Thursday, July 12, 2007

Morningstar - Morningstar (1978)

Kansas City's Morningstar represented one of many AOR acts to spring from and flourish in the midwestern region. Perhaps one of the real standouts among the herd, Morningstar successfully married the stylistic approach of many of their larger contemporaries like Kansas, Styx and Starcastle. With slight progressive flourishes decorating the arrangements, the band's music was slick and oozing with hooks. Their roots trace back to 1969 where a largely different lineup found regional success with a self-released single, which caught the ear of future CBS executive, Kip Cohen. A sole appearance at the Fillmore East in 1970 would yield broader interest in the band, though the lineup began seeing radical changes over the course of the next seven years. By 1977, the band had inked a deal with CBS and this album, their self-titled debut was issued the following year.

This album is a strong collection of hook laden arena rock, which is astonishing given the fact that this was the band's first effort in the studio. Dripping with all the dynamics one would find in most of the successful rock albums of the day, this debut was poised for massive success. As happens so often, either poor marketing or slow distribution were to blame and the band were met only with moderate success. Unfazed, Morningstar returned to the studio the following year to issue "Venus". Though their second album found them with an even sleeker, more radio friendly sound, things at CBS were beginning to change. With the dawn of punk and disco's emerging breakout, many larger labels were abandoning these perceived "dinosaur" bands like Morningstar. As a result, CBS dropped the band (along with dozens of other artists) in search of capitalizing on the current trends of the time.

It's tragic that Morningstar were literally shut down by their supporting label, as funds were pulled and the band could no longer sustain itself autonomously. Where they could have gone is unknown, but they left two fantastic albums and a legacy that midwesterners have still not forgotten. In the wake of the split, most of the members returned to civilian life in their hometown, working in local bands over the years. Others retired completely from the business to begin new careers outside of music. In any case, this band is one you won't soon forget. This gifted quintet's two albums are impossible to locate on CD and a reissue program is nowhere in sight. So for now, dig in and enjoy this exceptional debut by Morningstar.


Nils Tibor said...

Many thanks for this great album.


Anonymous said...

Cool,....many T H A N K S


Pat said...

Thanks for this awesome album

Anonymous said...

I bought this album in 1979, It is very good. The sound is much like Kansas. Thanks for this music.

Scooter Livingston said...

Can you pit up a new link? This one is a megaupload link