Tag Archives: Blue Öyster Cult

My Top 10 Most Influential Albums

My daughter’s fiance Jack is a cool kid, as well as a very talented musician and singer.  So when he challenged me to blog my Top 10 most influential albums, I had to answer the call.   

Some records have influenced the world, and some of influenced me as an individual.  The latter is what this post is about — the ten most personally influential albums.  So, without further ado, not ranked by rating but rather in the order in which I heard them, are My Top 10 Most Influential Albums…

  1. Led ZeppelinLed Zeppelin IV (1971).  It was summertime, probably 1974, and the next-door neighbor was working on his ’65 Galaxie 500 with the radio on.  I was taking out the trash when Black Dog came on.  It was the first hard rock song I ever heard and the cat was out of the bag forever.  Eventually I got the album and listened to it about a million times.
  2. The Beatles — Abbey Road (1969).  I was sitting on the floor with my two uncles, Jim and Tom, listening to the Beatles for the first time, and I knew my head would never be the same.  By the end of the day I had heard several hours of their stuff.  It was too much for one brain to hold.
  3. Jerry Lee LewisThe Session (1973).  Dad liked country and Mom liked a little bit of everything — but her favorite artist was Jerry Lee.  This record changed me.  Jerry Lee infuses tunes of every genre with his unique redneck flair.  Guests include include Albert LeeAlvin Lee, Mick Jones, and Peter Frampton.
  4. Blue Öyster Cult — Some Enchanted Evening (1978).  The Öyster Boys are my favorite band, and this was the record that opened Pandora’s box.  Listen with caution lest you get pulled into the orbit of this Saturnian ensemble — sucked into a swirling kaleidoscope of biker rock, occult musings, and stun guitar.  On the other hand, maybe you shouldn’t fear the reaper after all…
  5. Cashmere Jungle Lords — Oodjie-Boodjie Night-Night (1987).  How do describe the Lords?  Southern Fried Surfabilly?  Western Surf Jungle Rock?  Neo-primitive Twang-a-Dang?  I don’t know, but it’s great fun.  This record didn’t come out until ’87 but I was hearing the songs in the early 80s because the lead singer, Dominic Carpin, was a college roommate of mine, and he taught me a lot about music — about how hard and painful it is to make, and what’s good, and what’s bad.  They’re still going strong.  Go see e’m.  Tell Dominic, Mitch sent you.  And yes, like the Beatles, their name is misspelled on purpose.
  6. The PoliceSynchronicity (1983).  I was basically still a kid, but I was married with a kid when this record hit the radio and sliced it in half like a batarang.   I was trying to figure out what what being an adult meant and how to do it.  This record is forever tangled up in my tangled-up 80’s head and it’ll never come out.
  7. Ratt — Out of the Cellar (1984).  Go ahead, be a hater.  I don’t care what you say, Ratt is the best of the 80s hair metal bands, and this record bangs from cut to cut.  There’s a reason why they got a Geico commercial.  Kiss, eat your heart out.
  8. KyussBlues for the Red Sun (1992).  This was part of the rotation when I got my 5 hour chest tattoo done by a wall-eyed Pall Mall smoking maniac with an IQ of 160 named Maxx.  These songs are slow even when fast, are brutal even when soft.  I know that makes no sense.  You just have to listen to it.  And by the way, Josh Homme should’ve kept doing this instead of moving on to Queens of the Stone Age (there, I said it).
  9. The SwordAge of Winters (2006).  Another record from the Maxx rotation.  Long before GOT became an HBO phenomenon, these heavy metal rock geeks gave GRRM a nod with this album title.  In an alternate reality time warp, Age of Winters was a groundbreaking 1974 album that went platinum.  Somehow it manages to sound old and new at the same time.  Best played on 11 while driving to work like I did for about a year after I bought it.
  10. Steve EarleI’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive (2011).  I was really disappointed when I heard that Steve was going to put out a book and record combo.  I thought he was selling out, that it was some kind of creepy media deal.  But I bought them both anyway, and soon realized that Steve Earle is one of the most talented people in the history of the planet.  The book I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive is one of the best novels I have ever read — pure hayseed Dostoevsky — and the record is devastating.  Yes, Steve Earle is that good.

RUINS a Poem

RUINS

I was there once, a secret place known to few
Where sound was muffled by vines
The dew ever-settling, glistening in perpetual twilight ~
It might have been evening when I knelt
In the half light of that temple
A place more ancient than philosophy
Older than Babel

I say, I proclaim
(as if to prove)
Seek attention as evidence of existence
(it can’t be proved)
Repeating myself, making pointless noise
(there is no proof)
I am like a tourist in a foreign land
who speaks louder to be understood
Talking loudly to myself but I don’t understand
that even speaking rarely is far too often
(If invisible I’d be free)
There is a way back
(a mile beneath the tomb of Ozymandias)
But the road requires sacrifice
Each step a drop of blood apace
Until, foot upon the jamb of the primordial palace,
drained and coronated
I slip the crown and take the nameless throne.


“Hey Mitch, what’s this poetry thing all about?” I want to collaborate with Blue Öyster Cult and I’m hoping the Öyster Boys will think this would make a good lyric.

Did you know I wrote a paranormal/mystery/romance book inspired by Blue Öyster Cult’s lyrical themes?  Click here to download it here for free!

The cover to my book “Chatters on the Tide” inspired by the music of Blue Öyster Cult

THUMBS a Poem

THUMBS

Happy as long as we’re manic
That’s probably what it is anyway
But who knows — drawn forward
Sucked into the emptiness of the future
Running from the failures of the past
Trying to remake the now
But time is an illusion, and
Whatever we are or ever will be
Is only what we are at this very moment
Quicksand mind clicking, unable
To take a bite of the silence
Even though the wafer is right there waiting
Waiting for us to open wide
And accept its sacrament
Tongues, instead of lying calm and flat, expectant,
Wag and slice, carve up life into shards of time
Thumbs typing messages
Instead of hooked in pants pockets

 


“Hey Mitch, what’s this poetry thing all about?” I want to collaborate with Blue Öyster Cult and I’m hoping the Öyster Boys will think this would make a good lyric.

Did you know I wrote a paranormal/mystery/romance book inspired by Blue Öyster Cult’s lyrical themes?  Click here to download it here for free!

The cover to my book “Chatters on the Tide” inspired by the music of Blue Öyster Cult

CRESTS AND WAVES a Poem

CRESTS AND WAVES

Crests and waves — cycles, gyres and tides
I think I control — pushing and pulling and
I suspect it’s brain chemistry more than anything else
But if it isn’t then I’m just a jellyfish

Pulsing and floating — moon, wind and stars
I think I can’t control — drifting and moving and
I expect I’m part of them more than anything else
But if that’s true I’m just a puzzle piece

Doing and working — projects, books, and art
I think and create — pushing and pulling and
I suspect my problem is, more than anything else,
I can’t stop doing and merely be



“Hey Mitch, what’s this poetry thing all about?” I want to collaborate with Blue Öyster Cult and I’m hoping the Öyster Boys will think this would make a good lyric.

Did you know I wrote a paranormal/mystery/romance book inspired by Blue Öyster Cult’s lyrical themes?  Click here to download it here for free!

The cover to my book “Chatters on the Tide” inspired by the music of Blue Öyster Cult

CHRYSOPOEIA a Poem

CHRYSOPOEIA

Dare to seek the fixed point, crawl
Out of your iron box of fluid paranoia
By the road to Magnum Opus
Use the chemistry of metanoia

Intellects in highest form
Reveal themselves in metaphors
Similes, over against another
You know that’s what this is for

Square the circle ’round us now
Triangulate into four rows the decade
Up, up, reducing up to one, this is how
We find the fixed point we mislaid


“Hey Mitch, what’s this poetry thing all about?” I want to collaborate with Blue Öyster Cult and I’m hoping the Öyster Boys will think this would make a good lyric.

Did you know I wrote a paranormal/mystery/romance book inspired by Blue Öyster Cult’s lyrical themes?  Click here to download it here for free!

The cover to my book “Chatters on the Tide” inspired by the music of Blue Öyster Cult

INVERSION a Poem

INVERSION

Inside, reaching deeply
Not down, up or out, but rather
Casting inward, humbly, into the flesh
A silent Aeon, emerging gently by starlight
Revolution comes in a deserted place in a way
Never before attempted nor dreamt of, not even by
Apollo or Thor, Kali or Hera nor any hero
Transcending not to win but to lose
Instead of receding, pursues
Our love, a helpless babe
Noël, Noël, Noël


“Hey Mitch, what’s this poetry thing all about?” I want to collaborate with Blue Öyster Cult and I’m hoping the Öyster Boys will think this would make a good lyric.

Did you know I wrote a paranormal/mystery/romance book inspired by Blue Öyster Cult’s lyrical themes?  Click here to download it here for free!

The cover to my book “Chatters on the Tide” inspired by the music of Blue Öyster Cult

ESCHATON a poem

ESCHATON

Behind us in a past far flung
beneath a billion trillion tons of ocean
in the icy cold and mineral dark
coral insects built their lonely temples
to a god they could not know
and their parishioners
flagellum waving, gills singing
silent cantos to a sun unseen
ever winking, twinkling still

And then, when tales were written
of trees and floods
of serpents, towers, pillars
came dwellers of land and air
and they, like those before
piled up stones, rose up temples
made sacrifices unfathomable
to gods they could not see
ever burning, burning still

And now, out of the unknown
whispering the nonsense sense
glimmers like a fairy light
invisible to most
a mysterious idea, a cosmic thought
And crawling after it broken priests
compound fractured body and soul
content to follow in pain and failure
Ever smiling and smiling still

When time lies dead in undying present
and the teaming millions reel
the glimmer will be eternal bright
and the deepest depths will know its light
bones will be healed
and the hidden revealed
crawling no more, standing to flower
coming into blooming eschaton
ever unfolding, unfolding still


“Hey Mitch, what’s this poetry thing all about?” I want to collaborate with Blue Öyster Cult and I’m hoping the Öyster Boys will think this would make a good lyric.

Did you know I wrote a paranormal/mystery/romance book inspired by Blue Öyster Cult’s lyrical themes?  Click here to download it here for free!

The cover to my book “Chatters on the Tide” inspired by the music of Blue Öyster Cult