Complete List Of Starz Albums And Discography

Starz Albums

Our Complete List Of Starz Albums And Discography looks at an American hard rock band that gained a cult following in the late 1970s. Formed in 1975, the band was composed of Michael Lee Smith on vocals, Richie Ranno on guitar, Brendan Harkin on guitar, Pieter “Pete” Sweval on bass, and Joe X. Dubé on drums. They were known for their straightforward rock sound, catchy melodies, and power pop influences.

Origins and Early Days

The roots of Starz can be traced back to the band Looking Glass, which had a hit with the song “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)” in 1972. Bassist Pieter Sweval and guitarist Brendan Harkin were part of a later incarnation of Looking Glass, which ultimately transformed into Starz after teaming up with guitarist Richie Ranno, vocalist Michael Lee Smith (who was the brother of Rex Smith), and drummer Joe X. Dubé.

Rise to Recognition

Starz was signed to Capitol Records and released their self-titled debut album in 1976. The album contained strong melodic hooks and was well-received critically, but it did not achieve significant commercial success. Nonetheless, it included some tracks that became cult favorites, such as “Detroit Girls” and “Tear It Down.”

The band’s follow-up, “Violation,” was released in 1977 and is often considered their best work. It featured more aggressive songs like “Cherry Baby” and “Rock Six Times.” Despite the strength of the album and a growing fan base, mainstream breakthrough success continued to elude them.

Subsequent Albums and Struggles

Starz released two more albums, “Attention Shoppers!” in 1978 and “Coliseum Rock” in 1979. By the early 1980s, Starz had disbanded, with members moving on to other projects. However, the band’s music did not fade from the memories of their fans. Starz’s influence was cited by notable bands and musicians who rose to fame in the 1980s, particularly those in the glam metal and hard rock genres.

The band experienced a resurgence in interest in the 1990s and reunited for several tours and live albums. Their reunion tours saw the original lineup, with the exception of Pieter Sweval, who passed away in 1990, performing for nostalgic audiences and a new generation of fans.

Starz

Released 1976

Starz’s self-titled debut album, released in 1976, is a significant entry in the pantheon of hard rock and glam metal, laying down a foundation that would influence many acts in the 1980s. The record captures the band’s raw energy and straightforward rock appeal, highlighted by hook-laden guitar riffs and memorable choruses, characteristics that would define the group’s sound.

The lineup for this album consisted of Michael Lee Smith on lead vocals, Richie Ranno on guitar, Brendan Harkin on guitar, Pieter “Pete” Sweval on bass, and Joe X. Dube on drums. Jack Douglas, renowned for his work with Aerosmith and Cheap Trick, produced the album. Starz was released under Capitol Records and was recorded at Record Plant Studios in New York City, with the recording dates spanning from late 1975 to early 1976.

CD Track Listings:

  1. “Detroit Girls” – 4:57
  2. “Live Wire” – 3:19
  3. “Tear It Down” – 3:35
  4. “Boys in Action” – 5:38
  5. “(She’s Just a) Fallen Angel” – 3:36
  6. “Monkey Business” – 2:47
  7. “Night Crawler” – 4:53
  8. “Over and Over” – 3:09
  9. “Pull the Plug” – 4:48
  10. “Now I Can” – 4:13

Violation

Released 1977

Following their debut, Starz returned with “Violation” in 1977, an album that continued their trajectory as a powerhouse rock band. With a sound that became tighter and more refined, they managed to balance their hard rock roots with a more melodic approach, creating a record that was accessible without sacrificing the band’s core edge.

Once again featuring Michael Lee Smith, Richie Ranno, Brendan Harkin, Pieter Sweval, and Joe X. Dube, the band solidified their chemistry with tracks that delivered heavy riffs and anthemic hooks. Jack Douglas reprised his role as producer for this sophomore effort. “Violation” was released by Capitol Records and recorded at Record Plant Studios in New York City, with sessions taking place throughout late 1976 to early 1977.

CD Track Listings:

  1. “Cherry Baby” – 3:46
  2. “Rock Six Times” – 2:55
  3. “Sing It, Shout It” – 5:14
  4. “Violation” – 4:24
  5. “Subway Terror” – 3:38
  6. “All Night Long” – 3:30
  7. “Cool One” – 3:43
  8. “S.T.E.A.D.Y.” – 4:11
  9. “Is That a Street Light or the Moon?” – 3:43

Attention Shoppers!

Released 1978

With Attention Shoppers! Starz took a turn towards a more pop-oriented sound, stepping slightly away from their hard rock beginnings. The 1978 release showcased the band’s versatility, proving they could craft catchy melodies without losing their rock ‘n’ roll spirit. The record exudes a sense of fun and demonstrates the band’s ability to adapt to the changing musical climate of the late 1970s.

The familiar lineup of Michael Lee Smith, Richie Ranno, Brendan Harkin, Pieter Sweval, and Joe X. Dube delivered performances that blended rock with elements of pop and power pop. Jack Douglas was not at the helm for this album; instead, it was produced by Jack Richardson. “Attention Shoppers!” was released via Capitol Records and the recording took place at Soundstage in Toronto, with dates spanning from mid to late 1977.

CD Track Listings:

  1. “Hold On to the Night” – 3:22
  2. “She” – 3:17
  3. “Third Time’s the Charm” – 4:13
  4. “(Any Way That You Want It) I’ll Be There” – 2:41
  5. “Waitin’ on You” – 3:35
  6. “X-Ray Spex” – 3:31
  7. “Good Ale We Seek” – 4:14
  8. “Don’t Think” – 3:16
  9. “Johnny All Alone” – 4:28

Coliseum Rock

Released 1978

In the same year as Attention Shoppers! Starz released Coliseum Rock returning to the more robust hard rock sound of their earlier records. While keeping the catchy hooks, this album leaned more heavily on their rock roots, with more aggressive guitar work and powerful rhythms. It was an affirmation of their commitment to the rock genre amidst an industry that was rapidly changing with the rise of disco and new wave.

The album again featured Michael Lee Smith, Richie Ranno, Brendan Harkin, Pieter Sweval, and Joe X. Dube. Jack Douglas came back as producer for this album. “Coliseum Rock” was released by Capitol Records and was recorded at Soundstage in Toronto, as well as at the Record Plant in New York City, with recording dates in early to mid-1978.

CD Track Listings:

  1. “So Young, So Bad” – 3:30
  2. “Take Me” – 3:35
  3. “No Regrets” – 4:31
  4. “My Sweet Child” – 3:35
  5. “Don’t Stop Now” – 4:03
  6. “Outfit” – 3:07
  7. “Last Night I Wrote a Letter” – 3:40
  8. “Coliseum Rock” – 2:16
  9. “It’s a Riot” – 3:43
  10. “Where Will It End” – 4:02

STARZ LIVE ALBUMS

Live At Municipal Auditorium, Louisville, March 30, 1978

Released 1978

The live album “Live At Municipal Auditorium, Louisville, March 30, 1978” captures Starz in their element, delivering a powerful performance that showcases the band’s raw live presence. Recorded during the peak of their touring days, the album provides a glimpse into the energy and charisma that defined Starz on stage.

Featuring the lineup of Michael Lee Smith, Richie Ranno, Brendan Harkin, Pieter Sweval, and Joe X. Dube, the band’s concert dynamic is on full display. The production captures the essence of the live experience, placing the listener right in the middle of the crowd. This release was a direct representation of the band’s rock prowess in a live setting, documenting their 1978 tour. The recording venue was the Municipal Auditorium in Louisville, Kentucky.

CD Track Listings:

  1. “Detroit Girls” – 5:15
  2. “Live Wire” – 4:20
  3. “Tear It Down” – 4:00
  4. “Boys in Action” – 6:00
  5. “Night Crawler” – 5:10
  6. “(She’s Just a) Fallen Angel” – 4:10
  7. “Pull the Plug” – 5:25
  8. “Monkey Business” – 3:00
  9. “Over and Over” – 3:50

Live In America

Released 1983

“Live In America” was released five years after the band seemingly ended their initial run.

CD Track Listings:

  1. “Rock Six Times” – 4:10
  2. “Cherry Baby” – 4:05
  3. “Sing It, Shout It” – 5:30
  4. “Cool One” – 3:45
  5. “Violation” – 4:30
  6. “Subway Terror” – 3:40
  7. “All Night Long” – 3:50
  8. “Is That a Street Light or the Moon?” – 3:50
  9. “She” – 3:20
  10. “Coliseum Rock” – 2:20

Live In Canada

Released 1985

CD Track Listings:

  1. “So Young, So Bad” – 4:05
  2. “Take Me” – 3:45
  3. “No Regrets” – 4:35
  4. “My Sweet Child” – 3:40
  5. “Don’t Stop Now” – 4:10
  6. “Outfit” – 3:15
  7. “Last Night I Wrote a Letter” – 3:50
  8. “Waitin’ on You” – 3:40
  9. “X-Ray Spex” – 3:35
  10. “Good Ale We Seek” – 4:20

Live in Action

Released 1989

“Live in Action” is a comprehensive compilation that not only includes the entire “Live At Municipal Auditorium, Louisville, March 30, 1978” album but also additional live recordings that highlight the band’s enduring stage legacy.

CD Track Listings:

  1. “Detroit Girls” – 5:15
  2. “Live Wire” – 4:20
  3. “Tear It Down” – 4:00
  4. “Boys in Action” – 6:00
  5. “Night Crawler” – 5:10
  6. “(She’s Just a) Fallen Angel” – 4:10
  7. “Pull the Plug” – 5:25
  8. “Monkey Business” – 3:00
  9. “Over and Over” – 3:50
  10. “Rock Six Times” – 4:10
  11. “Cherry Baby” – 4:05
  12. “Sing It, Shout It” – 5:30
  13. “Cool One” – 3:45
  14. “Violation” – 4:30
  15. “Subway Terror” – 3:40
  16. “All Night Long” – 3:50
  17. “Is That a Street Light or the Moon?” – 3:50
  18. “She” – 3:20
  19. “Coliseum Rock” – 2:20

Greatest Hits Live

Released 2004

CD Track Listings:

1. “Fallen Angel” 3:52
2. “Tear it Down” 3:14
3. “Live Wire” 4:16
4. “Monkey Business” 2:46
5. “Detroit Girls” 4:57
6. “Night Crawler” 4:38
7. “Pull the Plug” 7:56
8. “Boys in Action” 8:09
9. “She” 3:25
10. “Any Way That You Want It” 4:20
11. “Cherry Baby” 4:08
12. “Rock Six Times” 4:32
13. “Coliseum Rock” 2:54
14. “It’s a Riot” 3:41
15. “Subway Terror” 4:07
16. “Take Me” 4:20

Complete List Of Starz Albums And Discography article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2023

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