This is the 14 track, one disc version of Sony's Essential BOC (the 2 disc version has 31 tracks & is highly recommended) - this simply picks out one or two songs per studio album from the debut in 1972 up to Revolution By Night in 1983.
Given these limitations there really aren't any major complaints about seeing this release as a very good sampler for some of the band's key studio material.
Only four tracks are included from the Golden Age period from 1972-74 (you could easily pick 5-6 tracks from any individual album in this productive period) - not surprisingly all four are strong choices - the spacey anthem "Cities On Flame" - the tongue in cheek debauchery of 7 Screaming Dizbusters - the hypnotic riffing for Harvester Of Eyes (which is always a treat when played live) & of course the beautiful, lyrical Astronomy - possibly the band's finest song penned by the Bouchard brothers using Pearlman's Imaginos themed lyrics.
The seminal Don't Fear The Reaper comes next & this heralds the changeover in style to a more mainstream, melodic sound - still with the Cult's twisted themes & unique sounds though.
Both ETI & Godzilla are included, vital tracks for sure though live versions from the late seventies are often more enjoyable.
I Love The Night & Shooting Shark represent really smart choices - Buck Dharma compositions of stunning quality - the former dripping with vampiric atmosphere & beauty whilst the latter is an experiment with sax & synths that really works as Buck weaves in impressive Patti Smith words & his own smooth guitars - this is the full, wonderful version right here.
The US radio hit "Burnin For You" has been culled from the best selling Fire Of Unknown Origin album - super slick AOR from Buck that has enough edge to maintain it's interest through the years.
Of the remaining band members Allen Lanier is represented via In Thee - a fine song with tasteful acoustic guitars & thoughtful lyrics detailing how a successful rock & roll lifestyle can play havoc with a long term / long distance relationship.
Finally Eric Bloom supplies both Black Blade & Take Me Away - Blade is prog rock heaven for sci-fi geeks as it sets Elric's enchanted sword to music (Kill all "flipping" humans indeed!!) - Take Me Away is Bloom's UFO abduction fantasy - he recycles a glorious Aldo Nova riff & combines it with his own words to good effect.
Overall a very strong 14 track release that offers a valid taste of BOC's Columbia era - my main reservation would be that other single disc "best ofs" might be better economic value. (Amazon Review).
Only ever heard The Reaper, so new nowt about BOC. A band from the 1970's to 80's has the same rock / prog feeling of bands I liked in that era. After only one listen from a BOC newbie will give this a 3.50 rating. A retro grower?
Really need to hear more from their albums to give a true reflection on this compilation.