SHOOTING STAR – Hang On For Your Life [digitally remastered] HQ
As requested, here’s another LP from Kansas City based SHOOTING STAR, their second album 1981’s “Hang On For Your Life” reissued / remastered.
One of the most respected acts from the American scene since the very early ’80s, Shooting Star enjoyed a considerable success during that decade delivering a bunch of great albums. Starting with a pomp/AOR sound which developed into a melodic hard rock vein in the ’90s, Shooting Star always created quality material.
For many the band’s finest moment, ”Hang On For Your Life” packs the magic from their debut plus a commercial approach. American AOR radio stations embraced the record; the songs ‘Hang On for Your Life’, ‘Hollywood’, ‘Breakout’, and ‘Are You on My Side’ along with ‘Flesh and Blood’, all received airplay.
And for a good reason, all these songs rock out and have catchy hooks.
With ”Hang On For Your Life”, Shooting Star created a phenomenal record bridging the gap between Journey and Montrose. On this album the band is at the top of their game, proving that their debut LP was no fluke.
Vocalist Gary West has a unique vocal style that’s slightly rootsier than his AOR peers, and guitarist Van McClain plays aggressive lead and rhythm guitar that sounds like a blend of virtually every rock style from the Beatles up through late-70s AOR.
Producer Dennis McKay worked with guitar giants Tommy Bolin and Mick Ronson (and later even prima diva Whitney Houston), and he ups the horsepower on ”Hang on for Your Life”, driving these rocky cornfield boys further into the AOR commercial zone.
Very well written songs balancing straight-forward hook-laden guitar driven rock with slower midtempo melodic stuff, and even piano and violin thrown in at places. The overall sound brings to mind REO Speedwagon and Loverboy at the time, however Shooting Star where unique.
01 – Flesh and Blood
02 – Hang On For Your Life
03 – Are You On My Side
04 – Teaser
05 – Hollywood
06 – Breakout
07 – You’re So Good
08 – She’s Got Money
09 – You’ve Got Love
10 – Sweet Elatia
Gary West – lead vocals, guitars, keyboards
Van McLain – guitars, lead vocals
Bill Guffey – keyboards
Steve Thomas – drums
Ron Verlin – bass
Charles Waltz – violin, keyboards, vocals