Blue Öyster Cult Wiki
Blue Öyster Cult Wiki

Fire of Unknown Origin is the eighth studio album by Blue Öyster Cult. It was released in July 1981 by Columbia Records. It peaked at No. 24 on the Billboard Hot 200 on September 19, 1981 and held for two weeks. Its lead single, "Burnin' For You," peaked at No. 40 on the Hot 100 and No. 1 on the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks charts.

Fire of Unknown Origin was certified Gold by RIAA in 1982. It is the last studio album to feature the full, original lineup, as Albert Bouchard was replaced by longtime road crew member Rick Downey during the following tour.


Blue Öyster Cult

  • Eric Bloom – lead vocals, guitar, keyboards
  • Donald "Buck Dharma" Roeser – lead guitar, vocals, percussion, bass
  • Allen Lanier – keyboards
  • Joe Bouchard – bass, vocals
  • Albert Bouchard – drums, vocals, synthesizers, mixing

Additional musicians

  • Karla DeVito – vocals ("Sole Survivor")
  • Sandy Jean – vocals ("Don't Turn Your Back")
  • Bill Civitella – percussion ("Veteran of the Psychic Wars")
  • Tony Cedrone – percussion ("Veteran of the Psychic Wars")
  • Jesse Levy – string arrangements ("Veteran of the Psychic Wars," "Joan Crawford")


  • Martin Birch – producer, engineer
  • Clay Hutchinson – engineer
  • Paul Stubblebine – mastering
  • Greg Scott – cover art
  • Paula Scher – sleeve design
  • Inner Tradition Books – back cover

Track listing

# Title Writer(s) Lead vocals Length
Side one
1 Fire of Unknown Origin J. Bouchard, Patti Smith, Bloom, A. Bouchard, Roeser Bloom 4:09
2 Burnin' For You Roeser, Meltzer Roeser 4:29
3 Veteran of the Psychic Wars Bloom, Michael Moorcock Bloom 4:48
4 Sole Survivor Bloom, John Trivers, Liz Myers Bloom 4:04
5 Heavy Metal: The Black and Silver A. Bouchard, Bloom, Pearlman Bloom 3:16
Side two
6 Vengeance (The Pact) A. Boucahrd, J. Bouchard J. Bouchard 4:41
7 After Dark Bloom, Trivers, Myers Bloom 4:25
8 Joan Crawford A. Bouchard, David Roter, Jack Rigg Bloom 4:55
9 Don't Turn Your Back Lanier, Roeser, A. Bouchard Roeser 4:07
Studio albums Blue Öyster CultTyranny and MutationSecret Treaties
Agents of FortuneSpectresMirrorsCultösaurus Erectus
Fire of Unknown OriginThe Revölution by NightClub NinjaImaginosCult ClassicHeaven Forbid
Curse of the Hidden MirrorThe Symbol Remains
Live albums On Your Feet or on Your KneesSome Enchanted EveningExtraterrestrial LiveA Long Day's Night
Hard Rock Live Cleveland 2014
40th Anniversary - Agents of Fortune - Live 2016
iHeart Radio Theater N.Y.C. 2012
Other albums Bad ChannelsSt. Cecilia: The Elektra Recordings
The Columbia Albums Collectiön
(RaritiesRadios Appear: The Best of the BroadcastsHarvester of Lives)