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Articles Home » 1978 Articles » Starbuck - 1978 Searching For A Thrill
Starbuck - 1978 Searching For A Thrill

ARTIST: Starbuck
ALBUM: Searching For A Thrill
LABEL: United Artists
YEAR: 1978


LINEUP: Jimmy Cobb - vocals, bass * Ken Crysler - drums * Dave Shaver - background vocals * Bruce Blackman - vocals, keyboards * John Fristoe, John Walker - vocals, guitars

TRACK LISTING: 01 It Feels Good * 02 The Coldest Night Of The Year * 03 Y'All Come Here And Rock And Roll * 04 Take My Hand * 05 Easing Back * 06 Searching For A Thrill * 07 Nothing To It * 08 Screw You * 09 Go Wild * 10 A Piece Of My Life


Streamlined with a new line-up, bigger label and snazzy Roger Dean styled logo; Atlanta's Starbuck were whistling by the one hit wonder graveyard and without another single to match the wildly successful 'Moonlight Feels Right' their days were numbered by the ghoulish bean counters at the UA home office. The sophomore 1977 Private Stock outing 'Rock 'N Roll Rocket' took a limp laser shot at disco with the minor and god-awful hit 'Everybody Be Dancin' but no one bought it. Truckloads of clipped copies were jammed in budget bins everywhere as their former label began closing shop the same year 'Searching For A Thrill' hit the racks.

The Songs
If Starbuck had anything original going for them it was marimba/percussionist Bo Wagner, but he was knocked out of the line-up for these sessions, replaced by a second guitar player. He is missed, but the added six-stringer didn't mean Starbuck rocked out any more than they did before (which was hardly ever) and both 'It Feels Good' and 'The Coldest Night Of The Year' will hit all the right west coast/yacht rock buttons. The first spin will leave no doubt this is their strongest set, but there are a couple stinkers namely 'Y'all Come Here And Rock And Roll' which as you can probably guess is a mid-rocking southern flavoured number and totally unnecessary as is 'Screw You' which says it all. On the bright side the title track is a soaring AOR rocker similar to Toto and a rare example of Starbuck breaking into FM radio playlists which had to be a first for the band, not forgetting the deck shoes and martini soft fluffers that dot the platter including 'Take My Hand', 'Easing Back' and the Pablo Cruise-ish finale 'A Piece Of My Life'.

In Summary
Still, I remain unconvinced Starbuck were anything more than a second rate bar or lounge band with a record contract. In hindsight 'Searching For A Thrill' while worthy of investigation, barely comes close to the numerous AOR classics released the same year (Gulliver, Trigger or Nantucket anyone?) and with nothing in the grooves remotely close to the warm breezy magic of 'Moonlight Feels Right' it's easy to understand why it was their last.

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#1 | gdazegod on June 26 2011 06:03:45
Has anyone heard Bruce Blackman's 1980 band/project called KORONA? They released one album for United Artists. Not sure what it sounds like..
#2 | Nick_L on June 29 2011 03:56:29
I have, George... one night, while watching a special on the history of Australian Open (tennis) on an Italian tv channel called "SuperTennis", I discovered one of my very favorite (broken) love songs, in the shape of "Downhearted" by Australian Crawl, which was actually used as a "soundtrack" to the images of the sole triumph of mighty Vitas Gerulaitis (RIP) in a Grand Slam event (Aus Open 1977)... the gentleman who was sharing the official promo video for "Downhearted" on YouTube, also had this -in my opinion- very schmaltzy, strings laden song called "Let Me Be" by Korona.... I decided to check it out merely out of curiosity, since I thought "Korona" was somewhat of a weird/ stupid name for a band... very lightweight and "Love Boat- like", didn' t do much for me, but you still might like it to a certain extent...? I have heard Starbuck for the first time in 2005/ 06 if memory serves me right, and I have to admit I was extremely impressed with Bo Wagner' s work on the xylophone/ vibraphone... for a while, I pretended it was the genius of Mike Mainieri doing some uncredited work on "Moonlight Feels Right"! Anyways, although there is no way of grabbing a digital copy of Korona' s self- titled album from the net, I have to say that if all of the songs on the album sound like "Let Me Be", that should be tagged as a much dispensable release and infinitely inferior to Starbuck' s best work both in terms of musicianship and songwriting, at least to my ears...
Eric is right when he says that this stuff can' t even compete with Nantucket or Trigger (sorry, haven' t heard any of Gulliver' s albums so far), particularly the first, a real band of r'n'r desperados who made no apologies for the stuff they played and how hard they rocked! _\m/
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