SHOOTING STAR – Shooting Star [remastered +1] HQ
As requested, here’s the debut album from Kansas City based SHOOTING STAR, their self-titled debut album reissued / remastered including as bonus track a non album track / standalone single. 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.
Formed in the second half of the Seventies and after working the scene, Shooting Star was the first American band signed by Virgin Records and recorded their first album in 1979 (released in 1980) and embarked on a national tour opening for Robin Trower.
Produced by Gus Dudgeon (Elton John, David Bowie), “Shooting Star” is a wonderful slice of US pomp AOR / melodic rock with light progressive touches in the style of ’80s, Kansas, Morningstar, Powerglide, Spy, etc.
After gaining popularity in the Kansas City area and winning some local rock contests sponsored by FM Rock radio station (based in Kansas City) KY102, Shooting Star became the first American group to sign with British label Virgin Records.
They recorded their self-titled 1980 debut album in England with producer Gus Dudgeon, best known for his work with Elton John and David Bowie. The band gained national exposure when a number of songs garnered moderate air-play on album-oriented rock radio stations in the US.
Shooting Star was definitely a great group that never quite achieved the national spotlight it deserved. Reminiscent of Kansas, they utilized a violin for several albums to great effect, combining it with solid drum+bass and guitar+keys work, a clean voice and overall good lyrics.
Every song on this album is a winner.
On this initial release you get the rockers, “You’ve Got What I Need”, “Don’t Stop Now”, “Higher”, “Bring It On”, “Midnight Man”, and “Wild In The Street”. More melodic and adding a pompy feel there’s “Tonight”, with great interplay between ‘heavy’ violin and guitar ala Kansas, “Rainfall” and “Just Friends” – none of these songs sound like syrup, there all great tunes.
And you get the classic of all classic’s that every rock fan should hear in “Last Chance”, one of the best songs from the late 70s and early 80s.
This is a very strong slice of excellent US pompy melodic rock nuggets. They should of hit it big in the early 80s, with the likes of Journey, R.E.O. Speedwagon and Foreigner. Shooting Star would release another great album in 1981, with bigger radio exposure and bigger national tours.
01 – You’ve Got What I Need
02 – Don’t Stop Now
03 – Higher
04 – Just Friends
05 – Bring It On
06 – Tonight
07 – Rainfall
08 – Midnight Man
09 – Stranger
10 – Last Chance
11 – Wild In The Street (bonus track)
Lead Vocals, Lead Guitar – Van McLain
Lead Vocals, Keyboards, Guitar, Drums – Gary West
Bass – Ron Verlin
Drums, Percussion – Steve Thomas
Violin, Keyboards, Harmony Vocals – Charles Waltz
Keyboards – Bill Guffey