Blue Öyster Cult #14 : Imaginos
Friendlycard | Norfolk, UK | 06/11/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"You will hear various opinions about this 1988 studio album from Blue Öyster Cult. It's genius, twenty years in gestation and six years in the making. It was an Albert Bouchard solo project but the label insisted on labelling it as a Blue Öyster Cult album. It's a concept album. And so forth.
To me, it's simply a superb comeback, and this great band's best studio outing since "Secret Treaties". For `comeback', let me explain. I regard the BÖC's first three (`black and white' albums) as sheer genius, far and away my favourite heavy metal, dark, original, hugely innovative and professional. Then came the mega-hit `(Don't Fear) The Reaper', and the "Agents of Fortune" album packaged around it. Though not a `bad' album as such, this was a sad disappointment after what had come earlier, both in the studio and in the stunning live double, "On Your Feet Or On Your Knees".
Subsequently, the BÖC tried to regain its original inspiration, but, for a long time, they never really succeeded. Then came "Cultosaurus Erectus", definitely their best studio production since "Treaties". With "Imaginos", they went one better - here, we are very nearly back to the pre-commercial BÖC of the early seventies.
Lyrically, "Imaginos" is a concept album themed around a science-fictional/mystical storyline penned by mentor Sandy Pearlman from the late sixties. This, in fact, is largely beside the point. What we have here is a fine suite of nine tracks. BÖC lay down their credentials and intent from the first cadences of `I Am The One...', and maintain the quality right through to the closing notes of the title track.
There isn't a weak cut on this remarkably original album, but highlights include `Astronomy' (originally slated for "Imaginos", included, spectacularly atmospherically, on "Treaties", and back here in very different but excellent form), and `Blue Öyster Cult' (a very much evolved version of `The Subhuman' from the same album).
This is the band's best album since the mid-seventies, and reminds us that, at their best, BÖC must be rated as one of the very finest rock bands.