#122 Shooting Star – Hang On For Your Life (1981)

Shooting Star is my 2nd favorite band that hails from Kansas City, behind the Rainmakers. OK, so K.C. isn’t really known for rock and roll. This was the only album of real significance for the band. Music is constantly going through new trends. Between 1980-1982 there was a hard rock wave and Shooting Star was one of the bands riding it. I had turned 13 and started going to Junior High in 1981. This was age for me, and maybe for most of us, that music started becoming important in my life. I had to start getting up earlier for school and listened to Chris Edmunds on Stereo 101 every morning. At that time KQ92 was playing dinosaur rock while Stereo 101 was all hard rock. I believe that this was one of the greatest 2 year periods in rock history with many bands and artists releasing their best albums including AC-DC, Foreigner, Journey, Styx,REO Speedwagon, Loverboy, Queen, Aldo Nova,Ozzy Osbourne, Billy Squier and Rush. While Shooting Star historically doesn’t stack up with that list of artists, for one glittering year in 1981 they were a rock radio staple right there with them. The title track Hang On For Your Life, Are You On My Side, and Breakout were all rock radio hits that carried all the elements of the new hard rock movement, including the use of a keyboardist which almost all hard rock bands by this time had adopted. Another trend that had become a calling card for hard rock acts of day was the power ballad. And this where my favorite song on Hang On For Your Life would be categorized. “Hollywood” is a piano driven power ballad that tells the story of a midwestern girl who desires to become a star in Hollywood and when the chorus kicks in (they she hits the strip at night…all the names in lights.. and they games they play..she speeds around and drives uptown…and pulls out the stops…she’ll hit the top someday) the boys of Shooting Star slam it out to the point where it would be near impossible to sit still. In the end Hollywood changes the once innocent midwestern dreamer into a jaded star (takes advantage of her long blonde hair, you know its so damn true). You realize the girl he once loved ( She used to love me…I used to love her gentle ways)has changed into a person he no longer knows (sounds a little like marriage, but I digress). How this song, and this band for that matter, did not stand the test of time is lost on me because a think Hang On For Your Life is a classic hard rock album.

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