My Top 10 Albums: #2 – Blue Oyster Cult – Fire Of Unknown Origin

This post is part of a ten-part series showcasing my top 10 albums. Certain obvious legends (Beatles, Queen, Rolling Stones, etc.) are not in the list, these are albums not everyone knows or picks.

My second favorite album of all time is Fire of Unknown Origin by Blue Oyster Cult. I discovered BOC late like most things, with this particular release. I heard “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper”, sure. I guess I got caught up in the imagery and what I read about the band and didn’t pursue further listening.

That all changed in 1982, with the movie “Heavy Metal”. BOC weighed in with the track “Veteran of the Psychic Wars” (one of the songs on Fire Of Unknown Origin). I heard “Burnin’ For You” on the radio, I was hooked immediately. The song is one of my top 5 of all time. I went out and bought Fire of Unknown Origin and the rest is history.

Every song on the album is standout, the run order is perfect, for me, this is Blue Oyster Cult’s magnum opus, I am sure so many would disagree with me, I don’t care. Tracks like “Sole Survivor”, “After Dark”, and the impeccably produced “Joan Crawford” are standouts, but I think they are all standouts. Rarely do I play an entire album all the way through unless it’s a compilation, live album, Pink Floyd, or a favorite of all time; this falls square in the latter category.

No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
1.“Fire of Unknown Origin”Eric BloomAlbert BouchardJoe BouchardDonald RoeserPatti SmithBloom4:09
2.Burnin’ for YouRoeser, Richard MeltzerRoeser4:29
3.Veteran of the Psychic WarsBloom, Michael MoorcockBloom4:48
4.“Sole Survivor”Bloom, Liz MyersJohn TriversBloom4:04
5.“Heavy Metal: The Black and Silver”Bloom, A. Bouchard, Sandy PearlmanBloom3:16
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
6.“Vengeance (The Pact)”A. Bouchard, J. BouchardJ. Bouchard4:41
7.“After Dark”Bloom, Myers, TriversBloom4:25
8.“Joan Crawford”A. Bouchard, Jack Rigg, David RoterBloom4:55
9.“Don’t Turn Your Back”A. Bouchard, Allen Lanier, RoeserRoeser4:07

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