November 27th 1977 at McNichols Sports Arena in Denver, Co I got my first chance to see Blue Oyster Cult. At this time BOC was still doing the laser light shows that they were famous for back in the day. After their 1976 tour with the laser lights other bands around the world were starting to pay attention to lasers and “seeing” the light of what they were able to do with them when put to music. (Don’t Fear) The Reaper from their album Agents of Fortune was still all over the radio and their newest single Godzilla was starting to get some air play. Oh by the way how could somebody make a film about Godzilla and not even include this song. Maybe that’s why I never saw the movie?
If memory serves me right the song that I was looking forward to hearing that night was Godzilla but a different song stuck in my head after the show was done that I had never heard before. No it wasn’t (Don’t Fear) The Reaper or BOC’s version of the classic hit Born to be Wild but it was Cities on Flame with Rock and Roll. That and the opening band Black Oak Arkansas with their wild mad man singer Jim “Dandy” Mangrum.
Cities on Flame with Rock and Roll comes from Blue Oyster Cult’s self titled debut album Blue Oyster Cult. Released on January 16, 1972 the album was recorded in New York with Murray Krugman, Sandy Pearlman as associate producers and David Lucas as the main producer. Cities on Flame with Rock and Roll was co-written by Pearlman, lead guitarist Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser who is one of the two remaining original members left in the band and drummer Albert Bouchard who also does the singing on the tune. Other band members for the debut album were Eric Bloom the other remaining original member who does vocals, rhythm guitar and keyboard work for the band and sings the song now that Bouchard has left the band. Albert’s brother Joe Bouchard played the bass and the late Allen Lanier doing rhythm guitar and keyboards.
If you like good old fashion rock & roll this song is for you. The album is pretty hard rocking and got some great reviews even though the record itself didn’t sell to well. So
“Let the girl, let that girl rock and roll
Cities on flame now, with rock and roll”