Monday, September 12, 2016

"Shooting Shark" by Blue Öyster Cult

Song#:  1786
Date:  02/11/1984
Debut:  94
Peak:  83
Weeks:  3
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  After a decline in popularity in the late 70s, the Cult found themselves with an unexpected hit album with 1981's Fire of Unknown Origin. The LP contained the #1 Rock track "Burnin' for You," which crossed over to the Pop Top 40 (#40). After a long tour that resulted in a live album being released the next year, the band had to get back into the studio and get a follow-up out so they could capitalize on the momentum. They came up with The Revölution by Night and the first track circulated was "Take Me Away," which got to #11 on the Rock chart. This next song was nearly as popular and it hit #16 at Rock. Released as an official single, the song sneaked onto the Pop chart for a brief few weeks. The results were not as good as their previous disc and the LP peaked at a very low #93 and failed to go gold. They would issue two more albums before their label let them go. It would mark the end of the band's main era. Over the years they would continue to be a popular tour drawn and would eventually release three more albums.

ReduxReview:  This 7-minute song was reduced to 4-minutes for the single and it was probably better for it. The song kind of rambles on with not much interesting going on. It's all a bit monotone and the lead vocal is quite dull. Pink Floyd occasionally had songs like this, but there always seemed to be something interesting going on. This one just meanders along and despite the nice guitar and sax work, it falls flat. I don't think the band had to fear the reaper at this point because they already sound pretty dead.

ReduxRating:  4/10

Trivia:  The lyrics to this song were written by rock/punk/poet/singer Patti Smith. Early in the Cult's career, member Allen Lanier and Smith were in a relationship. This was prior to Smith breaking out on her own as a solo artist. At one point, Smith was even considered for the lead vocalist spot in the band. Although their relationship ended in the 70s, Smith's lyrics still found their way onto the band's albums. This was the last Cult song to feature Smith's lyrics.


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