After their meteoric climb, Blue Oyster Cult, who had already released a 2LP live set (On Your Feet or On Your Knees) in 1974, released a 7 song live disc to focus largely on their recent successes (Agents of Fortune/Spectres). Being a live band with a “must see” laser show that was topped only by Tangerine Dream’s use of Laserium during their own tours, BOC’s frenetic stage presence made for excellence. This was borne out by the fact that not only did Some Enchanted Evening sell briskly; it even outsold their recent studio albums that this single disc live set largely represented.
Legacy’s decision to update Some Enchanted Evening in a coveted Legacy Edition perfects this live document. Adding 7 bonus live tracks from the same performance year and representing earlier BOC songs as well as another live cut of their cover of “We Gotta Get Out of This Place,” a beefed up booklet, and a special edition full-length DVD makes Some Enchanted Evening a definitive version for your BOC library.
The added tracks are from 1978 US performances and lean toward earlier (1974’s Secret Treaties and 1973’s Tyranny and Mutation, with a cover song also done by the band on their 1975 2LP live On Your Feet or On Your Knees) material (pre- Agents of Fortune). There are 7 bonus live cuts from Detroit, Rochester, and Little Rock 1978 dates bringing the entire collection to it’s originally planned size – 14 cuts (perhaps with the exception of the bonus alternate performance cut of “We Gotta Get Out of This Place,” a song which already appears on the original album).
You’ll get “ME 262,” actually a New Year’s Eve performance from 1977, along with “Harvester of Eyes” from their Secret Treaties album (1974), with “Hot Rails to Hell” from their 1973 Tyranny & Mutation. Legacy adds “(This Ain’t The) Summer of Love” from Agents of Fortune, a crowd pleaser “5 Guitars,” and covers in “Born to Be Wild” (covered before on On Your Feet or On Your Knees – 1975) and an alternate performance of “We Gotta Get Out of This Place,” pulled from Legacy’s 1995 band retrospective, Workshop of the Telescopes. All songs with the exception of the last “We Gotta Get Out of This Place” are previously unreleased material.
The new liner notes are written by Lenny Kaye (Patti Smith Group), and there are photos, credits, to enhance the booklet, a welcome improvement over the original CD release slipsheet. The remastered sound is crisp and sounds clean.
The included DVD provides 11 previously unreleased video performances culled from what is referred to as “semi-bootleg,” (probably videotaped footage collection from a roadie or something), direct to ¾” tape video of the Capitol Center at Landover, MD show in 1978. The video isn’t spectacular footage of the live work of BOC but as a document of that period and included into this Legacy Edition, we’re not complaining.
The songs found on the DVD represent songs from Secret Treaties (“Harvester of Eyes,” “Astronomy,” “ME262”), Agents of Fortune (“E.T.I. (Extra Terrestrial Intelligence),” “(This Ain’t The) Summer of Love”), and Spectres (the pre-cursor to internet age slang,“RU Ready 2 Rock,” “Golden Age of Leather”). The remainders are “We Gotta Get Out of This Place,” “5 Guitars,” “Kick Out the Jams,” and “Born to Be Wild.”
Some Enchanted Evening showcases Blue Oyster Cult at their height. Their albums were anticipated leading up to Some Enchanted Evening but a style change on their next album, Mirrors (1979) did little to advance the band further. As a live act, BOC delivered a great show that never seemed to disappoint attending fans. With the release of Spectres, the band hit the road for a numbing 250 shows in support of the album, playing to over half a million fans. They toured incessantly and Some Enchanted Evening is the band’s 2nd of several live recordings that document the durability of their stage work.
I would still love to see On Your Feet or On your Knees receive the same enhancements.