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Starz
Starz

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Richie Ranno - guitar
Michael Lee Smith - vocals
Joe X. Dube - drums
Brenden Harkin - guitar
Pete Swevel - bass
 

Peter Sweval and Jeff Grob (aka Joe X Dube) were in the band Looking Glass which had the 1971 hit song "Brandy". In 1972 the singer / guitarist of Looking Glass quit so they hired Michael Lee Smith for vocals and soon changed their name to the Fallen Angels. In 1975 they hired guitarist Richie Ranno from the band Stories, which had a #1 hit in 1973 with the song "Brother Louie". Shortly after this they changed their name to Starz and were signed to Capitol Records in 1976 and soon released their self titled debut album. In March of 1977 the song "Cherry Baby", from thier second album,"Violation" made it to #33 on the Billboard charts. This was their biggest hit, but they had a few minor hits later in their career. Brenden and Peter quit after the "Attention Shoppers" album and were replaced by guitarist Bobby Messano and bassist Orville Davis. The following album was "Coliseum Rock" but disappointing sales and tension in the band caused them to call it quits, Dube and Ranno put together a trio with bassist Peter Scance called Hard Core. In 1981 Smith, Ranno, Madick and Peter Scance regrouped and released one album under the Hellcats name.

They recorded four studio albums and were admired for their talent to combine hard rock and power pop. "Do It with the Lights On" has early versions from the first two albums and side two has demos from the Hellcats. "Live in Action" is a combination of Live in Louisville from 1978 with another concert from Cleveland in 1977. "Requiem" is a CD with 5 new reunion songs from 1992 and some unreleased material. In 2005 all of their albums were released on CD, several concerts and early materials have also been released. Pete Swevel died in 1990 and the remaining members have played reunion concerts from 2005 to 2008. Richie Ranno All Stars band still performs the Starz music.

  1. http://www.rockdetector.com/artist/usa/new+york/starz
  2. "Wikipedia", last modified November 12, 2014, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starz_(band)

Starz

Starz

1976

Violation

Violation

1977

Attention Shoppers

Attention Shoppers

1978

Coliseum Rock

Coliseum Rock

1979

Hellcats

Hellcats

1982

Do It With The Lights On

Do It With The Lights On

1987

Live In Action

Live In Action

1989

Requiem

Requiem

1992

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Copyright © 2000 by Ricky J. Brown, rjcreations@myfairpoint.net. All rights reserved. Updated Nov. 2014.