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Morningstar - 1978 Morningstar



ARTIST: Morningstar
ALBUM: Morningstar
LABEL: Columbia
SERIAL: JC 35316
YEAR: 1978
CD REISSUE: 1998, Sony (Japan), SRCS9441

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Rick Bacus - guitars, keyboards, vocals * Jerry Chambers - guitars, vocals * Michael Edmunds - guitars, vocals * Greg Harris - drums * Greg Leech - bass

TRACK LISTING: 01 Shotgun Romance * 02 Premeditated Romance * 03 Sunshine (Changing Of The Season) * 04 Through The Night * 05 Sweet Georgia Peach * 06 Sad Lady * 07 Another Rock n' Roll Show * 08 Turn Out All The Lights * 09 Too Much To Lose

WEBLINKS: www.kcmorningstar.com'


Background
Like Shooting Star, Morningstar were from Kansas City, Missouri - in the heart of the Midwest. It shows in their music, for the most part a powerful blend of Midwestern pomp and late 70's AOR. Closest relatives would be Boston, Roadmaster and possibly Styx with much more power. This self titled debut turned out to be the first of only two albums from this great band.


The Songs
'Shotgun Romance' is a curious album opener, bringing on the barroom boogie stylings, a quite unremarkable track except for the telltale wall of vocals which characterise the Morningstar sound. 'Premeditated Rendezvous' delivers the pomp in a big way, huge walls of keyboards with lush vocals and chord changes reveal the real Morningstar only hinted at in the previous track. Such a pity it ends so soon, having only delivered the anthemic chorus once. 'Sunshine' starts out as a ballad and builds into quite a rocker, with startling machine gun vocal bursts here and there, but certainly melodic and pompy enough. 'Through The Night' closes side one with a slice of Pomp heaven. Clocking in at 5:56 and worth every second, this track will leave you wondering why we bother separating Pomp Rock and AOR by giving us heaps of both. Side two doesn't begin too well, but luckily 'Sweet Georgia Peach's' nasty barroom boogie tendencies can only ruin the melodic atmosphere for about two minutes, before 'Sad Lady' puts matters right with it's wonderfully arranged Pomp power balladry - big keys and hooks on this one after the acoustic first verse. The album closes with three worthy uptempo tracks, the energetic rock workout of 'Another Rock And Roll Show' followed by the melodic pomp of 'Turn Out All The Lights'. A great chorus makes up for the throaty vocals during the verses. On the album closer 'Too Much To Lose', the chorus is a trifle disappointing, but the big hook and great verses save the day.


In Summary
Reviewed elsewhere is the second album 'Venus' which is also a very good effort, but you get the feeling that if they could've hung on until the mid 80's, the best was yet to come. Still, both Morningstar albums are essential and available on CD through Sony Japan.


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Comments
#1 | trillion1999 on October 09 2011 22:08:27
Dave constables record-shop had Venus on CD like forever.I however suffer from this affliction that I need to buy both CDs or not at all.Did not pick up that one.Finally gave in and bought this instead.Liked most of it but only remembered that nasty barroom boogie.Hopefully I get to hear Venus one day.Sigh!helpless
#2 | rkbluez on January 02 2012 14:09:55
Another cool obscure band that was really good and got almost no hype...like both albums and have both on CD...though I like the first album better song for song..."Venus" has a much better production though and is real easy on the ears to listen to...they should be an essential purchase for any true pomp rock lovers collection...another band Rock Candy should consider releasing as I'm pretty sure they are now OOP.
#3 | super80boy on June 09 2014 03:13:53
What a top drawer debut after these guys were kicking around for a bunch of years prior to be signed by CBS. Equal parts of AOR and melodic rock with perfect dashes of pomp and progressive moves makes this a great listen. That keyboard and guitar interplay on the pomp fueled 'Through The Night' is fantastic! The other killer standout is 'Sad Lady'.
 
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