A great hard rock & power pop band that somehow fell through the cracks in the late ’70’s, Starz had all the ingredients to make it big– a band of seasoned professionals with a charismatic frontman, a big-name manager, and a record deal with Capitol Records… but while bands like Foreigner, Styx & Boston sold millions of records, Starz just couldn’t break thru to a larger audience.  Too bad, because these guys had some great rock tunes.  Here’s one of their power-pop tracks that serves as a great example of how to write a catchy, memorable song.

Special thanks to the RockNPod Expo for connecting me with the guys in the band.

“She” (Peter Sweval, Joe X. Dube, Michael Lee Smith, Brendan Harkin & Richie Ranno) Copyright 1978 Starzongo Music, Inc/Rock Steady Music, Inc/ASCAP

Who’s the greatest singer in rock history? You could make an argument that it’s Glenn Hughes. He’s played & recorded with Trapeze, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Gary Moore, KLF… and released a collection of great solo albums. He’s an amazing hard rock vocalist & bass player, but my favorite stuff is when he’s getting funky– real funky. This track combines the funk with the hard rock – the best combo since Reese’s put peanut butter in their chocolate. (Do you have to be a certain age to get that reference?) Regardless, Crank It Up! 

“Crave” (Glenn Hughes) Copyright 2008 Ponce Songs (BMI)

Living under The Beatles’ shadow was a blessing and a curse for Badfinger.  One of the greatest Power Pop bands of all time, they crafted a catalog of great songs that defined the genre.  “Day After Day” is one of the greatest singles of all time, featuring a beautiful melody, great performances, and a guest appearance by a Beatle.  What more could you want?  This song deserves a place in history.

“Day After Day” (Pete Ham) Copyright 1971 Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

When a great soul singer meets a song by one of the great pop songwriting teams, magic ensues.  Al Green takes a song by the Bee Gees and turns it into one of the classic singles of all time.  Let’s nurse our broken hearts together as we dig into this amazing song.  Please take a minute to share this podcast, and thanks for spreading the word!

“How Can You Mend A Broken Heart” (Barry Gibb & Robin Gibb) Copyright 1971 Gibb Brothers Music

Writing a hit song about writing a hit song?  Genius!  This song has everything a great pop-rock song needs– a memorable melody, great chorus, smart lyrics and killer vocals.  This song always makes me smile.  Don’t forget to share & leave comments!

“Overnight Sensation (Hit Record)” (Eric Carmen) Copyright 1974 C.A.M. USA Inc.

Kiss was the band that turned a generation of kids — including me — into rock & roll obsessives.  Love ’em or hate ’em, Kiss became huge stars after the release of the “Destroyer” album in 1976.  This is one of my favorite songs on the album, and features some off-the-wall moments like circus instruments, odd time signatures and a mysterious guitar solo.  Your uniform is leather, your power is your age– set the world on fire, baby!

“Flaming Youth” (Ace Frehley/Paul Stanley/Gene Simmons/Bob Ezrin) Copyright 1976 Cafe Americana, Inc/Kiss Songs, Inc (ASCAP)/All By Myself Publishing Co Ltd. (BMI)

With this song, David Bowie practically invents the Goth-Punk-Cabaret genre.  It’s an epic song with brilliant piano by Mike Garson.  Let’s explore the track and see what makes this masterpiece tick.  And if you like the podcast, please share!

“Time” (David Bowie) Copyright 1973 Tinoretto Music (BMI) administered by RZO Music Inc Screen Gems-EMI Music Inc (BMI), Chrysalis Songs (BMI)  (phew, that’s a mouthful.)

Let’s start things off with one of my favorite McCartney songs – a tune most people haven’t heard but should’ve been a big hit.  This song has everything I love about McCartney– a terrific lead vocal, great bass part, an arrangement that keeps evolving and cool production.  Enjoy!

“Daytime Nighttime Suffering” (Paul McCartney) Copyright 1978 MPL Communications Inc