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Articles Home » 1981 Articles » Chilliwack - 1981 Wanna Be A Star
Chilliwack - 1981 Wanna Be A Star

ARTIST: Chilliwack
ALBUM: Wanna Be A Star
LABEL: Millenium
SERIAL: BXL 1-7759
YEAR: 1981
CD REISSUE: 1999, Solid Gold (Canada), 79787-2 * 2008, Airmail Recordings (Japan), AIRAC-1471


LINEUP: Bill Henderson - vocals, guitars, keyboards * Brian MacLeod - guitars, keyboards, drums, vocals * Ab Bryant - bass

TRACK LISTING: 01 So You Wanna Be A Star * 02 Tell It To The Telephone * 03 Too Many Enemies * 04 Living In Stereo * 05 Mr Rock * 06 My Girl * 07 (Don't Wanna) Live For A Living * 08 Walk On * 09 I Believe


By the 80's decade, Canadian mainstay's Chilliwack commenced a new phase of their career. Having left behind their folk rock style a few years previous, the band had moved on, revolving around band founder Bill Henderson. Joining the band in 1978 was guitarist/drummer Brian MacLeod, who had previously been in the band Stinagree alongside Bernie LaBarge. Also joining was ex Prism bassist Ab Bryant. 'Breakdown In Paradise' was the first Chilliwack album to feature this lineup, but Mushroom Records (Canada) soon went under, the band then moved to Solid Gold Records. This trio would release two of Chilliwack's best albums during this time: this one 'Wanna Be A Star' and 1982's 'Opus X'. The album's theme is a veiled attempt to scorn the entertainment industry, the 'use them' and 'abuse them' theory, which has consumed and then spat out many a musical artist over time.

The Songs
Without doubt the two best tunes on the album are those that made it onto the charts. 'My Girl (Gone, Gone, Gone)' is the band's signature tune of their discography, a track which made it into the lower reaches of the Billboards Charts. The distinctive ballad 'I Believe', which also did well in the charts, is a gorgeous (mainly acoustic) ballad which though simplistic in structure, still makes a great listen years later. Humorous or not, the opening 'Sign Here' is the recital of a contract being read as a Gregorian chant - in keeping with the aforementioned theme. The title track is next, an energetic slice of rock with perfunctory crowd noise to authenticate the 'live' feel. 'Mr Rock' is a smooth radio rock affair with great vocal choruses. 'Too Many Enemies' is another to appeal, the slightly rough-house intro belies what is a mostly an AOR tune with an emphasis on that Rhodes keyboard sound.

In Summary
'Wanna Be A Star' would be the band's most successful album outside of Canada. The two singles earned significant radio airplay during 1981, and still garner requests on Classic Rock radio even now, 'My Girl' making it into the Billboard charts and onto video, a first for the band. Due to the Mushroom Records collapse and pending litigation and legal fallout, founder Bill Henderson was unable to take Chilliwack out on the road in support of the album. The band heavied up for the excellent 'Opus X' the following year, however this was to be the last album featuring the above lineup, as MacLeod and Bryant went off to form/join The Headpins, simply because they needed to play to make a living. A shame really, but hey, that's what the music industry does to ya - hence the reason behind the theme behind this album..

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#1 | vinyldinosaurus on January 31 2008 16:01:15
This album is killer! No weak tracks.
#2 | gdazegod on March 22 2011 21:13:11
YouTube Video:
#3 | gdazegod on March 22 2011 21:16:25
YouTube Video:
#4 | super80boy on March 01 2014 21:34:38
Great album that brings back memories of listening to the ultra catchy 'My Girl' on the Top 5 at ten on Q107, Washingon DC. 'Tell It To The Telephone' is another cool tune here...
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