This is useful, and confounding. This is truly a Blue Öyster Cult singles comp, but not in the usual sense. Over 20 tracks, it rounds up BÖC singles released all over the world, which keeps it from being just another best-of. For instance, take the final cut: "Astronomy." This is not the original released on Secret Treaties but the redone version issued on Imaginos issued in 1988 and a single distributed only in the U.K. and Holland. And so it goes with this thing. Many of these cuts were issued as singles in the United Kingdom, or in Japan ("Moon Crazy," "Flaming Telepaths") or Europe, marked by the inclusion of tracks like the live read of "We Gotta Get Outta This Place," released in Germany as a single, or "Fallen Angel," released in Spain.
Gil Scott-Heron's 1971 album Pieces of a Man set a standard for vocal artistry and political awareness that few musicians will ever match. His unique proto-rap vocal style influenced a generation of hip-hop artists, and nowhere is his style more powerful than on the classic "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised." Even though the media – the very entity attacked in this song – has used, reused, and recontextualized the song and its title so many times, the message is so strong that it has become almost impossible to co-opt. Musically, the track created a formula that modern hip-hop would follow for years to come: bare-bones arrangements featuring pounding basslines and stripped-down drumbeats. Although the song features plenty of outdated references to everything from Spiro Agnew and Jim Webb to The Beverly Hillbillies, the force of Scott-Heron's well-directed anger makes the song timeless. More than just a spoken word poet, Scott-Heron was also a uniquely gifted vocalist. On tracks like the reflective "I Think I'll Call It Morning" and the title track, Scott-Heron's voice is complemented perfectly by the soulful keyboards of Brian Jackson.