BLUE ÖYSTER CULT — Club Ninja — the ultimate metal music online community, from the creators of

BLUE ÖYSTER CULT - Club Ninja cover
3.06 | 18 ratings | 2 reviews
Buy this album from MMA partners

Album · 1985


1. White Flags (4:43)
2. Dancin' In The Ruins (4:01)
3. Make Rock Not War (3:58)
4. Perfect Water (5:31)
5. Spy In The House Of The Night (4:23)
6. Beat 'Em Up (3:24)
7. When The War Comes (6:03)
8. Shadow Warrior (5:42)
9. Madness To The Method (7:24)

Total Time 45:14


- Eric Bloom / guitars, vocals
- Donald Roeser / guitars, vocals
- Joe Bouchard / bass, vocals
- Tommy Zvoncheck / synthesizers, keyboards
- Jimmy Wilcox / drums, vocals

About this release

December 10, 1985

Thanks to cannon, Pekka, Lynx33 for the updates


More places to buy metal & BLUE ÖYSTER CULT music

  • CDUniverse - Specializing in the sale of domestic and imported music CDs and Imports


Specialists/collaborators reviews

Blue Oyster Cult were on the top of their game in the early eighties. They’d scored a huge hit with “Burnin’ for You”, they had contributed to the soundtrack of the animated film, “Heavy Metal”, and they’d been touring with Black Sabbath. Unfortunately, things would start sliding for the band. Drummer Albert Bouchard was fired, seeing the first change in the classic and long-running line-up. Then came the disappointing sales of 1983’s “The Revolution by Night”, which failed to reach gold. By the time the band was ready to record their tenth studio album, keyboard player Allen Lanier also parted ways with the band. Former manager, Sandy Pearlman was called in, perhaps in hopes of restoring something from the band’s classic days.

As the band had done in the past, outside songwriters were contacted to write some of the lyrics, and one song, “White Flags” was a cover song from the Canadian Leggatt Brothers 1981 album. Pearlman was very meticulous about the sound he wanted from the band and some of the eighties pop sounding percussion and synthesizers were at his insistence.

“Club Ninja” was for many a big disappointment, even though the song “Dancing in the Ruins” became a minor charting hit. The road of fortune from here on would lead to the band losing bassist Joe Bouchard, the confusing “Imaginos” album that was not meant to be a BOC album, the band being released from CBS, and ultimately, Blue Oyster Cult spending most of the nineties without releasing any new material.

“Club Ninja” was my second BOC purchase after “The Revolution by Night”, so you could say that my introduction to the band was through two of their lowest rated and ranked albums. At the time of the release of “Club Ninja”, I was getting into more extreme heavy metal all the while balancing my musical taste with more melodic glam metal and hard rock. “Club Ninja” surprised me. I wasn’t sure what to make of it. There were the hard rocking and heavy guitars but there were also bright, eighties pop synth sounds which I still cringe at to this day. There was dramatic music with really catchy vocal melodies but there were also electronic drums which I have never cared for much. Did I like the album?

I found certain songs intriguing as they offered something new or at least rare in my cassette collection. That jangly eighties guitar sound I didn’t like actually sounded pretty good on “Perfect Water”, and in spite of the keyboard sounds, I felt the song drawing me back for repeated listens, eventually becoming one of my favourite tracks on the album. It had a mysterious and also beautifully serene atmosphere to it. Not one band in my music collection had a song like this.

Then there was “White Flags”. A song packed with tension and spots of release sometimes simply through a keyboard effect but more so with the break into the chorus. One of my favourite parts was the organ bit that follows the, “Take me away! Yeeeaaahhh!” part. When I finally heard the original version recorded by the Leggatt Brothers, I was disappointed that there was no organ part.

“Shadow Warrior” was a wonderfully ominous and dark track with lyrical imagery typical of the band’s works – a kind of future, science fiction / fantasy tale. And “Madness to the Method” had this dynamiic piano solo in the song’s dramatic conclusion. “Spy in the House of Night” also was not my usual cup of tea but somehow strangely attracted my ears. In fact, the only songs that I thought were a little silly were “Make Rock Not War” and “Beat ‘Em Up”, mostly for their atrocious meathead rock band-sounding titles. Musically, they were actually not so bad except for the keyboard sounds.

I finally bought this album on CD and listened to it for the first time in about 30 years. I was surprised how much I remembered of the songs. I must have listened to this album more than I thought because I felt like I was listening to an old classic or an old favourite. True, I still flinch at some keyboards parts and “Beat ‘Em Up” is still a goofy title. But I found that I actually really like this album! In fact, I think one of the things I appreciate about it now more than before is the prog element. In the mid-eighites, prog was carefully concealed beneath the pop flash of former prog kings or in the more complex music of some metal bands. “Club Ninja” on the other hand grasps hard and heavy rock, pop sounds and melodies, classic rock, and progressive flare (heavy organ and dramatic piano solos plus seven-minute songs with sci-fi and fantasy concepts) and sets them all out on the table. The album was costly to produce and took nearly a year to put together under the strict guidance of visionary Sandy Pearlman. In the end, the results were probably more baffling to most people who couldn’t make sense of what the band was trying to do. My opinion is that Blue Oyster Cult created an album of intelligent lyrical content, music of atmosphere, drama, energy, and dark and light, and many modern sounds that captured both the light, popular side and the harder-edged rock side.

Having this album back again, I appreciate it even more now after decades of exploring heavy and progressive music much, much further. For fans of heavy music, this album cannot be said to be an excellent addition to any heavy metal collection. It’s really a matter of preference in this case. I give it four and a half stars out of my own taste, but for this site, I’ll give it three.
The Blue Oyster Cult tendency to push their pop flirtations a little too far for the fans they won with their heavier work to stomach strikes yet again here. Club Ninja is to their 1980s output what Mirrors was to their 1970s output - an album where the distinctive Blue Oyster Cult weirdness which remains present on their better pop albums threatens to disappear.

However, whereas Mirrors had some interesting sonic experiments, even if they were quite un-Cultish sonic experiments, here the band spend entirely too much time adopting the sound of utterly generic mid-1980s rock. It's entertainingly and competently done, mind, which is why I don't rate this lower than I do, but at the same time it's highly jarring if what you are expecting is something which sounds like Blue Oyster Cult.

That said, Method to the Madness and Where the War Comes seem to include sniffs of that distinctive Blue Oyster odour, and there seems to be an overarching idea here - a recurring theme of the allure of violence - but to really unpack that further, you'd need to listen to this album a lot, and it's a love-it-or-hate-it prospect - or, rather, a like-it-or-hate it prospect, since I think you're more likely to go "Eh, yeah, this is pretty good" than you are to say "This is FANTASTIC!"

Members reviews

No BLUE ÖYSTER CULT CLUB NINJA reviews posted by members yet.

Ratings only

  • GWLHM76
  • MrMan2000
  • Foffone
  • ian
  • Seven Moons
  • aglasshouse
  • Spookyfoot
  • Citizen
  • joe2m
  • Lynx33
  • ultmetal
  • ollischr
  • Tlön
  • mr.gonzoss
  • Hagbard Celine

Write/edit review

You must be logged in to write or edit review


Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
Master of Puppets Thrash Metal
Buy this album from our partners
Paranoid Heavy Metal
Buy this album from our partners
Moving Pictures Hard Rock
Buy this album from our partners
Powerslave NWoBHM
Buy this album from our partners
Rising Heavy Metal
Buy this album from our partners

New Metal Artists

New Metal Releases

Oni Deathcore
Buy this album from MMA partners
Bad Mood Rising Sludge Metal
Buy this album from MMA partners
The Void Eternal Deathcore
Buy this album from MMA partners
Dianacrawls / Botfly Hardcore Punk
Buy this album from MMA partners
Dianacrawls / Botfly Hardcore Punk
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Metal Online Videos

How To Shake Hands
Tupan· 8 hours ago
More videos

New MMA Metal Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions


Latest Metal News


More in the forums

Social Media

Follow us