If ever there were a manifesto for 1970s rock, one that prefigured both the decadence of the decade's burgeoning heavy metal and prog rock excesses and the rage of punk rock, "This Ain't the Summer of Love," the opening track from Agents of Fortune, Blue Öyster Cult's fourth album, was it…
Club Ninja is the tenth studio album by the U.S. hard rock group Blue Öyster Cult, released in December 10, 1985. The album was intended as a comeback for the band, whose previous album The Revölution by Night failed to attain Gold status following the success of 1981's Fire of Unknown Origin and 1982's Extraterrestrial Live. Club Ninja is the only Blue Öyster Cult studio album not to feature keyboardist Allen Lanier. He was replaced temporarily by Tommy Zvoncheck, who'd previously been keyboardist for Aldo Nova's live band, for a Japanese tour by Public Image Ltd. and had already contributed to the initial recordings of Blue Öyster Cult's 1988 concept album Imaginos. The album also features new drummer Jimmy Wilcox, formerly of Rick Derringer and Scandal, who replaced Rick Downey. Edwin Pouncey, reviewing the album for Sounds, gave it a five-star rating, describing it as "a seemingly leaden slab of AOR which suddenly turns into gold in your hands", praising Sandy Pearlman's production.
If ever there were a manifesto for 1970s rock, one that prefigured both the decadence of the decade's burgeoning heavy metal and prog rock excesses and the rage of punk rock, "This Ain't the Summer of Love," the opening track from Agents of Fortune, Blue Öyster Cult's fourth album, was it. The irony was that while the cut itself came down firmly on the hard rock side of the fence, most of the rest of the album didn't. Agents of Fortune was co-produced by longtime Cult record boss Sandy Pearlman, Murray Krugman, and newcomer David Lucas, and in addition, the band's lyric writing was being done internally with help from poet-cum-rocker Patti Smith (who also sings on "The Revenge of Vera Gemini").
76 minutes of "thinking-man's metal," courtesy of Blue Oyster Cult! Includes all their hits- (Don't Fear) The Reaper; Burnin' for You; In Thee , and Shooting Shark -plus Godzilla; Joan Crawford; Black Blade; The Red & the Black; I Love the Night; Astronomy , and six more Cult classics.
Blue Öyster Cult marks time with a second live album on which they turn out good, if redundant, concert versions of recent favorites like "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" and "Godzilla" and add to their repertoire of live covers such oldies as the MC5's "Kick out the Jams" and the Animals' "We Gotta Get out of This Place." A perfectly acceptable, completely unnecessary souvenir record from a hard-touring band of the '70s. (It should perhaps be noted that the mid- to late '70s was a period when more live albums than usual were being released, especially in the wake of Peter Frampton's massively successful 1976 album Frampton Comes Alive!.)