanks to these guys!

    Favorite Guitar Track? Red and the Black!

    I never go back to these old bands I use to listen to (that is the sucky part of being a musician..I played the songs I listened to, and after playing them for umpteen million times, you are DONE), and always need a new fix1. But whenever I think of BoC, I can always smile knowing what a great time I had in my life..

  3. The bigger the cushion the sweeter the pushin’.

    Best opening line ever. And it really works on the ladies…

    Jason (resident drunken idiot of Channel Massive)