The Conversation

Ballad of the fantasy nerd

In response to More Cowbell: 15 Great Blue Oyster Cult Songs (Besides the Reaper):

That's a great list of songs!  My fantasy-nerd crew adored Blue Oyster Cult and the "Heavy Metal" movie back in the day.  It was a different era, when you couldn't just hit the Internet half an hour after watching a weird movie for details.  We always wondered how "Veteran of the Psychic Wars" got in there.  A common theory was that the producers ran over budget and had to drop whatever sequence that song was supposed to be describing.  We hoped maybe it would turn up in a sequel.

Later I recall reading somewhere that BOC thought they'd be given a lot more space on the "Heavy Metal" soundtrack, and were miffed about the music they wrote that wasn't used in the movie.  Considering that the movie is basically about album covers come to life, it just had to be an ensemble effort, but if anyone deserved multiple tracks, it was the Blue Oyster Cult.

Ah, the days of sitting up way too late on a school night to catch something like "Heavy Metal" on HBO, because nobody had a VCR.  The days of playing cassette tapes until they wore out, and you had to replace them!

It's too bad no one seems eager to fill the fantasy concept album void left by the likes of BOC and Rush, at least not with anything approaching the lyrical and musical dexterity of those earlier masters.  Maybe I'm just getting too old to handle the audio tsunami of head-banging metal, but I like being able to make out the lyrics of a song, and each individual instrument.  Especially if there's cowbell.

I'm a little surprised no one has tried to adapt "The King in Yellow" as an A-list (or even decently budgeted B-list) film yet.  It's about a bizarre play, possibly of otherworldly origins, that drives its readers insane.  And God help anyone who tries to perform it...  The idea would fit very nicely into an Information Age setting - imagine websites and popular music spreading the madness of the play like a virus.  Throw in some tunes from the likes of BOC in their prime, and it's got horror/fantasy hit written all over it.


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