Our Top 10 Moxy songs list looks back at the songs of a fantastic rock and roll band formed in Toronto, Canada in the early 1970s. The group was originally formed by various members of the long-running rock group called Leigh Ashford. That group had originally been formed in the 1950s and lasted to 1974. The band Moxy released their first album in Canada in 1975 entitled Moxy. The group would break into the United States based on their hit single “Can’t You See I’m A Star.” The group had become extremely popular in Texas because of San Antonio, KISS-FM radio DJ Joe Anthony who loved the band. The group’s Canadian debut album which was released in 1975 would eventually find its way to the United States as Mercury Records released the album in the States in 1976.
Tommy Bolin had played guitar solos on many of the songs on the band’s debut album. The group’s popularity and potential scored them a gig as the opening act for Black Sabbath which would bring them an even bigger audience in 1976.
Moxy released their second album also in 1976 entitled Moxy II. The group’s third album was released in 1977 called Ridin’ High which was nominated for a Juno Award. The band’s fourth album was entitled Under the Lights. The album featured new lead singer Michael Rynoski who would later change his name to Mike Reno and go on to become the lead singer in Loverboy. Original lead singer Buzz Shearman had left the group to form his own band called Buzz Saw. Buzz Shearman would later rejoin the band in 1979. Sadly, a few years later Buzz Shearman would die in a motorcycle accident at the young age of only 33.
The band’s first three albums are looked at as the definite period of Moxy music. The group did get back together 20 years after the last album was released in 1978 and recorded a new album called Moxy V in 2000. As of 2019, the band was still together and performing live. Our top 10 Moxy songs list presents ten of our favorite Moxy songs.
# 10 – Fantasy
We open up our top 10 Moxy songs list with the exceptional song entitled “Fantasy.” The song opened up the band’s debut album entitled Moxy. The opening guitar riffs almost sound like Queen. Yet it shifts pretty quickly into an almost Bad Company like sounding ballad. Tommy Bolin plays a very tasty bluesy southern rock sounding guitar solo on the tune. The band’s debut album featured musicians Buzz Shearman on lead vocals, Earl Johnson on guitar, Terry Juric on bass, Bill Wade on drums, and Tommy Bolin plays many of the guitar solos including on this track. Also on the “Fantasy,” song was pianist Tom Stephenson. It was interesting and also very cool that the band opened up their first album with a rock ballad.
# 9 – Nothing Comes Easy
Continuing with our top 10 Moxy songs list we take a listen to the raging great song entitled “Nothing Comes Easy. The song was released in 1977 but it sounds like vintage 80s glam metal. The origins of that famous sound that featured bands like Ratt, Cinderella, Motley Crue and so many more had its origins in bands like Moxy. The song was released on the album entitled Ridin’ High The album was released in 1977. The album featured Buzz Shearman on lead vocals, Earl Johnson and Buddy Caine on guitars, Terry Juric on bass and Bill Wade on drums.
# 8 – High School Queen
In the number eight spot on our top 10 Moxy songs list we present the song entitled “High School Queen.” The song was released on the album entitled Under the Lights. The album was released in 1978. The band’s fourth album featured a new lead singer in Mike Reno. While Reno has a killer voice, his style was dramatically different from Buzz. The results were a much slicker sound tilted more towards pop-rock than the bluesy southern rock sound the band had with Buzz as their lead vocalist. The Mike Reno sound would work wonderfully a few years later with his band Loverboy. However, with Moxy, it just didn’t feel right which is probably why they only recorded one album with Reno. Nonetheless, we felt it was important to represent that time period on this list since we are a history site.
# 7 – Time To Move On
In the number seven position on our top 10 Moxy songs list is the song entitled “Time To Move On.” Now, this is much better. Listen to the sound of that guitar. It just bleeds rock and roll 70s style euphoria. Its Ted Nugent, Bad Company, Sweet, Queen all mixed into a glorious celebration of the greatest decade of rock and roll music we have ever experienced. These guys should have been so much bigger than they were.
# 6 – Trouble
Landing in the number six spot on our top 10 Moxy songs list we present the savage song “Trouble.” The song was released on the album entitled A Tribute to Buzz Shearman. The album was released in 1984. The song “Trouble,” had been previously unreleased. It featured Buzz Sherman on lead vocals who had died in a motorcycle accident the year before. This is a dark mid-tempo bluesy rocker that was one of the highlights of the band’s first compilation album.
# 5 – Moonrider
At the halfway point on our top 10 Moxy songs list is the song entitled “Moonrider.” The band’s first album was just so good we could have filled this entire top 10 Moxy songs list with every track from their debut album. Here is another one. If you want to demonstrate the sound of 1970s classic rock guitar, just put this album on for a spin. The guitar is very high in the mix on this track. We love the bridge in this song. Make sure you listen to this one all the way through.
# 4 – Midnight Flight
At the number four spot on our top 10 Moxy songs list we present the song entitled “Midnight Flight.” While the band’s debut album had achieved high praise, we can’t discount how good the band’s second album also was. There is a strong Ted Nugent meets Lynyrd Skynyrd sound on this record. This song was pretty big in Texas. It should have been much bigger around the rest of the country. This is just smoking stuff.
# 3 – Take It Or Leave It
Yeah, baby this just keeps getting better and better. It’s amazing how the sound of the guitars on their second album sound very different from their first. This recording sort of has a Joe Walsh Eagles style guitar sound. It just shows how much production values and sound echoes the time periods in which these recordings are made as this album was released around the same time as Hotel California. The song “Take It Or Leave It,” was released on the album entitled Moxy II. The album was released in 1976. It was the first single released from the album in Canada where it became a big hit.
# 2 – Sail On Sail Away
Just of the top spot on our top 10 Moxy songs list we celebrate the song entitled “Sail On Sail Away.” All the glorious sounds of 1970 classic rock can be heard through this amazing recording. The acoustic strumming acoustic guitars that blow up into the dominant electric chorus and the screaming style sail away lyrics. It’s just so beautiful. Bring me back baby, you know you want to go back too. The song “Sail On Sail Away,” was released on the album entitled Moxy. The album was released in 1976 in the United States and in 1975 in Canada.
# 1 – Can’t You See I’m a Star
We close out our top 10 Moxy songs list with the smoking song entitled “Can’t You See I’m a Star,” This is the song that pretty much helped break the band in the United States. The guitar riff is to die for. It’s classic rock 101. There are no special effects, no heavy processing, it’s just pure rock and roll played perfectly. The guitar solo on this one is played by Earl Johnson. The song was also composed by Earl Johnson. “Can’t You See I’m a Star,” was the first of two singles released from the album.
Top 10 Moxy Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2022
Classicrockhistory.com claims ownership of all its original content and Intellectual property under United States Copyright laws and those of all other foreign countries. No one person, business, or organization is allowed to re-publish any of our original content anywhere on the web or in print without our permission. All photos used are either public domain creative commons photos or licensed officially from Shutterstock under license with ClassicRockHistory.com. All photo credits have been placed at end of the article.