Blue Öyster Cult

“(Don’t Fear) The Reaper,” the stunning third song of Agents of Fortune, was the surprise hit of 1976. Mating Byrds-like harmonies to a hypnotic guitar figure, BÖC’s principal guitarist, Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser, nailed a subversive chart victory with a paean to the seductive side of death: C’mon, kiddies, that long dirt nap is cool! Let’s go! Overnight, BÖC went from a deliberately obscure totem of critics to a widescreen, ready for primetime player in the mainstream rock arena. While Agents was a leap forward sonically, it’s an uneven album, with “This Ain’t the Summer of Love,” “Reaper,” the terrific “E.T.I. (Extra Terrestrial Intelligence),” a couple of Albert Bouchard-Patti Smith collaborations (“The Revenge of Vera Gemini,” “Debbie Denise”) and “Morning Final” on the plus side and four other cuts providing the cheese. The reissue adds four songs, one of them a telling demo of “Reaper.”