Tyranny and Mutation

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Tyranny and Mutation
Blue Oyster Cult-Tyranny and Mutation.jpg
Studio album by Blue Öyster Cult
Released February 1973
Recorded Columbia Studios, New York City, 1972
Length 38:11 (original), 66:30 (reissue)
Label Columbia
Producer Murray Krugman, Sandy Pearlman
Blue Öyster Cult chronology
Blue Öyster Cult
(1972)Blue Öyster Cult1972
Tyranny and Mutation
Secret Treaties
(1974)Secret Treaties1974
Singles from Tyranny and Mutation
  1. "Hot Rails to Hell" / "7 Screaming Diz-Busters"
    Released: 1973

Tyranny and Mutation (stylized on the cover as THE BLVE ÖYSTER CVLT: TYRANNY AND MVTATION) is the second studio album by American hard rock band Blue Öyster Cult, released in February 1973 by Columbia Records.[1] It was produced by Murray Krugman and Sandy Pearlman. On May 12, 1973, the album peaked at No. 122 on the Billboard 200 chart.[2]

The only single released from the album, "Hot Rails to Hell", did not chart.[3][4][2]

Composition and songs[edit]

The album was recorded in 1972 at Columbia Studios in New York City,.[5]

"Baby Ice Dog" features lyrics by poet Patti Smith, who would make several more lyrical contributions to the band's repertoire over their career.[5]

The song "The Red and the Black," with lyrics referencing the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, is a re-titled, re-recorded version of "I'm on the Lamb But I Ain't No Sheep" from the band's eponymous debut album.[6] The song was later covered by the Minutemen and Band of Susans. AllMusic critic Hal Horowitz called it "one of the best and most propulsive rockers in the BÖC catalog."

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[7]
Robert ChristgauB+[8]
Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal10/10[9]
Rolling Stone(very favorable)[10]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide4.5/5 stars[11]

The Rolling Stone Album Guide described the album as "one molten hook after another" and praised the four-song "opening suite" comprising the first side of the album.[11]

Track listing[edit]

Side one – The Black
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
1."The Red & the Black"Eric Bloom, Albert Bouchard, Sandy PearlmanBloom4:20
2."O.D.'d on Life Itself"Bloom, A. Bouchard, Joe Bouchard, PearlmanBloom4:47
3."Hot Rails to Hell"J. BouchardJ. Bouchard5:12
4."7 Screaming Diz-Busters"A. Bouchard, J. Bouchard, Donald Roeser, PearlmanBloom7:01
Side two – The Red
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
5."Baby Ice Dog"Bloom, A. Bouchard, Patti SmithBloom3:29
6."Wings Wetted Down"A. Bouchard, J. BouchardJ. Bouchard4:12
7."Teen Archer"Bloom, Roeser, Richard MeltzerRoeser3:57
8."Mistress of the Salmon Salt (Quicklime Girl)"A. Bouchard, PearlmanBloom5:08
Total length:38:11
2001 CD reissue bonus tracks[5]
9."Cities on Flame with Rock and Roll" (live; originally from the promo-only Blue Öyster Cult Bootleg EP)A. Bouchard, Pearlman, Roeser4:44
10."Buck's Boogie" (studio version)D. Roeser, A. Bouchard, Pearlman5:22
11."7 Screaming Diz-Busters" (live; from the band's personal archives)A. Bouchard, J. Bouchard, Roeser, Pearlman14:01
12."O.D.'d on Life Itself" (live; from the band's personal archives)Bloom, A. Bouchard, J. Bouchard, Pearlman4:52
Total length:66:30


Band members
  • Murray Krugman, Sandy Pearlman – producers
  • Tim Geelan, Lou Schlossberg, Phil Giambalvo – engineers
  • Jack Ashkinazy – mastering
  • Bruce Dickinson – reissue producer
  • Vic Anesini – re-mastering


Year Chart Position
1973 Billboard 200 (United States) 122[12]


  1. ^ "Tyranny and Mutation - Blue Öyster Cult - Releases - AllMusic". AllMusic. 
  2. ^ a b "The Studio: Blue Oyster Cult's Recorded Works". www.blueoystercult.com. 
  3. ^ "Blue Öyster Cult - Hot Rails To Hell". Discogs. 
  4. ^ "US 7" vinyl singles". www.blueoystercult.com. 
  5. ^ a b c Tyranny and Mutation liner notes (2001 remaster). Columbia Records. 2001. pp. 4, 6–11. 
  6. ^ "The Red and the Black - Blue Öyster Cult - Song Info - AllMusic". AllMusic. 
  7. ^ Jurek, Thom. "Blue Öyster Cult Tyranny and Mutation review". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2012-10-25. 
  8. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Consumer Guide Reviews: Tyranny and Mutation". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 2012-10-25. 
  9. ^ Popoff, Martin (October 2003). The Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal: Volume 1: The Seventies. Burlington, Ontario, Canada: Collector's Guide Publishing. ISBN 978-1894959025. 
  10. ^ Fletcher, Gordon (12 April 1973). "Album Reviews: Blue Oyster Cult – Tyranny and Mutation". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 12 October 2009. Retrieved 2012-10-25. 
  11. ^ a b Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian David (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon & Schuster. p. 87. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. 
  12. ^ "Tyranny and Mutation Billboard Albums". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2012-10-25.