Blue Öyster Cult Bassist Admits ‘Sloppy’ Part Of ‘Don’t Fear The Reaper’

Blue Öyster Cult bassist Joe Bouchard revealed the one thing he doesn’t like about ‘Don’t Fear The Reaper’ — it’s ‘sloppy.’

Although it’s the band’s one of the most popular songs today, ‘Don’t Fear The Reaper’ might not have even made it into their discography. The reason? It took many takes to achieve the ‘perfect’ version. During a new interview with Rock Daydream Nation, Bouchard explained:

“I think with ‘Reaper’ we did about six or seven takes and probably took the sixth one. I was disappointed, I knew I could do better. I had such high hopes that I argued. We came back in the next day and said ‘Guys, we’re gonna do this, I can do it so much better!’ And they said, ‘No… That take we did yesterday was the magic one.'”

The interviewer asked what was wrong with the song that made him dislike it. The bassist revealed the bassline was ‘sloppy,’ but the magic of the last take would disappear if they had done another take:

“The bassline is kind of sloppy. I’ve heard it isolated in modern technology and said, ‘I played that?’ But the idea was it did have that groove and that one-of-a-kind sound and whatever. If we had done it over, it might not have worked.”

Buck Dharma Thinks Otherwise

Buck Dharma’s thoughts about the song are different than those of Bouchard’s.

The lead guitarist both wrote and sang ‘Don’t Fear The Reaper.’ Dharma still regularly tours with the band and it seems he is touched that many people still love the hit song since the first day. The guitarist also believes that the song is great and he was pleasant the first time he heard it, unlike the bassist. Dharma explained during a previous conversation:

“It was one of those things that just sort of fell off my fingers. And I knew I had something there because I liked it the first time I heard it. I was like, ‘Wow!’ The first two lines of the lyric, again, just sort of came from my head rather unbidden. Then the idea of the song took shape but it took about six weeks to write the rest of it.”

You can watch the recent interview below.