Crate-digging is a most wonderful pleasure.

presented by


Nothing posted here will be found on a compact disc.

You will, however, find it waiting in the ether
if you click on the underlined album title at the end of each post.

In deference to the artists who make their joyous noise for us
if something becomes available on CD
I'll remove the link from the post
& then you can have the fun of finding it on your own. . .

Presented as is - the vinyl isn't cleaned, I love to hear it crackle
on that charming odd occassion.
Folders are large as all vinyl is ripped into Logic
& then bounced to MP3s at VBR.

Enjoy, barbarians!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Love it, love it, love it. Another band I can find barely anything on. Stars' self-titled debut [Barclay 90030, 1976] was a triumph of oddness, no, madness, in its pan-genre approach. Led by Simon Lait, Stars was an incomparable session band, Brits who recorded this one-off for the French label Barclay, which was in turn pressed in Canada. Love it.

A few connections can be made to early psych-prog progenitors like Atomic Rooster - who's drummer, Ric Parnell came over for the project - and, through Stuart Uren, Stray, who's Saturday Morning Pictures is a hazy classic, & who's first LP goes for silly dough online

A true child of the 70s, Stars used hard-hitting, flawless playing to evoke a playful, disco-fusion vibe with serious rock pedigree. "That Was Yesterday" is a deceptively mellow intro that bursts into the kind of wah-ing synths that make Herbie Hancock's Thrust the beast it is. There are also strong odors of Zappa, particularly the George Duke/Napoleon Murphy Brock era that immediately preceded Stars' release: "Heart Of Stone" features all gruff-voiced and slinky and shit, his stuttered vocal verse and the bizarro-harmony Stax horns melting perfectly into virtuosic fuzz-wah guitar funk.

The album rocks on in several variations on these themes, a bocce match between Zappa, Herbie, Yes, Steely Dan, & Stevie Wonder. "Platform Soul" is the perfect play of them all, treading the line between Mahavishnu wonkery & slinky modern soul. Just as inspired is the closing gamut, an incongruous cover of "Not Fade Away", that's nonetheless a break-laden jaunt into good times that refuse to give up.

Stars recorded this sole album before moving on to other, greater things. Parnell eventually created the role of Mick Shrimpton in Spinal Tap, while Lait became a successful producer, working with the inimatble Betty Davis on her Crashin' From Passion LP.

But thanks for Lait & co to take a moment and bring the Stars they saw so briefly down to us.

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