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Fire of Unknown Origin

Blue Oyster CultAudio CD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (109 customer reviews)

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Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 9 Songs, 1985 $5.99  
Audio CD, 1988 $7.16  
Audio CD, 1990 --  
Vinyl, Original recording --  
Audio Cassette, 1987 --  

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B0000025NG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (109 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,326 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Fire Of Unknown Origin
2. Burnin' For You
3. Veteran Of The Psychic Wars
4. Sole Survivor
5. Heavy Metal: The Black And Silver
6. Vengeance (The Pact)
7. After Dark
8. Joan Crawford
9. Don't Turn Your Back

Editorial Reviews

Considered to be the some of their finest work since Agents of Fortune , this flight of dark fantasy, which includes the Top 40 hit, Burnin' for You , will satisfy the souls of Cult fans everywhere!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Blue Oyster Cult's two previous studio albums had been quite different from one another; "Mirrors" was a mostly light metal collection of pop attempts and the following "Cultosaurus Erectus" had been just the opposite, an almost stripped-down crunching guitar-dominated record. This may be why 1981's "Fire of Unknown Origin" received such a warm welcome; it sounded as gutsy and confident as their mid-70s breakthroughs, but was all the while accessible and easily enjoyable.
The success of "Agents of Fortune" been seemingly accidental; it certainly wasn't what you'd call mainstream for 1976, but it was BOC's unlikely commercial breakthrough. Its follow-up, "Spectres" saw the band trying to find another runaway hit single like they had with 'Don't Fear the Reaper,' yet still keeping their heavy metal poison in tact (the next year they would tone down the metal side). "Fire of Unknown Origin" sounds like a mix of those two albums. It has all of the blazing, dark, cryptic musical imagery of "Agents of Fortune" and their earlier works, yet there is still a catchiness to a lot of the music, making it an album fans will want to play again and again. Old friends such as Sandy Pearlman, Richard Meltzer, and Patti Smith made cameo appearances, but their contributions were mostly limited to being lyrical, as this album catches the band out-showing the outsiders.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of BOCs 3 best albums (post-Black/White Trilogy) January 26, 2007
By Lama
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I listened to this album over and over when it first appeared in the early 80's. Don't know where that original LP went to (my brother says he doesn't have it) so I bought the CD. Glad I did. "Burnin' for You" isn't even the best song -- that distinction belongs to "Joan Crawford" imho. Really there's not a single horrible cut on this record -- even "Sole Survivor" is tolerable. That said, this album is still number six on my list overall. Here are the top five: Secret Treaties, Tyranny and Mutation, Blue Oyster Cult, Agents of Fortune, Spectres.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lookout MTV...BĂ-C is here to take over... May 12, 2000
Format:Audio CD
In the heyday of the eighties, when rock n' roll was dying down to commercially accessible and simple compositions, Blue Öyster Cult maintained their strong musicianship and writing while still reforming their sound into a hybrid of the new sound and their old rock mentality. This album is as vibrant as anything they had put out in the previous decade, still wrought with infectious hard-hitting rock n' roll that screams with passion and talent. "Burnin' for You," the only real hit off this album is worthy of the attention it received. It is a wonderful song; great lyrics, great guitar ("Buck Dharma" rulez), and a beautiful melody. "Veteran of the Psychic Wars" got its just due as another recognizable hit that was featured on the "Heavy Metal" soundtrack, although the other song on this album, "Heavy Metal: The Black and Silver" would have been a better choice (and I absolutely love the opening guitar riff to that song...let loose the wailing metal siren). But either way, "Veteran..." was yet another collaboration with sci-fi writer Michael Moorcock, and it is a brilliant song. It screams the word "epic." "Vengeance: The Pact" is my fourth favorite. This song is closest to the classic sound of BÖC than anything else on the album. The rest of the album is filled with simple arrangements, great lyrics, and a good blend of synthesizers and loud guitars. Basically what most rock bands of the eighties were doing, only BÖC were doing it much better. All hail the Blue Öyster Cult!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Today, I heard that Allen Lanier died. It kind of hit hard as Blue Oyster Cult were one of my gateway bands into hard rock and heavy metal. Having an Aunt who gave me Alice Cooper and Black Sabbath albums helped, too. But BOC, they were pushing buttons with songs like "Dominance and Submission" and "Don't Fear The Reaper." So I became a fan. Loyal even through the albums like "Mirrors" and "Cultosaurus Erectus." Then, in the summer of 1981, "Fire Of Unknown Origin" arrived at my college radio station. All the detractors could then officially go to hell. "Fire Of Unknown Origin" kicked as hard as "Spectres" and "Agents of Fortune." And oddly enough, this may have been one of Lanier's finest moments with the band, as many of these songs are heavily keyboard and synth driven.

Take the lead-off of the title track. On top of one of Buck Dharma's fiery lead guitar solos, Lanier lays down a keyboard bed that was worthy of The Cars. This was, after all, 1981 and plenty of bands were playing catch up with the music of the times. But Blue Oyster Cult did so on a minimal level, relying mostly on Lanier's keys and tighter song compositions. It was those qualities that made "Burning For You," the second of only two singles to ever break the Top 40 for the band, such a marvel. Tightly wound up with a great Dharma lick to open it up, it was set up as a standard pop construction but with bigger sound.

There was an additional incentive for the band on "Fire Of Unknown Origin." They were approached by the producers of the upcoming "Heavy Metal" animated feature to contribute a couple of new songs. They responded with one of the band's best, "Veteran Of The Psychic Wars." A pounding martial drum gives marching orders to a soldier who has seen so many battles that "wounds are all I'm made of.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars BOC Fire of Unknown Origin
BOC's 1981 album, Fire of Unknown Origins, is a resurgent effort and one of my all time favorite records. Read more
Published 23 days ago by David Owens
5.0 out of 5 stars Best remaster
Great remaster. These vinyl replica editions do not have any of the bonus tracks the "standard" version does, but it is a different, and better remaster. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Exwag
2.0 out of 5 stars Not so impressive Sound on Culture Factory Remaster
Unfortunately this Culture Factory Remaster does not excite. The sound is veiled and compressed. Long story short, I won't be listening to this release again. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Mortimer
5.0 out of 5 stars One of their best
This album turned me into a BOC fan when I first heard it years ago. It is one of their best. It is one of those albums where every song is in just the right order, making the... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Tony
5.0 out of 5 stars BOC Rocks
I'm younger and I love this band. Every song on this album is a hit as far as I'm concerned.
Published 5 months ago by mutosheep
5.0 out of 5 stars great
Practically mint condition a little wear and tear on the sleeve but not bad and came packaged nicely and in a timely manner. Read more
Published 5 months ago by leah
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic band, album and service.
Probably their best album, close to "Imaginos". Good service though the cage was broken. It was a good choice of BOC.
Published 6 months ago by José Manuel Lestegás Rivas
5.0 out of 5 stars Fire Of Unknown Origin
This album came out in the early 80's and has the technology that was being used a lot at that time. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Paul Swenson
5.0 out of 5 stars Rebirth of a Classic
Anyone who had listened to BOC over the years knows this has been a Classic and maybe the best of their studio albums although I loved all of them to this point and Imaginos after,... Read more
Published 8 months ago by ProgMark
4.0 out of 5 stars A blast from the past.
The first time I owned this was in Jr. High School, it was fun to revisit the band at a different time in my life.
Published 9 months ago by J. Watson
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Topic From this Discussion
Attention SONY: BOC's "Fire" needs the Remaster/Deluxe cd reissue !
To be fair, the band itself hasn't been very good at putting out product for a long time. Cult Classics? Career of Evil: The Metal Years? And Heaven Forbid included that dreaded "we-are-out-of-ideas" move, the song sequel ("Still Burnin'"), a re-recording of "In... Read More
Jun 29, 2010 by D. Mok |  See all 7 posts
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