Starz (USA)

Rock, Hard Rock, Blues Rock , Glam & Sleaze Rock
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Starz (USA)

Príspevokod užívateľa Horex » 27 Mar 2018, 09:20

Starz - Coliseum Rock (1978) (Rykodisc Reissue 2005)

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Year : 1978 (Rykodisc Reissue 2005)
Style : Hard Rock , Power Pop , Heavy Metal
Country : United States
Audio : 320 kbps + all scans
Size : 200 mb


Bio:

Starz is a heavy metal and power pop band from New Jersey, United States. Despite a lack of big commercial success, the band has a lasting cult following and has been cited as a major influence by bands such as Mötley Crüe, Poison and Twisted Sister.Starz was formed out of the ashes of an early 1970s pop music band, Looking Glass, which had the No. 1 hit single "Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)" in the summer of 1972. After lead singer Elliot Lurie left Looking Glass in 1974, the three remaining members (keyboardist Larry Gonsky, bassist Pieter Sweval and drummer Jeff Grob, who adopted the stage name Joe X. Dube) teamed up with Michael Lee Smith (vocals) and guitarist Brendan Harkin to continue the band and soon changed their name to Fallen Angels. In September 1975 they were joined by former Stories guitarist Richie Ranno. After keyboardist Gonsky was dropped from the group, they changed their moniker once again (to Starz) and pursued a more heavy metal direction. Kiss manager Bill Aucoin was introduced to Starz via his right-hand man Sean Delaney, who had befriended Pieter Sweval, and Aucoin began handling Starz in late 1975, helping them to get signed to Capitol Records in early 1976.Their major hit single "Cherry Baby" in the spring of 1977 came from the album Violation, produced by Jack Douglas of Aerosmith fame. Jack Douglas produced their first two albums Starz and Violation. Most fans consider Violation their best album and compare it stylistically to Kiss and Aerosmith output.Their third album, the self produced Attention Shoppers!, was more in the vein of power pop than heavy metal and featured a Cheap Trick influence in songs like "X-Ray Spex". Brendan Harkin and Pieter Sweval were asked to leave the band after Attention Shoppers!, reportedly since they wanted to continue in that record's musical direction, while the others favored a return to the harder sound of the first two releases.On their final Capitol album, Coliseum Rock (produced by Guess Who producer Jack Richardson), Harkin and Sweval were replaced by Bobby Messano on guitar and Orville Davis on bass. Previously Orville was the bassist for the southern rock band Hydra who released multiple LP's in the mid 70s. His contributions can be heard on the first two LP's: 1974's "Hydra" and 1975's "Land of Money". After leaving Hydra, Davis joined in Rex, a hard rock outfit fronted by Michael's brother Rex Smith, who went on to TV and pop stardom in the late 70s and early 80s.After leaving Capitol, Starz split up in 1979 and Dube and Ranno put together a trio with bassist Peter Scance called Hard Core. In 1980 Starz reunited with a lineup of Smith, Ranno, Harkin, Orville Davis and Doug Madick (later with Prism), a drummer who was working with Smith at the time. The group played clubs up and down the East Coast in what amounted to a farewell tour.In 1981 Smith, Ranno, Madick and Peter Scance regrouped. At first they were to continue as Starz but decided to change their name to Hellcats. Hellcats recorded five new songs and released them as an EP on the small Radio Records label in 1982. Radio Records, unfortunately, went out of business not long afterward. Another mid-80s lineup of Hellcats with Ranno and Scance, this time with Perry Jones on lead vocals, also went nowhere after putting out another record in 1987 on the King Klassic label as well as a 4-track EP in 1988.Brian Slagel of Metal Blade Records contacted Ranno in 1989 telling him of his longtime admiration of the band and asked if Ranno held the rights to any of the band's material. Ranno stated he owned two unreleased live shows and allowed Metal Blade to compile them as Live in Action, which contained cuts from a 04.08.1976 Cleveland show and a 30.03.1978 radio promotional show in Louisville, KY previously known as Live in Louisville. The release of Live in Action was a precursor to the 1990 release of the four Starz studio albums on compact disc as the inaugural releases by Metal Blade's "Classics" imprint. The albums have subsequently been re-released on CD (by other labels and the band themselves) several times, most recently in 2005 with bonus tracks primarily made up of material from the band's days as Fallen Angels, as well as a few songs from the 1992 reunion independent album, Requiem.Ranno eventually ran into their former producer, Jack Douglas, at an Aerosmith concert and he expressed an interest in doing another Starz record. So in 1990, Michael Lee Smith and Brendan Harkin came to NY to join Ranno in writing and recording five new tunes. Doug Madick played drums on the new project as Dube had left the music business to work as an architect and Harkin played bass, since Pieter Sweval had died of AIDS earlier that year (on January 23). Since the band was unable to acquire a new record deal, the songs were put out (with some live tracks and other odds and ends) on their own label, Drastic CD, in 1992 as the aforementioned Requiem. After this, Ranno continued on his own with the Richie Ranno Group, which put out a CD, RRG, in 1996.Ranno was approached in 2003 by a British promoter who wanted to bring Starz over to the U.K. This failed to pan out but the surviving original members (Smith, Ranno, Harkin and Dube), with new bassist "Insane" George DiAna, regrouped that same year for a number of successful club dates, culminating in the two-day 2005 "Starzfest" held in Teaneck, New Jersey, which featured the entire band joined by Bobby Messano and Orville Davis. They played their entire album catalog, including songs which had never been played live before. Two concerts in California were also performed in late 2005, one recorded for a television special. In addition, a show recorded in Cleveland, Ohio in 2004 was released on CD in late 2006. The Ohio show was done as a 4 piece since Harkin had missed his plane flight to Cleveland. In 2005 Messano once again replaced Harkin as guitarist and Ranno also did shows with DiAna and Dube as the Richie Ranno All Stars.Former Ted Nugent drummer Cliff Davies filled in for Joe X. Dube for a Starz show in San Francisco in October 2007; for additional shows in California in April 2008, Billy Howe filled in on guitar for Messano. Former Kiss guitarist Bruce Kulick did the honors at that year's Kiss Convention on May 3 in Secaucus, NJ. But in 2012 Messano was replaced by new guitarist Steve DeAcutis. Then Alex Kane took over the second guitar slot from DeAcutis in 2013. And Kane played guitar and Ginger Wildheart subbed on bass for a one night only gig in the UK at The Garage, London in London's Highbury section on December 18, 2013.

Album:

It is a strange but true reality that in the realm of rock music most bands will follow a similar trajectory. At some point, any band or artist that is fortunate enough to make more than one record will make a career move that will stun their long-time fans. This is especially true of bands who feel they should be selling more records. Sometimes it leads to a big breakthrough record but more often than not it only leaves the fans of that band feeling betrayed. When that happens, there can be only one move...the redemption album. It's the record that brings the band back into line with their fans expectations. Coliseum Rock, Starz fourth and final studio album, is just such a record.After they reached for, and failed to grasp, the commercial success they so desired on their previous record, Attention Shoppers!, Starz returned to the venue of their best and most successful music...straightforward, no-frills hard rock. Coliseum Rock is brimming with top notch compositions delivered in the somewhat bawdy manner that we had grown accustomed to on their first two outstanding records. However this record isn't quite up to those lofty standards. The reason for this could probably be fairly laid at the feet of producer Jack Richardson. Oh, he does a fine job here, by far surpassing the antiseptic work done by the band themselves on the previous effort. However the results here are still a little too "clean" for my ears. Jack Douglas left the band with a few more rough edges that I think complimented their style. As it is, this sounds a lot like what would become common in the late 1980's when this style of music would dominate the US charts. In some ways Coliseum Rock was a fore-runner of what was to come. Unfortunately by the time the world caught up to them, Starz would be long gone.Lead-off track "So Young, So Bad" is definitive Starz and immediately signifies a return to form. Its' "Christine Sixteen" style lyrics also indicate a return to a kind of nastiness that had been left off the previous record. It was also the records first single that, all too typically, failed to chart...perhaps because of its lyrical excesses."Take Me," "No Regrets," "Don't Stop Now" and "Outfit" are all capable, well written rockers typical of what can be found on their first two records. "My Sweet Child" is an excellent down tempo-power ballad that finds the band drifting into sentimental territory but without the saccharine after-taste that most songs so labeled tended to leave. Its also better than the ones they tried so hard to make work on the previous record. A truly standout track.It is however, a power packed trio of songs near the end of the record that put Coliseum Rock over the top. "Last Night I Wrote A Letter" is packed with chordy guitar phrases that deliver a punch rarely seen in songs expressing this level of sentimentality. The dichotomy at play here is infectious and leaves an almost pop feel to the song. Once again attaining the desired results from the previous record without the compromises. The instrumental title track follows and comes off as almost symphonic as it gestures to and fro and builds up from a slow burn to a rocker that drives headlong into the next track...the excellent "It's A Riot." I have always loved Starz sinister sense of humor and this song about sleeping with the police chief's wife certainly delivers on that."Where Will It End" both asks and answers its own question as this would be the last song on the last Starz record. Starz left the stage on a high note though, and left fans like me wanting more. After the disappointment brought on by the Attention Shoppers! record, it could truly be said...all is forgiven.There would be subsequent releases over the years of unreleased demos and other recordings (the legendary "Piss Party" is worth seeking out) and even a live record but the party ended for Starz after only four studio records.

Line Up:

Michael Lee Smith - vocals
Richie Ranno - guitar
Bobby Messano - guitar
Orville Davis - bass
Joe X. Dubé - drums

Production:

Jack Richardson - producer
Cub Richardson - engineer, mixing, mastering
Robert Hrycyna, Mike McCarty - recording technicians

Tracklist

01. So Young So Bad
02. Take Me
03. No Regrets
04. My Sweet Child
05. Don't Stop Now
06. Outfit
07. Last Night I Wrote A Letter
08. Coliseum Rock
09. It's A Riot
10. Where Will It End
11. Vidi O.D. (Bonus Track)
12. You Called His Name (Bonus Track)

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Re: Starz (USA)

Príspevokod užívateľa Horex » 18 Sep 2018, 08:58

Starz - Starz (1976)

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Year : 1976
Style : Hard Rock , Power Pop , Heavy Metal
Country : United States
Audio : 320 kbps + all scans
Size : 200 mb


Bio:

Starz is a heavy metal and power pop band from New Jersey, United States. Despite a lack of big commercial success, the band has a lasting cult following and has been cited as a major influence by bands such as Mötley Crüe, Poison and Twisted Sister.Starz was formed out of the ashes of an early 1970s pop music band, Looking Glass, which had the No. 1 hit single "Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)" in the summer of 1972. After lead singer Elliot Lurie left Looking Glass in 1974, the three remaining members (keyboardist Larry Gonsky, bassist Pieter Sweval and drummer Jeff Grob, who adopted the stage name Joe X. Dube) teamed up with Michael Lee Smith (vocals) and guitarist Brendan Harkin to continue the band and soon changed their name to Fallen Angels. In September 1975 they were joined by former Stories guitarist Richie Ranno. After keyboardist Gonsky was dropped from the group, they changed their moniker once again (to Starz) and pursued a more heavy metal direction. Kiss manager Bill Aucoin was introduced to Starz via his right-hand man Sean Delaney, who had befriended Pieter Sweval, and Aucoin began handling Starz in late 1975, helping them to get signed to Capitol Records in early 1976.Their major hit single "Cherry Baby" in the spring of 1977 came from the album Violation, produced by Jack Douglas of Aerosmith fame. Jack Douglas produced their first two albums Starz and Violation. Most fans consider Violation their best album and compare it stylistically to Kiss and Aerosmith output.Their third album, the self produced Attention Shoppers!, was more in the vein of power pop than heavy metal and featured a Cheap Trick influence in songs like "X-Ray Spex". Brendan Harkin and Pieter Sweval were asked to leave the band after Attention Shoppers!, reportedly since they wanted to continue in that record's musical direction, while the others favored a return to the harder sound of the first two releases.On their final Capitol album, Coliseum Rock (produced by Guess Who producer Jack Richardson), Harkin and Sweval were replaced by Bobby Messano on guitar and Orville Davis on bass. Previously Orville was the bassist for the southern rock band Hydra who released multiple LP's in the mid 70s. His contributions can be heard on the first two LP's: 1974's "Hydra" and 1975's "Land of Money". After leaving Hydra, Davis joined in Rex, a hard rock outfit fronted by Michael's brother Rex Smith, who went on to TV and pop stardom in the late 70s and early 80s.After leaving Capitol, Starz split up in 1979 and Dube and Ranno put together a trio with bassist Peter Scance called Hard Core. In 1980 Starz reunited with a lineup of Smith, Ranno, Harkin, Orville Davis and Doug Madick (later with Prism), a drummer who was working with Smith at the time. The group played clubs up and down the East Coast in what amounted to a farewell tour.In 1981 Smith, Ranno, Madick and Peter Scance regrouped. At first they were to continue as Starz but decided to change their name to Hellcats. Hellcats recorded five new songs and released them as an EP on the small Radio Records label in 1982. Radio Records, unfortunately, went out of business not long afterward. Another mid-80s lineup of Hellcats with Ranno and Scance, this time with Perry Jones on lead vocals, also went nowhere after putting out another record in 1987 on the King Klassic label as well as a 4-track EP in 1988.Brian Slagel of Metal Blade Records contacted Ranno in 1989 telling him of his longtime admiration of the band and asked if Ranno held the rights to any of the band's material. Ranno stated he owned two unreleased live shows and allowed Metal Blade to compile them as Live in Action, which contained cuts from a 04.08.1976 Cleveland show and a 30.03.1978 radio promotional show in Louisville, KY previously known as Live in Louisville. The release of Live in Action was a precursor to the 1990 release of the four Starz studio albums on compact disc as the inaugural releases by Metal Blade's "Classics" imprint. The albums have subsequently been re-released on CD (by other labels and the band themselves) several times, most recently in 2005 with bonus tracks primarily made up of material from the band's days as Fallen Angels, as well as a few songs from the 1992 reunion independent album, Requiem.Ranno eventually ran into their former producer, Jack Douglas, at an Aerosmith concert and he expressed an interest in doing another Starz record. So in 1990, Michael Lee Smith and Brendan Harkin came to NY to join Ranno in writing and recording five new tunes. Doug Madick played drums on the new project as Dube had left the music business to work as an architect and Harkin played bass, since Pieter Sweval had died of AIDS earlier that year (on January 23). Since the band was unable to acquire a new record deal, the songs were put out (with some live tracks and other odds and ends) on their own label, Drastic CD, in 1992 as the aforementioned Requiem. After this, Ranno continued on his own with the Richie Ranno Group, which put out a CD, RRG, in 1996.Ranno was approached in 2003 by a British promoter who wanted to bring Starz over to the U.K. This failed to pan out but the surviving original members (Smith, Ranno, Harkin and Dube), with new bassist "Insane" George DiAna, regrouped that same year for a number of successful club dates, culminating in the two-day 2005 "Starzfest" held in Teaneck, New Jersey, which featured the entire band joined by Bobby Messano and Orville Davis. They played their entire album catalog, including songs which had never been played live before. Two concerts in California were also performed in late 2005, one recorded for a television special. In addition, a show recorded in Cleveland, Ohio in 2004 was released on CD in late 2006. The Ohio show was done as a 4 piece since Harkin had missed his plane flight to Cleveland. In 2005 Messano once again replaced Harkin as guitarist and Ranno also did shows with DiAna and Dube as the Richie Ranno All Stars.Former Ted Nugent drummer Cliff Davies filled in for Joe X. Dube for a Starz show in San Francisco in October 2007; for additional shows in California in April 2008, Billy Howe filled in on guitar for Messano. Former Kiss guitarist Bruce Kulick did the honors at that year's Kiss Convention on May 3 in Secaucus, NJ. But in 2012 Messano was replaced by new guitarist Steve DeAcutis. Then Alex Kane took over the second guitar slot from DeAcutis in 2013. And Kane played guitar and Ginger Wildheart subbed on bass for a one night only gig in the UK at The Garage, London in London's Highbury section on December 18, 2013.

Album:

Starz is the debut studio album by the American hard rock band Starz. The album was released in 1976 on Capitol Records and produced by Jack Douglas (best known for his work with the American hard rock band Aerosmith).Allmusic's Rob Theakston gave the album 3 stars, calling it "formulaic" and "predictably safe arena rock"; "a mediocre debut, to be sure, and definitely not the release for casual fans to introduce themselves to the group." Horns up folks, it’s time for another rendition of That 70’s Guy’s – Forgotten Gem of the 70’s where I pull out a classic, not so well known album from my youth and give it the light of day again. Its not supposed to be a masterclass in journalism, but a light- hearted recap of what it meant to me and what impact it had on someone that was coming of age during its initial release.Every review I‘ve done to date always gets the same response from my buddy Mark – When’s Starz? Ok Mark, now its time for Starz and their 1976 debut to be featrured in this Retro Review!I debated back and forth on which album to review. Should I do the classic debut or the second masterpiece Violation, as it has some real true pinpoint memories for me. This time, however, I am opting for the debut and will save what many call their best effort Violation for another rainy day.Starz were formed in New Jersey out of the band Looking Glass, where bassist Pieter Sweval and drummer Jeff Grob, who’s stage name was Joe X. Dube, resided. They had a number 1 hit called “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)” in 1972. Being a music nut in the 70’s and well aware of both of these acts, I even didn’t know that! Even I can learn something new. Anyways, Pete and Joe recruited singer Michael Lee Smith and guitarist Brendan Harkin to form Fallen Angels. Shortly after, Richie Ranno was scooped up from The Stories (Brother Louie) and in 1975 Starz was born.Any music fanatic growing up in the 70’s relied heavily on three huge music television shows – The Midnight Special, ABC’s In Concert and Don Kirshners Rock Concert. These were absolute staples with 100% live performances. In 1976, all three were in peak form. It was there (on October 23rd) that we witnessed Starz’s performance on DKRC. My buddy Rod immediately purchased the album and many nights were spent in his basement listening, air-guitaring and more importantly studying and getting to know the band and the lyrics of our new found friends.1976 was just loaded with some of the most influencial bands and albums to date. “Arena Rock” was at the top of its game. The Boston debut, Agents of Fortune by Blue Oyster Cult, 2112 by Rush, Leftoverture by Kansas, Jailbreak by Thin Lizzy, Free For All by Ted Nugent, the Moxy debut, Destroyer by Kiss and countless others were hitting Radio Shack car cassette players and 8 tracks all over. It was a time when rock stars looked like rock stars! It was a real great time to be 16 then. One of the great pastimes then was roller skating. Roller skating on the outside fast lane to killer cuts of Starz and the above listed bands was a memory to keep forever locked upstairs.Ok, let’s lace up them skates and take a spin around the roller rink!!

Line Up:

Michael Lee Smith - vocals
Richie Ranno - guitar
Brendan Harkin - guitar
Pieter "Pete" Sweval - bass
Joe X. Dubé - drums

Additional musicians:

Gary Coleman - additional percussion

Production:

Jack Douglas - producer
John Jansen, Jay Messina - engineers
Sam Ginsberg - assistant engineer

Tracklist

01. Detroit Girls
02. Live Wire
03. Tear It Down
04. Boys in Action
05. (She's Just a) Fallen Angel
06. Monkey Business
07. Night Crawler
08. Over and Over
09. Pull the Plug
10. Now I Can

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Užívateľov profilový obrázok
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Metalový král
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Príspevky: 11066
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Re: Starz (USA)

Príspevokod užívateľa Horex » 19 Sep 2018, 13:59

Starz - Violation (1977)

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Year : 1977
Style : Hard Rock , Power Pop , Heavy Metal
Country : United States
Audio : 320 kbps + all scans
Size : 200 mb


Bio:

Starz is a heavy metal and power pop band from New Jersey, United States. Despite a lack of big commercial success, the band has a lasting cult following and has been cited as a major influence by bands such as Mötley Crüe, Poison and Twisted Sister.Starz was formed out of the ashes of an early 1970s pop music band, Looking Glass, which had the No. 1 hit single "Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)" in the summer of 1972. After lead singer Elliot Lurie left Looking Glass in 1974, the three remaining members (keyboardist Larry Gonsky, bassist Pieter Sweval and drummer Jeff Grob, who adopted the stage name Joe X. Dube) teamed up with Michael Lee Smith (vocals) and guitarist Brendan Harkin to continue the band and soon changed their name to Fallen Angels. In September 1975 they were joined by former Stories guitarist Richie Ranno. After keyboardist Gonsky was dropped from the group, they changed their moniker once again (to Starz) and pursued a more heavy metal direction. Kiss manager Bill Aucoin was introduced to Starz via his right-hand man Sean Delaney, who had befriended Pieter Sweval, and Aucoin began handling Starz in late 1975, helping them to get signed to Capitol Records in early 1976.Their major hit single "Cherry Baby" in the spring of 1977 came from the album Violation, produced by Jack Douglas of Aerosmith fame. Jack Douglas produced their first two albums Starz and Violation. Most fans consider Violation their best album and compare it stylistically to Kiss and Aerosmith output.Their third album, the self produced Attention Shoppers!, was more in the vein of power pop than heavy metal and featured a Cheap Trick influence in songs like "X-Ray Spex". Brendan Harkin and Pieter Sweval were asked to leave the band after Attention Shoppers!, reportedly since they wanted to continue in that record's musical direction, while the others favored a return to the harder sound of the first two releases.On their final Capitol album, Coliseum Rock (produced by Guess Who producer Jack Richardson), Harkin and Sweval were replaced by Bobby Messano on guitar and Orville Davis on bass. Previously Orville was the bassist for the southern rock band Hydra who released multiple LP's in the mid 70s. His contributions can be heard on the first two LP's: 1974's "Hydra" and 1975's "Land of Money". After leaving Hydra, Davis joined in Rex, a hard rock outfit fronted by Michael's brother Rex Smith, who went on to TV and pop stardom in the late 70s and early 80s.After leaving Capitol, Starz split up in 1979 and Dube and Ranno put together a trio with bassist Peter Scance called Hard Core. In 1980 Starz reunited with a lineup of Smith, Ranno, Harkin, Orville Davis and Doug Madick (later with Prism), a drummer who was working with Smith at the time. The group played clubs up and down the East Coast in what amounted to a farewell tour.In 1981 Smith, Ranno, Madick and Peter Scance regrouped. At first they were to continue as Starz but decided to change their name to Hellcats. Hellcats recorded five new songs and released them as an EP on the small Radio Records label in 1982. Radio Records, unfortunately, went out of business not long afterward. Another mid-80s lineup of Hellcats with Ranno and Scance, this time with Perry Jones on lead vocals, also went nowhere after putting out another record in 1987 on the King Klassic label as well as a 4-track EP in 1988.Brian Slagel of Metal Blade Records contacted Ranno in 1989 telling him of his longtime admiration of the band and asked if Ranno held the rights to any of the band's material. Ranno stated he owned two unreleased live shows and allowed Metal Blade to compile them as Live in Action, which contained cuts from a 04.08.1976 Cleveland show and a 30.03.1978 radio promotional show in Louisville, KY previously known as Live in Louisville. The release of Live in Action was a precursor to the 1990 release of the four Starz studio albums on compact disc as the inaugural releases by Metal Blade's "Classics" imprint. The albums have subsequently been re-released on CD (by other labels and the band themselves) several times, most recently in 2005 with bonus tracks primarily made up of material from the band's days as Fallen Angels, as well as a few songs from the 1992 reunion independent album, Requiem.Ranno eventually ran into their former producer, Jack Douglas, at an Aerosmith concert and he expressed an interest in doing another Starz record. So in 1990, Michael Lee Smith and Brendan Harkin came to NY to join Ranno in writing and recording five new tunes. Doug Madick played drums on the new project as Dube had left the music business to work as an architect and Harkin played bass, since Pieter Sweval had died of AIDS earlier that year (on January 23). Since the band was unable to acquire a new record deal, the songs were put out (with some live tracks and other odds and ends) on their own label, Drastic CD, in 1992 as the aforementioned Requiem. After this, Ranno continued on his own with the Richie Ranno Group, which put out a CD, RRG, in 1996.Ranno was approached in 2003 by a British promoter who wanted to bring Starz over to the U.K. This failed to pan out but the surviving original members (Smith, Ranno, Harkin and Dube), with new bassist "Insane" George DiAna, regrouped that same year for a number of successful club dates, culminating in the two-day 2005 "Starzfest" held in Teaneck, New Jersey, which featured the entire band joined by Bobby Messano and Orville Davis. They played their entire album catalog, including songs which had never been played live before. Two concerts in California were also performed in late 2005, one recorded for a television special. In addition, a show recorded in Cleveland, Ohio in 2004 was released on CD in late 2006. The Ohio show was done as a 4 piece since Harkin had missed his plane flight to Cleveland. In 2005 Messano once again replaced Harkin as guitarist and Ranno also did shows with DiAna and Dube as the Richie Ranno All Stars.Former Ted Nugent drummer Cliff Davies filled in for Joe X. Dube for a Starz show in San Francisco in October 2007; for additional shows in California in April 2008, Billy Howe filled in on guitar for Messano. Former Kiss guitarist Bruce Kulick did the honors at that year's Kiss Convention on May 3 in Secaucus, NJ. But in 2012 Messano was replaced by new guitarist Steve DeAcutis. Then Alex Kane took over the second guitar slot from DeAcutis in 2013. And Kane played guitar and Ginger Wildheart subbed on bass for a one night only gig in the UK at The Garage, London in London's Highbury section on December 18, 2013.

Album:

Violation is the second studio album by the late-1970s American hard rock band Starz, released in 1977. Starz avoided the fabled sophomore jinx with the 1977 classic Violation, arguably the best album in their entire catalog. Ok, so there's only four records in their catalog, but nevertheless this would have to be regarded as their best statement. It is also the closest they came to a commercial breakthrough. The lead-off track, "Cherry Baby," climbed its way into the US top 40 albeit for only a brief stay. That song, along with its equally accessible follow up single, "Sing It Shout It," should have been enough to break Starz into the top tier of late seventies rock bands. Alas, it was not to be. However it wasn't from a lack of quality.Historically we are told that Violation was supposed to be something of a concept record relating a story about some dystopian future where rock music has become a criminalized form of expression. Unfortunately Capitol records saw things differently and had the songs re-sequenced and removed any other hints of a unifying plot. Like another famously abandoned concept record, Who's Next, This one is no worse for its re-purposing...and may even be the better for it.The two singles that were released could lead you to believe that Starz was making a move towards a more radio friendly commercial viability, however the other tracks are as combustible as anything on their debut record...and then some!"Rock Six Times" is a ferocious rocker that, more than any other track, reveals the elements of the abandoned story line. Michael Lee Smith sings of his discovery of a "scratchy old record called Walk This Way" that apparently is the beginning of a life of delinquency. This, of course, is frowned upon by a committee convened to decide how to handle such young hooligans in the excellent title track. The accusatory choruses of "No that's a Violation!" reverberate over the decades into our world that itself is all too willing to embrace censorship in the name of political correctness. This song should be required listening on every college campus.The record's best track is the ultra-violent "Subway Terror." Another of Starz excellent odes to the excitement of committing crimes. This riff-rocker seems all too relevant considering the recent NYC subway homicides that resemble the one committed in this song a little too closely. I have always thought this song and Thin Lizzy's "Killer on the Loose" deserve to be coupled together as some sort of homicidal celebration."All Night Long" is a straight-forward song that would have seemed perfect for their first record with its' Kiss-alike nature. With "Cool One" Starz injects their always dependable sense of humor into things and the results are fabulous. The "cuckoo" sounding choruses are unlike anything you would hear in this style of music and the story conveyed in the lyrics is equally delightful...and quite a bit nasty for the moral sensitivities of the late seventies. They wouldn't be playing this one on the radio! It has been suggested that the band was not too pleased with this version of the song, instead preferring the more straight-forward arrangement of the original demo recording. The demo version has been subsequently released over the years and I have to disagree. Though the original version of the song is fine, the final studio version as we have come to know it is highly original by comparison, and if producer Jack Douglas is the one who made this call...he made the right one."S.T.E.A.D.Y." has an ominous sounding beginning that does not portend the rollicking rocker that quickly evolves out of it. The album ends with a somewhat strange ballad called "Is That A Street Light Or The Moon"" Singer Michael Lee Smith was always a strength for this band and his voice lends an atmospheric feel to the song. It is said that this track was a leftover from the first record but the solemn atmospherics give this record a fitting end.Violation comes across as Starz best and most aggressive record. However, in spite of having a legitimate top 40 hit with "Cherry Baby," the album failed to sell the number of units their record company was anticipating. One can only wonder why. This album, as well as any released in the decade of the seventies, is representative of the best of American Hard Rock. Drastic changes would be made on their next record in an attempt to crack the American market.

Line Up:

Michael Lee Smith - vocals
Richie Ranno - guitar
Brendan Harkin - guitar
Pieter "Pete" Sweval - bass
Joe X. Dubé - drums

Production:

Jack Douglas - producer
Jay Messina - engineer
Sam Ginsberg, Dave Martone - assistant engineers

Tracklist

01. Cherry Baby
02. Rock Six Times
03. Sing It, Shout It
04. Violation
05. Subway Terror
06. All Night Long
07. Cool One
08. S.T.E.A.D.Y.
09. Is That A Street Light Or The Moon?

Please my link you can´t spread further and don´t upload to other hostings!!!

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