In 2003, Sony/Legacy released a single-disc collection called The Essential Blue Öyster Cult. Nearly a decade later, they released a double-disc set of the same name, containing all of the single disc's 14 songs -- some of them are in live versions here -- and an additional 17 cuts dating from all phases of the group's career. This 31-track Essential shares 21 songs with 1995's 32-song Workshop of the Telescopes -- granted, some of the songs were featured in live versions previously or vice-versa -- and they're also structured similarly, with "(Don't Fear) The Reaper)" kicking off the hit-making years on disc two. What differences there are lie in details that should be plainly evident to the hardcore, but not as noteworthy to the less-dedicated listeners who may be drawn to this compilation. In any case, this The Essential Blue Öyster Cult is as thorough a retrospective as this beloved cult band deserves, a clear demonstration that the group's legacy cuts much deeper than "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" and "Burnin' for You."