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Starz: Greatest Hits Live

While Starz never quite became the "heavyweight champions" so boldly predicted at the outset of this stellar live album, they still managed to have a mildly successful career from their inception in 1977 to their last hurrah in the early 80's. With four albums and countless tours in support of arena rock heavies, as well as plenty of headline shows of their own, Starz were one of those bands that came very close to superstardom, but never quite made it there. Greatest Hits Live, recorded at various shows in 1977 & 1978, shows this band as powerhouse stage performers, giving the audiences plenty of what they were looking for; catchy hooks, muscular guitar riffs, searing solos, and thunderous rhythms. If you are a fan of late 70's hard rock, ala KISS, Pat Travers, Sweet, Foghat, Ted Nugent, Cheap Trick, REO Speedwagon, and Journey, and never discovered the music of Starz, this live compilation, which covers most of their best songs, is a good place to start.

Lead vocalist Michael Lee Smith is your consumate frontman, delivering his lines with plenty of pomp and vigor, and he's a damn good singer as well. At times he sounds a little like Pat Travers or the late Lonesome Dave Peverett from Foghat, really shining on hook laden heavy rockers like "Detroit Girls" and the hit single "Cherry Baby" with his sense of attitude and swagger. The guitar duo of Richie Ranno & Brenden Harkin are what provide the metal thunder throughout these songs, and there's plenty of it. Tunes like "Tear It Down", "Live Wire", "Boys In Action", "Coliseum Rock", "It's a Riot", and "Subway Terror" rock hard, real hard, with no shortage of meaty riffs and white solo, flashy solos. However, the band does a great job of mixing things up quite a bit, as there tunes are not mere heavy rock fare, but also share some elements of glam, power pop, and prog.

While the quality of some of the recordings here are of bootleg variety and not the best, this is still a very enjoyable CD documenting a vastly underrated band at their creative peak. Kudos to GB Music for releasing this live set.

Track Listing
1. Fallen Angel
2. Tear It Down
3. Live Wire
4. Monkey Business
5. Detroit Girls
6. Night Crawler
7. Pull The Plug
8. Boys In Action
9. She
10. Any Way You Want It
11. Cherry Baby
12. Rock Six Times
13. Coliseum Rock
14. It's A Riot
15. Subway Terror
16. Take Me

Added: June 11th 2007
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Starz Website
Hits: 2639
Language: english

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