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Morningstar - 1979 Venus

ARTIST: Morningstar
ALBUM: Venus
LABEL: Columbia
SERIAL: JC 35713
YEAR: 1979
CD REISSUE: 1998, Sony (Japan), SRCS 9442


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

TRACK LISTING: 01 Angel * 02 Everybody I Love You * 03 Lady Love * 04 Rock And Roll Rodeo * 05 Never Meant To Be * 06 Rosie * 07 Gimme Some Lovin' * 08 Hard Bargain Driver * 09 Let Me Dream


Another respected late seventies outfit plying the pomp road were mid-west rockers Morningstar. Their style is quite symphonic, and has more in common with the likes of Starcastle, early Shooting Star and Airborne. Most of the guys in the band can play a multitude of instruments and sing as well.

The Songs
This album 'Venus' is their second effort, following on from their self titled album released in 1978, and it mixes up a combination of complex and lush arrangements with some more straight ahead type rockers. Album opener 'Angel' features some beautiful vocal harmonies on the chorus, while 'Everybody I Love You' is a rockier version of Starcastle for sure. Those vocals are Starcastle patented there can be no doubt. 'Rock And Roll Rodeo' too me sounded very similar to Rick Derringer's 'Rock And Roll Hoochie Koo' while 'Never Mean't To Be' ends up sounding like an epic style track, with the extended guitar solos at the end. 'Rosie' has a commercial flavour to it, veering very close to the material which Airborne pulled on their one off album the same year, ironically for the same label. The guys also do a cover of Spencer Davis Group's 'Gimme Some Lovin' which is so-so, while 'Hard Bargain Driver' sounds like a blues based rocker fit for a Kenworth on Route 66! The last song 'Let Me Dream' sees Morningstar moving back to a more suitable pomp climate, with multi-part vocal harmonies and keyboard/guitar interplay.

In Summary
Morningstar's two albums finally saw a release on CD via the Sony Japan site, in which a number of pomp albums were released under the banner American Progressive Rock Discography. Still difficult to track down however, but worth it if you are a seventies pomp collector. Also, check out our Interviews section for a session we did with Rick Bacus during 2002.

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#1 | super80boy on August 31 2013 15:36:50
Was able to find a nice clean European press copy of this LP and was impressed with many of the songs here. 'Never Meant To Be' is stellar and 'Rosie' is quite infectious with it's built for radio melodies. The cover song is a let down to the proceedings. 'Angel' is a classy mid-tempo lead off track and the ending 'Let Me Dream' has nice pomp attributes. The debut album has been very challenging to find in good condition.
#2 | gdazegod on February 22 2018 03:39:42
Looking forward to the Rock Candy reissue circa @ 2018.

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