It is funny how life works sometimes. On my Facebook page, I made friends with Alex Kane from Anti-Product a while ago (cool guy and a great front man), and I ended up talking to a guy called Michael Lee Smith. So I have been joking on with him and sharing some of his meme's that he does (seriously, this guy is funny and also one of the few American's that I know who gets football (or soccer for those who think football is rugby for wimps)), all the while not knowing that he was this singer of Starz. For a quick history lesson, according to Wikipedia Starz were formed in the early 70's from the ashes of pop band 'Looking Glass' and despite not getting their commercial dues, 80's bands such as Poison and Mötley Crüe (as well as Ginger from The Wildhearts) have stated that Starz was a primary influence on their own work. Even Kerrang magazine (when it was not the Smash Hits for the emo generation) back in 1989 had two Starz albums in the list of most important Heavy Metal albums ever. Now, I will confess until very recently I had not knowingly heard Starz music. Well, I thought I would change that I review their first album which was this self titled debut.
Now for a confession of age here, this album was released only a few months after I was born. Strange but true that this album has managed to escape me for so long, yet I have a feeling that this will be changing very shortly. This album is crafted from the same cloth as the likes of Kiss and Cheap Trick, and this is a very good thing indeed. This is truly a template for classic rock sound and I can see why it was an influence on the 80's rock scene that followed. Starting with "Detroit Girls" this album starts off as one of the truly underrated classics from the 70's. Using the standard 10 track vision of 70's albums (something I actually love when I see new releases), you go from the wonderful blues slow rock number of "Pull The Plug", the stomping "Boys In Action" to the sublime "(She's Just A) Fallen Angel).
This album is an under rated gem from a period when rock/metal music was coming into its own, the sounds were just starting to change in some ways and punk rock was just around the corner (as was disco, but less about that the better). The production job by Jack Douglas (Aerosmith, John Lennon/Yoko Ono, Cheap Trick) is fantastic, very raw and catches the band that is on fire. The performance on here is amazing and anyone who is interested in how rock should be played needs to get a hold of this album. This is ten tracks which has no weak link, there is not a flaw in here, it is just good old classic rock. It feels sort of strange to say I know someone who was releasing music when I was just a little one, but it also makes me smile to think that something this fun came out at the same time, even if he is a Manchester United fan. Go out and play this loud, you will not be disappointed.
8.5 out of ten - Oh, now you have my attention and maybe my money, time and heart
You can purchase from Amazon here
You can visit the Starz website and purchase the album for a lot cheaper and it has other cool stuff as well
You can listen to the album on Spotify here