From 'More cowbell!' to NO cowbell?

I was listening to Blue Öyster Cult’s “Don’t Fear the Reaper” the other night and suffered a shocking realization: That isn’t a cowbell. It’s a wood block. The sound is too dull to be metal and it decays too rapidly.

My whole world collapsed before me. :frowning:

Talk about weird coincidences…not only did I also hear “Don’t Fear the Reaper” on the radio today as well, but the song was interspersed with clips from the SNL clip with Christopher Walken.

What you’re hearing is the difference between a cowbell mounted on a stand and a cowbell held in the player’s hand. A handheld cowbell is muffled by the hand that it holding it, thus it decays quickly. Plus, it’s buried in the mix.

According to this article, the cowbell was heavily wrapped in tape, and added to the track after the fact.

I was walking by Union Sq in NYC a couple of months ago. There was some kind of save the animals event going on. I was looking at one of the booths and the band started playing “Don’t Fear the Reaper” and I instinctive thought to myself “needs more cowbell”. Took a look at the band and it was Blue Oyster Cult! It was definitely a cowbell in that performance.

This local piano bar plays the song, with cowbell, i might add.
I heard the song at Brookstone at the mall about a week ago. It was devoid of all cowbell. My heart wept.

I associate that song either with the Christopher Walken skit or the Stephen King miniseries “The Stand”, in which it was played during the spooky prologue.

I just wanted to point out that a lot of “wood blocks” aren’t actually wood, they are made of molded plastic. My brother purchased one at Guitar Center after hearing Akira Jimbo play. For the record, the plastic wood block is the loudest thing on the fucking planet.

It sounds to me more like a muffled cowbell than a woodblock, although I could easily mistake one for the other.

No, as RedSwinglineOne’s link says, it’s a taped cowbell.

That’s a relief!

More tape!

It will always be associated with “The Stand” in my mind, regardless of the SNL skit that I’ve seen a handful of times.

For me, it was initially associated with The Stand because I was convinced of Blue Oyster Cult’s brilliance back in high school (which, scarily enough, was only around '99, '00), and Mr. King’s brilliance, as well.

Now, I pretty much think of Christopher Walken on SNL.