BLUE ÖYSTER CULT

Hard Rock • United States
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Blue Öyster Cult (often abbreviated BÖC) is an American rock band from Long Island, New York, United States, best known for such hard rock and heavy metal songs as (Don't Fear) The Reaper, Godzilla and Burnin' for You, . Since the release of their self-titled debut album in 1972, the band has sold over 24 million albums worldwide, including 7 million in the United States alone. The band's music videos, especially Burnin' for You, received heavy rotation on MTV when the music television network premiered in 1981, cementing the band's contribution to the development and success of the music video in modern pop culture. Today, BÖC's music continues to be played on AOR-friendly radio stations as well as in movies, television shows, and commercials, and even during sporting events. Blue Öyster Cult's current lineup includes long-time members Donald Buck Dharma Roeser (lead guitar, vocals) and Eric Bloom (lead vocals, rhythm read more...
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BLUE ÖYSTER CULT Discography

BLUE ÖYSTER CULT albums / top albums

BLUE ÖYSTER CULT Blue Öyster Cult album cover 3.88 | 36 ratings
Blue Öyster Cult
Hard Rock 1972
BLUE ÖYSTER CULT Tyranny And Mutation album cover 4.17 | 36 ratings
Tyranny And Mutation
Hard Rock 1973
BLUE ÖYSTER CULT Secret Treaties album cover 4.31 | 32 ratings
Secret Treaties
Hard Rock 1974
BLUE ÖYSTER CULT Agents Of Fortune album cover 3.10 | 32 ratings
Agents Of Fortune
Hard Rock 1976
BLUE ÖYSTER CULT Spectres album cover 2.64 | 22 ratings
Spectres
Hard Rock 1977
BLUE ÖYSTER CULT Mirrors album cover 2.76 | 19 ratings
Mirrors
Hard Rock 1979
BLUE ÖYSTER CULT Cultösaurus Erectus album cover 3.46 | 25 ratings
Cultösaurus Erectus
Hard Rock 1980
BLUE ÖYSTER CULT Fire Of Unknown Origin album cover 3.70 | 25 ratings
Fire Of Unknown Origin
Hard Rock 1981
BLUE ÖYSTER CULT The Revölution By Night album cover 3.18 | 14 ratings
The Revölution By Night
Hard Rock 1983
BLUE ÖYSTER CULT Club Ninja album cover 2.88 | 13 ratings
Club Ninja
Hard Rock 1985
BLUE ÖYSTER CULT Imaginos album cover 3.35 | 20 ratings
Imaginos
Hard Rock 1988
BLUE ÖYSTER CULT Cult Classic album cover 2.83 | 3 ratings
Cult Classic
Hard Rock 1994
BLUE ÖYSTER CULT Heaven Forbid album cover 3.35 | 14 ratings
Heaven Forbid
Hard Rock 1998
BLUE ÖYSTER CULT Curse Of The Hidden Mirror album cover 3.31 | 14 ratings
Curse Of The Hidden Mirror
Hard Rock 2001

BLUE ÖYSTER CULT EPs & splits

BLUE ÖYSTER CULT live albums

BLUE ÖYSTER CULT On Your Feet Or On Your Knees album cover 4.00 | 14 ratings
On Your Feet Or On Your Knees
Hard Rock 1975
BLUE ÖYSTER CULT Some Enchanted Evening album cover 3.73 | 11 ratings
Some Enchanted Evening
Hard Rock 1978
BLUE ÖYSTER CULT Extraterrestrial Live album cover 3.67 | 12 ratings
Extraterrestrial Live
Hard Rock 1982
BLUE ÖYSTER CULT Live 1976 album cover 2.33 | 3 ratings
Live 1976
Hard Rock 1991
BLUE ÖYSTER CULT A Long Day's Night Live album cover 3.43 | 7 ratings
A Long Day's Night Live
Hard Rock 2002
BLUE ÖYSTER CULT Extended Versions: The Encore Collection album cover 3.21 | 3 ratings
Extended Versions: The Encore Collection
Hard Rock 2004

BLUE ÖYSTER CULT demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

BLUE ÖYSTER CULT Bad Channels album cover 2.67 | 3 ratings
Bad Channels
Hard Rock 1992
BLUE ÖYSTER CULT St. Cecilia album cover 3.50 | 3 ratings
St. Cecilia
Hard Rock 2001

BLUE ÖYSTER CULT re-issues & compilations

BLUE ÖYSTER CULT On Flame With Rock And Roll album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
On Flame With Rock And Roll
Hard Rock 1990
BLUE ÖYSTER CULT Career Of Evil: The Metal Years album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Career Of Evil: The Metal Years
Hard Rock 1990
BLUE ÖYSTER CULT Workshop Of The Telescopes album cover 4.17 | 3 ratings
Workshop Of The Telescopes
Hard Rock 1995
BLUE ÖYSTER CULT Don't Fear The Reaper album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Don't Fear The Reaper
Hard Rock 1997
BLUE ÖYSTER CULT Super Hits album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Super Hits
Hard Rock 1998
BLUE ÖYSTER CULT Blue Öyster Cult / Tyranny & Mutation album cover 5.00 | 2 ratings
Blue Öyster Cult / Tyranny & Mutation
Hard Rock 1999
BLUE ÖYSTER CULT The Best Of Blue Öyster Cult: Don't Fear The Reaper album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Best Of Blue Öyster Cult: Don't Fear The Reaper
Hard Rock 2000
BLUE ÖYSTER CULT The Essential Blue Öyster Cult album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Essential Blue Öyster Cult
Hard Rock 2003
BLUE ÖYSTER CULT Then And Now album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Then And Now
Hard Rock 2003
BLUE ÖYSTER CULT Are You Ready To Rock? album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Are You Ready To Rock?
Hard Rock 2003
BLUE ÖYSTER CULT The Singles Collection album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Singles Collection
Hard Rock 2005
BLUE ÖYSTER CULT The Columbia Albums Collection album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Columbia Albums Collection
Hard Rock 2012

BLUE ÖYSTER CULT singles (18)

.. Album Cover
3.00 | 2 ratings
Career Of Evil
Hard Rock 1974
.. Album Cover
4.00 | 3 ratings
(Don't Fear) The Reaper
Hard Rock 1976
.. Album Cover
2.50 | 2 ratings
I Love The Night
Hard Rock 1977
.. Album Cover
2.50 | 2 ratings
Goin' Through The Motions
Hard Rock 1977
.. Album Cover
3.00 | 2 ratings
We Gotta Get Out Of This Place / E.T.I.
Hard Rock 1978
.. Album Cover
3.50 | 2 ratings
Godzilla
Hard Rock 1978
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 2 ratings
Mirrors / Lonely Teardrops
Hard Rock 1979
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 2 ratings
Fallen Angel
Hard Rock 1979
.. Album Cover
3.00 | 2 ratings
Here's Johnny (The Marshall Plan) / Divine Wind
Hard Rock 1980
.. Album Cover
3.50 | 2 ratings
Burnin' For You / Vengeance (The Pact)
Hard Rock 1981
.. Album Cover
3.50 | 2 ratings
Burnin' For You
Hard Rock 1981
.. Album Cover
3.50 | 2 ratings
Burnin' For You / Dr. Music / Flaming Telepaths
Hard Rock 1981
.. Album Cover
2.75 | 2 ratings
Take Me Away
Hard Rock 1983
.. Album Cover
2.75 | 2 ratings
Shooting Shark
Hard Rock 1983
.. Album Cover
2.75 | 2 ratings
Perfect Water / Spy In The House Of Night
Hard Rock 1985
.. Album Cover
2.25 | 2 ratings
White Flags
Hard Rock 1985
.. Album Cover
2.25 | 2 ratings
Dancin' In The Ruins
Hard Rock 1985
.. Album Cover
3.50 | 2 ratings
Astronomy
Hard Rock 1988

BLUE ÖYSTER CULT movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
4.25 | 2 ratings
Black And Blue
Hard Rock 1980
.. Album Cover
3.50 | 2 ratings
Live 1976
Hard Rock 1991
.. Album Cover
4.21 | 3 ratings
A Long Day's Night
Hard Rock 2002
.. Album Cover
3.75 | 2 ratings
Some Other Enchanted Evening
Hard Rock 2007

BLUE ÖYSTER CULT Reviews

BLUE ÖYSTER CULT Blue Öyster Cult

Album · 1972 · Hard Rock
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siLLy puPPy
BLUE OYSTER CULT has its roots originating all the way back to 1967 when founder and guitarist Donald Roeser who would become better known as Buck Dharma started the first version of what would become BOC in the form of the psych-tinged jam band Soft White Underbelly which was centered around Dharma’s guitar playing and would provide a BLUEprint for the mystical CULT to come. The band went through a few changes before finding its own voice. It would take singer Eric Bloom to replace the original frontman before the band started to cohesively gel around the more boogie rock blues based hard rock sounds they have become known for. At this stage the band took the moniker Stalk-Forrest Group and was discovered by rock theorist Sandy Pearlman who was always on the look out for sharp new talent for Elektra Records. After a brief stint in California and a short trip down a dead end street, the band that would become the BLUE OYSTER CULT came to fruition when keyboardist and rhythm guitarist Allen Lanier joined the team. It was he who contributed the band’s more famous moniker that simulated the mystical occult demeanor that they were striving for.

After the failed California adventure, the BOC headed back to its native New York City where they spent 1971 fine-tuning a more heavy handed rock approach that kept a tad of the 60s psychedelia but according to Dharma the band was trying to become America’s answer to Black Sabbath and while BOC could never even remotely be accused of ripping off the classic English band’s style or sound in any possible way, BOC did however evoke a sense of awe with an interesting mix of occult philosophies, surrealism and heaviness that was rooted in a twin guitar dominated bluesy hard rock with some progressive touches along with an occasional slice of avant-garde. The band’s self-titled debut album appeared early in January 1972 after being discovered by Columbia Records and while not exactly lighting the world on fire quite yet found enough support that many tours arose albeit with the unlikely parings of The Byrds and Mahavishnu Orchestra. Only the tour with Alice Cooper actually seemed like a legit fit but nevertheless with a strong batch of catchy tunes amplified and soaked in acid baths, BLUE OYSTER CULT hit hard from the getgo and continued to expand its new stylistic approach.

Having latched onto a unique sound fairly early, BLUE OYSTER CULT found the perfect balance between a more demented form of bluesy boogie rock as if a parallel universe version of a more psych-tinged Allman Brothers had seeped into our reality during the Montauk Project. Equally laced with a trippy guitar twang and the Godzilla power stomps that would define the BOC’s rhythmic delivery, this eponymous debut cemented the band’s later success in its nascent BLUEprints for future hits. “Cities On Flame With Rock And Roll” provided the first glimpse of the monster stomp guitar and drum rhythmic prowess that would later spawn such hits as “Godzilla” whereas “Screams” provided that haunting occult feel that took the twangy guitar sounds, a bit of psychedelic keyboard charm and super catchy vocal melodies that would pave the way for tracks like “Burning For You” and “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper.” Likewise Dharma showcased a rather eccentric psych-fueled blues guitar soloing style that is as distinctive as anything Jimmy Page, Brian May or Tony Iommi were cranking out on the other side of the pond.

BLUE OYSTER CULT’s debut is a masterful mix of diverse sounds that the band made all their own. The heavy hitters of the bunch such as the two openers “Transmaniacon MC” and “I’m On The Lambe But I Ain’t No Sheep” displayed the knack for capturing a traditional style of hard rock but adding heavy doses of surreality to the lyrics as well as the changes that took place within the individual tracks. Perhaps the most diverse is the rowdy heavy rock “Before The Kiss, A Redcap” which starts out somewhat like something the Edgar Winter Band were famous for in the early 70s but the track shifts into a series of melodic deliveries including a ska-fueled toe-tapping section with early rapped vocals which adds some serious skank and alternates with heavy guitar heft outbursts. The so-called thinking man’s heavy metal band also graced the album with a few drug fueled slower trippy tracks. “Then Came The Last Days Of May,” “Screams” and the most oddly titled song of all time “She’s As Beautiful As A Foot” all showed a slowed down version of the band that focused as much on atmospheric as guitar based magic.

While “Cities On Flame With Rock And Roll” remains the album’s most famous track for its Zeppelin meets Sabbath guitar stomps that gave the band its signature sound, there are several heavy unsung classics on this album including “Stairway To The Stars” and “Workshop Of The Telescopes” along with the two openers. Really the only track that doesn’t sound like it fits in is the closing “Redeemed” which exhibits a rather odd sounding Grateful Dead style of country rock which as far as i’m concerned should’ve been nixed from the final mix as it sounds woefully out of place and could easily be inserted on Dead album’s like “American Beauty” and nobody would even notice. All in all, BOC cranked out a smokin’ hot slice of early hard rock of the early 70s. All the musicians perfectly played their parts and crafted their idiosyncrasies perfectly. The unique drumming style of Albert Bouchard perfectly suited the twin guitar wilderness provided by Buck Dharma and Eric Bloom while Bloom’s vocals suited this hybrid of psychedelic rock and hard blues based rock perfectly. Not even their best album but this debut is without a doubt one of the essential classic BOC albums to acquire and savor. While the album didn’t make BOC a household name at this point the album sold fairly well and allowed the band to delve further into the heavier side of their sound and would slowly jettison the more psychedelic touches or to be more precise diminish them.

BLUE ÖYSTER CULT Heaven Forbid

Album · 1998 · Hard Rock
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Unitron
The last decade of the twentieth century weren't exactly the kindest years to classic rock acts of the 70's. Albums from these bands weren't very well-received, therefore they usually fade into obscurity. I mean, not many people are talking about albums like Heart's Desire Walks On or Van Halen's Balance these days. Most of these albums are forgotten, and often for good reason. One album from a classic 70's rock band that was forgotten, but I find to be a surprisingly great album, is Blue Öyster Cult's 1998 studio album.

Being the band's thirteenth studio album and (at the time) their first in a decade, it would be expected that Heaven Forbid would just be another bland album that tries to recapture past glories. However, it presents itself as a surprisingly varied album. Of course there are quite a few stale moments that just sound uninspired, but there is thankfully an equal amount of fresh, catchy, and just plain enjoyable songs.

The album opens right up with what may be the band's heaviest song, "See You in Black", which almost reminds me of something that could be on a Metal Church album. The driving main riff is pure classic heavy metal, and is up there with the band's best. "Hammer Back" and "Power Underneath Despair" are a couple more heavy metal-oriented tracks that are among the highlights. "Still Burnin'" is a great old school hard rock track, while an oddball is "Real World". This almost sounds straight out of a Phish album, with one of the catchiest acoustic guitar hooks I've ever heard.

While it's no Tyranny and Mutation, Heaven Forbid is a pretty great album. There are some mediocre moments on the album, but that's to be expected from a 90's album from a classic rock band. If you're a fan of classic hard rock and heavy metal, this is well worth the listen. Hope you found this review helpful, feel free to comment!

BLUE ÖYSTER CULT Cultösaurus Erectus

Album · 1980 · Hard Rock
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
voila_la_scorie
I have always loved the cover of this album since I was a kid. My friend’s older brother had this on vinyl, and my interest in dinosaurs and science fiction art made this an easy eye-catcher.

Blue Oyster Cult were often said to be the American answer to Black Sabbath but I have never been able to hear that in the music. For this album here, they got Martin Birch as producer, who was already known for his work with Sabbath and Deep Purple’s “Machine Head” and who would go on to produce albums for Iron Maiden. BOC and Black Sabbath toured together, too, on what was called the Black and Blue tour. Still, the band doesn’t sound at all like Black Sabbath. But they don’t have to.

I’ll admit it took me some time to get into this album. Having been sufficiently impressed with their first three albums and having a greatest hits album plus formerly owning two other later albums on cassette, I had more expectations from this one. I kept adding it to a playlist of albums to review and then taking it off again. Finally I decided to give it my full attention and I was pleasantly surprised in parts.

“Black Blade” is a song based on the writings of Michael Moorcock. It’s hard rock pop with punk edge in parts and tells the story about an evil blade that possesses its bearer to kill. The story is a bit similar to the Heavy Metal movie theme where a mysterious green orb also causes otherwise gentle people to behave in a bloodthirsty manner. Incidentally, BOC were closely involved in the music soundtrack of Heavy Metal, and some of the songs would end up on their next release. There’s some nice eerie music with creepy sound effects in the middle. One of BOC's classic fantasy sci fi type story telling songs, Eric Bloom’s vocals are as usual full of passion. This is a great theatrical hard rock number with rhythm changes and synthesizer; like prog hard rock almost. The blade speaks at the end in metallic voice.

“Monsters” is next, and why didn't I notice this one right away? A hard rock track with an almost seventies danceable intro then suddenly goes jazz with sax and piano drums bass and no guitars. That fast boogie part contrasts great with the hard n’ heavy part and then another jazz break. What are these guys trying to prove? Then an almost boogie rock prog section, after which the song slows down with some nice piano. A new melody is introduced. The chorus fast with piano bass drums and lead guitar. Seemingly seamless and well-crafted, the song wraps up with heavy hard rock bit but with added sax and groove. Great song!

“Divine Wind” is slow with piano, guitar and a hard bass but has a menacing pace almost. “If he really thinks we're the devil / then let's send him to hell”. The music is steady and not varied like the first two tracks. Track three is a good spot for it. The backing female vocals sound a bit like heavier Pink Floyd.

“Deadline” is more pop with hard strummed guitar and synthesizer. Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser takes the vocals. Again, the music is minimalistic but the lead guitar adds colour.

“The Marshall Plan” is a story about young Johnny who goes to rock show with Suzie but sees her leaving with the band. Johnny decides to take up the guitar and become a rock star. The “Smoke on the Water” riff sneaks in at one point, the original song recorded by producer Martin Birch. There’s a spoken part which sounds a bit cheesy as Johnny talks about his plan to play heavy music. Don Kirshner’s voice introduces the now successful Johnny. There’s a fast, upbeat hard rock instrumental with lead guitar. The music has become more varied again. The story is a bit trite but it’s a fun song.

“Hungry Boys” is a fast paced hard rock with piano and an electric drum break. It’s a typical BOC fast boogie rock number. Drummer Albert Bouchard takes the vocals.

“Fallen Angel” features bassist Joe Bouchard on vocals. His singing is rough, almost a shout, but possess a very pop rock / hard rock sound. The synth-led melody is catchy, and the guitar solo like pop-sounding Kansas. The music reminds me of the Canadian pop-rock band, Prism.

“Lips in the Hills” brings us back to the exciting rocker ability of BOC and it was the first song to really grab my attention. Eric Bloom is back on vocals again. This is hard rock BOC! Nothing complex or overly simple, just guitar rock energy and fury with a one of the band’s typical suspense story tales.

“Unknown Tongue” concludes the album. It’s hard rock with piano and yet another almost horror suspense style story piece about what sounds like a slightly twisted young lady. There’s a bit of pretty but horror movie-type piano. A good track though less involved than the first two.

While this is not my favourite Blue Oyster Cult album, it does typify what a BOC album sounds like: essentially a rock band with hard rock and heavy rock up front and occasional meanderings into traditional heavy metal and progressive trim where suitable. What is to be admired and liked is the band’s ability to produce exciting and at times very interesting songs about aliens, ghosts, science fiction and the super natural. It’s almost as if the members know not to take themselves seriously about their taking their work seriously, if that makes any sense. There’s a tongue in cheek quality to the genuine sincerity they put into their entertainment. For that, I like them. But I wish this album had a few more memorable tracks for my taste.

BLUE ÖYSTER CULT Tyranny And Mutation

Album · 1973 · Hard Rock
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
voila_la_scorie
In the early 1980’s, Blue Oyster Cult was proclaimed to be one of the heaviest bands among my friends who had older brothers who brought home heavy metal cassettes. After being blown away by Judas Priest, I bought “The Revolution by Night” and heard that heavy rocking first track “Take Me Away” but was disappointed with the rest of the album. In fact, after having purchased four BOC albums in my time and a compilation album, I have come to the conclusion that they were never really that heavy. Though original manager Sandy Pearlman wanted them to be America’s answer to Black Sabbath, I think they are in a different league. BOC managed to incorporate heavy metal guitar riffs and solos it’s true, but they just as easily shifted to boogie rock, blues-based barroom rock, and even naturally blended some more progressive tendencies sometimes all in the same song. Never really too metal; never exactly true prog. But during the 1970’s, Blue Oyster Cult established themselves among the rock band elite.

While checking out proto-metal albums from 1969 to 1973, I decided to order “Tyranny and Mutation” to see if there wasn’t any really good example of early heavy metal. What I found was that most songs include some great heavy guitar sounds, riffs, and solos but never stay heavy throughout. There’s often some more radio friendly verse that lightens the mood or perhaps a blues rock segment, some piano, etc. Furthermore, the vocal delivery of the various lead singers is often quite theatrical in a tough-guy-from-New-York-singing-about-science-fiction kind of way (English has no adjective for that). The music of BOC seemed more geared towards entertainment than head banging.

And therein laid the charm of the band’s music. This was a point that I seemed to have missed all these decades. BOC were not about serious doom metal or hard rock. They were about science fiction, about ghosts and aliens, about fighter aircraft and urban legends. They were about rock, sometimes just feeling good hard rock, sometimes about heavy rock, sometimes about a progressive journey focused more on the story than the machinery that got you there. And this album has really begun to connect me to the music of Blue Oyster Cult.

Side one is the more rock and roll part of the album and side two the more progressive; however both sides lean toward the other at times. Some of the heavier riffs occur on side two in “Wings Wetted Down” and “Mistress of the Salmon Salt (Quicklime Girl)”. But “The Red & The Black” and “Hot Rails to Hell” give us the rock and roll approach of the band. Side one's closer, “Seven Screaming Diz Busters” (love the title) crosses the rock and roll approach with the progressive side of the band. Overall, the album has a fair bit of variety. Having three or four lead vocalists and various external contributing writers also helps to make for an album that doesn’t get stale.

One of the things that has really caught my attention with this album is the music composition. The band make good use of two guitars and use keyboards effectively when they deem it essential to the music. The drumming is also very clever and I find myself really following the drums in a number of the songs. Thank you, Albert Bouchard!

This is not a really heavy album but it has its heavy moments. It’s not progressive like Yes or Genesis but it has its share of creative music composition. And once again, there is a certain charm to the vocal delivers that give it a theatrical feel. Blue Oyster Cult is about intelligent heavy metal with a sci-fi slant and with an attitude of artful pretense. Based on my appreciation for this album, I have now ordered three more classic albums with the confidence that I will enjoy them for what I know to expect this time. As a metal album this is not quite what I was looking for. However as a creative heavy rock album this could well deserve nearly five stars.

BLUE ÖYSTER CULT On Your Feet Or On Your Knees

Live album · 1975 · Hard Rock
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
A live album recorded on the Secret Treaties tour, On Your Feet and On Your Knees captures the band at the peak of their powers. Although some of the extended soloing sections don't add a whole lot (especially when the band take an occasional left turn into blues rock) and the production isn't stellar, on the whole this is a high-energy affair with great renditions of material from the first three albums and some non-album pieces besides (the cover versions of I Ain't Got You - retitled Maserati GT here - and Born to Be Wild, and the jam Buck's Boogie). The three picks from the debut album are especially interesting here since they're given a thorough makeover, upping their energy and making them harder and somewhat more metallic than the studio versions, though at the same time I could have honestly done without the cover versions in favour of more material from Secret Treaties.

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joe2m wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Blue Oyster cult is one of the most under-rated band in the history of rock. All three of their first albums is among the best of early hard rock/proto metal. One could even go as far as them being one of the gothic bands as well. Themes of melancholy, full of vampires, despair re verb throughout much of their work. When they are not going gothic they go science fiction and in many cases turn them into gothic themes. They are a difficult band to define going in many directions through out the years. This quality (or curse) has haunted them somewhat but for me, it a true strength. Not to mention one of the best guitar players that ever wielded an axe in Buck.

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