Album: Secret Treaties (1974)

Songfacts®:

  • An ME 262 is a German jet fighter put into service during World War II. The song is sung from the perspective of a German pilot attacking British forces. "Junkers Jumo 004" refers to the kind of engine that was used in the plane.
  • The Secret Treaties album cover was an illustration of the band standing alongside an ME 262 plane. While the members of Blue Öyster Cult were certainly not Nazi sympathizers, their exploration of Hitler and the Nazi regime baffled some listeners and angered others. They spent a lot of time answering questions about the subject and explaining how Nazism was a kind of art form before it was associated with Hitler, but in the end their exploration of Nazi culture was more trouble than it was worth. The biggest problem came in Germany, where some stores refused to carry the Secret Treaties album and where they were met with some hostility when they performed there.
  • Sandy Pearlman, who was the group's producer (and Jewish), wrote this song with BOC guitarist Buck Dharma and lead singer Eric Bloom. In various interviews, Bloom explained that Pearlman liked the provocative nature of this song as he seemed to thrive on the controversy, but it was hard for the band to take because they were the ones performing.
  • Eric Bloom wrote the music for this song on a keyboard. He explained in his Songfacts interview: "I lived in the band house - I was the only one that lived there. It had an upright piano in the living room, and just sat down at the piano, had that lyric there, and I just sort of banged that out. I can't remember what the inspiration was, but I put my hands down and that's what came out."

Comments: 5

  • Dan Weiss from Osprey, FlRegarding Jay from NY, Donald Roeser is not Jewish.
  • Greg from Corpus ChristiIf I was allowed only one BOC album for all time, 'Secret Treaties' would be it. Giving up 'Reaper', 'Godzilla', and 'Burnin' For You' would be a sacrifice, but this album captures the BOC mystique best. BOC was a known quantity for me back in 76', but they weren't on my radar screen at the time. So glad my friend Mark showed me this gem. Our band practiced 'Dominance and Submission' after that, which is why Mark showed it to me. We only played it up to the beginning of Roser's breakout lead, which was way beyond my capabilities at the time. ME-262 was out of the question, as badly as we wanted to do it. No keyboard player and all that rapid fire strumming for five minutes. And nobody could sing it.

    They hung there dependent
    From the sky
    Like some heavy metal fruit
  • Philip from San AntonioGood song (but I am an aviation buff, and loved books like "The first and the last" and "A higher call" which cover the ME262.

    However the lyrics have always bugged me.

    "Must these Englishmen live that I might die"

    Shouldn't it be the other way around? "Must those Englishmen die that I might live?"

    Well, OK, swap it around to make the words rhyme, but doesn't that sentiment make more sense?
  • Lester from NycSecret Treaties is a truly great rock album.
  • Jay from New York, NyEric Bloom and Buck Dharma (Donald Roser) are also Jews.
    Similarly, the last 2 letters of the Kiss logo match the Holocaust's "SS",
    while exactly half of Kiss, Paul Stanley (Stanley Eisen) and Gene Simmons (Chaim Witz)
    are Jews, the latter of whom's mother's entire family perished in 1944.
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