It is also not Grandma - Manceau - Life Traffic Jam enough to damage the flow of the album either.
It is also possibly the only album that both the staunch metalhead Vengeance and the quintessential pop listener Don't Turn Your Back stand an equal chance of liking.
It also stands out from other Cult offerings because if you have heard Burning for you and Joan Crawford, you still haven't heard everything you need to off Fire of unknown origin. In that sense, it is an astonishingly complete album - a masterclass in masterful rock songwriting.
Though a simpler composition than their immortal pardon the pun "Don't Fear the Reaper", and far from being one of my favourite BOC songs, it's still AOR with some bite.
The other tracks, however, are a different story - starting with the title-track, with lyrics penned by punk muse Patti Smith who was for a long time the partner of keyboardist Allen Lanier.
Featuring great keyboard work by Lanier himself, as well as the band's trademark, left-field lyrics, it straddles the line between commercial and sophisticated.
The album's real highpoint, though, is the magnificent "Veteran of the Psychic Wars", written by vocalist Eric Bloom together with English sci-fi writer Michael Moorcock of Hawkwind fame. However, as good as those two tracks are, "Veteran" is something more - definitely one of the band's classics, and one of my favourite songs ever. While "Sole Survivor", featuring former Meat Loaf vocalist Karla DeVito, and the somewhat weak "After Dark" follow the AOR-inclined path of "Burning for You", the eerie, ominous "Vengeance The Pact ", and the dramatic "Joan Crawford" lean much more strongly towards prog, with frequent time changes, rich musical textures and intense, evocative vocals.
The album closes with the deceptively catchy "Don't Turn Your Back", with its soothing vocal harmonies, layered bass and keyboard lines, and death-themed lyrics. Like its predecessor, the excellent Fire Of Unknown Origin - Blue Öyster Cult - Secret Treaties / Fire Of Unknown Origin Erectus", "Fire of Unknown Origin" was produced by hard-rock icon Martin Birch, who in those years would also revive Black Sabbath's flagging career.
With great clarity of sound, sterling performances from all the band members, powerfully emotional vocals by Eric Bloom, and intriguing, thought-provoking lyrics, it ranks undoubtedly as one of BOC's best offerings.
Though not exactly a masterpiece, it is an album that has a lot to offer to prog fans. Highly recommended indeed. Not the light metal sound of their first three albums, but nonetheless a fantastic opener.
Burnin' for You- This is their second biggest hit after Don't Fear the Reaper and it's just as enjoyable An Open Heart - Tacere - The Legend Of Gévaudan a song. It is not as complex as Reaper, but it's nonetheless a very well-crafted piece of rock.
Veteran of the Psychic Wars- Yes! This Fire Of Unknown Origin - Blue Öyster Cult - Secret Treaties / Fire Of Unknown Origin is so overlooked and it has to be one of my favorite songs of all time. BOC are at their best here, with haunting keyboards, a balance of catchy rock and complex variations, and wonderful vocals. The drumming and keyboard work are of note here, but all the instruments shine. The structure here is perfect. If you want to hear what BOC is all about, particularly after their first 3 albums, then give this one a listen.
Sole Survivor- Great catchy song more in the vein of Burnin' than the previous song. This is highly enjoyable rock with good synth and backing Fire Of Unknown Origin - Blue Öyster Cult - Secret Treaties / Fire Of Unknown Originbut more on the side of AOR than prog.
Heavy Metal: The Black and Silver- Back to their roots here, as you can tell from the opening guitar lick. This is a driving light metal song that is more typical of BOC's unique mix of prog, metal, and rock influences. Great guitar riff and the vocals have a well-sung anthem edge. Vengeance The Pact - From the opening hypnotic keyboard pattern, this is another really fantastic BOC song and shows why they are prog related quite well.
Wonderful instrumentation and vocals, lyrics are effective and haunting in typical styleand the structure is always interesting and enjoyable.
After Dark- Another well-crafted song here with interesting aspects added in with a masterful rock blend. I love the guitar on this track. Joan Crawford- Listen to that piano intro! Certainly buy it if you liked 'Cultosaurus Erectus', but for those favouring the band's heavier roots, this review merely serves as a warning. Tweet Fire Of Unknown Origin - Blue Öyster Cult - Secret Treaties / Fire Of Unknown Origin reviews by this author. Jinjer Macro. The Great Old Ones Cosmicism.
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Voivod Staff Reviewer June 10th Comments. ZedO June 10th Comments. BOC is underrated not overrated. Earlier, of course, a little less Geoff Love And His Orchestra* - Big War Movie Themes, but strong composition and tight performance. They were classed as Heavy Metal for that day. In an interview, they said that the term came from the periodic chart, elements beyond lead.
That ties to the very solid bass lines well worth learning BTW. The bass actually dominates 'Burnin' for You', which is simply unusual, period.
Making that work earns a couple stars Fire Of Unknown Origin - Blue Öyster Cult - Secret Treaties / Fire Of Unknown Origin itself. Anyway, Lighthouse - Song Of The Ages get the idea. BOC wasn't the hit-machine Zeppelin was, but if this album and 'Agents of Fortune' are not in your library It's a toss up when it comes to which albums I prefer with any band, just depends on what I want to hear but for BOC I find myself drawn towards this one quite a bit along with Secret Treaties, Tyranny and Mutation and Cultosaurus.
One person found this helpful. Can't get enough of this album. I loved it back in the days and I love it now. When I'm 90 years old, I will still love it. This is my favorite BOC album. Has the tracks written for the Heavy metal movie and the one that was ultimately on the soundtrack Veterans of Psychic Wars.
I have been a BOC Fan since day one. If you are new to BOC and are looking to read a review about this particular album, then I can tell you it is very good. I would Does He Dance - France Joli - Does He Dance to more-so write here about the band. Most of their studio work is very good. They have had a few "Rather Forgets" than yhey would like to admit.
BOC is a thinking mans band. If you are looking for the status quo or avante guard of rock look elsewhere. If you like solid imagination, ripping guitars and layered efficionic musicianship with thought and superb melodic structure, Then BOC will never disappoint. I do regard BOC as one of the top three bands One Step Up - Bruce Springsteen - Tunnel Of Love the history of rock.
Led Zep, 2. Pink Floyd, 3. BOC ok my opinion. I took their entire catalog recently and from it created a BEST OF of my own ending up with over four hours of material.
Not all of their stuff is heavy and hard. If you have a low IQ then you can really enjoy the music but you may get a little frustrated trying to figure out what they are singing about from time to time. I don't say that to be insulting at all, rathet that they often use a lyrical vocabulary equal to Color Wheel - Proof Of The Puddin - Color Wheel / Flying High least college level reading.
They are on the dark side but have a great sense of humor. A few changes were made to "Career of Evil" on the single version. The vocals are different: only Eric Bloom is heard for most of the song, instead of Bloom and Albert Bouchard singing together. Also, one verse was removed "Pay me Part of the bridge was changed also, presumably to make the song more acceptable to radio: "do it to your daughter" became "do it like you ought to.
The transition between the tracks "Harvester of Eyes" and "Flaming Telepaths" is marked by a piece of classical music played on a music box. Members of the band recall that it was something the sound engineer had found on an unlabeled recording, but they could not identify it. The piece and its composer were uncredited on the album. It has since been identified as an excerpt from a waltz by Ion Ivanovici called Waves of the Danube Donauwellen.
The source of the original recording remains a mystery. Rowling under the pen name Robert Galbraith. The original version with the complete sound effects is found on the compilation Workshop of the Telescopes. In addition the conventional 2 channel stereo version the album was also released in a 4 channel quadraphonic version on LP record and 8-track tape in The quad LP release was encoded in the SQ matrix system.
Rovi Corporation. Retrieved January 14, Library and Archives Canada. September 12, Retrieved September 23, Retrieved September 2, Official Charts Company. Retrieved April 5,
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