Blue Oyster Cult is best-known, of course, for the 1976 masterpiece “(Don’t Fear) the Reaper,” which became the band’s highest-charting single. With one of the most recognizable opening riffs in rock-and-roll history, “Reaper” remains a staple of classic-rock radio, frequently turns up on movie and TV soundtracks, and was the basis for the revered Saturday Night Live sketch “More Cowbell.” In 2004, Rolling Stone named it one of the top 500 songs of all time.
Ten years after “Reaper,” BOC was still around, but like a lot of other bands that peaked artistically and commercially in the ’70s, they were struggling to figure out how to adapt to changing tastes in the synth-heavy MTV era. They finally scored a minor hit in 1986 with a song called “Dancin’ in the Ruins,” their biggest success since “Burnin’ for You” five years earlier. I don’t have any particular memories of “Dancin’,” but I do recall liking it quite a bit back in the day. And then I more or less forgot about it for a few decades.
Well, I’ve been thinking about it again ever since early Wednesday morning. The song’s generally upbeat sound overlaying its fatalistic lyrics seems to match my post-election emotions, which have been a weird rollercoaster between existential dread, weary resignation, and fuck-it-all euphoria.
And that’s really about all I’ve got to say right now. So just crank the volume and enjoy as we head into the weekend. Everything crumbles to dust in time, so we may as well have a party, right?