MORNINGSTAR – Morningstar [Rock Candy remaster +2] (2018)
MORNINGSTAR is one of those Pomp AOR bands that acquired cult status over the years, and it was time for their two celebrated albums to be reissued / remastered. Specialists Rock Candy Records just did it, this self-titled debut “Morningstar” including 2 bonus tracks.
There was a time during the late ’70s when the American music business was releasing an incredible volume of classy rock bands; a seemingly never-ending succession of groups that drank from the same golden goblet as Boston, Styx and Journey. And that style wasn’t the only touchstone, as British progressive rock also played a major part in many a US band’s sound.
Morningstar were no exception to that rule.
Formed in Kansas during the early 70s, the band became a formidable live draw and soon attracted the attention of Columbia records who happily signed them.
Recorded in Nashville, their debut album is a fitting period piece, illiciting comparisons to similar sounding mid-west champions such as Roadmaster, Trillion and Starcastle; all groups with a penchant for melody who displayed respect for classy arrangements and impressive musicianship. “Morningstar” also imbibed heavily from the progressive rock world coming from England.
Issued in 1978, “Morningstar surprised with its blend of pomp AOR and meaty hard progressive rock, and while made little commercial headway, the band became regarded as a band to watch.
With their hard driving edge and progressive flourishes several tracks standout, such as the pounding ‘Turn Out All The Lights’, or the epic six minute ‘Through The Night’ which is a veritable stylistic cornucopia of heavy but melodious rock, a proto ’80s AOR tune full of magic.
Also ‘Sad Lady’ is a classy pomp rock prima donna blessed with layers of soaring vocals and impressive keyboards; all qualities that continue to impress.
Morningstar’s sound on this debut can be compared with another iconic band from the same area; Shooting Star, but also Roadmaster, some Styx, Journey, 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.
This Rock Candy remaster is warm, quite LP sounding to preserve the analog harmonics, and I like it.
Beware; there’s a fake version floating the web, this is the Real one, as always, only at 0dayrox.
01 – Shotgun Romance
02 – Premeditated Rendezvous
03 – Sunshine (Changin’ of the Season)
04 – Through the Night
05 – Sweet Georgia Peach
06 – Sad Lady
07 – Another Rock n’ Roll Show
08 – Turn out All the Lights
09 – Too Much to Lose
10 – Gentlemen of Fortune
11 – Remember When
Rick Bacus – vocals, guitars, keyboards
Jerry Chambers – guitars, vocals
Michael Edmunds – guitars, vocals
Greg Leech – bass
Greg Harris – drums, percussion
BUY IT !