My review of Brian Lumley's nifty s&s collection The House of Cthulhu went up over at Black Gate the other day. What a cool find at this point in the blogging game. Figure I'll pick up the other two collections soon.
When I was a kid I read some of Lumley's early Mythos stories. I read "The Sister City" and "Cement Surroundings" in Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos Vol. 2 (in the Ballantine edition with the nutzoid John Holmes cover) and did not like them and it was enough to put me off him for years. They were too derivative and not very suspenseful. Even today, as a fan of his, I greatly prefer his non-Mythos horror. I have a tremendous fear of heights and I could literally not read much of his story "The Viaduct." He is one of the best.
Three things changed that. First, I read his "Spaghetti" in Singer of Strange Songs and really enjoyed it. Second, my friend strongly recommended The House of Doors and loved it. Third, the same friend also recommended Necroscope and I really dug that. After those encounters I was sold.
If you're interested in these guys, the easiest place to start is with "The Boys Are Back in Town" including Jailbreak. If you like it go to Fighting or Bad Reputation which I think are even better.
Blue Öyster Cult cut some amazing, proggy bits of rock back in the seventies. Their first three albums, Blue Öyster Cult, Tyranny and Mutation and Secret Treaties haven't dated to my ears.