The Stalk-Forrest Group, “What Is Quicksand?” (1970): One Track Mind

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Prior to becoming Blue Oyster Cult and gathering global recognition as one of the finest hard-rocking outfits on the scene, the Long Island, New York-based group experienced a trio of name changes during the first few years of their existence. Originally called Soft White Underbelly, the crew subsequently adopted the handle Oaxaca, before settling on the Stalk-Forrest Group.

Although the band put together a full-length album, only the single “What Is Quicksand?” / “Arthur Comics” (Elektra Records) surfaced from the sessions. To make matters even more frustrating, a limited quantity of 300 copies of the 45 were issued. But better late than never, as the full-length album was finally released in 2001 bearing the title St. Cecilia: The Elektra Recordings on the Rhino Handmade label.

Reflections of the Grateful Dead tripping on country rock, mixed with a funky James Gang flare, give “What Is Quicksand?” a rather goofy hippy vibe. The flip side of the disc, “Arthur Comics” portrays the sound and style taking shape as the Blue Oyster Cult we all know and love. Constructed of sturdy guitar riffs, imaginative tempos and progressive keyboard jamming, the track probably would have fared well on the FM stations had it received more exposure.

Showing two completely different sides of early-era Blue Oyster Cult, the Stalk-Forrest Group’s “What Is Quicksand?”/”Arthur Comics” is a neat piece of history.

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson was born the day Ben E. King hit No. 4 with "Stand By Me" -- which is actually one of her favorite songs, especially John Lennon's version. She's contributed to Lance Monthly and Amplifier, and served as Rock Beat International's associate editor. Paterson has also published Inside Out, and Twist & Shake. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Beverly Paterson
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  • Matt Syverson

    That’s cool. Thanks for the tip.

  • JC Mosquito

    The St. Cecilia album is an essential addition to the BOC canon.

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