Blue Öyster Cult – Club Ninja (1985)
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About the Album
Club Ninja is the tenth studio album by American hard rock group Blue Öyster Cult, released December 10, 1985 in the United Kingdom and on February 11, 1986 in the United States. The album was intended as a comeback for the band, whose previous album The Revölution by Night failed to attain Gold status following the success of 1981’s Fire of Unknown Origin and 1982’s Extraterrestrial Live. Club Ninja sold more than 175,000 copies, falling well short of gold status again, and because of its high cost, Columbia Records executives deemed it a commercial failure. The album was re-issued on compact disc on March 10, 2009, by Sony-owned reissue label American Beat Records, which had also reissued the band’s 1988 album, Imaginos.
Club Ninja‘s first single, “Dancin’ in the Ruins,”was a minor radio and MTV hit. “When the War Comes”features a brief spoken-word introduction by radio personality Howard Stern, whose cousin was married to guitarist and vocalist Eric Bloom. The lyrics to “Spy in the House of the Night”were written by Richard Meltzer, originally based on his poem “Out of Smokes”, which was published in his 1999 book Holes. The album was the band’s last studio album with bassist Joe Bouchard.
Club Ninja is the only BÖC studio album not to feature keyboardist Allen Lanier. He was replaced temporarily by Tommy Zvoncheck, who’d previously been keyboardist for Aldo Nova’s live band, for a Japanese tour by Public Image Ltd. and had already contributed to the initial recordings of Blue Öyster Cult’s 1988 concept album Imaginos. The album also features new drummer Jimmy Wilcox, formerly of Rick Derringer and Scandal, who replaced Rick Downey. Wilcox remained with the band until 1987.