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4.6 out of 5 stars
Imaginos
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 18 April 2008
'll start by saying I'm one of those who thinks this is the best BOC album and it's brilliant, unique and superb.

I'm fortunate enough (and old enough) to have an original vinyl version of this from 1988 which I know inside out, and on buying this new CD version I was surprised to find some of the tracks significantly different to their originals. Not just remixed with a slightly different balance in the overall sound, but with - for instance - different guitar solos in some places. Main example being "In the presence of another world" where all the lead guitar parts are completely different to those on the original album. So this isn't simply a CD version of the 1988 vinyl edition; it would almost be more accurate to call it an "Out-takes and alternative versions" edition of the original LP.

So, if possible, you still need the original version, because what you get on this CD version is pretty different.

Still an excellent album though.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 21 August 2005
Having been a BOC fan since 1974, I had all their albums, bought them as soon as they came out. This album was no exception. But, after the previous three or four misfires, I wasn't expecting what I heard. The album started off with a fantastically heavy gothic rhythm, working it's way up through to the end of the album. Each track was so well put together. It was also nice to see some absent band members (the Bouchards) re-joining the band, for what is, I think, the best BOC album ever.
Sure, some tracks had appeared on previous albums, namely Astronomy and Blue Oyster Cult (previously done as Subhuman!), and the title track Imaginos is maybe a bit samey, but, as a band to have this album on your CV, is to die for.
I had this on vinyl for many years, eventually getting it (with great difficulty) on CD.
BUY IT! Whatever way you can.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
I was hooked when I read in the sleeve notes "Imaginos is a random-access myth". A strange cross-time rite-of-passage narrative runs beneath the disordered songs making this much the most fascinating BOC stuff I've heard.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 26 February 2002
This is a heavy, heavy album without being heavy metal. How`s that? - well, this album is a culmination of many themes that the Blue Oyster Cult dealt with in the preceding years, and is centred around a weird, half-revealed mythic tale of strange beings outwith our dimension who try to influence events in our world...or something like that. See, `Imaginos` is more a collection of themed songs than a straightforward concept album. Much is hinted at, many obscure references are made, and there`s definitely some kinda weird transdimensional malarkey going on!
But when you get right down to it, this is an album of brilliant, entrancing, intriguing, mind-stompingly wonderful songs. Absolutely essential listening.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 21 March 2012
If ever an album was due a collector's edition re-release with extensive history and interpretations of the songs it's this one. Imaginos is a complex concept album even with the tracks in the correct order so by mixing up the running order as the producers did, it becomes totally indecipherable. If that collector's edition ever did become available, one of the discs should have the tracks in the correct order which seems to be:

1. Les Invisibles
2. Imaginos
3. Del Rio's Song
4. Blue Oyster Cult
5. Astronomy
6. I Am The One You Warned Me Of
7. In The Presence Of Another World
8. The Siege And Investiture Of Baron Von Frankenstein's Castle At
Weisseria
9. Magna Of Illusion

Personally I always listen to my own CD with the tracks re-ordered as above and this version of Astronomy replaced with the original Secret Treaties version which I think fits better. This with "Blue Oyster Cult" provides a quiet haunting mid-section to the album before the ferocious hard rocking lust of "I Am The One You Warned Me Of" and the similarly heavy tracks that follow.

The plot revolves around an occult group in the New World who worship "Les Invisibles": beings from another world. Les Invisibles bring a child into the world (Imaginos) who has certain special abilities but is initially unaware of his origin or purpose, until he dies and is resurrected in the track "Blue Oyster Cult". Imaginos makes a deal for his resurrection that he will help to secretly spread evil throughout the world by acting many parts at pivotal moments in history. He is also aided by occult artefacts such as the Magna of Illusion (a black mirror) which seems to poison the minds of Europe prior to the First World War.

It's a superb album which captures perfectly the essence of Blue Oyster Cult's origins and style irrespective of how involved some of the individual band members were with the writing and recording.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 13 July 2005
It's a rotten shame that this is out of print. In fact, it is the hardest album to get a hold of by them. It is not even listed on the american Amazon site. There are no compilations with any of the songs from this, either. The production was a little overdone, but musically, this is as good as their first three, and light years ahead of Club Ninja!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 5 January 2011
Thinking back to 1988 when this album was originally released on vinyl I think the first emotion as an avid BOC fan was relief that CBS / Columbia had given the go ahead for another release (in those pre Internet days I had no idea if and when another album was coming) - personally I had enjoyed sections of both Revolution by Night and Club Ninja but the sales returns from the halcyon days of Fire of Unknown Origin had fallen and they were certainly inferior to all the previous efforts (including Mirrors) - the clarity of the passage of time clearly shows the cracks that had appeared in the writing quality for the two albums prior to Imaginos due to absent friends and a return to former glories looked unlikely.
Well for Imaginos both Sandy Pearlman and Albert Bouchard were back & someone (most likely Albert) had clearly put a lot of work into this project - right from the opening track you sense all is well again for the Oyster boys and indeed a couple of minutes into the second track (Les Invisibles) you get a skilful gear change that reminds you just how good (and unique) this band could be - this mood and quality is sustained right up to the closing, title track which is slightly looser and out of kilter with the preceding 8 tracks - maybe Albert & Sandy wanted an up tempo ending to act as a full stop to the project?
This is a strong album all round that clearly relates the feel of the great 72-74 period without ever being a parody or less than relevant for the late eighties (though fitting in with the times had never overly concerned BOC).
It's difficult to pull out highlights from what one reviewer has already (correctly) labelled "a suite of songs" - the remodelled version of Astronomy (stripped of atmosphere, mystery and poetic beauty) still works well, it's just that good a song anyway that it survives a mutation - the deftness of Les Invisibles is impressive - Del Rio's Song is catchy & uplifting & "Siege & Investiture" is an absolute barnstormer that reminds one & all just how powerful this band can be - some classy keyboards emerge from the brutality at the end and the choral repetition of the "World without End" refrain is very effective.
Of course long time fans should get a kick out of Albert putting across the classic lyrics of The Subhuman (slightly re-jigged) into the reformed origin "Blue Oyster Cult" - I am becalmed in virtue / Lost to nothing on a bay of dreams / Warm weather & a holocaust / The tears of god flow as I bleed / Left to die by two good friends / Abandoned me and put to sleep / On a shore where oyster beds seem plush as down / And ripe enough for the luxor dream......
Bloom used a detached approach for his vocal on Secret Treaties and Albert is more grainy & impassioned here and it works well.
After spending hours trying to decipher their lyrics the irony of the We Understand / We Understand incantation (delivered with supreme confidence) is not lost on me.

BOC have always had a peculiar ability to layer sound (right from the Stalk Forrest Group days) within a heavy rock environment but rarely do their arrangements become too fussy as they retain near flawless judgement that avoids excess.
No matter what the exact origins of this album were it can only be judged some 22 years later as a remarkable return to form for this very special band and as a reward for the patience of their diehard following.
Given the strength of this release it's mystifying that "true" studio albums would only surface again from the Steam Hammer label in 1998 & 2002 - less surprising for anyone paying attention since the late sixties is that both Heaven Forbid and Curse of the Hidden Mirror were actually pretty damn good.
Imaginos is a concept album of sorts - a random access myth relating to a character called Desdinova who flits through history playing important roles in world events - "Blue Oyster Cult" is the origin & "Astronomy" his moment of realisation that he is linked to Stellar beings - the music speaks for it's self & you can take or leave the storyline.
(PS - Fans of Albert's work should track down a copy of "Malpractice" by The Brain Surgeons from 1997, a very enjoyable release from this borderline genius)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The 80's will surely go down as the poorest in Blue Oyster Cults recording history,one uninspired disc after another culminating in the dreadful CLUB NINJA.

One album however which cannot be lumped in to that statistic is IMAGINOS,certainly its Albert Bouchard's pet project and along with brother Joe he reunites the original line up with a few session men,its hard to know who plays what but its a damn fine album

From the moment you clapped eyes on the cover,it was obvious this was going to be some other worldly experience,from the moment 'I Am The One...' bursts authoratively from the speakers,you know you were right and are immediately transported back to the early days of TYRANNY AND MUTATION/SECRET TREATIES,its that good,certainly their best album in a decade and comparable with their halycon period from 72 thru 74.

There isnt a duff track here,be it the glorious singalong feel of 'Del Rio's Song' or the atmospheric'...Presence of another World',the imaginative re workin of 'Astronomy' or the re jigged Subhuman retitled 'Blue Oyster Cult' or the grand finale the stunning title track.

The guitar playing immense(i assume all Buck? but the credits do have the Albert listed as playing lead as well)Bass appears to have been handled by Kenny Aaranson,while drums are by Tommy Price,Keyboards appear to split between Joe Bouchard,Tommy Zvoncheck and Allen Lanier whilst Eric handles vocals only,with Buck and Albert also singing,we also appear to have a guitar army appearing on the title track including Aldo Nova,Robbie Krieger,Joe Satriani to name but a few.It certainly appears that the then current? line up of the Cult was tagged onto a Bouchard solo recording allowing the Cult name to be used,whatever the reasons,be glad, this is fantastic.

I have 2 original vinyl copies the usa pressing and uk blue vinyl,this cd(American Beat Records) definitely would appear to have been remastered possibly even remixed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 11 June 2010
You will hear various opinions about this 1988 studio album from Blue Öyster Cult. It's genius, twenty years in gestation and six years in the making. It was an Albert Bouchard solo project but the label insisted on labelling it as a Blue Öyster Cult album. It's a concept album. And so forth.

To me, it's simply a superb comeback, and this great band's best studio outing since "Secret Treaties". For `comeback', let me explain. I regard the BÖC's first three (`black and white' albums) as sheer genius, far and away my favourite heavy metal, dark, original, hugely innovative and professional. Then came the mega-hit `(Don't Fear) The Reaper', and the "Agents of Fortune" album packaged around it. Though not a `bad' album as such, this was a sad disappointment after what had come earlier, both in the studio and in the stunning live double, "On Your Feet Or On Your Knees".

Subsequently, the BÖC tried to regain its original inspiration, but, for a long time, they never really succeeded. Then came "Cultosaurus Erectus", definitely their best studio production since "Treaties". With "Imaginos", they went one better - here, we are very nearly back to the pre-commercial BÖC of the early seventies.

Lyrically, "Imaginos" is a concept album themed around a science-fictional/mystical storyline penned by mentor Sandy Pearlman from the late sixties. This, in fact, is largely beside the point. What we have here is a fine suite of nine tracks. BÖC lay down their credentials and intent from the first cadences of `I Am The One...', and maintain the quality right through to the closing notes of the title track.

There isn't a weak cut on this remarkably original album, but highlights include `Astronomy' (originally slated for "Imaginos", included, spectacularly atmospherically, on "Treaties", and back here in very different but excellent form), and `Blue Öyster Cult' (a very much evolved version of `The Subhuman' from the same album).

This is the band's best album since the mid-seventies, and reminds us that, at their best, BÖC must be rated as one of the very finest rock bands.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 24 January 2008
This is both BOC's best and most unusual recording, largely because it was conceived as an Al Bouchard solo project (their drummer, with Sandy Pearlman the producer). But the record company forced it to be a BOC release. Consequently, it was recorded by different musicians, usually of higher skill (no offence, chaps), and brought together new musical imaginations, including Joe Satriani. BOC had just released the execrable 'Club Ninja' when this bizarre and fantastical piece of prog rock seemed to come out of nowhere. The re-recordings 'Asronomy' and 'Blue Oyster Cult' (originally 'the Subhuman' both from 'Career of Evil') are the absolute stand out tracks, but 'Imaginos' and 'Del Rio's Song' testify to Bouchard and Pearlman's abilities to still write brilliant tracks. The other songs are less catchy but contain some superb musical moments. The story may be out of order but who cares - it is totally incomprehensible anyway, serving mostly as an atmospheric continuity. Sadly, I can't get it on blue vinyl anymore and Al Bouchard makes glass jewellery instead of rocking out, but this a great secret of the 80s by a much underrated band.
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