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The decade of the 1970s was the era of the live rock ‘n’ roll album, with just about any old band of road warriors slapping a hastily-recorded show on vinyl and laughing all the way to the bank after picking their fans’ wallets. The best-known of these concert trinkets was, perhaps, former Humble Pie guitarist Peter Frampton’s 1976 set Frampton Comes Alive! When the obscure fretburner’s budget-priced twofer hit the top of the charts, the race was on among major label A&R reps to break their pet band in a similar manner. Aerosmith, Thin Lizzy, Ted Nugent, and Led Zeppelin were among those to flog live sets in the wake of Frampton’s chart-busting breakthrough.
Blue Oyster Cult was ahead of the curve, though, the band releasing its first live set, On Your Feet Or On Your Knees, in 1975 – only three albums into its short career. The band’s electrifying live chops obviously entertained the iron lung set, and fans put aside their bongs long enough to drive the LP to #22 on the charts, representing BOC’s best-selling flapjack to date. By the time of the release of Some Enchanted Evening in 1978, Blue Oyster Cult had racked up a pair of red-hot hitters in 1976’s Agents of Fortune (#29) and the following year’s Spectres (#43). The two albums vaulted BOC to the top of the arena-rock ranks, so the band was ripe for the release of another live set.
Some Enchanted Evening was a curiously unsatisfying curio, the album’s too-brief set list featuring the two latest band hits in “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” and “Godzilla,” accompanied by odd covers of the MC5’s “Kick Out The Jams” and the Animals’ “We Gotta Get Out Of This Place.” No mind, though, ‘cause the band’s blockheaded fans (myself included) bought this thing by the truckload, driving it to #44 on the charts.
The label’s ad campaign for the album didn’t really help anything…featuring the album cover’s very cool depiction of the Reaper, the best concept the art department could come up with was “don’t fear the Blue Oyster Cult,” a play on the title of the band’s best-known ditty. Any half dozen of the band’s fans could have come up with something better, provided they were sober enough and not just sitting, staring at the album cover and saying “whoooaaa” after inhaling too much ganja.