Famous for popularising the modern music, their long list of name changes, their iconic logo, for pioneering the use of an umlaut in band names and for making metal catchy (not to mention coverable!) BÖC have certainly left their mark on both the alternative and mainstream music markets. The regular rotation of their exceptional music videos on the likes of MTV combined with an enormous crowd following – assisted by their impressive stage shows – resulted in them selling over 24 million albums during their career, with Agents of Fortune being one of their most commercially and critically successful releases.
BÖC formed in Long Island, New York, in 1967 – then known as Soft White Underbelly; it would be some time before they would land on the name they ultimately stuck with – with the intention of becoming America’s answer to Black Sabbath. Although their variation of heavy metal was a little softer and more radio-friendly than their UK counterparts. It still sells well – particularly on vinyl – and the iconic single (Don’t Fear) The Reaper is still a playlist staple on pretty much every rock station you can name. What’s more, it has been officially covered by over 18 bands – unofficially many more.
Why do you need this LP?
Aside from containing BÖC’s most famous single, this is an album which received astonishingly favourable reviews across the board containing 70 tracks which helped make heavy metal that tiny bit more palatable to the masses. Still cited as inspiration by countless artists and musicians every day, it is a piece of alternative history that is still hugely relevant today. The band’s eclectic tastes and versatile styles are apparent throughout, and even more distinguishable when presented in the warm, lush and detailed vinyl format. And don’t forget the cow bell!