Most Cowbell RecordsOriginal Blue Öyster Cult drummer Albert Bouchard recently released a collaborative concept album with veteran pop songwriter Mark Barkan called Fidelis ad Mortem that salutes the positive work many police officers do.

Bouchard tells ABC Radio that Barkan, a longtime friend and collaborator, approached him with the idea for the album, but he admits he initially wasn’t sure about participating in the project.

“I felt like that my fanbase would not respond to that…because Blue Öyster Cult usually does dark-themed kind of iconoclastic stuff,” Albert explains. However, Bouchard changed his mind after watching the televised funeral of New York City police officer Randolph Holder, who was shot and killed on the job.

“I was very moved,” he recalls, “and I thought, ‘Yeah, this is something we should do.'”

The first song Bouchard and Barkan wrote for the album was “Cop on the Beat,” which was dedicated to Holder. The other tunes tell various stories inspired by real events or reflecting true-to-life scenarios involving police officers. Among them is “My Girlfriend Is a Cop,” a jazzy, humorous song told from the perspective of a guy who’s proud that he’s dating a policewoman.

Another song, “Officer Sam,” tells the story of a policeman who mentors a young man who’d been getting into trouble and who, in turn, grows up to be a lawyer that helps underprivileged kids.

Barkan, who’s written or co-written songs recorded by Elvis Presley, Leslie Gore, Manfred Mann, Connie Francis and many others, tells ABC Radio that Bouchard’s wide-ranging musical talents were invaluable to the project.

“He’s one of the greatest drummers in the world,” gushes Mark, “but [he also played, saxophone, harmonica,] guitar, bass — I mean, he’s totally amazing.”

Fidelis ad Mortem is available now at CD Baby and Amazon.

Here’s the full track list:

“Cop on the Beat”
“My Girlfriend Is a Cop”
“Undercover”
“I Go to Her”
“Hell of a Cop”
“Jimmy Won’t Be Coming Home”
“Officer Sam”
“Another Blue Day”
“Right Thing to Do”
“The Shot”
“Bomb Squad”
“Forgive Divine”

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