Blue Oyster Cult - Imaginos

Blue Oyster Cult – Imaginos


When is a Blue Oyster Cult album not a Blue Oyster Cult album? That is the question. The answer? Easy, try 1988’s ‘Imaginos’ for starters.

Written by: gdmonline

ARTIST: Blue Oyster Cult
ALBUM: Imaginos
SERIAL: CK 40618
YEAR: 1988
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List

LINEUP: Eric Bloom – lead vocals * Buck Dharma Roeser – guitars, lead and co-lead vocals * Allen Lanier – keyboards * Joseph Bouchard – keyboards, backing vocals * Albert Bouchard – percussion, guitar, lead and co-lead vocals, lyrics * Sandy Pearlman – lyrics, concept, production *

Numerous Guests

TRACK LISTING: 01 I Am The One You Warned Me Of * 02 Les Invisibles * 03 In The Presence Of Another World * 04 Del Rio’s Song * 05 The Siege And Investiture Of Baron Von Frankenstein’s Castle * 06 Astronomy * 07 Magna Of Illusion * 08 Blue Oyster Cult * 09 Imaginos



When is a Blue Oyster Cult album not a Blue Oyster Cult album? That is the question. The answer? Easy, try 1988’s ‘Imaginos’ for starters. There are more ups and downs than an undulating hill on this album. Long time fans would say it’s not even a true Blue Oyster Cult album, and they’d be right.

Unthinkable to conceive that the origins of ‘Imaginos’ go right back to the late 60’s as ideas put together by the band’s future manager Sandy Perlman. It was padded out by Pearlman and drummer Albert Bouchard during the early 70’s, and more or less spent time fermenting on the vine up to about 1984, when the project was submitted to and rejected by Columbia.

Bouchard had bought in a few hired hands to help out, but he was hamstrung by the fact that he was fired by Blue Oyster Cult in 1981, and Pearlman was the one pushing it through. With Blue Oyster Cult’s career hanging on by a thread after the ‘Club Ninja’ tour, Pearlman decided it was time to resubmit the ‘Imaginos’ project once again to Columbia. They relented, and the 1988 album was the end result. Strange but true.

The Songs

It’s pretty easy to merge the term ‘strange’ and Blue Oyster Cult in one sentence. How about an entire discographic career? If their early 70’s output was anything to go by, you’ll either get it, or you won’t. If you’ve tried to piece Blue Oyster Cult’s storyline together, then ‘Imaginos’ might be the catalyst to understanding it all. The story refers to the hidden controllers of Earth’s history going back centuries.

The Agents that are deployed to keep the populous at bay, and the introduction of a boy called Imaginos who is being groomed to take on the role of an Agent himself. There’s more to it than that, but you’ll have to read the liner notes for yourself. Some of the band’s older material is resurrected.

‘Sub Human’ and ‘Astronomy’ from the ‘Secret Treaties’ album are threaded into the storyline, but it’s songs like ‘Les Invisibles’ (referring to the Invisible Agents) and ‘In The Presence Of Another World’ which better reflect the Imaginos story. The song ‘Blue Oyster Cult’ has its origins way back when, while the tale of ‘Imaginos’ is bolted on to the end of the album.

In Summary

All credit to Pearlman for the ideas and the overall story. However, by 1988 and with all the intervening years having passed, I think it’s fair to say that the story had lost much of its impact. Hair metal, MTV and glossy productions ruled that era.

Esoteric concept albums such as ‘Imaginos’ was just too much of an ask for mullet heads and bimbo blondes, who wanted nothing more than to head-bang to Def Leppard, Poison and Guns N Roses. We can better appreciate what Blue Oyster Cult were trying to do decades later. Even so, it’s still a head-scratcher!


Entire Album (Select Tracks)

I Am the One You Warned Me Of

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