Real Gone Music Has Blue Oyster Cult Rarities & Unreleased Utopia For Record Store Black Friday

Real Gone Music has a special treat for fans of Blue Oyster Cult and Utopia for Record Store Day Black Friday.

For BÖC fans, it's a 2-LP set of 17 demos, live tracks, album outtakes, and non-LP single sides that have never appeared on vinyl. Rarities Vol. 1 follows the long, rollicking road of Long Island’s own Blue Öyster Cult all the way from their late-‘60s incarnation as Soft White Underbelly up through the Agents of Fortune album sessions.

Along the way you’ll encounter all the elements that made BÖC the one band beloved by intellectuals, metal heads, punks, and jam bands alike: the vaulting literary ambitions, the gleeful love of pop culture, and the maximum, multi-guitar, rock ‘n’ roll riffage. The set starts with the psychedelically-infused Soft White Underbelly demo sessions they cut for Columbia, grabs some great live tracks from the band’s personal archive (including Eric Bloom’s hilarious retelling of the old “I sold my soul for rock and roll” tale on the 17-minute take of “7 Screaming Diz-Busters”), circles back to some rare singles (like their take on “Born to Be Wild”), and selects some choice outtakes from such classic albums as Secret Treaties and Tyranny and Mutation.

The double-album set comes inside a gatefold cover featuring photos from the Sony Music Archive and notes by Scott Schinder featuring exclusive quotes from BÖC founding members Buck Dharma and Eric Bloom. Limited Edition of 1000 in Pearl White Vinyl, exclusive to Record Store Day/Black Friday.

The track list:
  • Side One (all Recorded for Columbia Records Soft White Underbelly Demo Session)
    • Donovan's Monkey (Demo)
    • What Is Quicksand (Demo) 
    • A Fact About Sneakers (Demo)
    • Betty Lou's Got a New Pair of Shoes (Demo
    • I'm on the Lamb But I Ain’t No Sheep (Demo)
    • John L. Sullivan (Demo)
  • Side Two
    • Buck's Boogie (Studio Version - Outtake from the Tyranny and Mutation sessions)
    • 7 Screaming Diz-Busters (Live soundboard recording from the band's personal archives - Recorded July 5, 1974, Seattle, WA)
  • Side Three
    • O.D.'d On Life Itself (Live) (Live soundboard recording from the band's personal archives - Recorded July 5, 1974, Seattle, WA)
    • Boorman the Chauffer (Outtake from the Secret Treaties sessions)
    • Mommy (Outtake from the Secret Treaties sessions)
    • Mes Dames Sarat (Outtake from the Secret Treaties sessions)
  • Side Four
    • Born to Be Wild (Non LP Single, Studio Version) 
    • Career of Evil (Single Version)
    • Steppin' Razor (Rehearsal Demo)
    • Fire of Unknown Origin (Original Version)
    • Sally (Demo)

From Utopia, it's A Different POV.

These three previously unreleased demos for Utopia’s POV album do indeed provide a different point of view into the final days of the band. First, a little background. 1984 was a time of upheaval for Todd Rundgren; on a personal level, he had begun a new and serious relationship with Tubes singer Michele Gray and was now splitting his time equally between residences in Lake Hill, New York, and Sausalito, California.

On the professional front, he was precariously juggling his three careers between his production work for other artists, his own solo recording, and his duties as a member of Utopia, his partnership with bassist Kasim Sulton, drummer John “Willie” Wilcox, and keyboardist Roger Powell.

Utopia was always a four-way democracy, very much a communal creative effort; but now, with the advent of new recording technology like the Fairlight synthesizer, the musicians could create new work without ever having to be in the same room. Which is exactly how these demos came to be; both “Secret Society” and “Play This Game” are vocal demos that Rundgren made at Utopia Sound in Lake Hill, while “Mated” was a tune by Wilcox for which Rundgren wrote and sang the vocals.

All three songs made the album with full band arrangements, though Wilcox elected to stick with programmed drums, a decision which precipitated the break-up of the band. But despite all the infighting, these demos and the resulting album alike maintained the melodic brilliance that was always the band’s calling card, even as POV proved to be their last studio album together.

Now, Real Gone Music presents these fascinating, behind-the-scenes demos in a limited edition exclusive for Record Store Day/Black Friday: sky blue 45 r.p.m. 12” vinyl inside a jacket sporting liner notes by Paul Myers—author of A Wizard, a True Star—Todd Rundgren in the Studio—that include quotes from Rundgren, Sulton, and Wilcox. Limited to 1500 copies, this one’s a must for fans forever “mated” to Todd and Utopia.

The track list
  • Side One
    • Secret Society
    • Mated
  • Side Two
    • Play This Game

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