Blue Öyster Cult

Blue Öyster Cult are an American hard-rock band from Long Island that released 11 studio albums and three live sets on Columbia between 1972 and 1988.

Members: Eric Bloom (guitar, vocals), Buck Dharma (lead guitar, vocals), Allen Lanier (rhythm guitar, keyboards, bass, 1970-85, 1987-2007), Albert Bouchard (drums, guitar, vocals, 1970-81), Joe Bouchard (bass, vocals, 1970-86), Rick Downey (drums, 1981-85), Thommy Price (drums, 1985), Tommy Zvonchek (keyboards, 1985-86), Jimmy Wilcox (drums, vocals, 1985-86), Jon Rogers (bass, 1986-95), Ron Riddle (drums, 1987-91)

Blue Öyster Cult formed as Soft White Underbelly, a garage-psych band assembled in 1967 by Stony Brook University students Donald Roeser (guitar, vocals), Allen Lanier (keyboards), Andrew Winters (bass), and Albert Bouchard (drums). At this early stage, they also featured singer Jeff Kagel, who later found success as Hindu devotional singer Krishna Das.

While jamming one night at their campus communal house, they were overheard by rock writer Sandy Pearlman, who offered to be their manager. Another Stony Brook music writer, Richard Meltzer, provided the band with lyrics. After Pearlman secured them a deal with Elektra, Soft White Underbelly recorded an album’s worth of material in 1968. Their lead vocalist at this time, Les Braunstein, left soon after it was recorded, prompting Elektra to shelve the album.

Eric Bloom, first employed as their sound engineer, was hired as their new lead singer. As their live act faltered, Pearlman changed their name to Oaxaca, then to Stalk-Forrest Group. He also gave each member a stagename: Buck Dharma (Roeser), Jesse Python (Bloom), Andy Panda (Winters), Prince Omega (Bouchard), La Verne (Lanier). Only Roeser would keep his stagename.

In 1970, the band recorded another album for Elektra, but the only release at this time was the single “What Is Quicksand?” (b/w “Arthur Comics”). (The album was later released as St. Cecilia: The Elektra Recordings in 2001 on Rhino Handmade Records.) Pearlman changed their name again, this time to Blue Öyster Cult, taken from one of his poems about a group of aliens who guide the history of the Earth. Winters cleared way for Albert’s bassist brother Joe Bouchard.

The renamed band was spotted by producer David Lucas, who cut demos of their newer hard rock material. Pearlman took these tapes to Columbia, which signed the band in 1971. That October, they entered Lucas’ eight-track studio to cut their first album.


  • Blue Öyster Cult (1972)
  • Tyranny and Mutation (1973 • The Blue Öyster Cult)
  • Secret Treaties (1974)
  • On Your Feet or on Your Knees (live 2LP, 1975)
  • Agents of Fortune (1976)
  • Spectres (1977)
  • Some Enchanted Evening (live, 1978)
  • Mirrors (1979)
  • Cultösaurus Erectus (1980)
  • Fire of Unknown Origin (1981)
  • Extraterrestrial Live (live 2LP, 1982)
  • The Revölution by Night (1983)
  • Club Ninja (1986)
  • Imaginos (1988)


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