Starship – Greatest Hits (Ten Years and Change 1979–1991)

tenyearsandchange

Starship – Greatest Hits (Ten Years And Change 1979 – 1991)
RCA
May 14, 1991

What It Sounds Like:  Iconic rock music with lots of keyboards.  Arena ready hooks are overflowing here, with the primary duel vocals duties covered by Mickey Thomas and Grace Slick from their heyday of 1979 – 1991.

Before we began, I want to state that I am not a fan of reviewing greatest hits records, or even buying them.  It’s like “hey, I love this band, but only enough to hear the hits that were on the radio – screw the other tracks”.  I will admit – I’ve had this record forever, and it’s the only piece of Starship material that I own.  I would love to get some of their actual albums, but with as much music as I buy, some things simply have gotten put on the back burner.  I hope to move Starship to the front of the stove sooner than later.

Jefferson Airplane disbanded and morphed into Jefferson Starship, which then morphed into Starship, which then morphed into two bands (one being called Starship, and the other being Starship featuring Mickey Thomas).  If you can keep all that in order, kudos  to you.  This is a collective of musicians who may have performed some of the best known songs of the 80s, but after numerous lawsuits, band member changes, and the never ending legal battles about “who can use what name and who has to be involved and blah blah blah”, it kind of takes the magic out of it all.

But then…something happens.  Something wonderful.

I hear We Built This City.

Or Don’t Lose Any Sleep.

Or Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now.

Or No Way Out.

And frankly – I care anymore if Micky Thomas was a jerk, or if Grace Slick was as arrogant as she was.  Behind closed doors, they may have been disrespectful and ticking time bombs, but on a record – I’m putting my pride away.  Sing it again!  Marconi plays the mamba, listen to the radio…

This certainly is a greatest hits record.  Back to back to back – every track is massive, arena-ready, and begging to be sung back by screaming fans.  From those opening piano chords on Jane to the rousing It’s Not Enough, you can’t help but feel as sense of longing for the days when this was the type of music that would sell out Bridgestone Arena, and not Usher or The Black Eyed Peas.

I attempted to come into this writing by highlighting a few of my favorite tracks, but man – how do I even do that?  It’s a greatest hits record; they’re all killer!  We Built This City is the obvious trademark of the record.  You may have lived out in the middle of the woods your whole life, cut off from civilization – eating bugs and running around in a loincloth – but somehow, just somehow – you’d know this song.  If by some extremely (X100) off-chance you don’t know this song, and somehow ran across this review because you were researching actual starships in an attempt to find your home planet again (you freaking alien), I’ve just blessed you with the greatest thing you may ever experience on this earth.  Numerous publications over the years have actually named this song the worst song of the 80s.  The worst!  Geez, you gotta know you’re doing something right if someone is gonna bestow that honor on you!

The greatest thing besides love, that is.  True love, of course.

Which obviously brings me to Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now.

Look, I’m a love song junkie.  If it’s trying to take me to cloud nine, I’m there.  Cloud nine isn’t dictated completely by your circumstances; it’s dictated by your state of mind – if you want to be there, you will be.  Micky and Grace know this, and they slay this song with their powerful battle cry to stick with their partner through the thick and thin.  So incredibly good, it’s worth posting every lyric.  If you’re in love, this should be your theme.

Looking in your eyes / I see a paradise
This world that I’ve found / Is too good to be true
Standing here beside you / Want so much to give you
This love in my heart / That I’m feeling for you

Let ’em say were crazy / I don’t care about that
Put your hand in my hand baby / Don’t ever look back
Let the world around us / Just fall apart
Baby we can make it if were heart to heart

And we can build this thing together
Standing strong forever
Nothings gonna stop us now
And if this world runs out of lovers
We’ll still have each other
Nothing’s gonna stop us
Nothing’s gonna stop us now

I’m so glad I found you / I’m not gonna lose you
Whatever it takes / I will stay here with you
Take it to the good times /  See it through the bad times
Whatever it takes is what I’m gonna do

Let ’em say we’re crazy / What do they know
Put your arms around me baby / Don’t ever let go
Let the world around us / Just fall apart
Baby we can make it if were heart to heart

And we can build this thing together
Standing strong forever
Nothings gonna stop us now
And if this world runs out of lovers
We’ll still have each other
Nothing’s gonna stop us
Nothing’s gonna stop us now

Ooh, all that I need is you
All that I ever need / And all that I want to do
Is hold you forever
Ever and ever.

Have freaking mercy, reader!  You can’t write it better than that!  What more do you want?!

But hey – life isn’t always perfect.  Next thing you know we’re into No Way Out, where Micky realizes that he’s simply screwed – his girl knows that he cheated on her, and for him – there’s no way out of it.  Turn another corner and we’re into a newly recorded track for this compilation, entitled Don’t Lose Any Sleep, which rivals Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now for one of the best, full-bodied choruses on the record, except it’s lyrically the exact opposite.  Instead of being in love, you’re getting your heart broken.  The sarcasm in it is wonderful It’s a power ballad to the max.  That’s all the musical description that you need.

Indulge me once more…

You tell me to be strong / Tell me to be strong
Goodbye ain’t no reason to cry / It ain’t no big deal
You say I’ll get along / Sure I’ll get along
You’re so nonchalant that it’s unreal

Well I thought this love
Would be all I needed
I thought this love
Was something to believe in
Now you / you say sorry babe
It didn’t work out that way

Don’t let it ruin you’re day babe

Don’t lose any sleep now babe
It’s just my heart you’re breakin’
It’s just my heart you’re breakin’
Don’t lose any sleep now babe
Just don’t worry ’bout me
Don’t you worry ’bout me
I’ll be all right – oh yeah

Don’t act so concerned / No don’t be concerned
Don’t know how much more of your kindness / I can bear
Guess I had to learn / Just had to learn
That after all this you just don’t care

Well don’t let that worry your mind now
I’ll be okay / Baby I’ll be fine now
It’s just that I’m watching my world / Walking away

Don’t let it ruin you’re day babe

Don’t lose any sleep now babe
It’s just my heart you’re breakin’
It’s just my heart you’re breakin’
Don’t lose any sleep now babe
Just don’t worry ’bout me
Don’t you worry ’bout me
I’ll be all right – oh yeah

I’ll be the first to say that I try to be tough with my ratings on this website.  My average record that I really enjoy will get a seven.  One that is pretty freaking awesome is getting an eight, while a nine is essentially perfect, save for a slight misstep that I usually search over and over for until I find it.  I don’t like to just hand out tens – they’re few and far between.  You want to be a tough judge.

A greatest hits record from a unique and iconic 70s/80s band such as Starship deserves it.  Simple and plain.  Every single track makes you want to turn it up to eleven.

You should.

10/10

If you had to listen to two tracks:  We Built This City / Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now






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