34 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on February 24, 2004
"Mirrors" is a look at what Blue Oyster Cult would have sounded like if they had conformed into a radio-friendly rock group when they began in the early 70s. But the word "conform" is not appropriate at all, since the album still finds BOC in a world of their own. Nonetheless it remains true that, if any of their previous albums were to be played on the radio (then or now), they would come off like nothing else being played. Their first hit 'Don't Fear the Reaper' had proven that. Therefore, "Mirrors" is as "radio-friendly" as a BOC album can get.
Certainly Blue Oyster Cult at its most melodic, "Mirrors" is a fascinating find for listeners. The menace that haunted earlier works is found only in moments of 'Dr. Music' and 'I Am the Storm' (one of the few songs here that would have fit perfectly on albums like "Tyranny and Mutation" or "Secret Treaties"). But the talent is still obvious, not to mention BOC's trademark use of sci-fi themes in 'The Great Sun Jester,' or even 'Moon Crazy.' 'In Thee' meanwhile became a much-appreciated song to the fans, being one of their few songs that melted into the grooves of radio-friendliness with such ease. It should also be noted that 'Lonely Teardrops' is bizarre (even for this band), but in an alluring and listenable way.
Even though it's a great recommendation for newer fans, hardcore BOC listeners will embrace the album most, and will not be able to take it out of their disc player; "Mirrors" defines the term "lost classic."
28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on November 8, 1999
The greatest Blue Oyster Cult album is not Agents of Fortune. Nor is it the debut album or Fire of Unknown Origin. It's not even the debut or Spectres or Secret Treaties. No, the greatest Blue Oyster Cult album is Mirrors, the one often derided as a pop sellout. Those who label it thus do a great injustice to the album's versatility and energy. This is simply a collection of great songs which has a consistency none of this band's other efforts never quite reached. From the heart-rending "In Thee" to the playful "Moon Crazy" to the soulful "Lonely Teartrops" to the guitar-laden "You're Not the One I Was Looking For" to the angry "In Thee" to the fantastic "Great Sun Jester", a song that relates how the truly joy-bringing people of this world are beaten down and destroyed by the "cynics and the jackals", this album is full of vitality and ideas. Yes, it's the most atypical BOC record, but I for one wish they had made more like this.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on December 12, 2000
Growing up with top-40 pop so close to my heart, MIRRORS was, at the time, one of my favorite albums. From AGENTS OF FORTUNE to SPECTRES the band increasingly combined slick production with their trademark style; in this case, they may have gone too far. Still, several bands at the time could be accused of doing the same under pressure from money-mad record companies (think E.L.O.'s DISCOVERY, E.W.F.'s I AM, E.L.P.'s LOVE BEACH-- ahhh!!!). Just because B.O.C.'s "harder" & more "bizarre" works have grown on me so much over the years doesn't mean I like this any less! My faves include "In Thee" (a beautiful, sad ballad about long-distance relationships), "Mirrors" (the lengths women go to be attractive), "You're Not The One (I Was Looking For)" (Albert Bouchard's surprising detour into 50's-style pop), "The Vigil" (the album's "epic" song, a tribute perhaps to "CLOSE ENCOUNTERS") and of course, "Dr. Music" (with a DISCO beat-- proving again that "regular" rock bands could do disco BETTER than any "disco band" could.
I'm not thrilled with CBS's CD packaging, however. What's WITH this "Collector's Choice" border-- as if shrinking an LP cover to a CD cover isn't bad enough, it seems they may not be satisfied until they're down to postage-stamp size. Also, the great back-cover photo of the band (a big help for me to identify who was who, and might have made a better FRONT cover) is MISSING. And there's NO CREDITS or liner notes of any kind. (Certainly nothing to indicate Ellen Foley's background vocals on "Dr. Music" & "Mirrors"). For SHAME, CBS!
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on August 26, 2010
In the summer of '79, Blue Oyster Cult released their 6th studio album, "Mirrors" #44, to a perplexed BOC audience. I don't know why some people have a hard time advancing with a band, but BOC lost a few people with this release, because they put in a disco beatin one song and had a few poppy numbers with some female back-up singers, who were Wendy Webb, Genya Raven and Ellen Foley.(Ian Hunter, and the TV show Night Court). For me "Mirrors", was a good follow up to "Spectres". In college in '79 one of the metalheads played this album while lifting weights, he loved this album. I love the first 3 albums like most other BOC fans, but their albums from "Agents" to "FOTUO" are all good in their own special ways. "Mirrors" was produced by Cheap Trick, Ted Nugent producer Tom Werman.
Here are the highlights of "Mirrors":
"Dr.Music"- "Music is my game". Disco flavored track, mercy me, most bands dabbed into the disco beat a little back then. Good harmonica by Albert and guitar by Buck. It rocks, a great BOC song.
"The Great Sun Jester"- "I'm the joker of the universe". Sci-fi writer Michael Moorcock and Eric Bloom wrote this classic. Great story song, Allen plays some fine keyboards here, and Buck's guitar rings true.
"In Thee"- "I'll wrap myself in dreams". The hit single #74 written by Allen Lanier, perfect ballad. A great song in the summer of '79. R.I.P. Allen. Allen died August 14th, 2013.
"Mirrors"- "She tries like a superstar Hollywood girl". Written by Buck. A true rocker! Love the female background vocals, Buck's vocals are brilliant.
"Moon Crazy"- "Summer of madness, let the night shine on". Joe Bouchard number, Buck has a good guitar solo here. One of the poppier numbers.
"The Vigil"- "Cause we bit off more than we can chew". A personal favorite, song written by Buck and his wife Sandy. Love that guitar by Buck, Albert's drums are tops, good keyboards also. This song appears on the new "Setlist Live" CD.
"I Am The Storm"- "When you see the clouds blacken". Another great Joe Bouchard tune. BOC rocks hard, frightenly beautiful.
"You're Not The One(I Was Looking For")- "You wanted a rich rock star" Written by Albert and Caryn Bouchard,
Always one of my favorites, so bright production, Albert in top form, Buck's guitar rules! This could of been a top 40 hit if it was released and promoted. Great tune!
"Lonely Teardrops"- "All I want to do is get back home". allen Lanier wrote this poppy number, great keys, Buck's vocals and guitar excellent, Ellen's vocals at the end of song, DYNAMITE!
My plea for fans who just like the first 3 albums, give these other albums a chance, they're not that bad, it's just a band growing and expanding.
Thanks for reading.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on April 22, 2011
I first purchased this album on vinyl in 1981 or '82 and transferred it to TDK chromium dioxide tape shortly thereafter. It quickly became my favorite Blue Oyster Cult headphone experience with it's understated beauty and rich production. There's no way to ignore the brilliant blue flame of Buck Dharma's playing on any album, however, I believe Mirrors displays his maturity as a guitarist in ways no previous release can.
Yes, there are those who pan Mirrors for not being what it's predecessors are in the main: heavy blues based rock records living on the edge of the New York underground scene. So what? I suspect such critiques reveal much more about the limitations of the individuals complaining than they ever could about a band whose only real weakness has ever been a reliance on outside lyricists. And that weakness, so-called, has given voice to an intellectual and emotional variety not often found in bands of any longevity.
'Well I'm no poet, but I can't be fooled...'--The Vigil
Well, I am a poet and the most endearing and enduring aspect of Blue Oyster Cult for me has been it's mixture of the down and dirty, leather-clad raunch of living with the highest aspirations of life itself. Or, to put it more or less bluntly: As above, so below.
In short, after not hearing Mirrors for well over ten years, I've just found myself doing exactly what I often did upon hearing the album's final track, Lonely Teardrops--I simply started it over from the beginning and closed my eyes in pleasure...
--Charles Claymore, American Fado
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 11, 2004
what a jewel this one is. i agree, 25 years later and i think this one still sounds great. yet it really isn't as far removed from what the band had done in the past and what it was moving towards, as everybody was making out. I view it as more of a natural progression of the band's growth in conjunction with the new rock sound of the late 70's. It does contain "I Am the Storm" and "The Vigil", which are sort of from the "Secret Treaties" vein, and continued B.O.C.'s Sci-Fi intrigue with "The Great Sun Jester". The band demonstrates their awesome versatility on this record perhaps more than any other with "You're Not the One I Was Looking For", "In Thee", "Lonely Teardrops", and "Dr. Music" and "Moon Crazy".
If you listen though, some of these still have a ring of "Agents of Fortune" and hint broadly of the coming hit "Burnin' for You". The song "Mirrors" has a bit of a Knackish-Dharma sound. And I think this record really offers more of what Buck was getting into at the time. And his own solo effort isn't too far removed from this fare. What makes B.O.C. great is the merging of Dharma's guitar riffs with Bloom's Sci-Fi intrigue and mystery.
Bloom is at his best on "E.T.I." from "Agents" which I just saw live recently, and I think he does it better than ever. But Bloom was overshadowed on "Agents" by Buck singing their mega hit "Don't Fear The Reaper", and he wasn't the major player on "Mirrors" either but, you know, as much as I like Buck Dharma, it is Eric Bloom's presence that makes it all work.
If there is a fault to this album, its that there were only 9 songs.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 9, 2003
If anyone in 1978 had taken B.O.C.'s core values, signature sound and lovey-doomy imagery, then tried extrapolating what their sixth studio album might sound like, this would have not figured as the result.
There's a great deal of light still buring in the forest, though. The trademark mythology spurts out powerfully through 'The Great Sun Jester', 'The Vigil' and 'I Am the Storm' but most of this album is easily a departure and even these tracks glow in a less ghostly light than is the norm.
That doesn't mean the remainder is dross. If anything, 'Mirrors' gives a much-needed uplift in the wake of dark-image-laced 'Agents ...' & 'Spectres' (let's leave out the apocalyptic pictures 'Some Enchanted Evening' conjured). 'Dr. Music', 'Mirrors', 'Moon Crazy' and 'You're Not The One (I was Looking For)' serve as brilliant, spring-rock quickies that may be bankrupt in the band's mythos account but rock fast and rock well. 'In Thee', the one to lift from here for collection-purposes, is a beautiful bit of soft-rock, every ready to spring to the air waves upon request. 'Lonely Teardrops' completes the album and is probably the darkest hour on board this LP, notwithstanding the dolorous wails of 'I am the Storm' or the melancholic destructo-ballad 'The Vigil'. Sometimes Lanier really could out-devil Roeser in the scary sound department.
In short, 'Mirrors' was an entry of diversity and taking risks. New producer, new studio, new sounds, new confidence from a dollar-fattened group made this very much a surprise trip into uncharted waters. Luckily, the gamble worked and alienation from the fan base wasn't automatic due to it's release. Light and souffle-like in many regards, 'Mirrors' needed to serve as a fleet-footed vehicle, ushering the Oyster Boys into the Eighties and consolidating their somewhat paradoxical status as lyrically-esoteric but arena-rock oriented. Taking the sum of its parts, straining it through a filter constructed from an appreciation for what the band were facing at this juncture in their career, and evaluating the feeling after one walks away from this album for the Nth listen, it's worth an easy 85% (close to 4.5 stars). But I'm prepared to be generous - it's stood the test of time and, unlike other bands who flirted with different sounds, B.O.C. are justly unashamed of their work here. Well done, guys.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 23, 2005
In a lot of ways, "Mirrors"(1979), separates true BLUE OYSTER CULT fanatics from part-time B.O.C. listeners. This album is quite often given poor reviews simply because it's not as "heavy" riff-wise as for example, "Spectres"(1977). While "Mirrors" may NOT be the loudest B.O.C. LP, it IS one of the most well-written. The songs have an excellent drugged-out feel to them(due to an excellent spacey Tom Werman production effort), and typically brilliant lyrics. "Mirrors" is one of those albums which may take a while to grow on the average listener. Unfortunately, this may be why so many well-meaning B.O.C. fans ditch out on "Mirrors" after the first listen. They do not give the album time to work its magic(a magic which is helped along with some good weed and a comfortable spot for some zoned-out listening). In conclusion, "Mirrors" is a very rewarding album for not just B.O.C. fans, but rock fans in general. "Mirrors" was a great conclusion to the decade of the 70's, a decade which Blue Oyster Cult helped to define musically. Give "Mirrors" a chance....you WILL NOT REGRET IT!!!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on December 3, 2008
That's right I said BOC's BEST record. I am a lifelong BOC fan and MIRRORS is the record to hit my heart most. It's definitely the Cults softest record agreeably. However, in my experience it is the BOC record that keeps me interested most from the first note to the last. BOC may have some better songs on some GREAT records like Agents or Spectres or Fire Unknown Origin or Cultosaurus, but none of those records are as good... as a whole....
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on April 13, 2002
I came to this in some trepidation. Everything I'd heard seemed to suggest this was an inferior BÖC product. Open-mouthed with incredulous shock I heard the opening bars of `Doctor Music'. In my haste to fumble for the remote in order to immediately switch off and eject the CD I dropped it - lucky break that. It meant I heard rather more than the superficially poppy/disco opening. The penny rather quickly dropped. Oh yes. The Blue Öyster Cult strikes back. If they want disco, we'll give `em disco BÖC-style with a twist. Some of the most cornily compulsive rhythms to suck you in and then you might just not notice the lyrics are about as deliciously perverse as you can get and that underneath there's some pretty down and dirty riffing. Did any of you critics, you diehards, you dyed-in-the-wool hardcore `fans' - and I use the term loosely - ever pause to give this album a second chance before ripping it to shreds? Any of you ever hear of irony? OK, listen up - this is not BÖC's answer to `Night Fever' no matter what you've been told. This album probably contains some of Blue Öyster Cult's finest work and conversely some of their worst. Oddly Mr Self-Effacing himself, Allen Lanier, comes under the spotlight for both reasons. Can anything excuse the criminal lapse that is `Lonely Teardrops'? Only the incredible virtuoso piece `In Thee'. For that I'll forgive him anything. The only co-contribution made by the normally prolific and brilliant Albert Bouchard is the jaw-droppingly appalling track `You're not the one...' Was this the sign of things to come? The beginning of the end for Albert? In contrast Joe, usually considered to be somewhat erratic in his contributions veering wildly between flights of inspired genius and the most dreadful mediocrity, gives us some of his finest stuff on this album. `Moon Crazy' is delightfully, weirdly compelling and `I am the Storm' conveys a convincing menace. The title track `Mirrors' is a pleasant and inoffensive song which bears repeated hearing as does `The Vigil' - not vintage Roeser stuff perhaps but certainly not to be despised for all that. With `The Great Sun Jester' Eric Bloom proves once again that his contributions were often unfairly underestimated or overlooked in the wider shadow cast by the work of Donald Roeser and Albert Bouchard (both admittedly Masters). I am torn between the haunting `Sun Jester' and the captivating `In Thee' as to which is my favourite on the album and have finally reached the conclusion that it is which ever of them I happen to be listening to at a given time. Give `Mirrors' a go, it's worth persevering with.