Reason #315 Why The ’80’s Didn’t Suck: Fire Of Unknown Origin

BOCWhat comes to mind when you hear the name “Blue Oyster Cult”? For most it’s that SNL sketch with Chris Walken, Will Ferrell and the cowbell; others may only be familiar with the songs Don’t Fear The Reaper and Burnin’ For You. My first exposure to BOC was from the soundtrack to the animated sci-fi film Heavy Metal, and the song Veteran Of The Psychic Wars, a standout on an album full of ‘em. That song, with all its science fiction imagery (taking place in a post apocalyptic dystopian future) appealed greatly to this 14 year old sci-fi/fantasy/pop culture junkie. It still does. The great science fiction author Michael Moorcock helped out with parts of this album, as he did with Hawkwind a few years earlier.

Then of course there’s Burnin’ For You, a standout of the decade and worthy of inclusion in a top songs of all time list, and to this day it remains as thrilling as ever. Fire Of Unknown Origin is a glammed-up beast of an album, and about as far from the “Heavy Metal” tag most have assigned BOC. I’ve heard them described as the American Black Sabbath, but I think a more apt comparison is Thin Lizzy. It’s a terrific album.

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