Top 10 Blue Öyster Cult Songs

Blue Öyster Cult, initially known as Soft White Underbelly, at first consisted of a group of college students who would go on to form the legendary group and become one of the nation’s all-time greatest rock and roll bands.

Formed in 1967, Blue Öyster Cult has released a total of 15 studio albums, including their self-titled debut album Blue Öyster Cult, and the band’s most commercially successful albums were released in the mid-’70s. BÖC’s 1975 live album On Your Feet or on Your Knees went gold; that was followed by their next studio album, Agents of Fortune, released in 1976, that went platinum and produced the band’s most commercially successful song “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper,” which reached number 12 on the Billboard charts. October 9, 2020, Blue Öyster Cult released its fifteenth studio album The Symbol Remains.

Blue Öyster Cult’s classic lineup included Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser (lead guitar, vocals), Eric Bloom (lead vocals, “stun guitar”), Allen Lanier (keyboards, rhythm guitar, backing vocals), Joe Bouchard (bass, vocals), and Albert Bouchard (drums, percussion, vocals).

The current lineup includes two original members: Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser and Eric Bloom. Danny Miranda (bass, backing vocals), Richie Castellano (keyboards, rhythm guitar, backing vocals), and Jules Radino (drums, percussion) are current members.

The band’s legendary sound intermittently combines the unique styles of melodramatic psychedelic rock, progressive rock, and hard rock. Throughout their 53-year run, Blue Öyster Cult produced several iconic hard rock classics that will forever remain part of the catalog of greatest rock and roll songs of all time.


Top 10 Blue Öyster Cult Songs


10. “Godzilla”

From: Spectres (1978)

This catchy classic rock song became a tribute of sorts to the movie of the same name. Although not commercially successful, it became a favorite among fans of the band and has since been covered by notable bands. The heavy rock song fit in well with the mix of varying rock sounds featured on the Spectres album.


9. “I Love the Night”

From: Spectres (1978)

A charming song, “I Love the Night” boasts a  steady helping of smooth guitar riffs and tempered vocals. There is a certain beauty to this harmonic song, making it clearly unique amongst the other songs in the Blue Öyster Cult catalog. This song exemplifies Roeser’s effortless vocals and Buck Dharma’s master guitar soloing skills.



8. “Cities on Flame With Rock and Roll”

From: Blue Öyster Cult (1972)

From the band’s debut album, this hard-rocking song features a high-flying guitar along with a Southern rock sound making this tune a classic. Buck Dharma’s blazing guitar solo makes “Cities on Flame With Rock and Roll” a power-packed  song that would eventually shape the band’s unique hard rock style.




7. “Hot Rails to Hell”

From: Tyranny and Mutations (1973)

From Blue Öyster Cult’s second album, this guitar-heavy tune includes the whole kit and caboodle when it comes to rock songs, from strong vocal to steady guitar riffs and powerful rapid-fire drum beats. From start to finish, “Hot Rails to Hell” is all non-stop rock and roll.



6. “Transmaniacon MC”

From: Blue Öyster Cult (1972)

The very first track from the band’s self-titled debut album, this clearly set forth the band’s image as hard rockers; this guitar-heavy song takes you through a vortex of jams that tells a story  about a motorcycle club’s antics and escapades. The song is a reference to the Altamont Free Concert in 1969 where the Hells Angels M.C. provided security for the concert that led to the death of Meredith Hunter.



5. “Career of Evil”

From: Secret Treaties (1974)

“Career of Evil” comes off Blue Öyster Cult’s third LP in fine fashion. Uniquely different from their usual sound, this once again shows that Blue Öyster Cult was quite capable early on of delivering a leveled and polished rock song of their own style. Fitting for that that time, the catchy song runs the gamut on what elements a rock song should have, including melodic lyrics and killer keyboards.



4. “This Ain’t the Summer of Love”

From Agents of Fortune (1975)

With the success of “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper,” the platinum-selling album got ears to the album, which peaked at No. 29 on the U.S. Billboard chart. At a short 2:21 it became the shortest song on the 14-track album. Regardless, it produced a unique blend that featured an extensive guitar riff with not yet known sounds of punk.



3. “Burnin’ for You”

From: Fire of Unknown Origin (1981)

Released in the MTV era of the early ’80s, “Burnin’ for You” hit on all cylinders of rock with heavy guitar riffs and unshakeable drum attacks. This became the band’s most successful song since “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper.” Blue Öyster Cult would go on to release three more albums in the ’80s, none of which ever came close to the success of Fire of Unknown Origin. “Burnin’ for You'”has become one of the bands’s most recognized and revered songs.



2. “ME 262”

From: Secret Treaties (1974)

“ME 262” was the fourth track from Blue Öyster Cult’s third studio album.  The song is about Germany’s famed WW2 Messerschmitt airplane, which became the superior flying aircraft of its time.  This was one of BÖC’s earliest rapid-fire rock tunes that delivered a full five minutes of a good time. Much like the aircraft, the song takes you for a fast ride without a crash landing.



1. “Don’t Fear) The Reaper”

From: Agents of Fortune (1975)

“(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” became Blue Öyster Cult’s biggest hit reaching Billboard’s No. 12 slot in 1976, eventually landing  Agents of Fortune album into platinum domination. The classic tune, known for its extensive use of cowbell, has become a rock anthem classic. The legendary guitar riffs and unearthly vocals propel this song into a gradual crescendo like a rocket launching into space.


Listen to all ten Blue Öyster Cult songs in our Spotify playlist, and for your consideration, the brand new single “The Alchemist” from Blue Öyster Cult’s new album The Symbol Remains.

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