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MORNINGSTAR is one of those bands that acquired cult status over the years.
Hailing from the US MidWest, Morningstar was founded in the Seventies and seems the group amassed quite a following in the Kansas City area, which attracted CBS Records offering a recording contract.
The self-titled "Morningstar" debut appeared in 1978, and surprised with its blend of pomp AOR and meaty hard rock.
Morningstar's sound can be compared with another iconic band from the same area; Shooting Star, but also Roadmaster, some Styx / Angel and alike, yet much more rocking. Indeed, although the songs feature really melodic vocals and lots of pompy keyboards / analog synths, the guitars are pretty prominent.
On this debut all songs are strong, but my favorite should be "Through The Night", a proto '80s AOR tune full of magic.
Second LP "Venus" appeared the following year (1979) delivering a more polished sound, still mixing rockers with pompy numbers. One of Morningstar's strengths were the excellent multi-part vocal harmonies reminiscent of another MidWest favourite; Starcastle.
Just listen the great "Let Me Dream".
Both Morningstar LP's sold well, but CBS wanted a more commercial sound for their signed artists as many bands in the same style started to develop (read Journey, REO Speedwagon). Morningstar didn't fit in the upcoming rock&pop AOR sound, and the label drop the band. The group disbanded soon after.
But this talented act delivered 2 very good records which are great examples to understand what the rocking 'pomp' movement was all about.
"Morningstar" and "Venus" only were released on CD in Japan in 1998, and sadly, now out of print.
These are not the best remasters I've heard, and the CDrips here are not at maximum quality, but believe me, both are almost impossible to find albums and really deserve a place into any collection.
1 - Shotgun Romance
2 - Premeditated Rendezvous
3 - Sunshine (Changin' Of The Season)
4 - Through The Night
5 - Sweet Georgia Peach
6 - Sad Lady
7 - Another Rock And Roll Show
8 - Turn Out All The Lights
9 - Too Much To Lose
1 - Angel
2 - Everybody I Love You
3 - Lady Love
4 - Rock And Roll Rodeo
5 - Never Meant To Be
6 - Rosie
7 - Gimme Some Lovin'
8 - Hard Bargain Driver
9 - Let Me Dream
Rick Bacus - vocals, guitars, keyboards
Jerry Chambers - guitars, vocals
Michael Edmunds - guitars, vocals
Greg Leech - bass
Greg Harris - drums, percussion
MORNINGSTAR: Morningstar + Venus