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Articles Home » 1983 Articles » Grey Star - 1983 Telephone Sex
Grey Star - 1983 Telephone Sex

ARTIST: Grey Star
ALBUM: Telephone Sex
LABEL: Mister Night Music
YEAR: 1983


LINEUP: Ruby Starr - vocals * Mike Grey - vocals * Fred Hodnik - guitars, keyboards, vocals * Robb Hanshaw - bass guitar, keyboards, vocals * Mud Slide - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 All Over Now * 02 Baby Its You * 03 Downtown * 04 Hurting You * 05 In Crowd * 06 Killing Time * 07 Magic * 08 Meet Me At The Same Time * 09 Telephone Sex * 10 You Don't Even Know

Setting up shop and living communally in the backwoods of Central Wisconsin, Grey Star developed quite a reputation in the Upper Midwest interstate I-94 corridor between Chicago, Minneapolis and all points beyond. I remember the band playing what seemed like every other weekend in the Twin Cities and performing in any out state small town watering hole with a corner stage like a gang of rock 'n' roll gypsies. Of course the main attraction was lead vocalist Ruby Starr, whose ample sexual attributes and boozy high powered vocals gave a toothless Black Oak Arkansas a much needed boost on stage and testosterone appeal for rednecks both young and old. Yes, that was Starr sharing vocals with Jim Dandy on the single of the same name and sometime in the mid-70's, Starr thought she could go it alone recording a couple solo albums and forming Ruby Starr & Grey Ghost followed by endless touring with Black Sabbath, REO, Blackfoot, Cheap Trick and even her old mates in Black Oak. It was during a club tour with Blackfoot that a band called Lucy Grey who was playing support caught the ear of Starr and never one to miss an opportunity promptly joined the up and coming musos following the tour and Grey Star was born.

The Songs
The first album released in 1981 was a standard rock record from what I remember. It didn't leave much of an impression on me is only highlighted by recalling the Grey Star logo on the cover looked very much like the Starz trademark, after that nothing. 'Telephone Sex' is a very different Grey Star album, but not much better. Here Grey Star abandons their southern hard rock roots in favor of a synthesized pop rock that just does not suit Ruby's vocals. Those who dug Toronto's 'Girls Night Out' might find something to like here as Holly Wood and Starr share some vocal similarities, but the material on 'Telephone Sex' is truly lackluster. Grey Star's other lead singer and group founder Mike Grey is no great find either as his thin over reaching vocals are no match for Starr's seismic bluster.

In Summary
This record would be the end of the road for Grey Star. Ruby would carry on as Ruby Starr Band for a few years but eventually calling it quits. She died of cancer in 1995 and left an impressive legacy behind although neither Grey Star album can be considered her best work. Supposedly both records are hard to find, expensive and not on CD. Only you know how much you need either one. Want mine?

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#1 | gdazegod on August 03 2008 09:11:29
Great cover. If it was an animated image a la Vargas, it could be The Cars 'Candy O' part two!
#2 | Harvey Mettle on August 04 2008 18:10:42
I have most of the Ruby Starr albums but everytime I'm tempted to play any of them, an image of those 'Adult' shots she did comes to mind and puts me off!
#3 | gdazegod on August 04 2008 21:13:56
Haha Harvey! It doesn't put me off. I've seen some of Ruby's promo photos from the 80's. She looked damned hot!
#4 | Eric on September 19 2009 04:50:14
Two members of Faith Nation including guitarist Hewey Peterson were part of Grey Star in the early 80's. It was just for a few months, but from what I've heard it was a wild ride....guitar2
#5 | super80boy on October 06 2013 17:29:49
The cover is definitely an eye catcher for sure. Agreed that Ruby was a bit out of her element from a vocal perspective. This album is more geared to the synthesized early 80's AOR rock formula with hints of new wave in the title song and the cover 'In Crowd'. It still has good moments sprinkled throughout!
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