Credit: Blue Oyster CultBefore its cowbell-studded fever-kiboshing status, the Blue Oyster Cult‘s trademark riff-rocker “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” dropped on this day in 1976, etching its way into the classic rock canon with its “Romeo and Juliet” laced affirmation that love will eternally conquer all. Also, a blazing solo will melt your brain at two-and-a-half minutes in, lead guitarist and songwriter Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser cutting through its hazy sing-song verses that still soundtrack a spliff sparking near you with a demonic fret snaking. And then, when you’ve truly lost fear, the harmonies and cowbell return something blissful:

Come on, baby
And she had no fear
And she ran to him
They they started to fly
They looked backward and said goodbye
She had become like they are
She had taken his hand, she had become like they are
Come on, baby, don’t fear the reaper