With so much homage paid to British heavyweights — the Sabs, the Purples, the Priests and the like, pioneering Yanks often can get overlooked when inspecting the foundation of early heavy metal music. Even on our own home front, many hard rock innovators back in the day found themselves gasping for breath while such acknowledged American kingpins as Ted Nugent and Aerosmith sucked up most of the oxygen on the U.S. scene.
However, as they say, “only the strong survive.” And after slogging through the trenches for a few records and tours, a couple of hard-working bands finally broke through to “No Brown M&M” status. But it actually was during the early, lean development years of their careers when some of these hard hitters produced some of their strongest work. Particularly noteworthy — Blue Öyster Cult.
Prior to cracking the Top 30 with the double live 1975 collection, On Your Feet or on Your Knees, the Long Island-based brigade had released three less than chart-busting studio efforts — one of which has since gone on to enjoy incredible critical acclaim — finally achieving gold status nearly two decades following its initial release. And it was 45 years ago this week (April 28, 1974) when BÖC issued that now landmark third LP, Secret Treaties.
The boys performing “ME 262” live at The Capitol Center in 1978.
Produced by Sandy Pearlman and Richard Meltzer, the raw and gutsy eight-song slab delivered a healthy dose triple-threat signature-style crunch from lead guitarist Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser, rhythm guitarist Eric Bloom and guitarist/keyboardist Allen Lanier. Nailed to the floor by the rock solid rhythm section of bassist Joe Bouchard and drummer Albert Bouchard, the slightly lo-fi set featured a fistful of the band’s future concert staples — soon-to-be cock rock classics, including “Career of Evil,” “Dominance and Submission,” “ME 262” and the piano-driven, psychedelic-sounding, six-minute opus, “Astronomy.”
While not known as widely as the more radio-friendly Agents of Fortune (1976) and Fire of Unknown Origin (1981), 45 years on, Secret Treaties remains an important and well-respected entry in the impeccable Blue Öyster Cult catalogue.
Secret Treaties Track Listing:
01. Career of Evil – 3:59
02. Subhuman – 4:39
03. Dominance and Submission – 5:23
04. ME 262 – 4:48
05. Cagey Cretins – 3:16
06. Harvester of Eyes – 4:42
07. Flaming Telepaths – 5:20
08. Astronomy – 6:28
Run Time: 38:35
Release Date: April 28, 1974
Record Label: Columbia