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This NORTHERN STAR (there were various band under this name) was based in the Hudson Valley, New York, and was active the early '80s playing all over the East Coast (even Florida) and opened for some major acts. The group recorded Northtern Star "I" in 1985, their only album, released through small record label Dead Pidgeon on vinyl LP.
Influenced by Journey, especially vocalist Joe Cutrera owner of a vocal style similar to Steve Perry, the album includes some Pomp and melodic progressive touches as well.
With a polished production for an indie, "I" rocks with tracks like the spiraling '(When You Die) You're Done', 'I Wanna Take You Home', 'Extreme Pain' and 'When Will It Ever End?', while there's more melodic rock oriented tunes such as 'A Girl Of A Different Kind', the pompy 'Crank' and 'Slow Down'.
The latter was released as single as well (something unusual for indie bands) with 3000 copies sold in two weeks. It made the Top 100 in FM Stations on the East Coast.
Even more proof of Northern Star's quality: opening track 'Back To Earth' - a superb Pompy mysterious composition - was nominated as 'Best Rock Instrumental Performance' in 1985 Grammy Awards alongside Yngwie Malmsteen, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Jeff Beck and Jon Butcher (Beck won the prize).
The album title is interesting too: "I" is not number 1, it's the capital letter 'i' and plays with 'eye' in reference to the eye shown on the LP cover with the Northern Star logo as the pupil.
After the group disbanded all members continued in the business, most notably Cutrera fronting Feed The Rhino.
Northern Star "I" is a collectors item with original LP copies being sold at really high prices. It's a truly good album with solid songs, great guitar playing and soaring vocals, all with that '80s atmosphere impossible to replicate nowadays.
Vinyl-rip cleaned by me including artwork - Very Recommended
01 - Back To Earth (a.Tranquillity, b.Re-Entry)
02 - Slow Down
03 - A Girl Of A Different Kind
04 - (When You Die) You're Done
05 - I Wanna Take You Home
06 - Crank
07 - Turn Your Head
08 - Extreme Pain
09 - When Will It Ever End?
10 - Back To Earth (reprise)
Joe Cutrera - lead vocals, percussion
Anton 'Buck' Buckheit - guitars
Tom Moore - bass, keyboards, backing vocals
Bob Mosher - drums
NORTHERN STAR (USA) - I (1985)