All the members contributed to the songwriting but lyrics were often provided by people outside of the group, including Sandy Pearlman, rock scribe Richard Meltzer, poets Patti Smith (Lanier's longtime companion) and Jim Carroll, and science fiction author Michael Moorcock, amongst others. Eric Bloom served as the band's primary lead vocalist, but Donald Roeser sang what are arguably the band's most famous songs, including "(Don't Fear) The Reaper", "Godzilla", and "Burnin' For You". The Bouchard brothers also contributed lead vocals.
1976's "Agents Of Fortune", featuring the aforementioned "(Don't Fear) The Reaper", was the group's most successful studio album. After a commercial decline in the latter half of the 1970's, the group found renewed success with 1981's "Fire Of Unknown Origin". However, Albert Bouchard was fired after its release (he returned temporarily in 1985). The band continued but was unable to recapture their commercial fortunes. Lanier departed in 1985 and Joe Bouchard left in 1986. Lanier returned in 1987 and the band continued to tour, although they recorded very little. 2001's "Curse Of The Hidden Mirror" is the band's last studio recording to date. Roeser and Bloom continue to tour with new members (Lanier retired from the band in 2006 and passed away in 2013) .