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Blue Öyster Cult - Fire Of Unknown Origin CD (album) cover


Blue Öyster Cult


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3.58 | 136 ratings

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Chris H
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Back in 1981, with the release of Blue Oyster Cult's "Fire of Unknown Origin", the tone was set for where 80's rock was supposed to go. Of course, the way Blue Oyster Cult set it was based on heavy guitars, pounding drums, and the occasional keyboards. We all know it didn't go they way they planned, what with the hair-metal scene and arena rock and such, but you can't blame Blue Oyster Cult for trying. In fact, you should praise them because not only is this album one of the high points of their great discography, but it is one of the highs of intelligent 80's rock and roll.

The Cult was still reeling from the biggest spoiler in their discography, their horrid attempt to make another commercial hit, "Mirrors". Although "Cultosaurus Erectus" had done a good job in giving them back their heavy image, they still needed to return to their early album's sounds. That might be why "Fire Of Unknown Origin" was welcomed, because of it's early 70's reminiscent crunching guitars. Another reason for this album's soaring popularity was the Buck Dharma penned "Burnin' For You", which was originally recorded for his first solo album, but he reluctantly agreed to release it under the Blue Oyster Cult name when Sandy Pearlman refused to release the album with it.

The thing that makes this album one of their best is their realization of their strengths. Instead of chasing after another radio hit, like they had done on "Mirrors", they return to their roots with crunchy riffs ("Heavy Metal"), and almost-ballad vocally powered songs ("Fire Of Unknown Origin"). The sci-fi movie themes that usually come with their albums are also present, most notably in "Joan Crawford". "Don't Turn Your Back" also deserves some recognition for Dharma use of pop lyricism, but still being able to pull off the rock n' roll image.

There are albums by Blue Oyster Cult that stand miles ahead of this, but this is an almost incredible turnaround from their previous attempts at chasing their "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" fame.

4 stars, one of their last great albums.

Chris H | 4/5 |


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