Blue Öyster Cult

Curiously opening with “The Red and the Black,” a harder-edged remake of the first album’s “I’m On the Lamb but I Ain’t No Sheep,” 1973’s Tyranny and Mutation continued to solidify BÖC’s vision of the thinking man’s biker rock. In places, the band rocked harder and more confidently than before, like on the terrific, aptly titled “Hot Rails to Hell.” On other tracks—e.g., “O.D.’d on Life Itself”—the lyrics knowingly cast a sarcastic nod toward the emerging heavy metal genre, well over a decade before This Is Spinal Tap appeared. “Baby Ice Dog” featured lyrics by singer/poet Patti Smith, who would continue to contribute (other occasional BÖC lyric scribes included absurdist rock critic Richard Meltzer, band manager Sandy Pearlman and, later, L.A. rock writer Don Waller). Added are three live cuts—“O.D.’d on Life,” “7 Screaming Diz-Busters” and “Cities on Flame,” plus a studio version of “Buck’s Boogie.”