THE HOLLYWOOD STARS – Live On The Sunset Strip (2021) *0dayrox Exclusive*

THE HOLLYWOOD STARS - Live On The Sunset Strip (2021) *0dayrox Exclusive* full

Music fans the world over will be familiar with ‘The Whisky A Go Go’. This iconic music venue which has near mythical status has been the cornerstone of merging bands and musical genre in LA.
THE HOLLYWOOD STARS are one of those first bands who exploded onto the music scene back in the early days of ‘The Whisky’. Unfortunately, The Hollywood Stars were short lived, having a four-year run before retreating into the annals of musical history.
Forty-two years later, the band have come out of their hiatus and they are ready once again to take on the might of ‘The Whisky A Go Go’. On July 18th, 2019 The Hollywood Stars made a triumphant return to the ‘Whisky’. The gig was recorded for a live album that came to be known as ‘Live on the Sunset Strip’.
The album features a dozen of the band’s finest songs that spans their three-album career, including the songs KISS covered in 1976’s ‘Destroyer’, Alice Cooper on ‘Welcome to My Nightmare’ album, and more.
This is a high energy live performance of one of Hollywood’s legendary bands of the 70s, musically ranging from hard driving rock, to whimsical glam, to beautiful pop and back again. Great guitar work is complimented by three and four-part harmonies throughout. It is the very best of the band’s three albums worth of material with recent updates and arrangements.

The line-up of ‘The Hollywood Stars’ for the live album includes Scott Phares on vocals, Ruben De Fuentes on guitar, Terry Rae on drums, Michael Rummas on bass and Chezz Monroe also on guitar. All but Monroe were part of the group in the 1970s.

After being introduced into stage by legendary DJ Rodney Bingnheimer the band waste no time in diving right into their first number of the evening with ‘King of the Night Time World’. Fans of KISS will no doubt recognise this song as it was recorded by them on both 1976’s Destroyer and 1977’s Alive II. This is an extremely catchy song with a great musical build up.
The overall quality of the live recording is flawless; each instrument is heard clearly and nothing gets lost. The bass is easy to pick out from the guitars and the drums carry an even pace and sound bright and punchy, just as they should, which acts as the all-important backbone. I like everything about this song and when Scott Phares’ vocals kick in, they literally send a shiver up my own backbone as I was instantly transported right to the venue.

The second song is ‘Escape’ which was recorded and released by non-other that Alice Cooper, recorded by Alice on 1975’s Welcome to My Nightmare. I have listened to Alice’s version untold amounts of time, but to hear this version, live with such clarity, was awesome!
I’m two songs in and wishing I had been there in person to see this show live. The energy is captivating and the thought going through my mind is…The Hollywood Stars are back baby!

Up next is ‘Sunrise on Sunset’ which has a really sweet guitar riff which makes me conjure up images of sun kissed beaches, surfers and beach parties! For a moment I’m in a ‘Wrigley’s Chewing Gum’ advert, a place where this song would be perfect. It’s such a feel good song.
Song three ‘All The Kids on the Street’ is another of the bands most adored songs. This is one of those tracks that makes you want to jump up and dance. The energy is high in this tune.
On ‘Supermen are Always Gentlemen’ (what a great name for a song!) the lead guitar work is superb here and the drums really bind the song together and sound great.

The pace drops a gear with ‘Modern Romance’. This track has a ballad vibe which is nice to drop in as song six in. Scott’s voice here is warm and pitch perfect. This is a song that comes from the heart and has a melancholy feel which is in contrast to the five previous. This reminds us life can be painful, so cherish the good stuff.
Terry Rae opens the next song with a powerful blast around his drum kit. This is ‘Tough Guys Don’t Cry’. This is a song with great arrangement that goes straight to the heart. The lyrics are powerful and poignant.
The tone is changed again and song eight is the upbeat ‘Shine Like A Radio’ which has a glam vibe. This song would not be lost in a David Bowie album. It’s clear that ‘The Hollywood Stars’ have cross- over appeal as they tick may boxes from glam to rock, to blues and glam.

‘Too Hot to Handle’ has a specific blues drive melody, similar to The New York Dolls which is no coincidence as in many ways The Hollywood Stars were to be California’s answer to The New York Dolls. The lead guitar is impeccable in this song and Ruben De Fuentes plays both flawlessly and effortlessly as he sweeps across the fretboard. This is one hell of a catchy one!
Next up is ‘I can’t Help’. The two guitars sound so different here and really make the song pop. The bass is clear and refined and the symbols can be heard precisely which is not always the case with live recordings.

The penultimate song is ‘Make it to the Party’. This one is just a balls out rock n’ roll tune. I like everything about this track and the guitar work is phenomenal. The last song is ‘Habits’ which Scott announces is a totally unrehearsed encore. This is a classic metal/rock sounding track with some great guitar and drum work.

The Hollywood Stars are riding the crest of the waves that is splashing along the sun kissed coastline of California. Wherever you are in the world, let them bring the Californian sunshine to you.
In my opinion the long hiatus the band have been on have served them well and now allows us to not only listen to the music of The Hollywood Stars, but to also get a chance to see them play live too. If there’s one band you get to see that you’ve never seen play live before it’s ‘The Hollywood Stars’. Keep your eye on their social media for tour announcements.
Meanwhile, ‘Live at The Sunset Strip’ is a great trip back to the years of true classic rock, performed by real musicians who lived the scene – all at their Seventies but artistically intact.
HIGHLY Recommended


01 – King of the Night Time World (Live)
02 – Escape (Live)
03 – Sunrise on Sunset (Live)
04 – Band Introductions (Live)
05 – All the Kids on the Street (Live)
06 – Supermen Are Always Gentlemen (Live)
07 – Modern Romance (Live)
08 – Tough Guys Never Cry (Live)
09 – Shine Like a Radio (Live)
10 – Too Hot to Handle (Live)
11 – I Can’t Help It (Live)
12 – Make It to the Party (Live)
13 – Habits (Live)

Scott Phares – vocals
Ruben De Fuentes – guitar
Terry Rae – drums
Michael Rummas – bass
Chezz Monroe – guitar



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