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Hang On for Your Life

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Album Review

Producer Dennis McKay worked with guitar giants Tommy Bolin and Mick Ronson (and later even prima diva Whitney Houston), and he ups the horsepower on Hang on for Your Life, driving these rocky cornfield boys further into the AOR commercial zone. The hell-bent title track of Shooting Star's sophomore sizzler is an obvious and enjoyable clip of after-work blue-collar rock. "Breakout" (not a reference to the complexions of this sextet's sizable Midwestern teen audience) also hit the airwaves and runs along the same predictable lines. The humane "Flesh and Blood" and the plaintive "Hollywood" reiterate the heartfelt intensity of the gleaming debut, while "Teaser" may pay homage to the late, lamented Bolin. The valleys between the aforementioned peaks in Hang on for Your Life are decent enough and not too long. Recorded at Randy Bachman's Legend studios, this is another solid album by a fine band who never scaled the heights with their peers in Journey and REO Speedwagon.


Formed: 1977

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Muscular '80s rockers Shooting Star formed in Kansas City late in the 1970s with vocalist/guitarist Van McLain, guitarist Gary West, violin player Charles Waltz, bassist Ron Verlin, and drummer Steve Thomas. The group signed to Virgin before the end of the decade and delivered their self-titled debut album late in 1979; the single "You've Got What I Need" was a modest hit, as was "Hollywood" from 1981's Hang on for Your Life, but Shooting Star disbanded by 1985. Four years later, McLain and Verlin...
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Hang On for Your Life, Shooting Star
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